What You Need To Know About Exercising On Keto

If you’ve found the perfect diet is the keto diet that consists of low carbs and high fat, but wonder whether exercising on keto is safe, since carbs are quick energy for the body, there’s good news. The keto diet actually enhances your efforts to lose weight when you exercise on it. Not only will working out provide health benefits normally, combined with the Keto diet, it helps you lose weight quicker and can prevent the side effects, often called the “Keto flu” that may occur when you first start a Keto diet.

Some studies show that a keto diet can boost fat burning when you exercise.

There are several small studies that show fat burning increased during exercise when using the keto diet. One involved competitive walkers and showed it increased the body’s ability to burn fat during all types of workouts. One small hitch was that over the long haul, the diet may have impaired their performance. Another study showed that a keto diet boosted fat burning. Since the diet is high in fat, it might be the reason why more fat is burned.

While the keto diet may impair high intensity performance, it might enhance endurance performance.

Several small studies looked at the effect of the keto diet on endurance and found that it might improve the endurance of the athlete. One study containing 39 athletes found that since the state of ketosis made an improvement on the body’s ability to use the alternative source of energy, fat, instead of carbs, that might improve the athlete’s endurance. Another 12 week study using the ketogenic diet on 20 endurance athletes, showed it improved their fat burning, performance and body composition. Other studies, however, contradicted those findings and said the diet actually negatively affected performance.

There may be risks to using the keto diet and exercising.

There are few studies done and many of them are small, each with varying results, which can make the answer even more elusive. One problem that is often cited is the potential for decreased energy levels. Some studies found it was initially a problem that eventually corrected itself, while another study found exhaustion and decreased energy continued. Because many keto diets are low in calories, some found it made it difficult to increase muscle mass, but maintaining it wasn’t a problem.

  • While there are few studies, these small studies also show that a keto diet can help boost muscle recovery. Several of those studies are flawed by lack of a control group.
  • If you’re going to exercise on a keto diet, remember that carbs are the primary source for energy when doing high intensity workouts like jumping rope, kickboxing and HIIT—high intensity interval training.
  • Low intensity exercises like a steady state workout of biking, yoga or jogging may be activities most suitable if you’re on a ketogenic diet. Higher intensity workouts can still be done but may be more exhausting.
  • There’s still limited research about the effects of a keto diet when combined with exercise. If you want to build muscles, it might not be the best diet for you. However, it can be good for boosting fat burning, enhancing endurance and speeding muscle recovery.

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Image credit: Total Shape

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