Carbohydrate-Restriction with High-Intensity Interval Training: An Optimal Combination for Treating Metabolic Diseases?

Front Nutr. 2017 Oct 12;4:49. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2017.00049. eCollection 2017.

Abstract

Lifestyle interventions incorporating both diet and exercise strategies remain cornerstone therapies for treating metabolic disease. Carbohydrate-restriction and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) have independently been shown to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health. Carbohydrate-restriction reduces postprandial hyperglycemia, thereby limiting potential deleterious metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of excessive glucose excursions. Additionally, carbohydrate-restriction has been shown to improve body composition and blood lipids. The benefits of exercise for improving insulin sensitivity are well known. In this regard, HIIT has been shown to rapidly improve glucose control, endothelial function, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Here, we report the available evidence for each strategy and speculate that the combination of carbohydrate-restriction and HIIT will synergistically maximize the benefits of both approaches. We hypothesize that this lifestyle strategy represents an optimal intervention to treat metabolic disease; however, further research is warranted in order to harness the potential benefits of carbohydrate-restriction and HIIT for improving cardiometabolic health.

Keywords: cardiometabolic disease; exercise; glycemic control; high-intensity interval training; low-carb diets; metabolism.