In the first couple of weeks on the program, your physical performance may be reduced. There are two main reasons for this:
1. Lack of fluid and salts.
This cause of most early problems. Drinking a large glass of water with 0.5 teaspoon of salt 30–60 minutes before exercising is the solution, and can make a huge difference in performance.
2. Adaptation to burning fat can take several weeks.
The second cause of reduced early performance is not as quickly fixed. It simply takes time for your body to shift from being a sugar-burner to burning primarily fat for energy, even in the muscles. It takes weeks or, at a higher level of performance, it may take a few months. This adaptation will be faster the more you exercise. The end result has many benefits…
Increasing physical performance
While your energy levels may be lower during the transition phase, the performance benefits long-term are quite extraordinary. In fact, a lot of elite athletes are now experimenting with this way of eating and in some cases they are now blitzing the competition.
The benefits in sports are also seen in long-distance running and other endurance events. The body’s fat stores are huge as opposed to limited glycogen stores. This means that once fat-adapted, an athlete can perform for long periods of time without needing much (if any) external energy. This frees the athlete from having to activate his or her gastrointestinal organs during activity – a large amount of blood flow can instead be directed to the muscles. This also minimises the risk of digestive issues during the activity.
Another benefit comes from the reduction of body fat, which is a huge bonus for most physical activities. We currently have an ultra-marathon runner following the program and his performance has greatly improved.