Research on the effect of low-carb, high-fat diets on athletic performance conducted by Grove City College Exercise Science students, faculty and one of the world’s leading exercise scientists was recently published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.
The article details how researchers tested the theory that a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is detrimental to competitive runners. They found that athletes running 5K time trials performed equally well when eating diets high in either carbohydrate or fat. That seems to refute the long-held belief that athletes have to eat high carbohydrate diets to perform high intensity endurance exercise.
Students and recent alumni Sarah J. Haley ’19, Noah J. Esbenshade ’20, Adam D. Atwell ’21, Katie E. Scott ’20, Jacqueline Abraham ’19, along with Grove City College Exercise Science faculty Dr. Philip J. Prins and Jeffrey D. Buxton, and Psychology Professor Dr. Gary L. Welton collaborated with Dr. Timothy D. Noakes, one of the top researchers in the field of exercise science, on the research. All are credited as co-authors of the article.
Noakes, an emeritus professor in the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town who has published hundreds of articles and books, is widely cited by other scientists and holds numerous awards for his work. Amy S. Raabe, Department of Human Ecology at Youngstown State University, also contributed.
Scott values the opportunity she has at Grove City College to work with leaders in the field on important research. “It has been amazing to learn from professors both inside and outside of the classroom,” she said.
Three of the paper’s authors were among a group of Grove City College scholars who presented research earlier this month at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) regional conference.
Atwell discussed the study and Scott presented related research on how runners’ lipid profiles are affected by low-carb, high-fat diets. Chloe Williams ‘21 presented research she conducted with Dr. Dana Ault, assistant professor of Exercise Science: “Effect of Different Exercise Modalities on Executive Function in College-Aged Individuals.” Buxton presented research on the effects of ground-based movement training using animal flow techniques.
Exercise Science is one of the College’s fastest growing majors. Over the summer a new lab was established in Rockwell Hall for the program. The lab area provides more space and additional, state of the art equipment, Prins said. “It’s a significant improvement, the room is a lot bigger, and as a result it really enhances the classroom experience in addition to student and faculty research,” he said.
The Department of Exercise Science at Grove City College prepares students to excel in a wide variety of graduate and professional programs and diverse careers in health-related professions. The programs is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Read the article “High Rates of Fat Oxidation Induced by a Low-Carbohydrate, High-Fat Diet, Do Not Impair 5-km Running Performance in Competitive Recreational Athletes” on the journal’s website here.