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Cliff Harvey Endurance Sport Podcasts

Cliff Harvey with Dan Plews – Carb Appropriate Podcast

October 5, 2018

This is an interesting podcast and echo’s a lot of my experience working with an Ironman Athlete that woin his category at Ironman Italy in 2018 and has qualified for Kona 2019.


Dan is an athlete, exercise physiologist and researcher. He’s most well known for his research in Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and for his work in fat-adaptation and low-carb strategies, and mixed fueling for endurance athletes. 



1-2:00 – Dan and Cliff start a mutual appreciation society 😉

3:00 – Shout out to SIP Kitchen

3:30 – Is Cliff ostracized from the low-carb community for being ‘Carb-Appropriate’? Dan and Cliff discuss low-carb dogma

5:00 – Dan talks about what led him from being an athlete to becoming a coach, physiologist, and researcher, academic

6:05 – Shout out to Paul Laursen www.plewsandprof.com

8:20 – Dan gives a shout out to Tim Noakes PhD for inspiring his journey into low-carb. Cliff and Tim discuss whether the criticism of Tim Noakes is justified: “show me the evidence that high-carb diets are better?….”

Key points:

  • The high-carb guidelines are probably still too high for even athletes who do better on a high-carb diet
  • A lot of coaches and nutritionists/dietitians talk about ‘periodized nutrition’ but few apply it
  • Small effects that might benefit for elite athletes aren’t likely to be of use for many in the general population

13:00 – Dan is a better athlete low-carb than high!

14:15 – Can you be ‘over-satiated’ on a low-carb diet?

17:10 – Cliff and Dan discuss the paper “Different horses on the same courses” about the different fuel requirements for different athletes and how much carbohydrate is required, even if you’re a fat-adapted athlete. “Train low, compete high (carb)”


20:00 – Cliff discusses how people always produce ketones….no matter how much carbohydrate they eat.

23:45 – How does Dan eat day-to-day and what does he do during training and events?

Get some of the supplements that Dan uses – Melrose MCT (“Go For Longer” and Collagen at Nutrition Store Online – 1st time customers get a special discount from Dan when you use this link: http://rwrd.io/4wll4k7

Dan also uses SFuel bars

29:30 – How important is your ketone reading? What is optimal ‘ketosis’?

32:00 – Can the body create glucose from fatty-acids?

33:00 – The importance of ‘total substrate availability’ vs glucose vs ketones

33:30 – Dan tells a story about a super-intense training session: “When your ketones are higher than your glucose, you don’t feel very good!”

35:30 – Dan talks about ‘the weapon’ Terenzo Bozzone.

Note: Terenzo has recently had a serious crash on his bike and our thoughts are with him as he recovers from his injuries. 

37:00 – “It’s race day…it’s time to treat your body like a rental car…” Dan describes his during race nutrition strategy

40:48 – Dan discusses the interplay between high-glucose post-event, and how that relates to stress, inflammation, and immunity

~42:00 – Dan makes a great point about overdoing high volume, higher-intensity work and how it can provide too much stress to the body compared to splitting low-intensity and shot bursts of high-intensity

43:15 – What ketones does Dan take during training and events: Ketone salts and ketone esters.

45:28 – The effect of ketones on mental performance during exercise and the differences between ‘L’ and ‘D’ forms of ketones

Link to Leckey et al., 2017 which Dan called “an appalling study” https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2017.00806/full

… and the rebuttal by Brianna Stubbs et al.  https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.00279/full

Note: Dan typically takes ketone salts day-to-day and during training, and esters during races

Dan: “The exogenous ketone space is super fascinating”

51: 20 – The evidence at this stage is pretty limited for ketones…BUT they are in their infancy and there will be much more shown

54:30 – Some of Dan’s favourite ‘go to’ resources:

– Joe Rogan: http://podcasts.joerogan.net/

– STEM talks: https://www.ihmc.us/stemtalks/

– Tim Ferriss: https://tim.blog/

– Peter Attia: https://peterattiamd.com/podcast/

– Using google alerts for areas if interest

56:55 –  Dan:“I’m not a fiction guy…but I did read the Alchemist!”

Plus: Cliff humble-brags about reading 30 novels this year

57:25 – Dan is using the Oura Ring to quantify his sleep: https://ouraring.com/

57:47 – Dan describes his “ultimate bedtime routine” for optimising sleep

Next up, Dan is aiming for the Kona World Ironman Champs next year and continuing his work as a coach and researcher “I don’t feel like I have a job, because I enjoy everything I do so much”




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