Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to fuel your runs as a low-carb runner. It might be because we’re back in marathon season and your runs are starting to get longer. I …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 84 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners and today we’re going to be talking about fueling strategies for low carb running. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to fuel your runs as a low carb runner. And that might be because, you know, all of a sudden we’re back in Marathon season, I know, where does the time go?
And maybe our runs are starting to get longer. I think it’s partly that. And I also think there’s some fear around this idea of like, I’m just afraid I’m going to bonk when I get up into these higher mileage runs.
And so, you know, and I get that totally because I was also very skeptical about fueling for these longer runs without using carbs without carb loading the days before a run and without using gels during a run.
Because that’s just the way I did it for like the first 15 years or so of my running. And it kind of worked, you know, and so I was thinking there’s just no other way to do this, right? Well, today, I’m here to tell you that there is another way.
And I’m going to share my thoughts and my experience around this topic, and offer up several different fueling strategies that you can try if you want to, you know, perform at your best as a low carb runner.
And I’m hoping by the end of this episode, you feel a little less fearful about those long runs and feel a little more confident about this low carb approach to running this fat adapted approach to running Cool.
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Okay, let’s talk about fueling strategies for low carb running. So if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you know that I talk a lot about how awesome it is to be a fat adapted runner. Right? So fat adapted running just means you have changed your main source of fuel from sugar to fat, you know, you’re not burning carbs for energy, as much, we always are burning some glucose or glycogen for energy, we’re always burning some fat for energy.
But the ratios are much different when you’re fat adapted, much higher, burning much more fat. So some of the benefits of becoming a fat adapted runner, you have, basically the hunger issue goes away, right, you’re just no longer hungry all the time, no GI distress.
When you’re running, you become bonk proof, you can basically feel like you can run all day, and I’ve done up to eight hours of straight running without any fuel at all. So I can attest that, you know, now I haven’t gone 24 hours or anything like that.
But you know, you just feel like you can just keep going, it’s amazing. You always have plenty of fuel onboard, you know, you’re carrying around your own fuel source, you’re burning your own body fat, which is amazing. So you don’t have to carry fuel with you don’t have to carry all the gels and goos and blocks and all that other stuff or, or like pizzas or hoagies, whatever you take with you on your long runs, people take all kinds of stuff.
Some other benefits is obviously you’re burning fat. So you you tend to lose weight much more efficiently than if you’re eating a bunch of sugar and stuff like that. You have better focus and concentration you can like perform better when you’re out there running, you can think more clearly. And running is just easier. Okay.
But I think there’s a misconception that you always have to do your runs on fuel because I’ve talked a few times I’ve you know, talked on the podcast here about doing a marathon or a 50k on fuel. And I just want you to know that we don’t have to do everything on fuel. That’s not like necessarily the optimal way to go for everybody. Okay.
So when we talk about running sans fuel we’re kind of talking about running in the fasted state. So what does this mean? Why? Why do we? Well, you know, why would we run in the fasted state? Well, the fasted state just means you haven’t had any food, or, or quote unquote, fuel for, you know, 12 hours or so. Right?
In the definition of fasted could be different for different people. But that’s kind of the general rule of it. So when I say I’m running faster, that means I had dinner the night before I wake up in the morning, I might have some coffee, and then I go for a run. That’s what I mean by running in the fasted state. So it might be 8 or 10 hours. Usually, it’s about 10 to 12 hours of having no food. Alright, so that’s what we mean by running in the fasted state.
But why would we do this like Why run in that fasted state? Well, there’s a lots of reasons why we do this, it helps to boost your fat burning. So just being in that fasted state will lower your blood sugar and lowers your insulin, which will increase fat burning. So you you can burn fat more efficiently when you’re fasted as opposed to having fuel.
You produce alternative fuel sources like ketones while you’re in that fasted state and ketones you can use as fuel on we’re going to talk about that later on here today. You actually get an increase of energy when fasting people think you like you have a loss of energy but you don’t you you get a you produce more adrenaline, you have more energy, not less, you can actually train harder.
You can have more intense workouts you can run harder, so you don’t lose energy actually get an increase of energy, which is kind of cool. Running in the fasted state helps to decrease inflammation. So sugar, and specifically insulin is very pro inflammatory.
