Episode #471 Dr. Mark Cucuzella on The Low Carb Runner

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Dr. Mark Cucuzzella on The Low Carb Runners

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella is a Professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He is designing programs to promote healthier and better running in the military with the USAF Efficient Running Project. Mark has presented running workshops on over 50 military bases in the last ten years and continues to teach through Healthy Running.​ He has been a competitive runner for over 35 years with more than 100 marathon and ultramarathon finishes and continues to compete as a national-level Master’s runner. He has won the Air Force Marathon twice and is the race director of Freedom’s Run race series in West Virginia and director of the Natural Running Center, an education portal designed to teach healthier running.

During our discussion, you will discover what you can do as an athlete to improve your endurance, tips to help you burn fats and metabolize carbs, and the importance of endurance athletes with type 2 diabetes to stay in nutritional ketosis. You will also learn how people with type 2 diabetes can become fat adapted. Tune in for the full scoop!

Episode resources:



[03:05] The Holistic Method Comprehensive Coaching Program

[07:45] Dr. Mark Cucuzzella’s background information

[10:00] The Book: Run For Your Life

[17:25] What people need to know about low carb and endurance athletes

[20:24] Things you can do as an athlete to improve endurance

[31:59] Burning fats and metabolizing carbs

[38:26] Matching your fueling and exercise

[43:14] Carbs for athletes with diabetes that helps them perform better

[46:15] How people with type 2 Diabetes can become fat adapted

[50:16] Is it important for endurance athletes to always stay in nutritional ketosis?


Notable quotes:

  • “Zone 2 represents the maximum effort or heart rate where you recruit type 1 fibers. Type 1 fibers are the ones that are highly efficient at using fat for fuel.”
  • “The best fat adapted athletes are also the best sugar burners because of the big zone 2 and their ability to absorb lactate.”
  • “Eating healthy foods is good because you are protecting yourself.”


Connect with us:

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella

Debbie Potts


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