How To Become A Keto Runner
There has been a lot in the press recently about a ‘controversial’ book by running supremo Professor Tim Noakes called The Real Meal Revolution. He is responsible for the training bible The Lore of Running and is a very experienced runner. After years of training on a high carbohydrate diet – carb loading before races and using carbs as a source of energy/fuel he had become lethargic and no longer enjoyed running. He had also developed Type 2 diabetes. A shift in his thinking led to Tim adopting a Low Carb/High Fat approach called the Banting Diet and went from ‘running like a 60-year-old to running like a 40-year-old’. He was so inspired by it that he turned it into his Real Meal Revolution book. Years ago I used to run pretty much entirely fueled by carbs. For the first 20 minutes or so I would fly along and then slowly my energy would disappear (along with my sense of humour) and I would get progressively slower. When I was marathon training I needed to constantly pop jelly beans after an hour or so of running. My skin was bad, my digestive system was a mess and I began to resent how running made me feel. I no longer enjoyed it, it was a chore. NOW, in 2016 it is a completely different picture. When I run I sometimes have to stop myself….I feel like I could run forever…… I am not suggesting that a LCHF/Banting/Keto approach is for everyone, one size doesn’t fit all. BUT and it is a big BUT, if you try it and it works for you then it will change your life. If you are a new runner then now is the perfect time to start. If you are an experienced runner then you may have a bit of frustration becoming adapted to this new way of approaching fuel. Bear with it though and give it at least 6 weeks. Keto Runner – The Diet There is now plenty of Low Carb/Ket Continue reading >>
10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips
10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). I personally recommend a cyclic ketogenic diet for most of my clients where you go low-carb for 3 days and then have a slightly higher carbohydrate day, followed by 3 lower carb days. This cycles the body in and out of a state of ketosis and is beneficial for hormone balance while keeping inflammatory levels very low. The biggest challenge with this nutrition plan is to get into and maintain the state of fat adaption. Here are several advanced tips to get into and maintain ketosis. 1. Stay Hydrated: This is considered a no-brainer, but is not easy to follow. We often get so busy in our day-day lives that we forget to hydrate effectively. I recommend super hydrating your system by drinking 32 oz of filtered water within the first hour of waking and another 32-48 oz of water before noon. I have most of my clients do a water fast or eat light in the morning doing smoothies or keto coffee or tea. So hydration around these dishes should be well tolerated by the digestive system. In general, aiming to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water and closer to your full body weight in ounces of water daily will help you immensely. I weigh 160 lbs and easily drink 140-180 ounces of water each day. Sometimes more in the summer time. As you begin super Continue reading >>
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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 >>
Targeted Ketogenic Diet: An In-depth Look
The Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD), simply put, is nothing more than a regular keto diet – with the exception of eating carbs around your workout times. That means any day you exercise, you will be consuming carbohydrates. If your goal is still fat loss, make sure to include the extra calories from the carbs in your totals. Assuming that you ARE reading this because you exercise, this means that fewer fats should be consumed on these days. Benefits of a TKD The TKD is a “compromise” between a Standard Ketogenic Diet and a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, meaning that you can still perform high intensity activity, but you won’t have to be out of ketosis for long periods of time. For most people’s purposes, TKD can withstand performance in high intensity exercise – although not as well as CKD. It’s most appropriate for beginner or intermediate strength trainers or for those who cannot use a CKD diet for health reasons. As of now, there are no studies out that will show the limitations of weight training based on low sources of blood glucose. There are studies that give carbs prior to resistance and strength training, but have not found increased performance over the long run. However, many SKD keto-ers report strength and endurance improvements in high intensity environments if they consume pre-workout carbs. Most people that are involved in anaerobic training on an SKD typically report improved performance with pre-workout carbs. The problem is that SKDs can even be as limiting to low intensity exercise performance due to the limited glucose and muscle glycogen. If you’re an athlete, or in the process of training, I recommend that you experiment with carbohydrates around your training. Although performance increase is a great benefit of a TKD, it is not the primar Continue reading >>
The Real Truth About What To Eat Before, During And After Your Workouts & Races.