And if you want any proof of this, just like, if you’re doing like pretty low carb, just eat a bunch of sugar, and watch the scale go up the next day, like three pounds, I did this recently, I ate a bunch of carbs. And I gained three pounds over the course of a day and a half, basically.
So when we eat sugar, it raises our blood sugar insulin gets raised in, try to bring that blood sugar down. And insulin is very pro inflammatory. So you can actually decrease inflammation, which is a good thing when you’re running, you know, especially if you’re doing long distance type of running, right.
So you get a decrease in inflammation when you’re running in the fasted state, you get more growth hormone produced when you’re running in the fasted state. Which growth hormone is awesome, because it helps to increase bone density helps to increase muscle mass and helps you to recover faster from these longer harder workouts.
So fasting, basically, you know, running in the fasted state allows you to train harder, recover faster, it speeds up the fat adaptation process. So if you’re trying to become fat adapted, if you’re making that transition to from being like more of a sugar burner to being a fat burner, then one of the keys to fat adaptation is like you’ve got to force your body to start using your own body fat for fuel.
And one of the best ways to do this is just not eat anything at all and then go run. That way your body like it will use up whatever glucose is available, whatever glycogen is available. And then it’ll have to like go into your fat stores, or the stored body fat for fuel, which is cool, right?
Because this process of switching from burning, you know, glycogen mostly, or glucose to fat, it takes several weeks, you know, the fat adaptation processes is not super simple. It’s like uncomfortable. But when you’re running fasted, it actually helps to speed up the process, right? It helps helps to shorten the uncomfortable adaptation period. So anyway, there’s all these amazing benefits of running in the fasted state.
But do you have to do all your runs fasted? And the answer is no, you don’t. And there’s different ways that you can fuel for running, you could just go to sugar, you could just go like eat goos and carb load and you know, do your Fettuccine Alfredo the night before, or whatever it is. But that is not recommended. Because you’re going to like totally throw off your whole fat adaptation game when you do that.
Okay, so we want to think of alternative fuel sources, right? And so here’s something I want you to consider, like, when should you think about fueling for your run? So I think you can do a lot of your runs on fuels and I think you should, I think it’s very, you know, advantageous to do that. To do a lot of your runs in that fasted state, because you’re going to tap into a lot of natural processes that your body has, you know, that fat adaptation, the fat burning, the growth hormone, the adrenaline, all those things, take advantage of that stuff. Why not?
But there’s times when you might want to think about fueling for your runs. Okay. And so when when should you think about fueling for your run? So of course, that depends on you and your goals, as everything it depends, right. So, you know, I’ve done two marathons and a 50k, within the last nine months or so, totally unfueled.
And, like, is this the way everybody should do it all the time? I don’t know. Maybe you could try it. Maybe not. This season we just started marathon training, you know, one or two months or so ago. So for this upcoming marathon in October, I’m practicing with some different fueling strategy. So I want to try something different.
And I want to try some different fuels. And this is kind of why I’m talking about this today, because it’s very much on my mind, I’m experimenting with all these cool things right now. So back to the question like when should you start thinking about a fueling strategy for running?
Let me I’m going to go into a higher level really quickly here. I want to look at a higher level of fat adaptation and then I’ll come back to this question. I’m not doing this on purpose. I’m just trying to like I want to make sure we understand what we mean when we talk about being fat adapted, okay.
When you’re fat adapted, you’re much more efficient at using fat for fuel. Alright, we’re always burning, both glucose and fat. We’re always burning some glucose or glycogen, glycogen is just glucose that’s stored in your muscles. And it can be used by your muscles directly within the muscle that it’s stored in, okay?
And so we’re always burning some glucose and fat, but the ratios change, when you’re fat adapted, you’re definitely gonna be burning more fat more efficiently. Your body produces plenty of glucose on its own, to fuel your muscles while you’re running, even at higher intensities.
And there’s this kind of myth out there that like, well, if you want to run faster, you have to use carbohydrate as fuel. And you don’t. I mean, this is like old school thinking. And you know, it does work. If you’re carb adapted, you can definitely use carbohydrates for more intense intensities of running. But you don’t have to do that.
So there’s been some studies done. And the one that kind of comes to mind is this faster study was done a few years back. And they showed that. So they had two different groups, they had a low carb group of athletes and a high carb group of athletes. So they were this group of ultra endurance athletes that were, you know, some of them had been on a high carb diet for many years, and some of them have been on a low carb diet for many years.
