Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
Is it better to combine a low-carb diet or a traditional slimming diet with strength training?
When you combine a traditional weight-loss diet with strength training you lose just as much fat and retain just as much muscle mass as you would on a low-carb diet. That's the take-home message from the human study that Brazilian sports scientists Claudia Meirelles and Paulo Gomes published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.
12 of the participants lost weight by going on a low-carb diet. For the first four weeks of the experiment they were allowed 30 g carbohydrates daily, after which they were allowed to increase their carb intake each week by 10 g. The participants did not count calories.
The other group went on a traditional weight-loss diet and did count calories. These participants reduced their intake so that they were consuming 30 percent less energy than they were burning. The energy was derived for 15 percent from protein, 30 percent from fat and 55 percent from carbohydrates.
The fat percentage and waist circumference decreased by similar amounts in both groups.
The researchers multiplied the weight with which the participants trained their legs, biceps and triceps by the amount of reps they were able to do, and discovered that both groups made approximately the same amount of progress throughout the course of the experiment. In the figure below the participants who followed the traditional diet appear to do a little better than the low-carb group, but the differences between the groups are not statistically significant.
"In addition to the existing literature on the numerous health benefits of carbohydrate restriction, this research supports the conclusion that, in combination with resistance training, carbohydrate restriction is a plausible method to maintain muscle mass during energy restriction programs."
"These results may be important to alert health professionals that carbohydrate restriction may be an alternative intervention for treating these subjects, as long as there is no specific contraindication."