WELCOME TO Chapter 16 of BEYOND TRAINING: MASTERING ENDURANCE, HEALTH & LIFE, IN WHICH you’re going to get The Real Truth About What To Eat Before, During And After Your Workouts & Races. From gluttonous pasta parties to entire pizzas and bottles of red wine before… …to just about every variety of gel, bar, drink and supplement on the face of the planet during… …to ice cream, hydrolyzed goat protein powders, steaks, waxy maize starch, potatoes and margaritas after… …I have experimented with nearly everything when it comes eating before, during and after workouts and races. And the real truth is (as I recently expounded upon on an EndurancePlanet.com sports nutrition episode), in the same way that there’s more than one way to get fit fast and to build endurance as quickly as possible, there really is more than one way to skin the cat when it comes to supporting your body with workout fuel. But by now, you hopefully realize that your decisions about how you exercise and what you eat should be based not only upon what works and what doesn’t, but also based upon what allows you to achieve the ideal balance of both performance and health. Unfortunately, most nutrition recommendations only take into account the former (performance at all costs) without considering the latter (long term effects on your gut, heart, brain and connective tissue). After all, some of the best athletes on the face of the planet guzzle down chemical-laden Ensure energy drinks before a race, eat stacks of Powerbars during, and finish up with pizza and ice cream for recovery. But just because this works doesn’t mean it’s healthy. For example… When choosing what to eat, do you think about what is local, fresh and sustainable? Do you think about what your body will soak up as dens Continue reading >>
Can Eating More Fat Make You A Better Runner?
Low carbs means no bread—not even the nutty, whole-grain kind—no pasta, and very little fruit. Serge Seidlitz “I just want to stand here a minute,” I say, pausing in front of a gleaming bakery case. I’m three weeks into training for a marathon. I’m also on a controversial low-carb, high-fat diet, and despite the fact that every proponent has assured me I’d lose my desire for sweets after a week or two, I am enraptured by the carrot cakes on display at our local Costco. “Do we need Brussels sprouts?” my husband asks. I can’t hear him over the depraved screams of my sweet tooth. I stare lustfully at the puck-shaped pillow of cake and wonder how the hell I’m going to make it through 13 more weeks of this. Stupid marathon, I think as I woefully push my cart toward the produce section. Stupid diet. Fat-adapted running is an emerging philosophy in the long-distance running community. Some runners—especially ultradistance athletes— are trying low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets in an attempt to teach their bodies to use fat for fuel. The theory is that since the human body can store more fat than carbohydrates, by becoming “fat adapted,” you’ll be able to go farther faster. A few pro runners, like 2:31:29 marathoner Zach Bitter, have switched to LCHF diets. Others modify the approach to run low on carbs only occasionally: Ryan Bolton, who coaches elites in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has his athletes doing fasted long runs up to 20 miles with the idea that this will help them boost their ability to metabolize fat. The LCHF diet calls for 50 to 70 percent of calories to come from fat, up to 20 percent from protein, up to 20 percent from vegetables, and just five percent from fruits and starches. That ratio is in stark contrast to the kind of traditional di Continue reading >>
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Nutrition – Are Low Carb Diets Good For Running?
