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Ketosis When Running

Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works

Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works

Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating Continue reading >>

Ketosis

Ketosis

Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose.[1][2] It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides[3]). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate,[4] and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon.[5] Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes.[6] In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed.[5][7] For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode.[8] Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>

Running On Keto: The Maf Method

Running On Keto: The Maf Method

Who is Phil Maffetone? As described on his website – He is an internationally recognized researcher, educator, clinician and author in the field of nutrition, exercise and sports medicine, and biofeedback. I first heard about him when reading the Primal Endurance book – Then funnily enough, the next book I read also featured him too – The Iron War – Whilst he coaches elite athletes, he also does a lot of writing for the novices like me. What is Phil Maffetone’s: The MAF Method? It’s not just a handy shortening of his name. MAF stands for Maximum Aerobic Function. It involves training which builds up your ability to use your aerobic system, therefore tapping into fat burning energy. Which also means you become less reliant on your anaerobic system and your glycogen stores. His method is more lifestyle, than say a 12 week Marathon plan. It is about training at an intensity that is beneficial to your health, and limiting stress and injury. Whilst he is not a Keto guy. He does advocate eating real food, and limiting carbohydrates so not to inhibit your fat burning abilities. What is the MAF Method 180 Formula? “To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps. Subtract your age from 180. Modify this number by selecting among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile: a) If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease, any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10. b) If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5. c) If you have been Continue reading >>

The Keto Diet: Happy Muscles Running On Fat

The Keto Diet: Happy Muscles Running On Fat

Over the last few weeks of my pretty active life — biking to and from work, hiking hills with friends, kayaking, paddle boarding, competing in dragonboat races, and even just working out at my local gym — I’ve noticed something exciting: my muscles feel just great. In fact, at age 59, my muscles feel and perform better now, in every sphere of my life, than they ever did when I was 20, 30 or 40. They are stronger. They don’t hurt as much when I am working out; they don’t fatigue as easily or complain under strain as much. And after a hard workout, they don’t feel as sore as they used to the next day. I can come to only one conclusion: My muscles run so much better on fat than they ever did on glucose. The difference really struck me this last month, after slipping off my ketogenic diet while at the family cottage. I’ve been solidly in ketosis for almost two years now, ever since a pre-diabetes scare in the fall of 2015 converted me to the low-carb keto diet. In the post I wrote about that cottage slip, I joked that one impact of falling off the keto wagon was that my reaction time and performance in our cottage spike ball tournaments significantly declined. But it wasn’t really a joke. My performance did decline. I’m proud to say when I first arrived at the cottage I was a keto-adapted fat burner and I won the first highly competitive spike ball tournament with my niece’s partner. “Aunt Anne you rock!” the young nieces and nephews (all of whom I beat) had high-fived me. By the end of the week, same partner but now eating a high-carb diet, I performed dismally – slow and sluggish. Where we were unbeatable a mere five days earlier, we were unwinnable now. And it was all me. That poorer physical performance while still out of ketosis really hit me Continue reading >>

High Intensity Exercise On A Ketogenic Diet?

High Intensity Exercise On A Ketogenic Diet?

In this post I will explore the theory behind a Ketogenic diet for endurance athletic performance, and tell you how I tested the idea for myself using both a Half-Marathon and 5k races as performance markers. I will attempt to answer the following questions: What is a Ketogenic diet? Why might a Ketogenic diet enhance endurance performance? Will a ketogenic diet work for high intensity performance such as a 5k? What are the downsides of a ketogenic diet? In their book, The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance, Jeff Volek and Steve Phinney claim that a ketogenic diet may be beneficial for endurance sports performance. The idea behind a low carb, high fat ketogenic diet is this: teach the body to use fat as fuel by restricting carbs. By starving the body of carbs, the liver will generate ketones to act as a fuel in place of glucose. Ketones can act in place of glucose as a fuel for the body, especially the brain, which can only run on glucose or ketones. One advantage of ketones is that they don’t require an active transporter to cross cell membranes; they can easily diffuse to body tissues for energy. They’ve also been shown to treat epilepsy, increase mental focus, slow the onset of Alzheimer’s, help heart attack patients recover faster, and maybe even prevent bonking in a long distance running event. Advocates of this type of diet point out that it’s probably a much more natural way to eat, since in an ancestral environment, carbs were scarce. Fruit was much smaller and less sugary and grains have only been around in large quantities for around 10,000 years. For much of human history the theory goes, we existed in a state of ketosis, sometimes going days without food, and living off stored body fat and ketones generated from fat stores. If you are new to the Continue reading >>

