Rachel Boutagy

Rachel is an Exercise Scientist, Fitness Trainer, Wife and Mum to two beautiful daughters. Having been qualified in exercise science for over 25 years, she's been fortunate to work alongside some of the leading authorities in the fitness industry. Rachel has a wealth of knowledge in health and nutrition, through her significant amount of evidence based research she has conducted throughout the years.

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Why you need to 'train high' & 'train low' for endurance athletes.

Why you need to 'train high' & 'train low' for endurance athletes.
Endurance athletes (and lifeletes!) are primarily concerned about either their performance, or adaptation (your body's response to training). Sports nutrition research has highlighted the need for a twin approach for the best outcomes.

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A coach would never prescribe the same training session every day.

Weekly volume, session intensity and duration are constantly changing when seeking to improve performance.
Therefore, it makes sense that carbohydrate levels in muscles should also be varied, so that the metabolic systems are presented with a mixture of low and high carbohydrate environments to keep the adaptation signals flowing strongly.
Research over the last several years has identified that training adaptation is improved when carbohydrates are strategically minimised around key time periods in relation to training. This has been termed the 'train low' or 'sleep low' paradigms in sports nutrition.
On the other hand, elevated carbohydrate stores prior to exercise will increase performance. Plus, carbohydrate consumption post-training increases glycogen storage in preparation for the next day's session. This period is termed the 'train high' method.
Applying both methods at different stages of your training can help you optimise reaching your goals.

"The Train High Paradigm"

If high level performance is desired (such as interval training or a race), rapid refuelling is required. Because multiple sessions of high intensity performance is required within the same day  (or a stage race in cycling), then maximal carbohydrate levels should be consumed. The recommendation is to consume 30-40 grams of protein and roughly double the amount of carbohydrates (60-80 grams). Examples of effective carbohydrates can include honey, dates and bananas.

'The Train Low Paradigm"

If the goal is to maximise adaptation to training sessions, then abstaining from carbohydrates before, during, and/or after your session, allows for three different opportunities to 'train low'. When this is the case, consume 30-40g of protein before or immediately after training sessions and avoid foods containing high amounts of carbohydrates until the next day or for up to six or more hours.
Aus Natural Protein's Grass-Fed Whey blends are a great choice for training low, as the carbohydrate sources in our protein are of a particular type that feed the microbes of the gastro-intestinal tract and do not make their way to muscle in the form of glycogen.
Aus Natural Protein's Grass-Fed Whey can also be used to train high, when blended into a smoothie with effective carbohydrates. Below is a delicious recipe that can be consumed for the training high period.


Protein 43.7g
Carbohydrate 70.6g
Fat 3.4g
Dietary Fibre 10.4g



You can manipulate the grams of dates, bananas and honey to give you slightly less or slightly more carbohydrates.

Combine the below ingredients, whizz up and drink!

  • 60g (two scoops) Pure Vanilla Bean Grass-Fed Whey Protein
  • 30g of Dried dates
  • 100g of Banana
  • 25g Organic raw honey
  • 1 cup Filtered water
  • 3 Ice-cubes                                                                                             
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