The Athlete

Low Carb Diets

The low carb diet craze is a phenomenon that has swept through the world of sport nutrition. Chances are, you've heard of a variety of low carb diets, such as the Atkins diet. Popular fast-food chains such as Subway have even introduced foods that fit into the overall plan of a low carb diet. There are also a variety of products in grocery stores and even entire stores that specialize in low carb diet products.

At the heart of a low carb diet, as its very name suggests, is the reduction of carbohydrates from your diet. The theory behind the low carb diet craze is that carbohydrates, even in portions recommended by sports nutrition guides, can eventually turn to fat and are then stored by the human body as unwanted fat cells. The low carb diet has become popular in sports nutrition circles because of the often dramatic results in performance.

The word 'carb' is short for carbohydrate; a nutrient that provides energy to the body. Carbohydrates are found in everyday foods such as breads, pastas, cereals, grains, and potatoes. Any sports nutrition diet known as a low carb diet recommends that you reduce or eliminate such foods, and load up on other forms of energy such as protein. The goal of this reduction in carbs is to ultimately reduce your caloric intake in a safe manner and help you to lose fat.

Low carb diets recommend that you supply your body with nutrient-dense sources of energy. Some people maintain that at least some carbohydrates should be consumed and that levels of carbohydrates should not be drastically reduced. Many low carb diets state that some carbs should be consumed, while others instruct the dieters to reduce carbs entirely form their diets. If carbohydrates must be consumed, they should be consumed in the form of natural foods that are as unrefined and non-processed as possible. For example, carbohydrates that come from foods such as white flour and sugar should be avoided entirely. Carbohydrates that come from vegetables are whole grains are preferred.

If you are thinking of going on a low carb diet to enhance your overall sports nutrition, you may want to consult your physician or a registered dietician before you begin. While many people have experienced dramatic weight loss from using a low carb diet, there is still some debate about its medical implications, especially when it comes to long-term low carb diets. As with anything else in the world of sports nutrition, it pays to do some research and ask around before embarking on a diet such as a low carb diet. There are a variety of resource you can use to gather information about low carb diets. One place to look is on the internet. Also, plenty of books have been written about low carb diets.

The low carb diet requires extreme discipline. It means eating a 'sandwich' without the bread, having meat but no pasta, skipping bagels and avoiding potatoes. It can be difficult to follow, but this is one challenge that can have impressive results.