Athletes Can Be Ketogenic
If Athletes Want To Take Their Game To The Next Level Then A Low Carb High Fat Diet Is Key!
Ketones give you more energy, help with endurance, and other reasons why athletes can be ketogenic.
You might be wondering how an athlete can continue to perform at the top of their abilities on a restrictive diet. The first thing to remember is that the ketogenic diet only restricts carbohydrates and not calories. And, not only that, you can still strategically make use of carbohydrates, in particular if you’re fat adapted.
If you have any doubts remaining, feel free to consult the list of celebrities who do keto. LeBron James, Tim Tebow, and Alicia Vikander are just three examples. And if you think staring as the Tomb Raider isn't a form of athleticism, then you clearly haven’t spent enough time in the jungle hunting for ruins! If athletes can be ketogenic, so can you!
Ketones give you more energy.
One of the first things you notice when abandoning a high carbohydrate diet in favor of a high fat/low carb diet is that you have more energy, improved mood, and better focus. All of that’s great for athletes. But a month in, your body becomes fat adapted, that's when fat becomes adenosine triphosphate (ATP). One of the advantages of being fat adapted is you can consume carbs, your body just burns through them,and then your back in nutritional ketosis. No keto flu!
If you want to know how to tell if you’re fat adapted look no further than your endurance. When your fat is your primary energy source, then you don't burn through your stored blood sugar till the very end of your work out. That's good news because of one the reasons why you should do cardio while on ketosis is that human growth hormone (HGH) is released when you do two or more 45 minute cardio sessions per week. HGH helps maintain and increase muscles, gives you more energy, and has anti-aging properties! All the HGH athletes are consistently generating is one reason why athletes can be ketogenic. It keeps their athletic performance high!
You may have learned how to eat sweets on the keto diet and, in doing so, discovered cyclical ketosis and targeted ketosis. Cyclical ketosis is when you take a day to carb load so that your body doesn't get used to being in ketosis and, as a result, leads to you compromising how effective your body is at burning fat. The theory is that, after a week, your body gets used to being in ketosis and it's not as effective, so a day to reset is good for maintaining the benefits of ketosis (As well as one's sanity if going low carb is that tough).
Targeted ketosis, meanwhile, is when you consume 10 to 20 grams of carbs before and after your workout so that you can do a more intense workout. If you're fat adapted both targeted and cyclical ketosis are easier to manage because you can’t get knocked out of ketosis and you won’t have to start the process of getting into ketosis all over again.
Athletes can benefit from exogenous ketones, MCT oil, and collagen peptides.
Exogenous ketones are ketones that are produced outside of the body. They’re a source of fuel, and give you a feeling of improved energy, focus, and mood. Many athletes just take caffeine to feel that way, but caffein comes with a come down. Since the production of ketones is natural, you’ll always have a steady supply of them. The exogenous ketones can just be used when you need a boost.
Similarly, MCT Oil can provide a quick burst of energy for athletes because MCT oil is so quickly turned into energy by the body. One of the additional benefits of MCT oil is that it reduces lactic build up, as demonstrated by the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology in their paper “Effect of Ingestion of Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols on Moderate- and High-Intensity Exercise”.
Meanwhile, collagen peptides are important because they make up 30% of the proteins in your body. That includes skin, tendons, ligament, cartilage, and bones. At age 30, your body starts to produce less collagen peptides, and that number continues to decline in your 40s and beyond. Luckily, if you know why you should take collagen peptides then you know that they can lower joint pain and stiffness by 32% and 44% respectively. Collagen peptides also preserve lean muscle mass and can help improve skin hydration and skin density!
You should strength train while doing keto.
As already mentioned, you can incorporate targeted ketosis into your strength training so that you can keep pushing yourself to grow stronger and increase muscle mass. But if you know why you should strength train then you know that strength training is linked to delayed effects of Alzheimer's, strong muscles lead to stronger bones, and strength training helps endurance athletes. Yet another way to get some of the sweet, sweet HGH!
Then there’s this long list of illnesses that, according to Nerd Fitness, benefit from strength training, “Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Down Syndrome, Lymphedema, fibromyalgia, who have recently had a stroke, have had a spinal cord injury, cancer survivors and clinical depression.” And then there’s report from WebMD stating that the American Heart Association says that strength training helps people with heart disease and poor blood pressure as well. Abandoning a high carb diet is also helpful as it facilitates weight loss, and being overweight is associated with many illnesses.
Additionally, strength training is often supplemented by protein powder to aid in recovery. And it’s important for the elderly, who do to increased stress and illness, often absorb less protein into their bodies. This is a problem because protein maintains muscle mass and muscle strength, bone health, and other basic functions. But with the right supplements and exercises, old age doesn’t have to feel like old age!
Since children can do the keto diet, it’s possible to live a ketogenic lifestyle from childhood, adulthood, and even into old age. That would allow you to not compromise your health, minimize risk of illness and disease, while enjoying all the benefits of ketosis (improved energy, mental clarity, and focus).
The one thing to keep in mind is what to do after you’ve lost weight (if you’re losing weight in the long term). People will react differently! You may have attention you’ve never received before, people will come to you for advice, while some may even react with jealousy. The important thing to remember is that your health and well being are what’s most important. One of the best ways to accomplish those goals is with keto, and, luckily, athletes can be ketogenic.