Interview with Dr. Jeff Volek on EP (Part 2)


I was fortunate to be able to get on the line with Tawnee Prazek,host of Endurance Planet, and Dr. Jeff Volek to discuss the findings of the FASTER Study. We recorded a three part series that will be released one week at a time. We broke down the science as well as our speculations about using fat as fuel in endurance.

Interview: Part Two

This episdoe includes...

Defining the FASTER study & the Results

"We're charting new territories here in terms of what are the limits in how much fat humans can oxidize." - Dr. Jeff Volek

Previously fat oxidation rates were seen at 1g per minute prior; seen in this study. But the FASTER study showed up to 1.8g per minutes of fat oxidation - first to be documented in a lab setting!

  • How this applies to performance: no bonking, mentally sharper/higher clarity, less muscular fatigue, etc.
  • FASTER = Fat-Adapted-Substrate Oxidation in-Trained-Elite-Runners
  • Purpose: physiological differences between elite male ultra-marathon runners with one cohort following a conventional high carbohydrate diet and the other following a low carb/fat-adapted strategy
  • Subjects - how were they recruited, how many runners were involved, their athletic ability (elite), how the diets were monitored (HCD vs LCD)
  • Low carb (<20%) vs. High carb (>50%) diets being tested
  • Research protocol - what were the variables, what did the runners do (duration & intensity of running upon their visit, etc), what was being measured, etc?
  • The 3-hour treadmill run at 65% VO2max, and in Zach's opinion, what was it like to participate and have to run on the treadmill for 3 hours at a set intensity.
  • Brain and cognitive aspects of performance, and how fat-adaptive/keto prevents brain from running out of fuel; and tying in Noakes' Central Governer theory.
  • Subjectively, how did HCD look running vs. LCD
  • How LCD vs HCD actually burn fuel and the ratios of glycogen vs fat over the course of 3hrs, and how each performed
  • Fat oxidation rates - how much FAT can humans burn?? What current science said until now, and how this study sets new ground for what we now know is achievable.
  • One subject actually recording a rate of 1.8 grams /minute of fatty acid oxidation at a set RQ.
  • Crossover point.