2

votes

Experienced/Knowledgable Keto-ers/low-carbers, please help me hack my athletic performance

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Hey all, I'm currently trying to create the ultimate hack towards my athletic performance. I'm talking about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Judo, hoping to eventually compete. I really want to go far with this as I was a really talented wrestler in High School but unfortunately had to stop after Soph. year. I've been reading and annotating literally every single blog post from Peter Attia at the eating academy. For those of you unfamiliar with him, he is an MD, and also an athlete, who has maintained deep ketosis all while training and competing. His training isn't just jogging or long distance swimming either, he incorporates high intensity cycling, and high intensity weight-lifting as well - deadlifts, lifting tires, plyometrics, etc. Recently read his primers on cholesterol and was absolutely fascinated. What I'm getting at is I'm trying to maintain peak performance in my chose Martial arts, and gain muscle because I feel I really need to gain weight.... But I'm drawn to ketosis because it will control my migraines, and when I've dabbled with ketosis before I seemed to have endless mental energy.

For those who are well experienced and/or knowledgeable(of the science) on ketosis, could it in fact be beneficial to become fully keto-adapted, and still do various martial arts, even to the point of competing in tournaments? I've been reading everything by Peter, and am re-reading and annotating The Ketogenic Diet by Lyle McDonald, and finding the various rates at which glycogen is depleted and what not. Peter Attia has stated that his endurance, both muscular and cardiovascular, has increase while in ketosis, as well as being more "metabolically flexible", but his peak power (in sprinting and such) has slightly decreased. The thing is, he does not believe in carb-loads, and does not supplement with Creatine, which he believes would increase his ATP drastically. He does take advantage of UCAN SuperStarch, but not even in large amounts, so I wouldn't call it anything close to a "carb-load". I guess my questions would be:

  1. Could it be advantageous to become fat/keto-adapted for BJJ/Judo, if done properly? I know lot's of people say it will take weeks to become adapted, but that's only partially true. I believe Steve Phinny/Jeff Volek say it can take months upon months or years to become FULLY adapted and versatile with keto

  2. What supplements would help me perform High Intensity Exercise, or hard days of jitz/sparring while in keto or at least being ultra low carb? What about keto and creatine supplementation? What are the most ketogenic amino acids? I've supplemented before with BCAA's, would that be wise, or solely supplement with Leucine/Iso-leucine, and/or glutamine, etc.?

  3. I'm trying to carb back-load after about a month of adaptation, because I don't believe you can become FULLY adapted in 10 days as specified in CBL... would it be fine to do a targeted ketogenic approach to weight training until then, and after I'm adapted enough to perform at a high intensity, workout without carbs and backload them?

  4. Can I maintain ketosis after back-loading carbs if I take in only enough to restore glycogen after exercise, and on days I don't eat ULC? I know the Targeted Ketogenic Diet is set up because carbs before resistance training won't knock you out of ketosis, and if it does its very temporary.

  5. Would it be wise to supplement before an hour or two of BJJ? as in, take some BCAA's or Whey protein, or should I carb-load, or is it fine going in in ketosis? I feel like it would be possible because BJJ so far seems to be low-intensity with random bouts of all-out high intensity periods (if someone shoots in/attempts a throw/is taken down) otherwise it's all about patience, fundamentals and strategy.

Basically, I'm trying to remain in ketosis as much as possible, while maintaining or increasing my abilities in Jits, and increase my muscle/weight.... Hard, I know, but I'm dedicated, lol. I won't really care if I'm transiently knocked out of ketosis for a few hours at a time, as long as the MAJORITY of time I'm in ketosis. So if I can do carb-loads as in a Cyclic Keto or Targeted Keto diet, or back-load my carbs after resistance training/Jits and remain in ketosis but refill muscle glycogen (although I'd be temporarily knocked out of ketosis due to the large spike in insulin) I wouldn't mind either, as long as the majority of the day/majority of the week I'm in ketosis, or in a large state of ketogenesis (not ketosis, but still producing ketones). For anyone willing to help me with this "hack", it will be greatly appreciated, I can't express how gracious I'll be for someone to help me out. Can't wait to see any responses I receive.

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on January 14, 2013
at 11:18 PM

You'll get me in trouble with the paleo police, but I put http://www.amazon.com/Optimum-Nutrition-Glycomaize-Unflavored-Pound/dp/B002DYIZQM/ in green apple scivation xtend when I want some BCAAs. The carb powder makes it easy to test different amounts, and the green apple actually tastes decent.

443d09cb00d7c8ba7c28fdfe7bed3f5e

on January 14, 2013
at 04:06 AM

Would you have any recommendations on a drink? Not something like Gatorade obviously... I was thinking maybe making a drink of my own with BCAA's, lemon and/or lime + salt for electrolytes... I'm sure it'd taste awful, but it can't taste much worse than straight up BCAA's in water, that tastes like death to me lol. And I'm aware of cyclic keto diets, I'm currently reading Lyle's Keto Diet book for the 2nd time and taking notes, and one of his diets in there is a cyclical keto diet, I'm also about to read his Ultimate Diet 2.0 which is another similar style of dieting. Thanks for your input.

443d09cb00d7c8ba7c28fdfe7bed3f5e

on January 14, 2013
at 04:04 AM

But If I can pull off doing what I want while in ketosis, and making strategic use of carbs from the form of "safe starches", I'd much rather do that. Not eating carbs has helped me mentally immensely and I don't want to give that up. Also, are you sure honey is to be completely avoided? I know if you consume 1=2tsp of RAW honey prior to bed while in ketosis it won't even knock you out, and that's like 32g of sugar... it makes you sleep deeper. But thanks for your input I appreciate it.

