Ketogenic Diets and Training

There are two very different opinions on ketogenic diets and training among most people. Either ketogenic diets are an incredible way to train even better than before, or they are completely useless for anyone who takes training seriously. As with most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

It is perfectly possible to participate in sports and train at a high intensity while on a ketogenic diet. A study in 1983 found that 4 weeks of ketosis (where the body has no carbohydrates and uses ketones for energy) had no effect on cycling performance in endurance-trained cyclists. Another study in 2012 found that elite artistic gymnasts who went on a ketogenic diet were unaffected when it came to strength and conditioning.

But this does not mean that a ketogenic diet will improve performance, as some of its adherents claim. It just means that performance will not suffer. Make no mistake, changing to a ketogenic diet will not lead to vastly improved gym results. Unless that diet is accompanied with a level of dedication that was not seen previously.

So what does this mean? Quite simply, don’t worry too much about whether a ketogenic diet will improve or reduce your performance level. Chances are it won’t make any real difference. Perhaps consider some exogenous ketones though, to make up for the lack of glucose.