Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
Crash diet works better without carbs
You need to lose a couple of kilos in a few weeks. The only solution: a strict diet with fewer than a thousand calories a day. You're guaranteed to lose fat - but unfortunately you'll lose muscle too. Italian researchers wrote in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences that they have found a way to limit muscle loss during a crash diet: avoid carbs and replace them with protein.
Nine participants were put on a more or less traditional diet: the energy was derived for 35-40 percent from fat, 15-20 percent from carbohydrates and the remaining 40-50 percent from protein. The participants consumed about one gram of protein per kilo bodyweight daily.
The other nine participants were put on a low-carb diet, where the energy was derived for 35-40 percent from fat, 5 percent from carbohydrates and the remaining 55-60 percent from protein. Half of the protein was given in the form of a whey supplement. The participants consumed about 1.4 gram of protein per kilo bodyweight daily.
The figure above shows the effect of the low-carb crash diet.
The figure below compares the results of the traditional diet and the low-carb crash diet. As you can see, the low-carb diet protected the muscle mass from breakdown. Both types of diet resulted in approximately the same amount of fat loss.
Click on the figure for a larger version.
"As the full spectrum of metabolic effects induced by a very-low-calorie ketogenic diet is not completely characterized, new trials that are specifically designed to assess the combined effects of genotypes and dietary intervention are needed."