Over the years, many athletes who do intensive training adapt a high-carb, low-fat diet. This is because everyone believes that carbohydrates serve as fuels since they help produce energy for the body.
From the time Ketogenic diet has been introduced to the fitness industry, this low-carb diet has drawn a lot of attention questioning if this diet works for those living in an active lifestyle.
There are countless articles and studies that brought the impact of Keto diet with the performance of athletes to a complete 360.
Ketogenic diet is not just about losing weight. This low-carb diet has also its contribution when it comes to performance training. However, the impact of Keto diet will depend on the kind of exercise or training. How your body will react to the effect of Ketosis will also affect your overall performance.
Learn more about performance training on keto diet below.
How to maximize energy from low carbs
As you start your journey with Ketosis, it is given that you will most likely experience a decrease in performance. This is because of the adjustments that your body is experiencing from a sudden shift from high carbs to low carbs. A sudden drop in energy or temporal weakness is pretty normal with Keto diet. However, you will need to have a longer adaptation with Keto dieting in order for you to fully maximize your performance whenever you train.
Adjusting in general takes time. Picture it this way – your body will have to go through the adaptation period before you can use fats as energy rather than carbohydrates. You must know by now that Keto uses fats as energy. While your body hasn’t produced enough Ketones for energy yet, it is normal that you will experience weakness temporarily.
Keto, being a low-carb diet, has helped athletes to lose weight and maintain their needed muscle mass for their sports. According to research, athletes who happen to train for endurance benefit a lot from low carb, high-fat diet or what they call LCHF. The content of muscle glycogen found in the athlete’s body is said to have the same amount with those who use high carb, low fat diet or HCLF. One good point that Keto diet contributes to performance training is the vast tissue repair it gives. For endurance athletes, Keto has provided them enough fat oxidation and increased glycogen which could’ve impacted their performance positively.
Performance training on keto diet adaptation
However, Keto diet has its drawbacks in performance training. Some studies show that during exercises and training, levels of fatty acids and ammonia were found present in the bloodstream. As a result, an impaired metabolism and central nervous system fatigue may take place.
In order to prevent this from happening, athletes are required to undergo Keto adaptation period for an extended term. It may take months for an athlete to be fully adapted. Without the adaptation, the athlete might experience negativities on the performance training on Keto diet. As mentioned earlier, impaired metabolism, central nervous system fatigue, reduced muscle glycogen, and also hypoglycemia will result to the poor athlete performance.
How Keto diet affects performance and strength
In the case of endurance athletes, Keto diet may be beneficial for them. Well if you are the type who does intensive exercises, Keto might not be that useful for you. I am not saying Keto won’t perfectly help you as you train. Like I said, it depends on how your body would react. Some studies stated that intensive exercises will require a good amount of glucose for energy. Since Keto uses fat for energy instead of glucose, intensive exercises wouldn’t have enough store of energy to help you train high-intensity exercises.
Central Nervous System Fatigue during exercises can also affect brain function. Scientifically speaking, the protein that your feed to your body can uptake affecting your brain to communicate with your muscles. As a result, the impaired communication will release tryptophan to your brain which could give you to feel tired and lethargic. This is how fatigue caused by the central nervous system could poorly affect your performance levels.
Most exercises require high-carb diets to fully maximize the potential of athletes. But keto has its own approach when it comes to exercises and training. Since the breakdown of Keto’s macros is low in carbs, moderate protein, and high fat, it is evident that Keto uses fat as fuel to support you in your physical activities.
Impact of performance training on keto diet
At this point, you already know that in keto diet, fat is the main source of energy. Again, being Keto-adapted is intense—it does not only convert your fat to energy but it also has a strong impact in fat burning. As established above, Keto diet will have a different impact in every Keto dieter. Be it in long or short exercises, it is positive that Keto can be beneficial for your performance. Listed below are strong points on how the keto diet can benefit you:
- Keeping blood glucose as you train. A low amount of carbohydrates can be beneficial for you since while you exercise, the glucose present in your bloodstream will be kept from breaking down.
- More effective fat burning. Being in a low-carb diet can already make you lose weight. Adding up some Keto exercises could contribute to the fast results of weight loss.
- Preventing tiredness. For some athletes, prolonged exercises don’t make them feel tired and weary.
- Preserving muscle glycogen. There may be fewer case studies that tackle about Keto diet contributing to muscle growth. However, low-carb diets such as Keto is a good support to preserve muscle glycogen as you train.
- Maintaining physique. Keto diet is a good health routine for every athlete’s offseason as they maintain their physique and wait for their next season for training.
There may still be some queries when it comes to using Keto diet for training and exercises. However, let us keep in mind that Keto dieting has a lot of health benefits. Plus, it is an effective routine for losing weight.
Regardless of the loopholes, there is some proof that the keto diet positively affects the performance of an athlete as he/she trains. For endurance training and low-intensity exercises, Keto diet’s performance support is never a question.