Nutrify Performance Nutrition for Women

Do you have “Carbophobia”?

Are you afraid of or actively avoid carbohydrates (aka “Carbophobia’)?  As an athlete, do yourself a favor & please don’t avoid carbohydrates! Carbohydrates play many important roles in our bodies including1:

  • Acting as a primary fuel for working muscles (especially important as a fuel as exercise intensity and duration increases)2
  • Assisting in digestion & helping to reduce cholesterol
  • Supporting nutrient and water absorption
  • Helping to maintain blood sugar
  • Supporting cognitive function and delaying mental fatigue
  • Helping post-exercise muscle recovery
  • Reducing the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes (complex carbohydrates)
  • Sparing protein allowing it to be used for its primary functions (Protein is NOT a primary fuel for exercise!). Read more about the important roles of protein here.3

And with all the attention and interest in ketogenic/low carbohydrate diets, did you know:  

  • Women are already predisposed to burn more fat relative to carbohydrates and as a result, may not respond as well as men to ketogenic/low carb diets focused on improving fat adaptation?4,5,6
  • Even over a short period, new research suggests ketogenic/low carb diets may impact bone health and can cause an unfavorable stress, immune and iron response to exercise7,8
  • There is no current evidence that ketogenic/low carb diets improve athletic performance?9

As an athlete, focusing on improving carbohydrate availability before, during and immediately after training/racing can help optimize training adaptation, improve performance, and help facilitate recovery. Nutrify can help you build a comprehensive nutrition plan to fuel your performance. Schedule a complimentary 15’ call to learn more.


1Benardot, D. (2021). Advanced Sports Nutrition. Human Kinetics.

2Brooks, G. A., & Mercier, J. (1994). Balance of carbohydrate and lipid utilization during exercise: the “crossover” concept. Journal of Applied Physiology, 76(6), 2253–2261. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1994.76.6.2253

3Thompson and Manore. Nutrition: An Applied Approach. 5th Edition.        

4Tarnopolsky MA, Ruby BC. Sex differences in carbohydrate metabolism. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2001 Nov;4(6):521-6. doi: 10.1097/00075197-200111000-00010. PMID: 11706287.

5Deon, T. M., Sharoff, C., Chipkin, S. R., Grow, D., Ruby, B. C., & Braun, B. (2002). Regulation of exercise carbohydrate metabolism by estrogen and progesterone in women. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 283(5). doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00271.2002

6Durkalec-Michalski, Krzysztof, et al. “Effect of a Four-Week Ketogenic Diet on Exercise Metabolism in CrossFit-Trained Athletes.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 16, no. 1, May 2019, doi:10.1186/s12970-019-0284-9.

7Fensham, N.C., Heikura, I.A., McKay, A.K., Tee, N., Ackerman, K.E. and Burke, L.M. (2022), Short-Term Carbohydrate Restriction Impairs Bone Formation at Rest and During Prolonged Exercise to a Greater Degree than Low Energy Availability. J Bone Miner Res.

8McKay AKA, Peeling P, Pyne DB, Tee N, Whitfield J, Sharma AP, Heikura IA, Burke LM. Six Days of Low Carbohydrate, Not Energy Availability, Alters the Iron and Immune Response to Exercise in Elite Athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2022 Mar 1;54(3):377-387. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002819. PMID: 34690285.

9Nancy E Murphy, Christopher T Carrigan, Lee M Margolis, High-Fat Ketogenic Diets and Physical Performance: A Systematic Review, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 12, Issue 1, January 2021, Pages 223–233,


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