Remembering Kevin Moore

2012 Low-Carb Cruise Lecture: Dr. Jeff Volek

Interest in the annual Low-Carb Cruise has never been bigger as people are hearing about what a fantastic time we had on the 2012 event with so many top-notch guest speakers as well as the good times being together in one place with so many like-minded people. With hundreds of your fellow low-carb and Paleo lovers all together for a week, it’s a highly-anticipated event we look forward to presenting to the healthy community every year. It’s a whole lot of work for those of us who organize it, but it’s all worth the effort to keep the momentum of carbohydrate-restricted lifestyles at the forefront of the health conversation. We’re already gearing up for the next Low-Carb Cruise coming May 5-12, 2013 and it will take place on the glorious Carnival Magic. Get full details about how YOU can be a part of this super-fun event at LowCarbCruiseInfo.com.

I hope you’ve been enjoying these fantastic videos of the lectures from our guest speakers on the 2012 Low-Carb Cruise. We’ve never been able to give you this glimpse into what it’s like on the ship during our low-carb conference. But thanks to the generosity of Terry and Pam Young from “Make It Fun & It Will Get Done” who volunteered to use their incredible professional experience shooting video footage, we have some amazing HD quality video and crystal clear audio of the presentations to share with you. Hopefully you’ve been able to check out the ones we’ve posted so far, including Dr. Eric Westman, Fred Hahn, Monique Forslund Denise Minger and Dr. John Briffa. We’ve got another great video lecture presentation for you today, but first I’d like to remind you to go check out the “Make It Fun & It Will Get Done”. If you have any children or grandchildren who have a wicked sweet tooth, then you might want to watch Pam’s video “Low-Carb Treats For Kids” for an awesome two-ingredient junk food substitute that will have the little ones screaming for more while getting some healthy low-carb nutrition into their bodies. Again, a VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to Terry and Pam for allowing my readers this unique glimpse into what it’s like to be at the conference portion of the Low-Carb Cruise with these outstanding videos.

DR. JEFF VOLEK – May 8, 2012 at 11:00AM
“New Paradigms In Carbohydrate Nutrition For Athletes”

Widely recognized as one of the leading modern researchers of carbohydrate-restricted diets, Dr. Volek is an Associate Professor at the #1 ranked Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. He is a Registered Dietitian and has a PhD in exercise physiology and nutrition. His studies has been published in more than 220 peer-reviewed journals in the last decade with his most significant line of work aimed at a better understanding of how diets low in carbohydrate affect obesity, body composition, adaptations to training and overall metabolic health. In 2010, he was the co-author with Dr. Stephen Phinney and fellow Low-Carb Cruise guest speaker Dr. Eric Westman on the New York Times bestselling book The New Atkins For A New You. Since then, he and Dr. Phinney have since teamed up on two more invaluable low-carb science oriented books over the past couple of years: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living in 2011 and The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance in 2012. Listen to Dr. Volek on “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” in Episode 236 and hear him talk about why saturated fat is healthy in Episode 11 of “Ask The Low-Carb Experts”.

Watch Dr. Volek’s 2012 Low-Carb Cruise lecture (with key pull quotes):


“Trust me, there’s probably more mythologies and misconceptions surrounding exercise than anywhere in the clinical literature.”

“You may ask yourself if low-carb works for people with insulin resistance, and of course we have a lot of evidence for that, is it really necessary or effective for people who don’t have insulin resistance? My Cliff’s Notes answer would be yes there is a case that can be made (outlined in their latest book).”

“My goal today is to convince you that carbohydrate are not an obligate nutrient in the diet…there is this belief that if you are exercising, you need carbohydrate for fuel. And I will hope to show you that given at least a couple of weeks of adaptation to low-carbohydrate you can reduce it from an obligate nutrient to an optional nutrient. And furthermore show you how this could actually enhance your performance, allow you to train harder, perform longer, and another aspect of exercise is recovery. And there are many reasons why low-carbohydrate diets might enhance your ability to recover.”

