The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance

Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney are both academic researchers and professors who have been studying sports nutrition, ketogenic diets and peak performance for decades. To put it in perspective, Dr. Stephen Phinney (with his MD from Stanford and PhD from MIT) coined the phrase “keto-adapted” in 1980. Big Ideas we explore include: the accepted dogma (vs. compelling data), two fuel tanks (you want to go hours or days?), veto-adaptation (how to), protein (necessary but in moderation), fat (your most important fuel; the good and bad!), and the macro breakdown (here it is!).


“If you are completely content with your body, health and performance on a high carbohydrate diet there is probably no reason to consider a low carbohydrate diet. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. But if you have hit a plateau, are in a rut, suffer from overtraining, have trouble recovering from your workouts, want to change your body composition, or simply want to experiment with how your body adapts to restricting carbohydrate, then this book is for ‘You.’

‘You’ might be an elite athlete, coach, trainer, dietician, physician or scientist. ‘You’ might be a casual fitness enthusiast or wannabe athlete. ‘You’ might be new to exercise, a weekend warrior, or a veteran of the gym but aren’t satisfied with your progress or feel drained. If any of these people are ‘you’ then this book may have something valuable to offer.”

~ Jeff S. Volek and Stephen D. Phinney from
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance

We recently did a Note on a book called Ketotarian which is a great introduction to going keto—especially if you orient from a vegan or vegetarian perspective. It’s a super simple take on how to get the ball rolling.

And, not too long ago, we did a Note on Mark Sisson’s The Keto Reset Diet. That’s a more thorough look at the process of going keto. It’s perfect if you’re approaching things from a more primal/Paleo lens.

Plus, we have our collection of Notes on Phil Maffetone. Although he’s not about ketosis and low-carb per se, he is ALL ABOUT burning fat for fuel, eliminating all sugar and flours and understanding our levels of “carbohydrate intolerance” then acting accordingly.

(And, we have more Notes on books in the same basic genre such as Fat for Fuel, Eat Fat Get Thin, and Always Hungry?)

Now, when I first got this book (I can’t remember how I found it but I think it might have been from Mark Sisson!), I thought it was a somewhat obscure title that would be helpful in my quest to take my performance nutrition to the next level. It wasn’t until after I read it that I realized it’s really popular—with over 500 reviews on Amazon (the vast majority 5 stars).

It’s written by two of the leading guys in the whole keto movement. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney are both academic researchers and professors who have been studying sports nutrition, ketogenic diets and peak performance for decades.

To put it in perspective, Dr. Stephen Phinney coined the phrase “keto-adapted” in 1980. He has a SUPER impressive pedigree. As per his bio: “Dr. Phinney received his medical degree from Stanford University, holds a Doctorate in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed post-doctoral research at Harvard University.”

This is a straight-forward, practical approach to exactly what the title suggests: the art and science of performing well (athletically and otherwise) on a low-carb diet. If that sounds like fun, I think you’ll enjoy the book. (Get a copy here.)

It’s packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

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About the authors

Authors

Jeff S. Volek

A Professor in the Department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University
Authors

Stephen D. Phinney

A Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of California-Davis.