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Carbo Loading

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Deeper Blue Hypoxyphiliac
Oct 24, 2002
Well I haven't posted a question in a while, and something I've been thinking about is the relation of carbs to diving. :)

I had a conversation with Wal a few weeks back about a low-carb diet, and he mentioned that when he's tried that, his statics have all gotten worse. Looking at this from another perspective, would carbo loading benefit a static? If so, would it be something that needs to be done an hour before or a day before or even a week before?

I'm also interested in this thread, but specifically how carb loading relates to help keeping warm while diving.


Carboloading is not necessary for apnea. It's only useful for serious endurance, I mean for competitive endurance athletes.

Just check for example this link, which will give you a brief and general idea of sports nutrition:


Ah, don't forget to consume foods rich in both types of EFAs (omega 3 and omega 6). For instance: eat cold-fish (safe dolphin tuna:), mackerel, etc.) and take flaxseed oil. These foods will protect your immune system amongst other things.

Regards, gerard.

Gerard I heard that Spanish mackerals have that Omega stuff in them and I eat lots of Mackeral so im on the right track :D

Yeah spanairds rate up there as one of my fave fish :D

What I meant, is has anyone tried carbo loading before a static, and if so, what were the results?
I haven't tried it but agree with Gerard in respect of it being a process used by endurance athletes (i.e. marathon runners, cyclists etc..). The general principle being that there is more carbohydrate availaivle in the body's stores to utilise. The energy you consume during a static would be minimal so I doubt being carbo loaded would be of any benifit.

I am intregued by Aubie's question about a high carb diet keeping you warmer. Where have you heard this Aubie? And does anyone have a possible reason why it might be the case?


Loopy Green Job fish are still my all time favourite eating fish yummy :D

If you read your freedivers manual...is there such a thing?

Carb loading is good when your metabolism can handle taking in many carbohydrates and burning them as fuel. Carbs are not necessary for apnea as stated earlier. I used to be on the low carb diet and you can drop serious weight, but there are too many risks to the low carb thing. If you don't take in enough carbs and you work out, eventually your body attacks the heart and kidneys for protein and other good stuff. WATCH OUT!

You should load up on carbs when doing a lot of swimming or swimming in cold water. Your body will burn more calories when it has to keep itself warm.

I have found my best statics to be well after a meal (2 - 3 hours).

There was a thread dealing with the right vitamins to help protect the brain from all of this apnea...I can't find it....
The reason that Walrus' statics are better after carb loading is that his respiratory quotient increases after the carb load. On a low carb diet his RQ is probably around 0.7 or 0.75, whereas after the carb load his RQ is probably around 0.90 or 0.95. Burning carbs is about 10% more efficient than burning fat, which means that you burn about 10% less O2 while burning carbs.

However, the problem is further complicated by thermogenic issues. A fat burning diver can reach a lower body temperature, if he allows himself to cool sufficiently in cold water, and his lower temperature will drop his metabolic rate to below that of his carb-loaded opponent. But, despite the lower metabolic rate, he needs 10% more O2 per kJ of energy, so in the end, the result is similar.

The bottom line is that if you are on a low carb diet, you need to be very cool (almost shivering) to do good statics. A carb-loaded diver will do very poorly when cold due to insufficient free fatty acids for non-shivering thermogenesis.

This whole issue will be cleared up when Laminar's article on cold water diving is published on deeperblue shortly.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
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Very interesting Eric, thanks for the explanation. I look forward to reading Laminar's article.
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