Cutting carbs is generally considered to be the fastest and most effective way to drop weight. It is also thought to make you weak, sluggish, and crabby. We can’t help with the mood stuff, but new information shows that slashing your carb intake over a short period won’t cut into your strength or power. A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined trained men and women who ate either a diet of 40 percent carbs or five percent carbs. Those in the second group maintained their daily caloric intake by eating more fat and protein. At the end of seven days, the carb-restricted group had significantly decreased their body mass but were still equal to the carb-heavy group in strength and power tests such as vertical jumps and one-rep maximums for the bench press and back squat. Short-term carb restriction may be a smart strategy for weight-class athletes or anyone looking to peak for a photo shoot or event without the dangers of excess dehydration.
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