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Keto and Lactic Acid

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 31, 2012 at 2:02 AM

I ski competitively, and I've noticed a huge amt of lactic acid in my legs that doesn't go away now that I am keto. Has anyone else experienced this? It's killing me.

1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on April 03, 2012
at 11:29 PM

Do carbs make a difference for you at those short distances? A lot of CW (and some paleo wisdom) has told me that carbs aren't necessary for brief effort, but I tried low carb for a season (5km races) and felt like a corn-fed cow. How is your body comp with the added carbs?

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on March 31, 2012
at 04:59 AM

hmm not sure but I definetly notice my muscles running out of 'juice' much quicker.

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4 Answers

1
E753cf7753e7be889ca68b1a4203483f

on April 03, 2012
at 06:46 PM

The burn in your legs isn't lactate (lactic acid without the hydrogen ion). When doing Keto your muscles produce much less lactate than you would on a mixed diet. Lactate by the way, is beneficial to performance, and can't be made from fatty acids (unless you count in the small amount that can be made from glucose, made from acetone, a ketone body). What you are feeling are much more likely the discomfort of inadequate muscle glycogen, and hence the reduced exercise capacity that follows. Sure enough, when fully adapted to a low carb diet, the aerobic capacity is almost restored to normal, but the anaerobic capacity and endurance is seriously lacking behind and will never recover unless you eat enough protein to make sufficient glucose, to meet your bodily needs. This simply isn't possible when doing a lot of intense exercise, that taps into the anaerobic energy system. The people claiming that low carb diets doesn't interfere with exercise, are typically doing low volume and/or low intensity type of exercise.

1
6b6c938c368e7a135e74c468c9ed1189

on March 31, 2012
at 06:38 AM

I raced bikes, not pro but top amateur, and I ate Mediterranean/Zone then. Now when I ride or do mountaineering or ski I feel incredible. Off the couch now I can do intervals almost as well as I could twenty years ago at my best. All out efforts up hills, TRYING to get a burn on, but still no LA burn at all (and better altitude adaptation too). But I have to admit I'm not eating 'strict' primal. I eat 'John Welborn' style, consuming several gallons of raw dairy a week. Some kefir, some whole milk, LOTS of Kerrygold butter, and a pound of raw cheese a week. I also eat sourdough bread a few times a week, put back a half-dozen tacos on corn tortillas, eat lots of honey and about five pounds of yams a week. It's worth noting that 90+% of our animal food is pastured/grass-fed, with pretty much zero additives or environmental toxins in any of our food, cosmetics, etc. I know, it's not Paleo, it's more Weston-Price, but it works for me incredibly well.

1
1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on March 31, 2012
at 05:17 AM

I don't know the exact physical demands of skiing, but I assume it is fairly intense exercise. Keto is technically possible to maintain while exerting large amounts of effort, but it takes at least 2-3 weeks to acclimatize the metabolism to converting fat to energy on the fly instead of glycogen.

I row competitively, and while I like keto in theory for the rapid fat loss and decreased reliance on glycogen that constantly needs replenishing, I decided to drop it for the season as I don't have the time in my schedule to reduce my performance for a few weeks.

0
B04ba008626200aa1dd7a6be9df2ae9c

on March 31, 2012
at 01:38 PM

I row competitively short distances - 100 to 500 meters - about 14 seconds to 1 minute 20 seconds. Similar amounts of time to competitive skiing.

I tried to do low carb paleo for about two years and it just wasn't as effective as what I do now - medium to high carb paleo. Whenever possible lots of sweet potatoes, chestnuts, squash, carrots, beets - especially beets! It's hard to get enough carbs. It's a case of trying to get some into every meal.

1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on April 03, 2012
at 11:29 PM

Do carbs make a difference for you at those short distances? A lot of CW (and some paleo wisdom) has told me that carbs aren't necessary for brief effort, but I tried low carb for a season (5km races) and felt like a corn-fed cow. How is your body comp with the added carbs?

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