Keto for the Endurance Athlete

Keto for the Endurance Athlete

September 12, 2019 0 By William Morgan


As an endurance athlete,
you’re always looking
for that extra edge to
perform a little bit better.
Now you’ve probably found
that edge in everyday life
when it comes down to utilizing
the ketogenic lifestyle,
but today I want to talk
about how you can get more
out of your endurance sports
but leveraging what you
love most about ketosis.
I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo,
and let’s get into
endurance and keto science.
Now you’re probably already in ketosis
and you probably already
know a lot of the benefits,
but I’m going to start this video
off by talking about a study
that was published in
the Journal of Metabolism
that looks at how ketosis affects
those that are endurance athletes.
So what was published in
the Journal of Metabolism
was that when you are on a keto diet,
you burn approximately 2.3
times more fat for energy
than those that are not on a keto diet.
Now, we’re not talking about
burning fat from a cosmetic perspective,
we’re talking about burning
fat as an energy source.
Because when you are doing any
kind of endurance activity,
you are mostly using fat simply because
it’s a process known as beta oxidation,
where your body takes fat,
combines it with the oxygen
that you breathe at a relatively
slow rate to create energy.
So when we look at the
process of being in ketosis
and endurance activities, it’s easy to see
that we have an abundance of fuel.
In fact, practically a
never ending source of fuel
to fuel our endurance activities.
Now, this study also found
that those that are on a keto diet
ended up recruiting 88%
of their energy from fat
verses those that were on
a carbohydrate filled diet
ending up recruiting 56% of their energy
from fat during activities.
Now the interesting thing is,
even those that are not on the keto diet
still utilize quite a bit of fat
during endurance activities,
and that’s simply because,
like I mentioned before,
while you are doing
any kind of endurance activity,
your body is using aerobic
metabolism, which utilizes fat.
But if you’re on a keto diet,
your maximizing the true
fuel source a lot more.
So if you’re a traditional athlete
that’s just consuming
regular glucose rich foods,
if you are going on any kind of run
or endurance sport or endurance activity,
you would have to constantly
replenish your glucose levels.
That’s why you see marathoners,
when they’re going on runs,
they have to utilize those goo packs,
those little squeeze packs
to get extra glucose,
or they have to sip on some
Gatorade to get some sugar.
The cool thing is, on a keto diet,
you don’t have to do that because you have
this never ending source of fuel.
As long as you have some body fat on you
or you have sufficient calories
that have come in beforehand,
you have the ability to create energy.
But, you also have a unique
mechanism within the body
that allows you to be
what I call “dual fueled.”
When you are dual fueled, it
means that you can not only
utilize that fat as a fuel source,
but when necessary, you can still tap into
your glucose reserves and have
a little bit of extra power,
whereas someone who’s not in ketosis
has to pick one or the other,
they can’t really use both.
So really in a prime spot is those
that are on a ketogenic
lifestyle to really get the most
out of long duration endurance activities.
So what should you do when
it comes down to testing
and understanding your
body with endurance sports?
Well, if you’re on a ketogenic diet,
then you have to find when
you’re at your peak levels of ketones,
and that’s probably when
you’ll perform your best,
whereas with other activities
that are not endurance related,
that doesn’t matter quite so much.
But the interesting thing is,
because you can still recruit glucose,
you can still use carbohydrates
when your body needs it,
you may find that after
your endurance workout,
you ketone levels are a little bit lower
and your glucose levels
are a little bit higher.
And that’s what’s unique about Keto-Mojo
is you can test both your
glucose and your ketones
and get a good idea of where you are.
But one of the things that
I wanted to make very clear
in this video is that
you should not be alarmed
if your ketone levels drop
and your glucose levels
elevate after a workout.
A lot of times people think
that if they go for a long run,
that their ketone levels are
going to go through the roof
because they’re burning extra fuel
and it just means that they’re
going to have more ketones.
Not necessarily the case because, again,
being that we can be dual fueled,
we have this unique ability
to still utilize carbohydrates
without kicking us out of ketosis.
So one of the things that I recommend
is testing throughout the day
to find when your ketones are highest,
and this should be the time
that you try to go on your run,
so the time that you try
to focus on your endurance training.
What this is going to do,
it’s going to allow you
to build the stamina that
you need for your race.
Because we can’t always be the ones
that are in charge of when we need to run
or when we need to do
endurance activities.
Sometimes there’s a race that’s set
at a specific time, etc., etc.
But if you can learn
the best time to train
by maximizing your usage
of the Keto Mojo-Meter,
then you can put yourself in a prime spot
to get the most out of your training.
So let’s take a look again
at aerobic metabolism
and anaerobic metabolism.
Someone that’s an endurance athlete
that’s not on a ketogenic diet
will tap into their glucose
reserves quite frequently.
So for example, they’re using
50% fat and 50% glucose,
which means the second
that their heart rate
has to elevate a tiny bit,
they’re recruiting glucose.
They’re using a lot more carbohydrates.
But someone that is keto adapted
or someone that’s in
ketosis only has to tap into
that glucose when they
desperately need it.
So a good example is you’re
going for a long run,
you’re on a flat straightaway,
you’re feeling good,
you’re in the ketogenic groove.
But then out of nowhere, you hit a hill
and that hill gets your
heart rate skyrocketing.
What’s going to happen?
At that point, and only that time,
is your body going to take
glucose from your muscle
or from your liver and
turn it into energy.
The second that you’re caught up
and you’re at the top of the hill,
that system’s shutting off
and your back to ketones
where you have an abundance of fuel
and you can last a lot longer.
So that being said, the
more intense the workout,
the less your ketone levels will be
and the higher your glucose
levels will be when you test.
So that’s something that you
have to pay attention to.
If you go out for a long easy run,
you’ll find that your glucose
levels probably didn’t change
and your ketone levels might
even be a little bit higher.
But if you go and you do, say,
a high intensity interval
training workout,
don’t be alarmed if your
ketone levels are lower
and your glucose levels are higher.
It’s simply an indicator
of how much glucose
you had to recruit in that given day.
Now the other thing
that we have to remember
is we do have a unique ability
to still store carbohydrates.
People have this thought
that when they’re in ketosis,
there’s no carbohydrates
in the equation at all.
The simple fact is, we absolutely
still have carbohydrates
and we don’t want to completely
banish them from our bodies
because our body uses them
in a proper, structured way.
So for example, we have
to remember that glycerol
is the backbone of triglycerides,
fats that we consume,
and glycerol can actually be
turned into muscle glycogen.
So believe it or not,
the fats that you consume
can still be broken down and
stored as muscle glycogen,
which is the stored form of carbohydrates
that are going to give you the
energy when you hit those hills.
So how do you get the
most out of your training
when it comes down to
being a ketogenic athlete?
Well, for one, you want to eat the foods
that are going to create
more ketones in the body
about 90 minutes to 120
minutes prior to your activity.
This way you have more ketones
flowing through the body.
The other thing you want to
do is like I mentioned before,
you want to find the
natural point in the day
where your ketones are the highest.
Lastly, you want to make sure
that you’re consistently measuring.
You have to know that your body changes
and sometimes you’re going
to become a little bit more
of an anaerobic machine
than an aerobic machine,
and that if you understand when your body
is naturally wanting to gravitate
to these different cycles
by testing, you can get the
most out of your training
and cater your training
slightly different.
So as always, I want to make sure
that you’re leaving the guess
work out of the equation
and leaving the measuring to the meter.
I’m Thomas DeLauer and I’ll see you
in the next Keto-Mojo video.