In the last 5 years, the ketogenic diet has become more widespread among sports enthusiasts. According to research carried out so far, the Keto Diet and Exercise is not only possible, but a winning choice
In this post you will find all the information, studies and answers you are looking for to increase your performance in the sport with the ketogenic diet.
When talking about ketogenic training, it is essential to ask yourself this question: is a balanced ketogenic diet able to ensure the right fuel for physical exertion, exactly like sugar? This blog post serves precisely to answer this question.
In this regard, it is interesting to note that the main difference between an amateur sportsman and a professional sportsman is not the ability to burn sugar, but rather the ability to burn fat.
The better the latter, the better for the athlete.
Clarified this, it is easy to understand how the ketogenic approach, well done and balanced, can provide an interesting answer to the short and long-term energy demands of sportsmen, both amateur and professional.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A KETOGENIC DIET FOR ATHLETES AND SPORTSMEN?
The benefits of a ketogenic diet when practising sports are multiple. Here are the 4 most important:
1. MORE STABLE ENERGY
Ketogenic diets allow athletes to rely more on fat than on sugar (which has a quick action but runs out immediately).
Especially during low or moderate-intensity efforts, this is particularly useful.
As fat is our most abundant and efficient fuel source, this can allow keto athletes to train for a longer time and recover from effort first.
2. GLYCOGEN SAVINGS
An additional benefit in fat burning comes from the ability to save glycogen.
By saving glycogen (the form in which glucose is stored in muscles and liver), a larger amount is available for short but intense efforts in which it is essential and necessary.
So the athlete has the grease fuel available to make medium-low long-lasting and recovery efforts and, at the same time, save useful glycogen to make short but intense efforts.
3. BETTER RECOVERY FROM BASIC CHRONIC INFLAMMATION
A well-formulated ketogenic diet greatly reduces chronic inflammation, an important factor that prevents proper recovery after intense training.
Ketogenic diets can promote better recovery thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.
The best way to do this is to use rich, healthy and nutritious foods that do not stimulate insulin, consuming them respecting all the needs of our digestion and treating the intestinal ecosystem.
4. NORMALISED APPETITE
The ketogenic diet results in a rebalancing of appetite, which is reduced.
Why is this point so important for athletes?
An appetite that works properly allows athletes to eat the right amount of food at the right time and, more importantly, not to be tempted by junk food that would hinder their efforts.
Training can increase hunger, a factor that can lead athletes to eat badly, more than necessary, favouring junk foods or too rich in sugars and flour.
WHAT DOES EXERCISE AT THE LEVEL OF KETONES PRODUCE?
LOW-INTENSITY RESISTANCE ACTIVITY
(This activity increases the levels of ketones).
So, if you are on a ketogenic diet and do sports by training at low or moderate intensity, the levels of ketones in your blood will increase and blood glucose levels will decrease
This is because you are consuming your body fat stores to fuel your physical activity, and part of this fat is transformed into ketones.
This happens when you can rely on sufficient fat deposits.
For example, in the case of professional runners it has been seen that, in the peak phase, those who train with the keto have burned 2-3 times more fat than their counterparts who consume a high amount of sugar.
And this ensures excellent physical fitness and sufficient energy to guarantee it for as long as necessary, even very long.
(This activity, on the other hand, temporarily decreases the levels of ketones in favour of sugar.)
For example, if we increase physical activity by 75 % or more, ketone levels will decrease and increase blood sugar. And this is temporary and normal.
It happens because, by increasing the intensity, you are requiring more energy ready to use your body and you are doing it very quickly.
Since glucose burns faster than fat, you start using a higher percentage of glucose.
And so, even if you rely less on fat as fuel during more intense workouts, at the same time you will continue to consume more fat.
This is because the total requirement has increased and because the body is able to produce on-demand the sugar it needs without returning to the metabolism based on sugars.
CAN YOU BUILD YOUR MUSCLES WITH THE KETOGENIC DIET?