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. A terrible expression, isn’t it? I’ve had cats as pets all my life and the phrase is particularly abhorrent to me. However it’s very apropos at the moment, because what I am about to tell you flies directly in the face of conventional wisdom about nutrition. It’s a subject near and dear to my heart, so I think it’s worth discussing. Now, I will add the caveat that I am not a nutrition expert by any means, but these are simply some things I have observed in myself and others. Conventional nutritional advice suggests that we fuel our runs with carbohydrates. There is, in fact, a bajillion dollar industry based on this idea, with sports drinks, gels, bars, and jellybeans full of carbohydrates out there on the market. For really long runs, the typical advice is to carbo-load starting several days in advance, but even for a 5k, the idea is to take in some easily accessible carbs prior to your run. Let’s consider why this is. Our bodies store energy in two forms: fat and glycogen. Glycogen is a form of glucose stored in the muscles and the liver, but it can only be stored in limited quantities. It is easily accessible energy for intense exercise. Fat is, well, fat and it can be stored in virtually unlimited quantities in the body. It is a more efficient source of stored energy, but it is also harder for the body to turn fat into energy. Your body will first use up your glycogen stores and then move on to turning fat into energy. So the accepted wisdom says that before runs and races, consuming carbohydrates will top up your glycogen stores and give you more energy. This is where I am going to turn that wisdom on its head. I am a diabetic, and the kind of carbo-loading that is recommended, where the runner starts increasin Continue reading >>
A Keto Diet For Beginners
A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance, as millions of people have experienced already. 1 Here you’ll learn how to eat a keto diet based on real foods. You’ll find visual guides, recipes, meal plans and a simple 2-week get started program, all you need to succeed on keto. Get even more, custom meal plans, ask the experts and low-carb TV, with a free trial. 1. Introduction: What is ketosis? The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”. 2 This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar). Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, 3 and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones. On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy. When the body produces ketones, it’s said to be in ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but nobody can fast forever. A keto diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinite Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Nutrition And Exercise: Carbs
In my previous post, How to Exercise on a Keto Diet, I outlined the some of the basic facts about exercise and the most common myths. In this and future posts, I'd like to focus on nutrition aspects of exercise. Foods containing carbs are not all evil and I'll explain when clean paleo-friendly carbs can be used even on a keto diet. Let's start by busting some of the most common myths... Carbs and Performance Do we need carbs for better performance? One of the most common myths is that low-carb eating will negatively affect your performance. This is down to studies that ignore keto-adaptation and only focus on the immediate effects of carb restriction. There is, indeed, a transitional period in which performance drop occurs but it only lasts for a few weeks. Once you get keto-adapted (usually 3-4 weeks), your body will switch from using glucose to using ketones and fatty acids as the main source of energy. This study performed on elite athletes shows that a keto diet does not affect strength performance. Eight athletes over a period of 30 days were fed virtually a zero carb diet and didn't experience any drop in performance. In fact, more and more studies are showing the beneficial effects of keto-adaptation. Even athletes that are doing very long cardio training or marathons can follow a keto diet. Timothy Allen Olson is just one of the many super athletes who have proven to be thriving almost purely on a diet that is best described as low-carb, keto and paleo. However, Timothy doesn't follow a standard ketogenic diet - he eats carbs strategically. Before or after his workouts he eats clean carbs such as sweet potatoes and fruits. He also uses glucose gels on training runs. Everyone is different and although some may thrive on a Standard Ketogenic Diet, others may benef Continue reading >>
How I Fueled For Running 19 Miles On A High-fat Diet
Most runners have been taught to load up on carbs before a run. What you eat before a run can greatly affect your performance—it’s simple science, right? After spending some time trying to understand the role food plays in running a marathon, I took on a high-fat ketogenic diet. And let me tell you, it was a doozy. I decided that I was going to change to the ketogenic diet and see how that helped me in my journey to lose weight. I knew my body didn’t do well when I ate a lot of carbs, so trying a high-fat diet seemed it may work better for me. Going ‘keto’ seemed perfect for what I was looking for. A lot of people hear the term “train gain” (when a runner gains weight while training), and I was the number one example of that. Whenever I would begin training for runs and adding more miles to my days, my body weight increased. A ketogenic diet, which comprises only eating 5 percent of carbs a day, seemed like the golden ticket. However, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The Begining Of My High-Fat Diet The first week on the diet was a nightmare. I was exhausted every day from the lack of carbs I was eating, and the cravings were unreal. I never knew I could crave pasta so heavily until I stopped eating carbs completely. My day would comprise waking up, going to work, and laying in bed if it wasn’t a run day. I was that tired. I was grumpy all the time, especially at the gym and before a run. My training included running twice a week for 30 minutes and increasing my miles on the weekend. My weekday runs were challenging. I put a lot of my energy into making sure I was on track with the diet. I pushed and kept telling myself I could do it, and the 30 minutes flew by. When it came time for my weekend run, I was drained. Between training for my challenge ru Continue reading >>
