A recent study published in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental has discovered that professional athletes who regularly eat low-carb diet are able to burn more than twice as much fat as high-carb athletes during maximum physical effort and long workout.
The study examined twenty ultra-endurance runners aged 21-45 who were top competitors in ultra-distance running events of 50km or more. The researchers discovered that low-carb athletes were incredible fat burners.
Ten low-carb athletes had eaten a diet consisting of 10% carbohydrates, 19% protein and 70% fat for at least six months, with an average time in ketosis of 20 months; and ten high-carb athletes followed a macronutrient ratio of 59% carbs, 14% protein and 25% fat.
During the study the average contribution of fat during prolonged exercise in the low-carb and high-carb groups was 88% and 56%, respectively. This was the highest fat-burning rate under these conditions ever found by researchers. In addition, in spite of their low-carb intake, researchers discovered that the fat-efficient athletes had normal muscle glycogen levels at rest.