Whether or not athletes should go keto is a complex question that depends on a number of factors, including the athlete's sport, their training goals, and their individual body composition.
Why should athletes consider trying keto?
There are a few reasons why athletes might consider trying keto. First, keto can help athletes lose weight and body fat. This can be beneficial for athletes who are trying to improve their performance or who are competing in weight-class sports. Second, keto can help athletes improve their endurance. This is because when the body is in ketosis, it becomes more efficient at burning fat for fuel. Third, keto can help athletes build and maintain muscle. This is because when the body is in ketosis, it produces more growth hormone, which is a hormone that helps build muscle.
Does keto improve or impair endurance?
The effects of keto on endurance performance are still being studied. Some studies have shown that keto can improve endurance, while other studies have shown that it can impair endurance. The effects of keto on endurance performance may depend on the athlete's sport, their training goals, and their individual body composition.
Can you build and maintain muscle on keto?
Yes, it is possible to build and maintain muscle on keto. However, it may take some time for the body to adapt to using fat for fuel. During this adaptation period, athletes may experience decreased performance and muscle loss. Once the body has adapted to keto, athletes should be able to build and maintain muscle just as well as they could on a high-carbohydrate diet.
Mistakes athletes make when trying keto
There are a few mistakes that athletes commonly make when trying keto. One mistake is not getting enough electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that are important for hydration and muscle function. When the body is in ketosis, it loses electrolytes more easily. Athletes who are on keto should make sure to eat foods that are high in electrolytes, such as avocados, spinach, and salmon. They should also consider taking electrolyte supplements.
Another mistake that athletes make is not eating enough calories. When the body is in ketosis, it burns fat for fuel. This can lead to weight loss, which is not always desirable for athletes. Athletes who are on keto should make sure to eat enough calories to support their training and recovery.
Finally, some athletes make the mistake of trying to do too much too soon when they first start keto. The body takes time to adapt to using fat for fuel. Athletes who try to push themselves too hard too soon may experience fatigue, nausea, and other symptoms of the keto flu. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of workouts as the body adapts to keto.
What about female athletes? Can keto work for them?
Yes, keto can work for female athletes. However, female athletes may need to adjust their intake of electrolytes and calories to meet their individual needs. Female athletes who are on keto should also listen to their bodies and take rest days when needed.
Overall, whether or not keto is right for you depends on your individual needs and goals. If you are an athlete who is considering trying keto, it is important to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to make sure that it is safe for you.