Can a Ketogenic Diet Enhance Performance & Accelerate Weight Loss?
The past years have been riddled with new diet programs that promise weight loss, muscle gain and overall better health. One of these is the ketogenic diet. Before we the benefits and downfalls we should break down what a ketogenic diet is
A ketogenic diet requires you to eat food from High-fat, moderate protein and little to no carbohydrates. These meals should be relatively high in calories with a limited frequency of meals. An example of this would be eating two large, high caloric meals (dense in fat) - the first at 1 P.M and the second at 6 P.M. Both of these meals should total your daily calories.
Ketogenic diets have long been held as the gold standard way to lean out, burn fat and lose weight. Recent research has shown that a period of low carbohydrate ketogenic diet may help to control hunger and may improve fat oxidative metabolism and therefore reduce body weight. Perfect for your weight loss goals.
Exercise Physiology shows us that muscles are powered by glycogen, metabolized glucose from carbohydrates. This is the reason that many runners and athletes will “carb load” prior to a competition. High carbohydrates will increase gross motor performance and force production. Performance becomes the main downfall of a Ketogenic diet. When it comes to traditional style workouts where you are lifting high loads, placing excessive stress on muscle tissue a ketogenic diet may lead to faster rates of fatigue and slower recovery time (especially if you train on successive days). .
In contrast a ketogenic diet may be prefered for long duration, low intensity workouts - such as ultra-marathon running (over 80km). Eating a high-fat diet leads to success in endurance based activities because your body will adapt to an increased capacity of the fat oxidative system. The fat supply and subsequently the amount of fat oxidised during exercise can therefore be used as energy to power your workouts.
In summary, a ketogenic diet is king when it comes to losing weight and body fat, but falls short in performance in traditional weight lifting style workouts.