Whether you are a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, you would like your performance to improve over time. But sometimes, there will be off days when you barely make it out of your training session for the day.
How can you improve your performance to get more results and consistency?
Your performance and your progress will be affected by a host of factors, including:
- Your aerobic capacity or VO2 max
- Your physiology (capillaries)
- Your genes
- Your lactate threshold
- Your exercise economy
And of course, there are other factors that can come into play, like the amount of time you earmark for recovery as well as the quality of your diet.
Certainly, there are some things that you cannot change, like your genetics. But what if you can improve your performance through your diet?
MCT and endurance
There have been numerous studies that have linked the consumption of medium chain triglycerides or MCT with an increase in endurance.
For example, in one study, mice that have been fed a diet rich in MCT performed better in swimming compared to other rodents fed another diet.
In humans, just two weeks of eating an MCT-rich diet has made recreational athletes exercise longer; ditto with trained runners.
An insight into improving athletic performance
In a landmark study published by the Public Library of Sciences or PLOS, it was revealed that a diet rich in MCT can alter both metabolism and the creation of mitochondria.
In this study, researchers divided mice into three groups. Each group was fed three types of food for 21 days. The first group had a control diet. The second group ate a diet consisting of 70 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent protein, and 10 percent fat. The last group ate the same diet as the second group, except their food was supplemented with MCT.
In order to determine the effect of the three types of diet on the mice, the rodents were subjected to a treadmill test in hot conditions for 14 days.
The results? The last group, which was fed an MCT supplemented diet, outperformed the second group of mice, running two times faster.
MCT and the endurance athlete
How did the mice fed with an MCT-rich diet outperform their peers, and what does this mean for you, the endurance athlete?
According to the researchers, the better-performing mice were able to ace the treadmill test because of the increase in proteins in their bodies.
This higher level of protein has then translated to both an increase in the number of mitochondria in the cells of the mice as well as changes in their metabolism.
How exactly does MCT create these changes?
When you consume MCT, there will be an increase in ketones in your blood. Eventually, the ketones are absorbed by the different organs and then used by the mitochondria as fuel. Adding MCT to your diet not only increases the number of mitochondria in your cells, but it also makes these tiny powerhouses more efficient in using fat for energy.
Modifying your diet for better endurance
Traditionally, endurance athletes have loaded up on carbs prior to a training session to boost performance. According to studies conducted since the 1960s, an increase in the consumption of carbohydrates can boost performance by keeping glycogen depletion at bay.
However, succeeding studies indicate that the amount of carbohydrates you consume before, during, or after training has no critical effect simply because your body can adapt to whatever amount of carbs you have consumed.
In fact, your body has the ability to use fatty acids as the main source of energy, including fatty cells found in MCT. In short, you can train your body to prefer fatty acids over carbs as your primary energy source.
And one of the easiest ways to add more MCT to your diet is by drinking Bulletproofcoffee.
By modifying your diet, adjusting your performance, and having lots of patience, soon, you will see a marked improvement in your endurance and overall performance in your training.
Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Bulletproof Diet.” Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.