Carbs and general nutrition

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    Hi all, just curious what your thoughts are on the daily macros for an age group triathlete. I’m a type 1 diabetic and workout roughly 1.5-2 hours per day. According to an article I saw written by Matt Fitzgerald the carb amount I should be taking in is around 500 to 600 grams of carbs per day! That sounds insane to me. The daily recommended protein was around 100 grams which also sounds way too low. And then to fill in with fat. I thought triathletes were supposed to use fat as fuel, not carbs as the primary source of energy. Since I am a type 1 I typically stick to a Ketoish diet. If I’m over 100 grams of carbs in a day it’s a rare occasion.
    Just curious if there are any others in a similar situation or if anyone can point out what I am missing here. I’ve read books stating carb loading is also not necessary, Tim Noakes is the only author coming to mind.
    I do need carbs during my race or my sugars will drop very rapidly, but during training I can regulate it much better without the need for massive carb intake.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!


    Hi Poitivient!
    Very good question – I can share my thoughts but please note that I’m not a nutritionist (Matt is though) so I can only share thoughts but I can’t and don’t want to give advice.
    First, I think you must not take general advice for the average healthy non-diabetic athlete as you are in a different situation. I would always recommend to reach out to a health professional do discuss your specific needs and how to ideally address it.
    As for macros: I personally do not count any calories, macros or weigh any of my food. I try to eat healthy, I eat mostly foods that have not been industrially processed and I try to maintain a healthy balance. If you listen to your body, you will do the right thing. My experience is that logging/counting calories and macros will make you eat certain foods just because you want to make sure you hit your daily goal. Nutrition is like the 80/20 rule: You don’t have to maintain a 80/20 for every workout or every day. But over the course of about 2 weeks, you should be close to a 80/20 (maybe it is 78/22 or 81/19). What I want to say is, that people tend to overthink everything they are doing and lose track of the overall goal.
    It certainly is beneficial to utilize your fat storage to create energy. Your body needs glycogen which can come in form of glucose from carbs or glucose that is derived from fat. The process of deriving glucose from fats is much slower than glucose from carbs and therefore, you can only get enough glycogen at very low intensity. If intensity is higher, you will also need carbohydrates to fuel your body – makes sense?
    There is also a limit how much glycogen your body can store.
    Plus not all carbs are created equally and I doubt that Matt wants you to eat simple carbs for your day to day diet. I would also assume that, for your specific case, complex carbs should be beneficial anyways.
    If I do the math and think of what I usually eat, I come up with the following macros:
    50-60% carbs
    25-30% protein
    20-25% fats

    Of course it all varies day by day but I usually eat relatively large amounts of carbs starting with my daily oatmeal, whole grain bread, fruits, veggies, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole grain pasta (I like linguine the best), etc. I also want my daily sweets/treats as there is nothing better than a coffee in the afternoon with a piece of cake 🙂 or some ice cream after playing mini golf with the kids.

    I assume my answer is not really helpful nor exactly what you’ve been looking for but maybe it helps a bit.



    Thanks for responding Winoria… I certainly have more research to explore regarding carb intake, especially as a diabetic. I tried going carnivore for 3 months and kept bonking out during training. It’s hard to eat that amount of carbs when all of the recent research is saying carbs will kill you because of the inflammation they cause. But do carbs cause inflammation in someone who is burning through them faster?? Even with the whole grains and natural carbs, they still contain high amounts of sugar, albeit natural sugars, but still cause inflammation. I haven’t found any solid data on carnivore triathletes. Some, but very limited, research on endurance athletes and keto. Most of the data says keto makes you perform worse, but does that translate into living longer? If I do 5 minutes slower in an Ironman or an ultra but live 5 extra years because of diet, well the choice is obvious.


    Have you ever read “diet cults”? you should……

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