And they noticed that in the low carb group, you know, the peak fat oxidase oxide, oh my gosh, the peak fat oxidation was 2.3 fold higher than it was in the high carb group. Okay. So basically, what they’re saying is, the people in the low carb group were burning 2.3 times more fat more efficiently than the high carb group. Okay.
Basically, the conclusion of the study is this compared to highly trained ultra endurance athletes consuming a high carb diet, the long term fat adaptation results in extraordinarily high rates of fat oxidation, whereas muscle glycogen utilization and repletion patterns during and after a three hour run are similar. So that was the conclusion.
And basically, what it means is this: even elite Ultra marathoners who were running hard for three hours, you know, the low carb and the high carb performances were very similar. And my takeaway is that you can absolutely run faster and run harder, and you don’t need to carb load and suck down all the gels to do it, you can do it as a fat adapted athlete. Okay.
So the main thing that I want you to take away from this right here is that, you got to understand that when you’re fat adapted, and you eat a bunch of sugar, or carbs, all of that fat burning is put on hold while you’re metabolizing, the carbohydrate load. This is very important to understand.
And I talk to weight loss clients about this all the time, who are like, oh, you know, I just want to like, you know, eat some sugar and eat some carbs is that okay if I do that every now and then? I’m like, I’m not recommended because when you’re metabolizing, the carbohydrate load, all the fat burning is being put on hold. Right.
So as a fat adapted runner, I don’t want to fuel with carbs because it shuts down this very efficient fat burning engine that I’ve worked so hard to build, maintain. So today, my body’s running like a clean burning Tesla engine. And adding carbs into the mix is like putting gas into that Tesla motor, just it doesn’t work, it’s gonna cause all kinds of issues, it’s just totally not going to work at all.
Okay, so getting back to the question at hand, when should you start thinking about fueling your runs? So now that you understand why you want to stay fat adapted and take advantage of that clean burning engine source, that clean burning fat burning engine that we’re talking about? Let’s talk about fuel.
I suggest just as a general rule that you do most of your runs fasted up to a certain point. So what point is that only you can answer that and I want to encourage you to do a little experimenting with this and test the waters in push yourself and see what you’re capable of.
Go longer and longer without fuel. What is that going to be for you? 12 miles? 14? 16? 18? I don’t know. But figure it out. I think it’d be super fun to try.
You can always take something with you in case you need it. And I’m gonna give you some suggestions on that in a second here, but, but I want you to see what you’re capable of, I want you to see what it’s what it’s like to run for 12 or 16 miles, without any fuel at all, and see, you know how that feels for you as an individual?
And if you like that feeling, why not just keep it going? Do you know what I mean? Like, why not just take advantage of that if it works pretty well for you, okay. And I find that when I’m running fasted when I’m running without fuel, and I get to like mile 12, or so I actually feel like I have more energy, like my energy levels begin to increase, because the longer I’m out there, the more efficient my body is, is burning fat. And why wouldn’t I want to keep that going?
You know, when I see other people around me, if we’re doing a 20 mile run, and I get to mile 12 or 14, other people are starting to fade, their energy is like starting to decrease. Mine is increasing. I mean, it’s not like I can sprint all of the sudden, running is still hard. Okay, but I feel like I just have plenty of juice, and I can just keep going plenty of gas in the tank, I can just keep going.
Okay, so what is that right distance for you? Only you can figure that out. But I want to encourage you to try it and figure it out and see how long you can go without fueling yourself. But fueling is definitely an option. So let’s get into this a little bit here.
One of the things I need to say before we get into like what types of fuel to try, you have to practice these fueling strategies before your race, right? Nothing new on race day. That is our mantra when it comes to long distance running. We never do anything new on race day. I learned this the hard way.
During my very first marathon back in geez, was it 1990 or 2006? I ran my first marathon and I had heard somebody talk about, you know, having like caffeine during their marathon and it helped them. It gave them a boost of energy. And sugar was good, you know? And I was thinking, hmm, I think I was at Starbucks or something.
And I saw this like package of chocolate covered espresso beans. And I thought, well, that’s perfect. I’ll just take these with me on my marathon. This could be awesome. So I stuck a bunch of these chocolate covered coffee beans in a baggie. I put them in my pocket. I had never tried this during a run before. Okay.
