The Fitest Man on Earth follows the Zone Diet

Or that’s the claim.  Time magazine (which appears to be right behind Oprah in top most quoted “authoratative” sources) called Dean Karnazes possibly the fitest man on earth.  He’s an ultra distance runner, and has run such things as:

“a 135-mile ultra-marathon across Death Valley in 120-degree temperatures and a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees. He’s run a 200-mile relay solo, racing alongside teams of 12 and has completed a 350-mile run. In 2006, he ran 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days, finishing with the NYC Marathon, which he completed in three hours flat.”

It would be interesting to see him do for example the Crossfit workout known as Helen, but that’s just me.  Either way, he’s very good a running long distances, better than most.  Apparently he’s even considered one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World, a nice title to have and no mistake.

What’s the key to his success?  Well according to Barry Sears, he follows the Zone diet:

“Dean Karnazes is a great example of the ability of the Zone Diet to cause adaptations to one’s physiology to give them unique advantages in athletic performance,” Dr. Sears said. “Dean follows the Zone Diet exceptionally faithfully, yet during his ultra-marathon runs, he consistently consumes high-fat junk food. What gives? By following the Zone Diet, he is adapting his body to burn fat preferentially as opposed to carbohydrates to make the chemical energy (ATP) needed for muscle contraction. During an ultra-marathon, by consuming high-fat (i.e. high-octane) junk food, he can produce extraordinary amounts of ATP. His competitors, who are adapted to burning carbohydrates (i.e. low octane fuel), will make far less ATP than will Dean. This means one thing: He will always have far more energy than they will. Fortunately for Dean, it is unlikely they will ever learn this basic fact of metabolism.”

Nice to know.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Rita 1 April 2009, 3:35 am

    Very interesting. I wonder how the Zone will effect my performance.

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