“The Achilles heel with a lot of (the high-carb paradigm for athletes) is that they never put athletes or any of their subjects on a low-carbohydrate diet for more than three or four days or a week at the longest. So they did not really allow adaptation.”

“Now if you ask yourself, ‘Where’s the innovation here in the last 30 years’ and I would say there really hasn’t been much. I mean we’ve sucrose, we’ve used glucose, we use fructose, maltodextrin. And this is viewed as the standard in sports nutrition to enhance endurance performance and strength performance as well.”

“The response to exercise at least in terms of weight loss is highly variable…we shouldn’t make people feel guilty that the reason they’re obese is because they’re not active because it’s very likely they will not respond well in terms of weight loss.”

“We have this common belief that exercise increases our metabolic rate…I could show you 4 in-patient, highly-controlled metabolic ward studies that have all shown endurance exercise done 300-600 kcal expenditure per day decreases your metabolic rate. And that explains why you don’t see the expected weight loss (on endurance exercise).”

“(Resistance training) is a different story. When you increase lean body mass through resistance training, we have seen increases (in his research work at UConn) in resting metabolic rate.”

“Most athletes believe that carbohydrate is an ideal fuel source…regardless of the window of time (during exercise), carbohydrates are encouraged.”

“We did not evolve to be able to store carbohydrates to any great extent in the body. We store very little in our blood. We have a couple teaspoons of sugar in our blood. And we have a small capacity to store sugar as glycogen in muscle…but compare that to how much fat we can store. Even in the leanest athlete, take an athlete that’s 3% body fat, you’ve got even in that case maybe 25-fold greater amounts of fuel in your fat tank than you do in your carbohydrate tank.”

“From a fuel perspective, for sports and performance, fat might be a better fuel. It’s a larger fuel tank and it reduces that need to consume carbohydrate during exercise if in fact you can tap into it.”

“You can make yourself bonk-proof by going low-carb!”


“What is hitting the wall? It’s a fuel crisis. It’s your body running out of carbohydrate sources for fuel. We tend to focus on the muscle when we look at fatigue but it’s really a fuel crisis in your brain. Your brain when you’re eating carbohydrates is reliant on glucose. When you’re out of glucose and you’re at 20 miles (in a marathon race), your brain is starving and it shuts down. You have these intrusive thoughts of carbohydrate.”

“What’s the irony here? The irony is when you hit the wall, you actually have tens of thousands of calories on board by way of your fat stores. You just can’t access them. So which fuel tank do you want access to? Your glycogen tank? You’ve always got access to that but it’s limiting. How do you get access to your fat fuel tank? If you haven’t adapted to a low-carb diet, you still cannot access that fat fuel to perform exercise.”

“Clearly there’s a dominant regulator (of using fat for fuel) here. And that regulator is insulin…just small changes in insulin can result in dramatic changes in fat breakdown…that’s the difference between going out and exercising in a fasted state drinking water versus consuming Gatorade or consuming a bagel before exercise that would easily move your insulin levels up…and that has a very profound effect on your fat mobilization.”

“Clearly insulin’s the (hormone) that’s putting the brakes on mobilizing and oxidizing fat. So the whole logic of sports drinks and consuming carbohydrates before exercise is that it actually promotes carbohydrate oxidation, but it inhibits fat oxidation. Well, if (fat oxidation) is your goal (eating carbohydrate) is the last thing you want to do.”


“Compared to a well-formulated low-carbohydrate diet, (the fat-burning products on the market are) like a pea shooter versus a bazooka.”

“Steve Phinney has been a pioneer in the area of low-carbohydrate diets in general. But what fascinated me the most about Dr. Phinney before I even met him when I was interested in low-carbohydrate diets in the early 90’s was that he actually did a study in athletes.”

“To really perform in the face of very little carbohydrate requires at least a two or three week period of adaptation…Steve (Phinney) actually coined the term ‘keto-adaptation’ to describe the process.”