And so I’m out there running. I don’t know I got to mile, I was at about 14. And I’m like, Oh, I’m gonna try a little energy here. So I reached into my pocket I grabbed this baggie of these coffee beans. Okay, first of all, they had totally melted like the chocolate was just all over the place. It was a huge mess. And I couldn’t even like stick my fingers in there without like getting totally messy.
So I’m like, trying to like dig the coffee beans out of the plastic bag with like my tongue, like shoving this bag in my mouth trying to get these coffee beans. So I eat a bunch of these. Now melted chocolate drenched coffee beans. And I started chewing on these things.
And I just started coughing like crazy because all those little bits of coffee beans got like stuck in my throat. And were super irritating to my throat and I went into this coughing fit for like the next couple of miles. It was horrible. And I honestly don’t think I got any kind of benefit from doing this. But this was just a good experiment. And a good lesson for me of like, don’t do anything new on race day.
Had I tried this in a training run, it would have been super clear that this is a stupid idea. Okay. But instead I was just like, Oh, what the hell, let’s give it a shot, you know? So that was a terrible idea. Okay.
But anyway, you want to make sure that you’re practicing, you know, your fueling strategy several times before your race. And I suggest trying a few different options here from some of the stuff I’m going to talk about here, try a few different things and see what works best for you.
Okay, so with this in mind, you may want to pick a distance like any run over like 15 miles, you know, or 12 miles, whatever it is, pick a distance and then just start practicing your fueling plan on these longer runs. Alright, because the only way you’re going to know what works for you is if you try some things, okay? There’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Find something that works for you. Try it a few times on these longer runs. And then you know, just go with that, you know, then you know that it’ll work for you on race day. Okay. So for me, I’m trying a bunch of different fueling strategies right now. So I’m trying on on anything like 10 miles and over, just to see like, hey, what works, what doesn’t and so far I’ve had some pretty good results.
So some of the options I’m going to talk about here, some of the different products and fuel options, and I’m going to talk about some of the criteria for me is that I want to make sure that I maintain fat burning as much as possible, because I want to take advantage of that I don’t want anything that’s going to shut down the fat burning engine while I’m running.
Okay, so I’m very careful about which fuels I’m choosing and the ones that I’m sharing with you today are the ones that I know are, are not going to shut down that fat burning process. Okay, so some of the things I’m looking for, make sure there’s no sugar in there, make sure there’s no weird ingredients, I want to make sure that this product will at least maintain or improve that burning.
Some of these actually help you improve that burning, which is cool. You’ve got to be able to take them with you on your runs. Some are better than others from that perspective. They have to taste good. And they have to have been like field tested like things that have been around for a while they’ve been proven to work. So let’s get into this.
Here are some fueling strategies for low carb burning. The first one that I love and I use this all the time is MCT oil. MCT oil is medium chain triglycerides. And these are naturally occurring fats that are found in things like coconut oil and palm oil. MCT oil itself is typically made from coconut oil, and this is the one you want to use right.
Don’t use stray coconut oil because that also contains the long chain triglycerides, we want to stick with the medium chain triglycerides because these are more readily available as fuel. Okay. MCT’s behave differently compared to LCT’s. So instead of having to be broken down and digested by the body, the MCT’s are sent directly from the gut to the liver, where they can be used as a source of energy by the body. Or sometimes they’re quickly turned into ketones ketones is another type of fuel I’m going to talk about in a minute.
But because of this fast turnaround, the calories from MCT are less likely to be stored as fat so you’re not storing the fat from the MCT you’re actually using it as energy. So MCT’s have been around forever. People use these all the time for mental clarity, your brain loves MCT’s as a fuel source.
And some of the benefits of using MCT’s for running is that helps to improve energy output. So they’ve done some studies that show that consuming MCT’s pre workout maybe 30 to 45 minutes before a workout can help people increase their total energy output during the training. MCT has helped to increase fat burning. So they’ve done some research. And they suggest that fatty acids like MCT oil as a pre workout fuel, give you you know a little bit more bang for your buck from a fat burning perspective.
So they they did this study where they actually took cyclists and cyclists were actually able to easily tap into fat as a fuel source while maintaining a high level of performance output. And once they were fat adapted their bodies were able to burn fat as a cleaner source of fuel kind of like what I was talking about earlier, without having to tap into muscle glycogen.
