As you know, the diet recommended by CFE eschews the traditional endurance prescription of insanely-high carbohydrates, in favor of a higher protein, and especially fat, intake. This is because extended efforts make the body rely more and more heavily on intramuscular triglycerides (fat) to be oxidized, and fat becomes increasingly important as an energy source.
The best study on this topic, at least for the purpose of endurance athletes, is likely one published in 2003 by the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism. In this study, trained cyclists performed a 3 hour time trial, and had their intramuscular triglyceride (IMTG) levels monitored. During their exercise bout, IMTG content decreased substantially, and was replenished more fully by a post exercise recovery diet of substantially higher fat than traditional wisdom would dictate. For endurance athletes, who absolutely need fat oxidation to keep going, it just makes sense to replenish those fat stores (as well as carb and protein). CFE has preached this for years, and now the research is getting there, slowly, but surely, to validate this kind of thinking.
This study further shows that while glycogen can be replenished with a high fat diet, intramuscular lipid stores can not (again pointing towards using more fat in post exercise recovery). Chia seeds, a rich source of quality fat and protein, have been a staple of CFE athletes for years, and finally, the science has caught up.
In fact, 2012 saw an ultramarathon won by a low-carb, high-protein, high-fat runner. This study is similar (albeit only having been done in women) and shows that post workout triglyceride stores must be replenished with fat.
If you're still with us here, and following our logic, here's the conclusion: endurance training and competition requires more fat oxidation and fat use as a substrate than any other type...and you can't replenish those stores as effectively without post workout fat.
So it just makes sense to us to include some fat in our post workout shake. Right?
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