ketogenic for High Intensity work / explosive sports

Answered on December 03, 2013
Created December 03, 2013 at 12:22 PM

ok so there is two arguements one side say there isnt then another says it is tried and worked. which is true ?

Do any of you paleohackers do HIIT/BOXING/MMA/EXPLOSIVE Sport with a KETOGENIC diet (low carb , high fat) ?

Does it take some time to transition? if so how long? If you take carbs in how much ? 1g/lb body weight?.


" research suggests that it no only can support but *may* improve low intensity performance. By low intensity I mean fairly long duration endurance performance.

and that for higher intensity stuff, keto diets pretty much crap out. You simply can't sustain high intensity performance without carbs. Fat oxidation can't produce ATP quickly enough." - Is this true ?

However, the most recent study (that I'm aware of) suggests that ketogenic diets impair the muscle's ability to actually use glyocgen to produce energy.

In that study, cyclists were put on 5 days of a ketogenic diet and then carbed up for 1 day.

they performed a bike test (I forget if it was time to exhaustion or time to cover a given distance) but with the following parameters: every so often during the test, the cyclists had to do 1 minute sprint. And the ketogenic diet subjects did poorly, they couldn't mobilize energy anaerobically.

It seemed that, as part of the adaptation to the diet, PDH activity (an enzyme involved in energy production) was downregulated and the muscle essentially lost the ability to metabolize carbs (and earlier work had suggested this anyhow).

so unless the type of conditioning your doing is just base/aerobic type work, I don't think keto diets are optimal. Even there, at least one study suggested that the aerobic endurance adaptations for folks on a keto diet were inferior to folks on a carb-based diet.

That's what he said. - so no good for boxing what is your thoughts? I always thought you need glycogen as boxing is very taxing on your system.

so He saying that the researches said fat impairs the muscles ability to use glycogen to produce energy! That's a big statement is that true ?

explosive athletes perform better on low fat than high carb low fat ? What is your diet for your boxing/explosive sport

many thanks

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2 Answers


on December 03, 2013
at 04:34 PM

Ketogenic diets are primarily useful for fat loss (as ketosis is the body's way of metabolizing fat). If you are a competitive fighter (even amateur), then I would assume you are already fairly low body fat, and would not need a ketogenic diet to improve performance. Most primal books I have read advocate 100-150g carbohydrates per day of slow burning carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, etc) for extremely active individuals. Competitive fighting is one of the most taxing things mechanically, so you would fall into this group.

That being said, I believe from what I have read (though I don't remember where), that in explosive sports, initial maximal exertion between ketogenic and glucogenic diets is the same. The difference is what happens when you hit the wall. Glucogenic diets tend to taper when the wall is hit whereas ketogenic diets tend to just fall off precipitously. I believe the wall is (if you aren't already exhausted from previous exercise or conditioning) about 45 min to an hour into exertion. In other words, ketogenic diets will not work for a marathon.

Just some food for thought.


on December 03, 2013
at 01:42 PM

No. Ketogenic diets cannot fuel the anaerobic system effectively

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