So it actually helps to, you know, spare muscle glycogen meaning that you you’re going to have more muscle glycogen available for longer periods of time. Another benefit of using MCT oil is that helps to reduce lactate buildup in athletes. So during exercise, you know rising lactate levels can negatively impact your your performance right?
MCT may help to reduce lactate buildup. So they did this study where they took athletes who took about a teaspoon and a half of MCT with food before cycling and they had lower lactate levels and found it easier to exercise compared with people taking long chain triglycerides. So pretty interesting stuff.
But definitely you’re going to notice an energy performance. I use MCT oil every day I just add a little bit to my coffee in the morning and it gives me energy for hours. So how to use MCT is like one to two tablespoons around 30 minutes before a workout is recommended. But here’s the thing with MCT is you’ve got to build up to that.
Because they can be a little bit harsh on your gut, like some people have stomach issues, when they first start doing MCT oil. So start with like a teaspoon a day, and then work your way up to a tablespoon or two. And the the energy boosts that you get from MCT oils lasts for several hours.
So if you’re out there running, you know, 15 miles or so you probably don’t need to re-up your MCT intake. But if you’re going to do a marathon, or anything that’s going to be longer than that every two to three hours, you can do another tablespoon or two of MCT oil. So there’s a very clean source of fuel directly just gives you energy without, you know, a bunch of calories and stomach issues and all that other stuff. So experiment with it. Try it this is a good is a good, very well proven fuel strategy for low carb burners.
Another thing that I’ve tried in the past and have had some pretty good luck with is just something very natural, it’s nut butter. So there’s a brand called Justin’s.And Justin’s makes these little packets of nut butter, you can find these in the grocery store, they’re in the same aisle with all the peanut butter and almond butter and stuff like that.
And the packets are cool, you can take them on a run just like you would a gel packet, okay. But here’s what they do, they give you fat and protein. So the fat gives you some energy, right. So you can actually your body can actually make energy from the fat that you eat, as well as your stored body fat.
So the fat that you eat, and that becomes, you know, metabolized is called free fatty acids. And you can actually derive energy from fat as you consume it, which is awesome, especially if you’re a fat adapted athlete, you’re much more efficient at burning fat in general, you can derive fat energy from these free fatty acids very easily.
And then protein. Protein helps to prevent muscle breakdown during endurance activities, it helps to boost glycogen storage. So your body you know, glycogen is is glucose that your body is storing in muscles. Protein helps to increase the glycogen storage. And it helps to reduce muscle soreness and promote muscle repair. So during long distance activities, fat and protein are recommended.
As you know, fuel sources to help support muscles help you to feel less sore help you to promote muscle repair, glycogen storage, and then the fat gives you the energy. Okay, so in a little packet of the Justin’s almond butter, for example, there’s 19 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and then a few grams of carbs, like 5 grams of carbs, and that’s from almonds.
And they also make a peanut butter as well. Just make sure that when you guys are using something like this to check the ingredients because most peanut butters or almond butters – and Justin’s especially has a bunch of different flavors, they all have sugar in them. So you want to just go for the classic almond, or classic peanut butter packets and those don’t have any sugar in them at all, there’s a couple of carbs from the from the nuts, but that’s about it.
So how to use nut butter, just take one packet every, you know, take one about 30 to 45 minutes before your workout or your long run and then once every 60 minutes or so. So I used these during a 50k a few years back, I use just a few packs of this almond butter. And I really didn’t need very many of these things. A few of them was okay.
Here’s the thing with these things you got. It’s not like a gel like it’s not super thin. It’s very thick. It’s not super easy to get down. Like to get them out of these packets and actually get them down. Like it requires a little bit of effort. I had to like stop and like, yeah, like it’s almost like you’re chewing the peanut butter or the almond butter. You know, it’s like a lot thicker than you would expect it to be. So this is one of those things where you definitely want to experiment with it. But it’s a great option for sure because it gives you that fat and protein for fuel.
Alright, another fuel option would be using exogenous ketones. So what are we talking about here? So ketones are little bundles of fuel that your body makes when you burn fat, right? We’re all producing ketones all the time. Everybody is like if you’re burning fat, you’re producing some ketones, okay, and just some people burn more when you’re fat adapted, it means you’re probably producing more ketones, which is fine like you, you know, this is a good source of, of energy for your body and for your brain.
