LA Lakers Go Low Carb

Mirabella Trovar January 8, 2015 Comments Off on LA Lakers Go Low Carb
Athletes who practice low carbohydrate diets.

LA Lakers Dwight Howard leads his teammates in Low-Carb Diet

It’s not often that basketball players are our best examples but star athlete Dwight Howard has brought the benefits of low carb diets to both his team and mainstream sports fans. Howard, basketball player with the LA Lakers, has seen a tremendous difference in his life since he began eating low carb. From eating way too much sugar and performing poorly to leaving his bad habits behind and regaining a superhero form on the court, Howard is proof that a low carb diet is the best way to go, even for mere mortals.

A low carb diet is one which restricts the intake of carbohydrates, preferring the bulk of the diet’s nutritional value to come from protein and healthy fats. For instance, in studies run on cyclists by the University of Australia for the Journal of Applied Physiology the standard diet consisted of 58% carbohydrates, 27% fats and 15% protein while the low carb diet that subjects were put on was composed of 69% fat, 16% carbohydrates and 15% protein. This is also known as a ketogenic diet as the focus is on the burning and release of fat. In this particular study this allowed them to see the effects that a greater intake of fats has rather than carbohydrates, which will be discussed below. For the average person a low carb diet should be made up of a low intake of carbohydrates and a healthy balance of proteins and fats. Finding the balance that best suits each individual is important in order to achieve optimal results. Popular examples of mainstream low carb diets include the Atkins or South Beach diets.

The scientific workings of a low carb diet that result in such impressive results deserve some attention, as the diet’s resulting improvements on the body’s operation is rather noteworthy. Firstly, increased endurance is a highly desirable attribute when it comes to both competitive sports and day to day life, but how is this boost in stamina accomplished? When the body is running off a diet high in carbohydrates, it tends to run off sugar – namely glucose. The rate at which glucose is burned and the degree to which it is consumed can cause huge surges and drops in blood sugar, every person is familiar with the terrible feelings that come with a blood sugar crash. Put simply, it’s not an effective way to run the body as the energy supply is not as stable as it could be. This leaves one feeling lethargic and dull, as well as bloated and at risk of gaining weight. Fat, meanwhile, is released and burned at a slower rate which allows for a steadier use of energy. This means that the body can perform better and more consistently over longer periods of time because not only does the body use the immediate dietary intake of fat, it also uses its fat stores. As the body has fat stored in reserve, this is a reliable way for the average person to lose weight while an athlete is less likely to crash because they will not suddenly run out of energy from a glucose-based source.

Take for example Dwight Howard’s team, the LA Lakers. This basketball team – whose members include Dwight Howard – recently discovered the advantages of switching the empty calories of sugar and bread for a new low carb diet plan. In this particular case the team have switched to eating in the Paleo style, which is becoming more and more popular as people see the benefits of a diet plan that is tailored to their needs. Members of the team have found that they have lost weight and increased their playing ability and Howard himself has stated that his new-found discipline has improved his blood sugar levels and the whole team is making an effort to be more conscious of their health. Howard has swapped Gatorade for almonds and given up on sugary snacks and from the looks of things, the results couldn’t be better for him.

Football Team Strømsgodset

Norwegian Football Team Strømsgodset Wins League Cup First Time in 40 Years

Another interesting case is that of the Norwegian football team Strømsgodset. This team won the league cup in 2013 for the first time in over 40 years. That’s right, the team’s last win was in 1970. The thing that has changed in that long stretch of time that allowed the team to finally win was adopting a low carb diet. The entire team changed how they ate and in turn, it changed how they played. Reports from the winning game state that Strømsgodset “steamrolled” their opponents during an impressive final 45 minutes. There are numerous reasons why a low carb diet contributed to this epic win for the Norwegian team, including a lower fat mass and higher endurance. These qualities are obviously desirable when one’s profession includes matches that last over an hour but they are also applicable to the life of the average man or woman.

Meanwhile in the aforementioned study from the Journal of Applied Physiology, scientists found that the ketogenic diet adopted by cyclists helped them to travel greater distances. This was tested by having the cyclists take part in two bike rides – first a four-hour cycle and then another one-hour round. The cyclists on a low carb diet managed to cover a greater distance, even in the second round of cycling when presumably they would usually be on an energy-low due to four hours of exertion. This is because their high fat diet increased fat oxidation. The low carb diet increased the amount of fatty acids in the blood which meant the fat cells released their energy more easily. The chefs in charge of providing meals for the cyclists of the Tour de France already know this vital information and have been providing their athletes with the food of a low carb diet such as cold-pressed fats, proteins and vegetables. These chefs are aware of the nutritional needs of the cyclists and a lot of what is in this diet plan is similar to what can be found in the South Beach Diet.

Of course, everyone could use a surge in stamina. Whether you’re competing in a marathon or struggling to find the energy to even complete the school run on time, greater energy and longevity can change everything for the better. A low carb diet not only improves the body’s inner workings, it can help anyone to look and feel better. Even top athletes have seen a reduction in body mass when sticking to a low carb diet plan but more importantly, with the various variations of low carb diets these athletes have found what they needed to help them last longer, play better and succeed at their goals.


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