Debbie Potts Coaching

Should endurance athletes fuel as carnivores?

Are carbs necessary for the endurance athlete?

Discussion and thoughts today after I read this blog post…

Is a strict carnivore diet an ideal plan for an endurance athlete?

What is the ideal diet for an endurance athlete anyways??

It depends.

Look at your genetics, your ancestry background, your glucose response to foods (CGM), your stress (HRV), your hormones (DUTCH), female cycle, GI balance- microbiome (GI MAP) and more.

Personalized nutrition is ideal but what if you don’t want to invest in your health and longevity?  Test and not guess is best but what if you don’t want help?

Begin your own N = 1 experiment and pay attention to how food makes you feel.  Also, think about WHEN you are eating, WHY you are eating and HOW you are eating.  I see most people inhale their food and forget to chew 20-30 times as well as eat when multi-tasking and in the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) instead of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).

Are you timing your nutrition with your exercise duration and intensity?

How long has it been since you at a meal as with morning exercise?  What time did you eat dinner?

  • The carnivore diet is recommended for athletes who want to lose weight or build muscle.
  • High protein content in the only-meat diet helps with muscle repair after exercise-related tears.
  • The best red meat for athletes on a carnivore diet includes beef, chicken, and fish.
  • To bulk up well on a carnivore diet, you must do the right exercises and space out your meal routine accordingly.


A close up image of a sliced meat with a fork

A protein-rich carnivore diet is a form of elimination diet that entails the consumption of high-fat meat with zero plant foods.

The research found that the carnivore diet affects muscle mass, strengthens muscles, and improves athletic strength [1]. Additionally, it lowers the risk of fractures and chronic fatigue as you age.

Thus, most athletes adopt a carnivore diet because it’s proven to lead to healthy bones and muscle benefits.

In another research, endurance-trained athletes who were given three to four weeks to adjust to a low-carb or ketogenic diet could sustain 63% moderate and 90% of HIIT activity [2].

It was shown that 70% or more exercise intensities would promote fat oxidation and reduce oxygen consumption.

The supporters of the carnivore diet claim that restricting carbohydrates can improve overall athletic performance by: 

  • Facilitating a faster weight loss process
  • Offering you more stamina
  • Produce better athletic outcomes

Another important thing I learned during my research is that athletic performance and the carnivore diet depend on how fat-adapted you are.

It may be necessary for endurance athletes to slightly modify their diets so that they increase their calories and carbohydrate intake. People who exercise for an extended period need to refuel constantly because aerobic exercise consumes glycogen, the stored form of carbohydrates.”
– Natalie Allen, Registered Dietician 

If you’re looking to see significant improvement in your athletic performance, you need to become more fat-adapted. This essentially means your body is conditioned to using fat as the primary energy source for your training exercises.

Being fat-adapted enables you to eat less and stay fuller for longer. This way, you work out for longer without feeling hungry mid-session.

I recommend you avoid highly processed foods like delis or other processed meat because they contain excess sodium that can affect your training performance and cause other health issues.  Let’s take a closer look at how a carnivore diet affects athletic performance, especially when it comes to strength training and bodybuilding…

Carnivore Diet for Athletes (Strength Training & Best Meats)

Does a carnivore diet give you enough energy to perform your best when lifting heavy weights or doing glycogen depleting HIIT or Tempo Race Pace workouts?

If you follow Paul Salidino, aka the Carnivore MD, you will see him eating more fruits and meat.  I think if you have gut issues and react to plant toxins and plant fiber then a carnivore diet, or keto carnivore, may be beneficial for your healing process for 30-day reset or longer then re-introduce other foods if needed.

Reclaim your health with an animal BASED diet?

Some people can stay on an animal based diet and feel their best without any desire for other foods… then others may struggle with mindset, food addictions or cravings.  Or is it the need for variety or a poor relationship with food… or not eating enough nutrient rich foods, including organ meats, to get all the micronutrients the body needs.

I always look at the WHY… why does your body do best on a strict animal based diet.  What is going on in your microbiome that your body can’t tolerate fiber?

Should we just heal and seal your gut with a “5R Protocol” and re-introduce other non-animal foods?  Or just stay strict keto carnivore because you feel, perform and look your best?

What about carnivore for endurance athletes as Pete Jacobs follows… but he struggles with gut issues?

In the world of sports nutrition, a constantly evolving field, more and more athletes are adopting low-carbohydrate diets. Especially in the case of long distance endurance racing, an aerobic-heavy activity, wouldn’t it make sense that athletes could benefit from being fueled by fat vs. carbohydrates?

This is a popular debate with conflicting evidence and anecdotes presented from both sides. In this podcast, we capture the personal story from a former Ironman Champion: Pete Jacobs. He’s not a carbohydrate athlete, nor a traditionally ketogenic one…Pete is purely fueled by meat.

Pete has faced a life-long battle with his personal health. Ever since he found it nearly impossible to get his heart rate up during high school sports, along with rough bouts of fatigue and gut issues, he knew he was facing an uphill battle. Although he marched on to successfully pursue a sporting career, Pete has struggled in the health department as he pushed his bodily limits in the performance department.

With intuition that the core root cause was linked to his metabolic health, Pete gave the ketogenic diet a spin. He saw notable progress, but eventually found his nutritional calling to be one (or two) steps further…

The carnivore diet.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why the carnivore diet worked for Pete and what health issues were corrected
  • What Pete eats: Organ meats, seasons with salt but no pepper, what animals he’s tried, and more
  • Tips for endurance performance: Using ketone esters & caffeine, the power of positive mental reinforcement, and applying endurance ideals to normal life

Why are some people more reactive and sensitive to plant toxins?

What if they rotated plant toxins into their diet once a week and become more resistant to anti-nutrient damage?  Less is more?

Your Guide To Lectins, Phytates & Oxalates

Which foods should you avoid or limit? Phytates, Oxalates and Lectins.  What is left to eat that is from nature!?




What should you eat to fuel your BODY and MIND to optimize fat loss, health and performance?

It depends.

Test and not guess + get a personalized coaching program to figure out which foods work best but also which supplements you may need to boost your digestion, gut health and cells plus stress management + sleep hygiene routine + movement throughout the day + exercise + gratitude practice = The WHOLESTIC Method Coaching Program!

Let’s chat and get you started on your health building journey to train for your events this year but also your FUTURE self!

Strive to thrive each day instead of survive the day.

Don’t let your symptoms become your new “normal” and stop blaming the aging process.  Instead, take ownership of your health and well-being buy investing in your health and choosing habits that make you FEEL your best… LOOK your best and PERFORM your best in life each day.

Discover more on a coaching call with me soon!

Coach Debbie Potts



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