So on a standard diet, when you’re eating a lot of sugar, your cells will use, you know, glucose for energy. But if you’re eating a low carb diet, you know, you’re keeping your carbs low enough. So your body, you know, you don’t have a lot of that glucose to use for energy, you know, you’re going to burn more fat as your main energy source. And this is what it means to be fat adapted.
So when you’re fat adapted, your liver actually breaks that down into ketone bodies, and then sends those ketone bodies through your bloodstream to fuel your cells. Okay? There’s three main ketone bodies that your liver makes when it breaks down fat.
The first is beta, beta hydroxy butyrate, BHB. The second is acetyl acetate. And the third is acetone. Acetone is actually created as a byproduct of acetyl acetate. But let’s not talk about those second two, we’re just kind of focused on BHB beta hydroxy butyrate.
So when you burn fat, you generate BHB. And that leads to the creation of ATP through the Krebs cycle. And this gives you energy, right, so just what you just need to know about this is that being fat adapted means you’re probably producing some BHB. And you’re getting energy from that, okay?
ATP is an energy source, adenosine triphosphate. This is a high energy molecule that your body stores for use as energy. But your body can only use a very limited amount of ATP. This is like used for explosive things that you can do for maybe 10 or 30 seconds total. And so for longer distance activities like running, you need a different source of fuel.
So when you run out of ATP, your body can use energy from glycogen circulating glucose free fatty acids. In this case, we’re talking about BHB or ketones, okay? So when you take exogenous ketones, exogenous – this means you’re getting them from outside your body. Endogenous would mean you’re creating them yourself.
But we’re talking about taking exogenous ketones, your your body can actually use that energy immediately, which is super cool. It doesn’t have to like go through a process of, you know, digesting and all these other things, right. So when it comes to endurance exercise performance, exogenous ketones will give you long lasting energy.
And it has a couple of other benefits too, which is that helps to increase your mental clarity and focus helps you to burn more fat more efficiently, decreases hunger and decreases inflammation. So I’ve been experimenting with exogenous ketones, and I have to tell you, I love them. I love taking these things. How to do it, well take a scoop of these, like it’s just a mix, you mix into water, or I mix it into a protein drink or something like that. Take it about 30 to 45 minutes before a workout, and then they suggest maybe a half a scoop for each additional hour.
So you know if you’re doing an ultra or or you know, you want to do a competitive marathon, you want to run fast. You know, another half a scoop each hour that you’re out there running is is perfect. So you don’t have to do a ton. There’s two types of ketones, exogenous ketones, there’s ketone salts and ketone esters.
And here’s the difference. So ketone salts is BHB is attached to a mineral. So it’s like sodium, potassium and magnesium. They’re longer lasting than ketone esters. They’re less potent, but they last longer. And they you can actually you can tolerate the taste of them. Okay? Ketone esters are attached to an alcohol molecule. They’re shorter lasting, they’re more potent, but apparently, the taste is almost unbearable.
The main difference between the two is the duration. So ketone esters give you a shorter, larger like spike in ketones while the ketone salts give you a longer lasting more moderate spike. Ketone esters apparently are terrible, like really terrible, and I’m just not even bothered trying them.
The ketone salts that I’ve tried, they last longer, they taste fine. They’re more it’s like the one you’ll find if you go if you just do a little search on Amazon or something for exogenous ketones, most of what you’re gonna see is ketone salts. Just try to avoid the ketone esters, I don’t think you’d like that too much.
Another source of fuel that, and this has kind of been my go to for my low carb running these days, which is s-fuels. So s-fuels is a product that’s made for people like you and me who are long distance endurance athletes who like are trying to do the low carb thing, you know, they understand exactly where we’re coming from.
And so they’ve created products that help us to, you know, maintain fat burning, enhanced fat burning for long distance events. So, they have two different products. One is called Train and the other is called Race Plus. And the Train product is for athletes who, you know, are doing, it’s a little bit lower intensity.
So this is this is good for the everyday runner who’s out there doing training runs, or even if you’re doing a, you know, lower intensity marathon race or long distance event be perfectly fine for you. Okay.