The Top 10 Mistakes Low-carb Athletes Make And 5 Keto Recipes For Active People.

The Top 10 Mistakes Low-carb Athletes Make And 5 Keto Recipes For Active People.

OK, here’s the deal – I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: an extremely high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet is not for everyone. But since ketones are a preferred fuel for the heart and the diaphragm, and because a state of ketosis can give you extreme focus and cognitive performance during difficult mental tasks, a ketogenic diet can be extremely useful for endurance athletes like triathletes, distance swimmers, cyclists, marathoners, ultra-runners, etc. Problem is, there aren’t a ton of resources out there about how highly active people can actually get into a state of ketosis without… A) chugging coconut oil and MCT oil all day long, which (trust me, I’ve tried) gets boring really, really fast; or B) experiencing some pretty extreme nutrient deficiencies from a ketogenic diet gone wrong – nutrient deficiencies that really get magnified when you combine them with crazy high levels of physical activity. So in this article, author, triathlete, and ketogenic expert extraordinaire Patricia Daly is going to fill you in on how to do things the right way. Patricia just finished writing an amazing book called “Practical Keto Meal Plans For Endurance Athletes: Tips, Tricks And How To’s For Optimizing Performance Using A High Fat, Low Carb Meal Plan“, and she’s a wealth of information on this topic. Take it away, Patricia. ————————————– Maybe the title of this article scares you a little bit… …after all, if there’s so much that can “go wrong” with the ketogenic and low carb lifestyle, is it worth all the effort? Or do you think you will never “get there” and achieve nutritional ketosis because there seem to so many stumbling blocks in your way, like talk about thyroid damage, lack of energy or extreme dietary Continue reading >>

Nutritional Ketosis (or: Why I Don't Eat Any Carbs. Ever.)

Nutritional Ketosis (or: Why I Don't Eat Any Carbs. Ever.)

So a few months ago I had a long talk with Mike Morton who is an elite ultrarunner and we chatted about a bunch of things but one stood out, nutritional ketosis. You can google it, but here is the short loosy-goosy scientific explanation. When you eat sugar/carbohydrates, your body converts this into stored energy in the form of glycogen in your muscles. This form of fuel is what you need to sprint, run up a flight of stairs or throw a baseball. Generally, you can only store enough glycogen in your muscles for about 3-4 hours of heavy use (running) which is A. why people carbo-load before marathons and B. why people 'bonk' at mile 20 of a marathon. 'Bonking' is what happens when your body runs out of glycogen and your brain (needing that energy) no longer has it. You go fuzzy and get really tired. Your body has run out of the primary fuel source it is used to using (sugar/carbs) and then goes into starvation mode, burning fats. Now, you can only store 3-4 hours of fuel in the form of glycogen in your muscles, but there is literally DAYS worth of fat energy stored in, well, your body fat. Your body has that (literally) for times of starvation. Most people know you can go a few weeks without eating any food (but you need water for the conversion) no problem. generally, in modern society we never have to tap this storage because there is plenty of food to go around. 20,000 ago people were not eating 3 square meals a day. Nor were they eating processed food, but I digress. So this 3-4 hour issue is a big deal for ultra runners like myself. When you are running for 18, 24, 30 hours at a shot you obviously have to be continually jamming carbs down your gullet to get enough calories (because your body has that pesky glycogen as a primary fuel source) which is not an easy feat. Continue reading >>

