Athletes Performance on a Ketogenic Diet
You live to be the best. As a professional athlete, you must always hit the mark, meet the goal, and carry out the performance you aim to achieve. Every sinew, vein, and muscle is harnessed for this purpose. Technique, endurance, energy, vigor, and precision are the essential elements of your practice. Food and drink are also important. What you put into your body, the nutrients that fuel your workout, are as vital to how you perform as everything else that you do. 

It is important to have the right ideas about what will move you toward being a top athlete. Sound knowledge on the subject can be difficult to obtain. Few bodybuilders and athletes are themselves nutrition scientists. If you are like most persons dedicated to competitive fitness, you try to stay up to speed on the latest advice on what you should and should not eat to enhance your performance. 

When a convention overtakes the realm of exercise and fitness, it is hard not to go along with it. For some years now the popular belief that carbohydrates are good and that fat is bad has been the overwhelming consensus. Loading up on carbohydrates, so the narrative goes, is the best way to produce the energy needed to maximize physical performance. But there is beginning to be some push back against this widely accepted thesis, or at least, an alternative view as to how athletes can fuel themselves for exercise. 

The ketogenic diet takes a low-carb approach to energy. People on the ketogenic diet limit their carb intake to between 30 and 50 grams a day. They are fueled by a high intake of fat and a moderate consumption of protein. The lack of carbs is meant to spur a bio-chemical reaction called ketosis, in which the body produces ketones from the stored up fat. 

This is a gradual process. The body undergoes keto-adaptation and begins to increase the efficiency by which it burns fat for fuel. The impact of shifting to this diet can be powerful. The key is to stick with it and to maintain a robust and rigorous exercise routine. A recent survey showed that high-endurance athletes who had been on the ketogenic diet for 20 months burned 2.3 times more fat than did their counterparts who stuck to carbohydrates. 

Indeed, it is important to understand the latter point if you are to appropriately and effectively employ the ketogenic diet. It is true that carbohydrates provide a greater amount of fuel for the body in high intensity workouts. However, fat produces more fuel for those engaged in low intensity workouts. If you need large amounts of energy for short, intense performances, carbohydrates remain the fuel of choice. But if you are involved in an exercise regimen or competition that lasts for long periods of time, if you need sustenance that will power you through a prolonged period of physical performance, a fat diet has proven to be most effective. 

A low-carb high-fat diet is helpful in preventing tiredness, maintaining glucose levels, and helping the body to preserve glycogen in the muscle. Over the years, society has been conditioned to take a negative view of fat. It is associated with unhealthiness, illness, and disease. 

This is a prejudice that you must overcome in order to enjoy the benefits of a high fat diet. Fat is only bad for the body if it is allowed to accumulate in cells and muscles without use. If you continue to train and push your body for athletic competition, then it will burn whatever fuel is available. A ketogenic diet improves general health by ridding the body quickly and efficiently. All the fat that you consume will be purged faster as your body changes from a carb-burning to a fat-burning machine. 

A ketogenic diet is also good during the off season. As you rest up and maintain a routine aimed at healing your muscles and regaining your strength, the chemistry of your body will remain the same. You will continue to burn fat much faster even when you are not eating for the purpose of fueling yourself. 

Although more research is needed, enough is known about the ketogenic diet to make it a sound alternative to high carb intake.

This article is from
The Body Engineering team 
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