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Article

The Impact of a High-Carbohydrate/Low Fat vs. Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Performance and Body Composition in Physically Active Adults: A Cross-Over Controlled Trial

1
Division of Exercise Physiology and Metabolism, Department of Sport Science, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany
2
Interdisciplinary Metabolic Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria
3
Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics, Medical University of Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hans-Peter Kubis
Nutrients 2022, 14(3), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030423
Received: 10 December 2021 / Revised: 11 January 2022 / Accepted: 12 January 2022 / Published: 18 January 2022
Background: Recently, high-carbohydrate or low-carbohydrate (HC/LC) diets have gained substantial popularity, speculated to improve physical performance in athletes; however, the effects of short-term changes of the aforementioned nutritional interventions remain largely unclear. Methods: The present study investigated the impact of a three-week period of HC/low-fat (HC) diet followed by a three-week wash-out-phase and subsequent LC diet on the parameters of physical capacity assessed via cardiopulmonary exercise testing, body composition via bioimpedance analysis and blood profiles, which were assessed after each of the respective diet periods. Twenty-four physically active adults (14 females, age 25.8 ± 3.7 years, body mass index 22.1 ± 2.2 kg/m2), of which six participants served as a control group, were enrolled in the study. Results: After three weeks of each diet, VO2peak was comparable following both interventions (46.8 ± 6.7 (HC) vs. 47.2 ± 6.7 mL/kg/min (LC; p = 0.58)) while a significantly higher peak performance (251 ± 43 W (HC) vs. 240 ± 45 W (LC); (p = 0.0001), longer time to exhaustion (14.5 ± 2.4 min (HC) vs. 14.1 ± 2.4 min (LC); p = 0.002) and greater Watt/kg performance (4.1 ± 0.5 W/kg (HC) vs. 3.9 ± 0.5 W/kg (LC); p = 0.003) was demonstrated after the HC diet. In both trial arms, a significant reduction in body mass (65.2 ± 11.2 to 63.8 ± 11.8 kg (HC) vs. 64.8 ± 11.6 to 63.5 ± 11.3 kg (LC); both p < 0.0001) and fat mass (22.7% to 21.2%; (HC) vs. 22.3% to 20.6% (LC); both p < 0.0001) but not in lean body mass or skeletal muscle mass was shown when compared to baseline. Resting metabolic rate was not different within both groups (p > 0.05). Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol significantly decreased after the HC diet (97.9 ± 33.6 mg/dL at baseline to 78.2 ± 23.5 mg/dL; p = 0.02) while triglycerides significantly increased (76 ± 38 mg/dL at baseline to 104 ± 44 mg/dL; p = 0.005). Conclusion: A short-term HC and LC diet showed improvements in various performance parameters in favor of the HC diet. Some parameters of body composition significantly changed during both diets. The HC diet led to a significant reduction in total and LDL-cholesterol while triglycerides significantly increased. View Full-Text
Keywords: high-carb diet; low-carb diet; physical activity; body composition; metabolism high-carb diet; low-carb diet; physical activity; body composition; metabolism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wachsmuth, N.B.; Aberer, F.; Haupt, S.; Schierbauer, J.R.; Zimmer, R.T.; Eckstein, M.L.; Zunner, B.; Schmidt, W.; Niedrist, T.; Sourij, H.; Moser, O. The Impact of a High-Carbohydrate/Low Fat vs. Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Performance and Body Composition in Physically Active Adults: A Cross-Over Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2022, 14, 423. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030423

AMA Style

Wachsmuth NB, Aberer F, Haupt S, Schierbauer JR, Zimmer RT, Eckstein ML, Zunner B, Schmidt W, Niedrist T, Sourij H, Moser O. The Impact of a High-Carbohydrate/Low Fat vs. Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Performance and Body Composition in Physically Active Adults: A Cross-Over Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2022; 14(3):423. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030423

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wachsmuth, Nadine B., Felix Aberer, Sandra Haupt, Janis R. Schierbauer, Rebecca T. Zimmer, Max L. Eckstein, Beate Zunner, Walter Schmidt, Tobias Niedrist, Harald Sourij, and Othmar Moser. 2022. "The Impact of a High-Carbohydrate/Low Fat vs. Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Performance and Body Composition in Physically Active Adults: A Cross-Over Controlled Trial" Nutrients 14, no. 3: 423. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030423

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