How The Ketogenic Diet Affects Running Performance

How The Ketogenic Diet Affects Running Performance

Ketogenic diets are on the rise among runners who hope to lose weight or teach their bodies to use fat as fuel. But a new study in Nutrition & Metabolism suggests that following a ketogenic diet may actually hinder your athletic performance. So what’s the truth about this diet and why does it have so much hype? Related: The Beginner’s Guide to the Ketogenic Diet What is a ketogenic diet? For decades, scientists and nutritionists have promoted carbohydrates as the main fuel source for exercise. We know that high carbohydrate diets increase the amount of glycogen stored in the liver and muscle, which improves endurance performance. Yet many athletes and scientists have recognized that the body is full of fat stores, and they wonder if we can tap into those stores for fuel. The major drawback is that it takes longer and requires more energy to utilize fat instead of stored carbohydrates. Still, many scientists are exploring this possibility by feeding athletes a high fat and low carbohydrate diet to observe changes in metabolism and performance. Recreational athletes are now trying this technique in the hope of burning fat and losing weight. The amount of fat one eats on a ketogenic diet varies, but the range is typically 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein and 5 percent carbs. To put that into perspective, a woman eating 1,800 calories a day would eat 150 grams of fat, 90 grams of protein and 22 grams of carbs. That’s a drastic shift from the typical carb-heavy runners diet. What does the research say? A recent study looked at the effects of the ketogenic diet on physical fitness, body composition and fat metabolism in healthy adults. Forty-two healthy people with an average age of 37 followed a ketogenic diet for six weeks. Seventy-two percent of their calories came Continue reading >>

How To Exercise When You’re In Ketosis

How To Exercise When You’re In Ketosis

Since going keto means greatly reducing carbs, and since carbs are the body’s primary source of fuel, you might be wondering what your options are when it comes to how to exercise while in ketosis. The good news is that while there are some things to keep in mind, exercise is totally possible on the ketogenic diet and even has some big benefits health- and energy-wise. These are important to know when wading through any misconceptions around low-carb eating and working out. Exercising in Ketosis First, let’s note that the traditional view of weight loss—simply eating less and exercising longer, often with long bouts of cardio—is outdated and unsustainable. In order to see real results when it comes to losing weight and getting leaner, what you eat really matters. A great place to start is checking out a guide on sourcing meat, dairy, and seafood. Therefore, paying attention to the quality of your ketogenic diet itself, and maintaining a steady state of ketosis, is the most important first step you can take. To see if you are actually in a metabolic state of ketosis, testing your ketone levels is vitally important. However, exercise also has many benefits for your health. It’s good for the heart, builds muscle to keep you lean and toned, and strengths the bones. Thankfully, exercise can completely fit into your routine while eating for ketosis. You just need to keep in mind a few simple considerations: Type of Exercise Nutritional needs vary depending on the type of exercise performed. Workouts styles are typically divided into four types: aerobic, anaerobic, flexibility, and stability. Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio exercise, is anything that lasts over three minutes. Lower intensity, steady-state cardio is fat burning, making it very friendly for the Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet For Athletes

