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What do you think happens to my ketone levels after 1 hour of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Answered on January 21, 2015
Created December 29, 2012 at 4:02 AM

I am currently attempting a diet designed to keep me in nutritional ketosis.

Today I had a 1 hour class of BJJ, which I attended while fasting, since it was in the morning.

My AM ketone level was 1.0 mmol upon waking.

I decided to run a small experiment to check my ketone levels right when I got home from my class to see what effect my 1 hour of BJJ activity would have on my ketone levels.

I kept in mind the whole time that according to Volek and Phinney, exercise can increase your ketone levels 0.25 ??? 0.5 mmol immediately afterwards.

What do you think my post BJJ ketone levels were? Any explanations for the result?

If you're interested you can check my blog post here

I figure it'd be better to post it on a separate location to keep the result hidden from the main thread.

EDIT:

I'm checking my blood ketones using the precision xtra kit as recommended by Jimmy Moore.

After BJJ, my ketones went down to 0.6 mmol (waking was 1 mmol). My blood sugar was essentially unchanged at 82 (waking was 76)

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 13, 2013
at 04:01 AM

You write, "the interesting thing would be if you have depleted glycogen." I did the following experiment on day 16 of a fast. If it's true that glycogen becomes depleted, then it ought to be depleted on day 16 of a fast, wouldn't you think? Twenty minutes after three sets of deadlifts, my glucose rose from 58 to 71 and my BHB fell from 7.4 to 5.3.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 13, 2013
at 03:59 AM

You write, "the interesting thing would be if you have depleted glycogen." I did an experiment to measure that on day 16 of a fast. Twenty minutes after three sets of deadlifts, my glucose rose from 58 to 71 and my BHB fell from 7.4 to 5.3.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 13, 2013
at 03:49 AM

You write, "my blood sugar was essentially unchanged..." Home glucose meters are not sufficiently accurate for such measurements. If you want to accurately monitor these sorts of changes you'll have to buy a HemoCue 201. They cost about $400. The Precision Xtra is extremely accurate when it measures BHB but not when it measures glucose. Ketones and glucose have a tendency to move inversely to each other because when the liver makes more of one, it makes less of the other. When ketones fall, glucose tends to rise and vice versa.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 13, 2013
at 03:49 AM

You write, "my blood sugar was essentially unchanged..." Home glucose meters are not sufficiently accurate for such measurements. If you want to accurately monitor these sorts of changes you'll have to buy a HemoCue 201. They cost about $400. The Precision Xtra is extremely accurate when it measures BHB but not when it measures glucose. Ketones and glucose have a tendency to move inversely to each other because when the liver makes more of one, it makes less of the other. When ketones fall, glucose tends to rise and vice versa. For more Paleo Diet hacks: h

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 13, 2013
at 03:46 AM

You write, "my blood sugar was essentially unchanged..." Home glucose meters are not sufficiently accurate for these sorts of measurements. If you want to accurately monitor these sorts of changes in glucose you'll have to buy a HemoCue 201. They cost about $400. The Precision Xtra is extremely accurate when it measures BHB, but not when it measures glucose. Ketones and glucose have a tendency to move inversely to each other because when the liver makes more of one, it makes less of the other. When ketones fall, you will frequently see glucose rise and vice versa.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 13, 2013
at 03:37 AM

You write, "The interesting thing would be if you have depleted glycogen." I've done that experiment on day 16 of a fast. Immediately after three sets of deadlifts, blood glucose rises, ketones fall.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 30, 2012
at 11:09 AM

About 93% of my max heart rate. I never get cramps unless I run over 10 miles, after which I get them bad. Don't supplement with anything other than Vit-D.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 30, 2012
at 09:04 AM

Interesting, I had not seen that particular quote from Phinney before.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 30, 2012
at 07:27 AM

At what intensity can you run a 5k race and at what ketone levels? Do you experience cramps? If yes, do you supplement with magnesium?

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 11:51 PM

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-ii Here is the link where he refers to the secret store of glucose in the liver, released under stress.. a process called "hepatic glucose output" triggered by catecholamine release.. Thanks for the links!

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 29, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Since you can never exactly meet your structural protein requirement, something must happen to all the excess. My bet is that it trickles into your liver (via GNG) and provides the "secret store".

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 29, 2012
at 08:03 PM

Yes. My BG gets really high after an exercise induced liver dump (180 mM) but then I'm a diabetic. It clears quite quickly, and afterwards my insulin sensitivity is so high that I can eat as many carbs as I like without spiking. I guess my muscles are refilling their glycogen stores.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 29, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Btw, Lyle McDonald recommends following a high intensity session with a 10-15min cooldown below lactate threshold to lower blood sugar and release free fatty acids.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 29, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Check out the entire site. There are so many good articles! This one will probably also be of interest http://eatingacademy.com/how-a-low-carb-diet-affected-my-athletic-performance

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 01:36 PM

Great links... I've added them to my, to read list! I predict a quiet day at work today with plenty of time to read more about ketosis.