Yes, you can. The ketogenic diet can improve the body composition, favoring the loss of fat mass without losing (and indeed gaining) a lean muscle mass.
Building muscles is a complex activity and requires multiple factors that can all be successfully achieved through a balanced and well-formulated ketogenic diet.
In this regard, it is important to establish 3 aspects.
HOW TO TRAIN
The ideal is to subject your body to progressively higher loads, with workouts performed 3 to 5 times a week, continuing with a progressive program to increase endurance.
Weights and free-body exercises are perfect for this purpose.
Alternatively, you can practice gymnastics, running, swimming, pilates, performing various sports activities both in the gym and at home.
Particularly beneficial with the keto diet is the new calisthenic training.
HOW TO EAT
When you follow the keto diet and exercise, it becomes crucial to accompany the training with a rich and balanced meal program, based on concentrated and very nutritious foods, especially of animal nature and partly plant.
This is essential to build muscles, a demanding and costly activity for which you have to give your body the right signals (especially anabolic).
In this sense healthy foods of the animal kingdom have an extra march, accompanied by very interesting plant nutrients that complement and balance the overall intake.
It is essential to have a complete and balanced daily and weekly program to avoid shortages.
If you do not eat enough for any reason, your body will not be able to spend energy to build strong, healthy and lean muscle tissues (which are a luxury), but it will use all the resources available for vital processes that always have priority.
Your muscles need the right mix of “blocks”, so you need to consume a full range of amino acids with the right ratios and quantities.
WHAT TO EAT AND WHAT TO AVOID
If you mainly consume fresh and good quality animal food, it is quite simple: fish, meat, eggs and dairy products.
Vegetable foods alone are not enough to build muscles, as they lack altogether or have insufficient amounts of some essential amino acids such as methionine or tryptophan, indispensable to promote a healthy and balanced physiological muscle hypertrophy.
It is also important to have an adequate and generous intake of healthy fats, precursors of steroid hormones, which use to build new healthy cells and to absorb many crucial micronutrients useful for muscle building.
Healthy fats also avoid chronic inflammation, which is the cause of muscle waste and difficulty recovering after effort.
To fresh and well-balanced proteins and healthy fats of excellent quality, good portions of cooked vegetables must always be added, which are the most excellent and digestible form of carbohydrate.
Plants are also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and precious fibers for intestinal microbiota. While seed oils that are loaded with omega 6 and potentially pro-inflammatory, trans fats and junk foods should be avoided.
HOW TO SLEEP
During sleep most of the energy and muscle recovery occurs.
But it is something that we often do not pay the right attention to and is the first thing we limit to allow us to have an active and lively life.
Professional basketball players, for example, are known to sleep even 12 hours after an important match or after an intense workout.
So you plan to sleep 8 hours in a row, starting before midnight, every day you can and keep this sleep program especially during the week or before an important engagement.
BEHAVIORS TO AVOID IN ORDER NOT TO HARM YOUR SLEEP
Avoid anything that can disturb the quality of your sleep and its duration, such as going to sleep too late, drinking alcohol in the evening or eating too abundant meals just before bedtime.
Remember that the minimum safe distance between your last meal and the time you go to sleep should be three hours.
In addition, avoid exposing your eyes to artificial lights, television screens or computers after 9am and remember that you can get great protection by shielding them with protective glasses.
Extremely useful to guarantee excellent circadian rhythms and the right level of cortisol (high in the morning and low in the evening, which is a guarantee of deep sleep) is the habit of subjecting your body to sunlight upon awakening and in the morning.
Deep and sufficient sleep is an important regulator of our circadian rhythms, the elaborate internal clock of all our organs and hormones, on which muscle building and storage of precious vital energy depend.
If your sleep is disturbed, analyze all the factors that can harm its quality and put in place all the best strategies to allow you to sleep well.
It’s time to start Keto Diet and Exercise
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