Ketogenic Diet For Athletes

Here in Part IV of the Sock Doc Essential Guide to Carbohydrates I’m going to discuss the hot topic of a ketogenic diet for athletes. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver takes fat and proteins and produces molecules called ketone bodies to use for energy. Ketosis allows a starving person to survive for days (or even months). Some athletes see great improvements in their health and fitness when they’re in a ketogenic state, while others just feel miserable. So is a ketogenic diet right for you? Ketogenic Diet and Your Brain Your brain is approximately 2% of your body mass, though it requires approximately 20% of your basal metabolic rate – more if you’re a thinker. That’s not necessarily a joke, believe it or not. Different parts of your brain use different amounts of glucose, and nearly twice as much later in the day than in the morning. If you’re using your brain solving problems and working mentally hard throughout the day, you’ll need to fuel your head more. If you’re working more on motor control, (say a skill involving precision or balance), then you’ll use less glucose. Personally, I can attest to how much my brain uses more energy when mentally challenged. When I’m treating patients in my office, often dealing with complex problems and biochemical pathways, I can’t go as long without eating some carbs than if I was outside training most of the day. Even though I’m using more energy exercising for perhaps six to eight hours, I feel more fatigued when using more of my brainpower for less time. Though our brains run off glucose and not fat, they can also run off of ketones as an alternative fuel source. Those who promote ketogenic diets tend to note the fact that an increase in ketones improves the recovery and repair of neurons and Continue reading >>

How A Low Carb Diet Affected My Athletic Performance (part 4)

How A Low Carb Diet Affected My Athletic Performance (part 4)

(« Part 3 of my personal journey: How a low carb diet reduced my risk of heart disease) A common belief among people is that carbohydrates are “necessary” for physical exertion and any form of athletic activity. I certainly clung to that belief for the majority of my life, especially as someone focused on endurance sports. However, at least theoretically, it seemed possible that I should be able to get by utilizing far more fat than glycogen for aerobic activity, if I could only figure out how. To test this hypothesis I did a VO2 max test before and after my final dietary intervention – ketosis. There is no shortage of places to read about this test, but I’ve included a figure, below, showing you what it looks like, and what it measures. Parenthetically, this test is only slightly more pleasant than a root canal without anesthetic (I’ve had this done once), as you are forced to exert yourself to the point of complete failure. Typically, it’s either done with you running on a treadmill or riding your bike on a stationary trainer, as I’m doing below. You wear a mask that excludes any inflow or outflow of air from your nose and a pair of sensors measure the exact concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide leaving and entering your mouth. From this, a computer calculates VO2, the minute volume of oxygen – that is, the actual volume of oxygen your body is processing. This is typically recorded in milliliters per minute (mL/min). As a general rule, every 1,000 mL of oxygen processed requires about 5 calories of energy expenditure. Hence, a VO2 of 2,500 mL/min of oxygen, requires about 12.5 calories per minute, or 750 calories per hour. During this test, a number of other physiologic parameters are measured: heart rate, power output, and lactic acid levels in Continue reading >>

Runketo.com

Runketo.com

- We are Running on Ketones. This is not a typical story; we are endurance athletes at different stages of our lives, who are experimenting with a low carb Ketogenic diet. We are not doctors or scientists, just athletes. Anthony is the youngest and the fastest, age 20, and prefers ultra road running. Eric (ZoomZoom), age 27, is ukulele playing mixed distance runner. Dan (SKA Runner), age 42, is new to running, prefers mountains ultras, and a bit of a computer geek. Bob(uglyrnrboy), age 54, prefers mountains ultras and loves to tele ski. This site, www.RunKeto.com, will document our journey as endurance athletes implementing a low carb ketogenic diet in to our lives. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have about our experiences. Continue reading >>

The Ironman Guide To Ketosis

The Ironman Guide To Ketosis

Written by Megan Roberts, MSc, and Tommy Wood MD, PhD What if there was a way to: Restore the boundless energy of your youth Improve your body composition and mood Eliminate the gas and bloating that plagues your every race Fuel your races without Gatorade and sugary gels AND regularly indulge in bacon, eggs, and butter??? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, the truth is that all of the above (and more) is achievable by embracing some diet and lifestyle changes. The crux of the secret - the ketogenic diet. Perhaps you’ve heard of the ketogenic diet being touted for its weight loss efficacy. Or maybe you’ve heard it mentioned on Internet forums as the cure-all for everything from migraines to Alzheimer's to the pain in your little toe. But you? You’re an IRONMAN triathlete! You NEED carbohydrates to fuel your races, right??? Unfortunately, following that conventional sports nutrition advice has brought many desperate athletes to their knees, searching for an alternative when their health and training begin to suffer despite eating all those healthy whole grains. This is the first in a series of articles that will introduce you to the ketogenic diet, specifically for the IRONMAN athlete. At the end of this article, you will have the basics to decide whether or not a ketogenic diet might be right for you. What is ketosis? Before answering the big question of how to get into ketosis, let’s define what ketosis actually is. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which you’re predominantly burning fat for fuel. Note that this is not the same as diabetic ketoacidosis, which is characterized by high levels of both ketones and sugar in the blood, particularly in patients with type 1 diabetes. In this case we’re talking about nutritional ketosis, which is a natural metab Continue reading >>