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 01:35 PM

This makes sense... I've read that theory before, that there is like a "secret store" of energy the liver has that it only releases when in dire need.. maybe because I've maintained nutritional ketosis for this long, I've tricked my body into thinking I'm in a starvation state (which is the entire point of nutritional ketosis) and the BJJ activity on top of that was the final straw to trigger glycogenolysis... but then I would have expected my blood sugar to go up a little more right? Any experience with blood sugars and glyogenolysis? Have you seen them go up?

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 01:32 PM

Ya, checking blood ketones with the precision xtra kit, a la Jimmy Moore. Trying to do the same n=1 experiment he did at livin la vida low carb.

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Interesting thought. The only thing is, since I've been checking my blood ketones in the AM and PM for the past 17 days, I can say for sure that I've been in nutritional ketosis (blood ketones 0.5-3 mmol) for 15 of the 17 days (I snuck in a red velvet cake in there)... so my glycogen stores must be pretty low.. and the past few days I've been eating the same exact meals of around 33 gm carbs.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 29, 2012
at 11:52 AM

it sounds like he's testing his blood. It's what all the cool kids are doing.

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on December 29, 2012
at 08:52 AM

interesting biochemistry question +1

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on December 29, 2012
at 08:34 AM

maybe he wants to test how smart you are mathgirl.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on December 29, 2012
at 04:45 AM

"I figure it'd be better to post it on a separate location to keep the result hidden from the main thread." To what end? Traffic on your site?

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9 Answers

2
E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on December 29, 2012
at 08:51 AM

If you have glycogen stored in muscle and liver then exercise would have triggered glycogenolysis resulting in glucose+ and ketones-

the interesting thing would be if you have depleted glycogen.. likely your liver would still be producing some glucose from gluconeogenesis that would be obtained from glycerol and amino acids.. so perhaps the exercise would still trigger release of whatever glucose has been synthesised.

the other consideration is that ketones would be getting utilised as an energy substrate and therefore that would also decrease their serum levels..

therefore (in my view) ketones would decrease after exercise

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Interesting thought. The only thing is, since I've been checking my blood ketones in the AM and PM for the past 17 days, I can say for sure that I've been in nutritional ketosis (blood ketones 0.5-3 mmol) for 15 of the 17 days (I snuck in a red velvet cake in there)... so my glycogen stores must be pretty low.. and the past few days I've been eating the same exact meals of around 33 gm carbs.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 13, 2013
at 04:01 AM

You write, "the interesting thing would be if you have depleted glycogen." I did the following experiment on day 16 of a fast. If it's true that glycogen becomes depleted, then it ought to be depleted on day 16 of a fast, wouldn't you think? Twenty minutes after three sets of deadlifts, my glucose rose from 58 to 71 and my BHB fell from 7.4 to 5.3.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 13, 2013
at 03:59 AM

You write, "the interesting thing would be if you have depleted glycogen." I did an experiment to measure that on day 16 of a fast. Twenty minutes after three sets of deadlifts, my glucose rose from 58 to 71 and my BHB fell from 7.4 to 5.3.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on April 13, 2013
at 03:37 AM

You write, "The interesting thing would be if you have depleted glycogen." I've done that experiment on day 16 of a fast. Immediately after three sets of deadlifts, blood glucose rises, ketones fall.

1
D0830729cd954481f636935b7ce7022e

on April 13, 2013
at 02:30 AM

I had the same effect - my ketone levels went /down/ after an hour long bike ride (it wasn't incredibly intense but I put some effort into it!). Wouldn't a keto adapted body be using the ketones as an energy source during exercise, therefore depleting them?

Fa47f83a344f820ebc0705a6bfd4301b

on January 21, 2015
at 08:18 AM

Yes exactly right! ketones are like fuel in your tank. As you drive the tank reads less fuel, which is exactly what we want. A higher ketone reading means we've got fuel to burn so get moving or it will have to exit the body through urine, sweat or breath etc. which is what it does if we have been sitting around all day. 

1
B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

on December 29, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Sorry guys, not sure if this is proper etiquette to answer my own question.. but I think I found the answer here in an interview with Steve Phinney. I think what is happening is my body is generating it's own glycogen and is more efficient at using it... so that's the source of my blood sugar... which probably gets released when I begin my exercise activity. And it's this sugar that knocks my ketones down..

here's a quote:

*And the other thing that happens as a body gets more adapted to low-carb over two or three or more weeks, and thus it improves the body???s ability to manage its fuel supply, then the body becomes an extremely effective scavenger of the various breakdown products that can be used to make more glycogen. A lot of athletes and trainers fear a chemical compound called lactate. Lactate is what your muscles make out of glycogen when you???re sprinting....

But now that I???m adapted to a ketogentic diet, when I???m sprinting on my bicycle, for instance, when I???m chasing some younger person I don???t want to let go by, I breathe hard but I never huff and puff. That???s because I don???t make as much lactate, so I don???t have that lactate surge. But even more important, my muscles have become extremely efficient at taking lactate back up and using it to make glycogen. That was discovered by some Scandinavian scientists fifteen years ago. They found that the muscles that you???re not using doing exercise actually become a sponge for taking up lactate to make more glycogen...