443d09cb00d7c8ba7c28fdfe7bed3f5e

on January 14, 2013
at 04:02 AM

I agree that I CAN do well on 150 grams of carbs due to my age and activity, but that's not the point. I feel it can be very beneficial to me mentally to be in ketosis 3/4's of the time, and on special occasions (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc.) not worry. That's why I referenced Peter Attia though, his own n=1 proves that ketosis + heavily intense exercise/competition isn't detrimental to your body in the least bit, he actually got help from Stephen Phinny and Jeff Volek, the two most knowledgeable people there are on carbs/fat and ketosis. I'm not saying I'll never eat carbs again

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4 Answers

2
66ed4489e2d8c9efdc5b7abd58dcfae6

(20)

on January 14, 2013
at 12:06 AM

Too many cliffs bro. Eat your carbs. An active insulin sensitive person should do okay on 150 grams of carbohydrates a day. Being active while in ketosis is bad and stressful on your body. Most really low carbers also have deflated muscles due to very low glycogen. Go ahead and eat white basmati rice, sweet potatoes, Cassava, and other glucose based carbs. Try to avoid fructose like honey and fruit, shits useless for putting on muscle.

443d09cb00d7c8ba7c28fdfe7bed3f5e

on January 14, 2013
at 04:02 AM

I agree that I CAN do well on 150 grams of carbs due to my age and activity, but that's not the point. I feel it can be very beneficial to me mentally to be in ketosis 3/4's of the time, and on special occasions (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc.) not worry. That's why I referenced Peter Attia though, his own n=1 proves that ketosis + heavily intense exercise/competition isn't detrimental to your body in the least bit, he actually got help from Stephen Phinny and Jeff Volek, the two most knowledgeable people there are on carbs/fat and ketosis. I'm not saying I'll never eat carbs again

443d09cb00d7c8ba7c28fdfe7bed3f5e

on January 14, 2013
at 04:04 AM

But If I can pull off doing what I want while in ketosis, and making strategic use of carbs from the form of "safe starches", I'd much rather do that. Not eating carbs has helped me mentally immensely and I don't want to give that up. Also, are you sure honey is to be completely avoided? I know if you consume 1=2tsp of RAW honey prior to bed while in ketosis it won't even knock you out, and that's like 32g of sugar... it makes you sleep deeper. But thanks for your input I appreciate it.

1
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on January 13, 2013
at 11:21 PM

Get a drink with a few carbs and drink it as you workout. It won't knock you out of ketosis unless you go nuts on the carb amounts.

Once you're fully adapted going out of ketosis briefly isn't a big deal anyway. Read up on...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclic_ketogenic_diet

443d09cb00d7c8ba7c28fdfe7bed3f5e

on January 14, 2013
at 04:06 AM

Would you have any recommendations on a drink? Not something like Gatorade obviously... I was thinking maybe making a drink of my own with BCAA's, lemon and/or lime + salt for electrolytes... I'm sure it'd taste awful, but it can't taste much worse than straight up BCAA's in water, that tastes like death to me lol. And I'm aware of cyclic keto diets, I'm currently reading Lyle's Keto Diet book for the 2nd time and taking notes, and one of his diets in there is a cyclical keto diet, I'm also about to read his Ultimate Diet 2.0 which is another similar style of dieting. Thanks for your input.

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on January 14, 2013
at 11:18 PM

You'll get me in trouble with the paleo police, but I put http://www.amazon.com/Optimum-Nutrition-Glycomaize-Unflavored-Pound/dp/B002DYIZQM/ in green apple scivation xtend when I want some BCAAs. The carb powder makes it easy to test different amounts, and the green apple actually tastes decent.

0
A1314f061d6244240b77136acbb86a3e

(0)

on April 11, 2013
at 10:15 PM

I think you can do this. I have your same intuition on this matter, but I also believe certain sacrifices have to get out of the way...I think you know what I mean...As a crossfiter I have made many gains, in my strength and cardio vascularity. However I deeply believe one can function fine in workouts while being ketogenic/caveman. At first you have to accept to lose strength and cardio vascularity, but I think this is only temporary. Its like starting from the beginning , or being born again, using you fat as fuel instead of being a sugar burner. I say go for it all the way. Focus on heavy and low reps in the begining of your transition, then after 6-8 months has passed try something with a little more duration and intensity and see how you feel. Also journal your progress or failures, that way you can shed light to us athletes that have doubt of the unknown. Every one talks about it and is scared to try it. Hope this helps a bit''

0
22fd82abf435768244f8d074430cd1e6

(590)

on January 30, 2013
at 09:12 AM

Hello,

as a jiu jitsu practicioner myself (actively competing for many years), I warn you to keep away from low-carb. I have done that mistake for many months and you will deplete your glycogen stores, drain your adrenals and end up feeling like total crap. Not to mention performance will go down the sink.

Read these 3 posts by Robb Wolf:

http://robbwolf.com/2012/12/19/carb-paleo-thoughts-part-1/

http://robbwolf.com/2013/01/02/thoughts-carb-paleo-part-deux/

http://robbwolf.com/2013/01/09/thoughts-carb-paleo-episode-3-hope/

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