As a health and running coach, I'm always up on the latest research. And one hot topic for runners in the past few years has been moving to a diet with an emphasis on metabolic efficiency. Rather than the standard high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet traditionally recommended for runners, metabolic efficiency emphasizes nutritional and training tweaks to teach the body to burn fat and carbohydrates more efficiently.
In short, the diet emphasizes more protein, more fat, and fewer carbohydrates so that the body becomes more efficient at fat burning.
In training, this means going for a long run without fuel or doing morning runs in a fasted, glycogen-depleted state to force the body to adapt and become less dependent on sugar as a fuel source. It sounds good, right? I suspected that I was a bit too dependent on carbohydrates for fuel and wanted to experiment with this theory for myself. Here are the results.