“(Keto-adaptation) is a very well-orchestrated, coordinated set of metabolic adaptations that occur. It’s rather remarkable really. And there’s been some tremendous research on keto-adaptation mainly in the context of starvation done back in the 60’s and 70’s. And what happens in the first few days of starvation or very low-carbohydrate diets is that the body starts to break down fat at a very high rate…and they get converted to ketones. The ketones initially start to fuel the muscle. But after a few days the majority of the energy for muscle is derived from fatty acids. And the ketones are actually spared for the brain. So (ketones) become very good brain food. And when ketones (in the blood) are above about 1.0 millimolar, the brain can extract over half of its energy use from ketones. So it’s not a glucose-dependent organ. It’s only glucose-dependent if you are consuming carbohydrates.”


“The process of keto-adaptation could have a lot of benefits for athletes. That’s why I’m here today to make that point.”

“Athletes who are consuming a lot of carbohydrates are also generating a lot of reactive oxygen species. We know that burning fat is more efficient. It’s associated with less generation of these free radicals. And the primary target of these free radicals are membranes, highly unsaturated fatty acids in membranes. And that’s related to insulin sensitivity.”

“There’s evidence that ketones are protein-sparing.”

“We’ve talked about this concept of nutritional ketosis which in my mind really starts at about .5 millimolar (of blood ketones). If you’re eating any amount of carbohydrate, you’re probably closer to .1 or .2. And then beyond that, anywhere up to 3.0 millimolar is an ideal range for being in this sorta ketone zone or this ideal state of nutritional ketosis to fuel the brain during exercise.”

“Ketoacidosis is a whole another animal. That’s when your (blood ketone levels are) above 10.0 millimolar. And that just doesn’t happen in a healthy person who’s not diabetic.”

“The group average in peak fat-burning during exercise is 28 grams per hour. Just to give you the range there, the highest person in the group which is an elite athlete was 60 grams per (hour). That’s largely considered the fat-burning ceiling.”

“Here’s the data from Steve (Phinney)’s study. The average (fat-burning per hour) was 90, one and a half times the highest person that was in the other group and they were consuming carbs. A couple of the athletes (in the Phinney keto-adaptation study) were burning close to 2 grams of fat per minute, it’s almost 120 grams per hour. So we’ve shattered what was largely considered the peak fat-burning ceiling by adapting an athlete to a very low-carbohydrate diet.”

“Resistance training in general helps whether you are following low-fat or low-carb in terms of body composition. But the best results are achieved with the combination of low-carb and resistance training. It’s like an additive effect. Low-carb is really good at burning the fat off and you add the stimulus of resistance training to low-carb and that helps protect the lean tissue or even increase lean tissue.”

“There are athletes out there (eating low-carb). They’re not always open. I think there are a lot of closet low-carb athletes. There are a few.”

Stay tuned for even more video lectures from the 2012 Low-Carb Cruise posted at my blog. We’d LOVE to have you join us on the 2013 Low-Carb Cruise leaving out of Galveston, Texas on May 5-12, 2013 on board the Carnival Magic featuring guest speakers Robb Wolf, Dr. Mary Vernon, Dr. Jay Wortman, Dr. Larry McCleary, Dr. Cate Shanahan, Dr. Dwight Lundell, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt and his LCHF friends, Jackie Eberstein with a special tribute to Dr. Atkins, Dr. Jayson and Mira Calton, Dave Asprey and Jonathan Bailor. Plus, Tom Naughton will be back for another rip-roaring roast of the guest speakers! YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS!

  • Radgie77

     Part 5 is no longer available: This video has been removed by the user 🙁

    • LLVLCBlog

      Yes, I’m working with them about this.

  •  Part 5 is now reposted.

  • LLVLCBlog

    Go to http://www.lowcarbcruiseinfo.com/ and look along the right-hand side of the page for Dr. Volek’s slide presentation. 🙂