The main ingredients here, they use collagen peptides is protein MCT. So there’s MCT oil in this product. There’s l glutamine, which is an amino acid. So this is one of the building blocks of protein. And it has electrolytes, so sodium, calcium, potassium. So, these ingredients are formulated in a way that helps you to burn fat more efficiently. It gives you some fuel like from the MCT’s, it gives you some protein from the collagen peptides.
And then you get this L glutamine which helps to reduce inflammation and, and minimize, you know, protein or muscle loss during exercise. Okay, so and then it’s got electrolytes in it too. So it’s a really good product. And I’ve been using this for my longer runs my 10 mile-ish runs so far.
You just mix it in with water, it has, it’s a very, it has a water like consistency. It’s very tasty. And I love it. And so far, it’s been really good. It’s been I think it helps me on these longer runs that just stay in that fat burning mode and just enhances that fat burning mode. A
nd then they have another product called Race Plus. And it basically has the same ingredients as the the Train product, but it has something called highly branched pre jet pre digested cyclic starches, which is a carbohydrate source. Okay, this is a very low kind of glycemic carbohydrate. It’s like 15 grams of carbohydrate per serving.
And it’s like a slow burning type of carbohydrate that allows you to still, it does give you some carbohydrate burning, but it also helps to with fat oxidation, in other words, like you can still burn fat, but you’re burning some carbohydrate as well. So it kind of helps you to do both. And I haven’t tried this product, honestly, I just don’t do much at the higher intensities. So I’m just like, I don’t know, I really don’t need it.
But apparently, the the people that use it, the elite athletes and stuff like that, that are fat adapted really love it, because it does give them a little bit of a, a boost because of the carbohydrate in there without shutting down fat burning. And that’s the important part here. We want to make sure you’re doing both efficiently. Okay.
Then there’s another product that a lot of people have been talking about recently, which is, and I have not tried this one. And this is the next one on my list of try, which it’s been around for a while. And the key ingredient is something they call super starch. So super starch is a corn starch kind of derivative. And it’s a complex carbohydrate that doesn’t spike your blood sugar. It delivers a slow and steady release of glucose into the bloodstream.
So it’s not going to crank up your blood sugar and not going to crank up insulin and it’s not going to shut down fat burning off together. It might slow it down a little bit. But it gives you this stable blood sugar and stable steady energy. And supposedly it’s a very good product for long distance running. Again, I haven’t tried this one but people love this. All right.
They have a couple of different products. They have an energy powder, which is something you can do beforehand. So just like 30-45 minutes before your workout. Do this powder. And then you can add, you know, another serving of this every 60 to 90 minutes. Okay?
They also have a product, which this is interesting is energy gels, they’re called Edge Energy Gels. And so you can do a pouch 30 minutes before an exercise, and then do one every 60 minutes or so for workouts that are like over nine minutes long.
And this is kind of cool, because it’s a pouch of like, it’s like a gel that you can take with you. That is a very slow burning carbohydrate. But it doesn’t shut down the fat burning process either. So this is one I’m definitely going to be trying and I’ll get back to you guys on that.
So those are the main fuel options for low carb running, I think these are all very viable. And none of these will shut down the fat burning, they will all help you to stay fat adapted while you’re running and take advantage of all the benefits of being a fat adapted runner. And there’s one more that I wanted to mention, this is an element. This is not really a fuel. It’s an electrolyte mix, but it’s product, lMNT. It’s by elemental labs. And if you’re out there running, especially in this heat, you have to like replenish your electrolytes. It’s just so important.
And this is a great product, no sugar, it’s just sodium, potassium, magnesium, low flavoring, little stevia tastes great. People love it. And it works really well. So whether you’re doing a fasted workout or you’re using some of these other fuels, make sure you’re getting your electrolytes in somehow. Okay, and element is a great way to do that. All right, cool.
Well, be sure to join us over in the Running Lean coaching group for August because we’re taking a deep dive like I was mentioned earlier into these thought feeling action patterns, how they show up for you how you can change them so you can start getting the results that you want around weight loss around running around your health and fitness goals. So just go to runningleanpodcast.com/join and join us in the Running Lean coaching group would love to see you in there.
And I hope you got something out of this episode today. And if you did, please consider sharing it with a friend I love you all keep on Running Lean, and I’ll talk to you soon.
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