- 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 >>
Long-distance Running On A Low-carb, High-fat Diet
Humans are natural endurance athletes. While the concept of “carb loading,” or the use of sports drinks and gels in endurance events are increasingly popular, human physiology is perfectly set up to use fat as a fuel for endurance exercise. Olaf Sorensen, seen here in the blue shirt, is a 40-year-old long-distance runner who will be running a marathon soon. What’s unique about his upcoming endeavor is that, first, his goal for this event is to beat his grandfather’s Olympic qualifying time of 2 hours and 40 minutes. But what is particularly unique about Olaf’s plan is that he plans to accomplish this feat on a high-fat, extremely low-carb diet. He will essentially demonstrate to the world that being in a state of ketosis (burning fat as opposed to carbohydrates) is an extremely efficient human adaptation permitting long stretches of efficient physical activity. Olaf does a lot of his running either barefoot or with minimal footwear, again emulating our forebears. I really appreciated his instructions when we ran together. But while I’m definitely dialed in on the keto adaptation part of the story, I’ll likely stick with my running shoes. We will be following Olaf’s progress and will soon provide information about the movie being made about this incredible athlete. For more on applying this lifestyle, read my blog post on how to balance your intake of fat, protein, and carbs. UPDATE: In May 2017 I had the chance to catch up with Olaf and see how he’s doing. Read Next Continue reading >>
Distance Running On A Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic dieting and long distance running can go together on the journey of losing fat effectively. People often think a ketogenic diet doesn’t mix with high-intensity exercise (HIIT) and running, so let’s see how you can combine them for better effect. The ketogenic diet was originally used for treating epilepsy and other neurologic illnesses.(1)(2) What is Keto To put it simply, a keto diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein while reducing carbohydrate consumption. It triggers ketones which are released into the body and used for fuel. Your body enters into a ketosis state. A typical day you will look to eat foods totaling 75% fat, 20% protein, and a lowly 5% carbs. It doesn’t need to be precise since it varies from the person. For more check out our keto food list. It’s since become popular again in the last few years. Nowadays it’s in its full bloom because of its excellent effects and results. Athletes and regular people found the diet easy to implement and exceedingly efficient regarding more energy and building lean muscle mass. At its core, this diet minimizes carbs, and you consume fats and more fats. Eating a high-fat diet in the long term puts the body in a so-called state of ketosis. Ketosis is a state where the liver takes the proteins and fats and then uses them to create molecules called ketone bodies. When the body produces ketone bodies, it gains significant amounts of sustainable energy that athletes use for training. Because it takes fat and reproduces them in energy, the keto diet can also help you lose more excess fat while eating great foods containing fats and oils. A ketogenic diet is based on nutrition that tends to increase energy levels and reduce body fat. Whether or not it helps build a lean muscle mass the jury is still out. With a Continue reading >>
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 >>
Take Your Training To The Next Level With Ketosis
One of the most popular critiques of a ketogenic diet – a diet that’s high in fat and low in carbs – is that it isn’t good for athletes. The argument is usually that you need carbs to produce glycogen, a stored form of sugar that fuels your muscles. As a result, most doctors and trainers suggest high-carb diets for athletes. If you’ve been working out while eating Bulletproof, Paleo, keto, or any other variation on a high-fat, low-carb diet, here’s some good news: brand new research shows that you not only don’t need carbs for athletic performance, you can actually gain an advantage if you cut them out. Let’s talk about how ketosis can kick your athletic performance into a higher gear. Why you don’t need carbs to train hard A groundbreaking new study out of UConn found that low-carb endurance athletes perform just as well as high-carb endurance athletes, if not better. The results challenge nearly 50 years of research saying the opposite. Until now, most studies have concluded that you top out at around 10% of energy recruited from fat  and for the rest you rely mostly on glycogen, a form of sugar stored in your muscles and liver. That’s the main reason high-carb diets have been the standard for athletes for so many years. With a low-carb diet, your glycogen stores empty quickly, you run out of fuel, and you start breaking down your muscles for energy. Right? Well, maybe not. If you teach your body to prefer fat for fuel you can work out intensely without any problems, according to this new study. The paper’s authors measured the performance of ultra-endurance runners who regularly run upwards of 100 miles. Here’s how they set it up: Half of the participants ate low-carb (<20% of calories from carbs) for 6 months The other half ate high-carb ( Continue reading >>