Should I Go High-Carb Or High-Fat?

You are what you eat. But there are many ways to go about fuelling your body for your active lifestyle, which one do you choose?

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Ah, the grand dilemma of what to eat. After all, working out’s only half of it. What you supply your body with is important too. Now, there are arguments for both of these diets, and they have different effects on the body. So, should you go for a high-carb or high-fat diet?

The answer is: it depends on the time period, your age, your body and how it works. Here, we take a look at when which one would be appropriate.

What Are The Pros and Cons? 

Let’s start by taking a look at why they are both valid diets that are worth considering.


Your body carries much more calories in the form of fats than in that of carbohydrates. If you’re an endurance runner trying to make sure you have enough energy to last the whole race, you could consider the high-fat diet. This will ensure that you still have energy to keep going even after your glycogen stores are depleted. However, research does show that switching to a high-fat diet will result in speed and power loss.


Runners have been going on high-carb diets for a long time now with good reason. Our bodies need the glycogen from the carbohydrates to fuel itself when we run. However, the problem with solely depending on carbohydrates is that your body can only store so much of them at a time, and you might run out of it halfway through the race, hitting the proverbial ‘wall’.

Also, a high-carb diet might result in insulin resistance, and may result in health problems such as diabetes.

Who Should Go On Which Diet?

Our bodies affect the efficacy of each diet too. For example, people who are carbohydrate-sensitive and can metabolise it quickly will be able to benefit from high-carb diets. However, if you’re already insulin resistant, taking on the high-carb diet isn’t a good idea. Older people also tend to have weaker metabolic systems, and would probably do better on a high-fat diet.

How Do I Make Use of Both?

Now, to get the best of both worlds, some runners adopt the training ideology of ‘train low, run high’. They go on a high-fat diet during the training period, to get their bodies used to making use of the energy stored as fats. This will increase your body’s efficiency at breaking down its resources to provide the energy you need.

Then, a few days before the race, they start loading up on carbs so that the body will have glycogen stores as well. This way, you avoid the health risks associated with a high-carb diet while ensuring your performance isn’t compromised during the race!

The answer is: it depends on the time period, your age, your body and how it works. Here, we take a look at when which one would be appropriate.


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LIV3LY Editor
LIV3LY Editor

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