The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, is one of the most popular health trends as many people claim it has loads of advantages like weight loss and boosts energy. While much is known about its benefits, little is known about its connection to exercise.
“We have very little evidence that says the ketogenic diet is better for anything exercise-wise,” Andy Galpin, PhD, an associate professor of kinesiology at California State University in Fullerton, told a news portal.
Here is what you need to know about exercising on the keto diet
1. Maybe tough to boost performance during high-intensity workouts
Most high-intensity exercises are fuelled by the carbohydrates we consume. Your body stores carbohydrates in the muscle cells known as muscle glycogen. When you do activities like strength training and sprinting, essentially workouts that require a lot of intense movement, your body makes use of muscle glycogen. However, if you're on the keto diet, your body will burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. Because fat is more challenging to burn than carbs, it could have an impact on your performance. “It’s not going to be any better for physical performance than the standard diet,”Galpin told a news portal.
2. Keto may help boost fat
Even though the keto diet is not the best option for workouts like weightlifting or spinning, it can be beneficial for people who do aerobic exercises like running. It may even help to burn fat faster. A study published in the Journal of Physiology found athletes who were following a ketogenic diet were able to increase fat burning in their bodies during training compared to those on a standard diet that included carbohydrates. However, while they did burn more fat during training on this diet, those same athletes also exhibited poor athletic performance.
3. Burning fat doesn't automatically mean your losing fat
The ketogenic diet can help train the body to use fat instead of carbs as fuel when you workout. However, this doesn't mean you will burn it all when you exercise. You have to burn a lot more calories than you are consuming to actually lose the fat and ultimately the weight. "Burning fat doesn’t always mean fat loss,” Galpin told a news portal. Adding "When you are on keto, you burn more fat, but you also store more fat, because more of your calories are coming from fats than they otherwise would."
4. Keto beneficial for maintaining muscle mass than adding muscle
Developing muscle mass and maintaining it is extremely beneficial as it can prevent bone loss. It also helps you to burn more calories on days when you don't work out. The keto diet can help maintain muscle mass, but it is not so good for building it. “The average person is going to have a much harder time adding muscle on keto,” Galpin told a news portal. This is because you are not consuming enough carbohydrates.