Is A Low-carb, High-fat Diet Best For You?

Is A Low-carb, High-fat Diet Best For You?

About halfway through the training cycle for one of my clients’ first marathon attempts, I got an email with one simple question: “Is it helpful to eat fewer carbs and more fats for energy on my long runs?” This was a few years ago, and I had not heard much about distance runners following a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet. This is sometimes referred to as the ketogenic diet (although the two may be different). Given this runner’s training progress at that point, I didn’t want to switch it up. Given the limited data on the benefits of a LCHF or ketogenic diet for runners, I didn’t see any reason to recommend either one. But we can burn fat for fuel, right? Yes. Long-distance runners—training for half, full or ultra-marathons—are much more likely than their sprinting counterparts to use fat for fuel while running. Training for endurance often means that many training runs are “easy,” or “long and slow,” with relatively low intensity. Some refer to this as the “fat-burning zone” for cardio exercise, or an aerobic workout—low-intensity exercise, during which the body is able to take the time to burn fat for fuel. Conversely, in an anaerobic state–i.e. high-intensity exercise, like sprinting—the body naturally turns to carbohydrates for fuel, because it can quickly and efficiently do so to provide bursts of energy that both the brain and muscles need to continue pushing hard. Does science support a LCHF or ketogenic diet for runners? Research has yet to show that a LCHF or ketogenic diet is beneficial to sport performance or health (for the average adult) in the long term. That said, a recent study through Ohio State University did demonstrate that endurance athletes who followed a “low-carb” diet (for an average time of 20 months) “bu Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Experiment

Ketogenic Experiment

I used the Ketogenic Diet for 7 months, running an average of 85 miles/week, peaking at 200 miles/week, including over 50 marathon length runs. I was surprised how little impact the Ketogenic Diet had on my running, and I could maintain my training regime without difficulty. However I was not able to race successfully on the Ketogenic Diet and I found the Ketogenic Diet difficult to comply with. This write up should not be considered as scientific in any way; it is simply my anecdotal experience. As an ultrarunner, I've experimented with Low Carbohydrate Diets (LCD) before with little success. I found that running on LCD let me feeling like I was permanently Glycogen depleted. However, after reading The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance and Ketogenic Diets: Treatments for Epilepsy and Other Disorders I decided to experiment with a true Ketogenic Diet which is quite different from most general Low Carb Diets. I was on the Ketogenic Diet from March to November of 2013 (~7 months). For some of the time I was on the Ketogenic Diet I analyzed my food in detail. During this time my average diet was 3,740 Calories/day, 357g fat, 53g carbs, 27g fiber (26g Net Carbohydrates), and 88g protein. This is a Ketogenic Ratio of 3.13:1, and the calories ware 87.6% fat, 2.8% carbohydrate, 9.6% protein. I found the ketogenic diet remarkably hard work and tiresome. The food choices were grim, and it was not really possible to eat anything even vaguely like a normal diet. Even bacon was too low in fat to be eaten freely. I found my body fat dropped to its lowest level ever. However, I'm not sure how much of that is the Ketogenic Diet directly and how much is because I was analyzing everything I was eating, so I was far more aware of any excess calorie intake. Another possibili Continue reading >>

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