...An example of that is a study done in Arctic sled dogs by a scientist from Oklahoma State University, named Dr. Mike Davis. He???s a doctor of veterinary medicine, and he took a couple of racing sled dogs up in the Yukon and raced them 100 miles a day for five days in a row. They did a half Iditarod distance, going around the same 100 mile loop every day for five days in a row. He fed the dogs a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.

He measured muscle glycogen in the dogs before they started. At the end of five days, he did muscle biopsies on the dogs again. That???s after racing 100 miles a day, pulling a sled, being fed adequate calories in a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet. At the end of five days, they had more glycogen in their muscles than they did when they started. Their muscle cells were sucking up every little bit of what they could find and putting it right back in the muscle as glycogen. And doing it much more efficiently than when they were fed a high carb diet.*

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 30, 2012
at 09:04 AM

Interesting, I had not seen that particular quote from Phinney before.

1
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 29, 2012
at 11:55 AM

Even in "deep" ketosis I still get a liver dump from running a 5k race. This acts to reduce my ketone levels immediately post exercise, but increases them later in the day.

I think your ketone levels are a measure of how "empty" your liver glycogen stores are.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 29, 2012
at 08:03 PM

Yes. My BG gets really high after an exercise induced liver dump (180 mM) but then I'm a diabetic. It clears quite quickly, and afterwards my insulin sensitivity is so high that I can eat as many carbs as I like without spiking. I guess my muscles are refilling their glycogen stores.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 30, 2012
at 11:09 AM

About 93% of my max heart rate. I never get cramps unless I run over 10 miles, after which I get them bad. Don't supplement with anything other than Vit-D.

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 01:35 PM

This makes sense... I've read that theory before, that there is like a "secret store" of energy the liver has that it only releases when in dire need.. maybe because I've maintained nutritional ketosis for this long, I've tricked my body into thinking I'm in a starvation state (which is the entire point of nutritional ketosis) and the BJJ activity on top of that was the final straw to trigger glycogenolysis... but then I would have expected my blood sugar to go up a little more right? Any experience with blood sugars and glyogenolysis? Have you seen them go up?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 29, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Since you can never exactly meet your structural protein requirement, something must happen to all the excess. My bet is that it trickles into your liver (via GNG) and provides the "secret store".

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 30, 2012
at 07:27 AM

At what intensity can you run a 5k race and at what ketone levels? Do you experience cramps? If yes, do you supplement with magnesium?

1
Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 29, 2012
at 07:19 AM

It depends on the intensity of your workout. I suspect Jiu Jitsu to be 'high' intensity hence I would expect your (serum) ketone levels to fall because of the increase in blood sugar (from the liver).

I can't wait to click on the link now!

Edit: Just checked. Next time measure your blood sugar before you start the exercise to see if/how much it goes up. 82 is definitely not high but I would expect it to be lower prior to your exercise given you started fasted.

Edit2: I think this is a very relevant question because some people think that all exercise increases ketone levels instantly and automatically.

Edit3: Btw, check out these two posts by Peter Attia. He's basically running the same experiment as you.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 29, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Check out the entire site. There are so many good articles! This one will probably also be of interest http://eatingacademy.com/how-a-low-carb-diet-affected-my-athletic-performance

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 11:51 PM

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-ii Here is the link where he refers to the secret store of glucose in the liver, released under stress.. a process called "hepatic glucose output" triggered by catecholamine release.. Thanks for the links!

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 29, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Btw, Lyle McDonald recommends following a high intensity session with a 10-15min cooldown below lactate threshold to lower blood sugar and release free fatty acids.

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 01:36 PM

Great links... I've added them to my, to read list! I predict a quiet day at work today with plenty of time to read more about ketosis.

0
8e5c6f9b42c010f729b877893ea4b76d

on January 21, 2015
at 08:46 AM

It's good!

0
Fa47f83a344f820ebc0705a6bfd4301b

on January 21, 2015
at 08:13 AM

Ketones are used by the body as energy. I experimented and measured ketones directly before weight training and my level was 2.2mmol, and 15. Minutes after my weight training It measured 0.6mmol. I then rested for the following 2 hours with no food and tested again and got 4.2mmol.
This tells me that during exercise my body used ketones as fuel, which is the exact effect we all are wanting. That left a lower tank of ketone fuel in my blood. However the weight training raised my resting metabolic rate and got my engine reving for the next few hours by breaking down more fat and producing more ketones. And since I was resting and not burning them as energy, my tank filled up and I got a reading of 4.2mmol. And my mouth got all dry at that point and my breath had odour, as the ketones I wasn’t burning had to come out somewhere, as they can’t be stored as fat again.
So if you took your ketone reading using a glucometer  once per day (after exercise or a physical day at work) then you would always have a low reading, which would mislead you into thinking you are doing something wrong or aren’t in ketosis.
But you would have been just using the ketones up as fast as you make them. ??????

0
9d142ffae34c518722ea67d4cfb89a19

on December 30, 2012
at 03:05 AM

Agree with gugusipi, if your workout was intense enough that you were becoming anaerobic, you'd have been burning muscle/liver glycogen and reducing ketosis.

0
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on December 29, 2012
at 07:10 AM

You're only measuring ketones present in your urine. That balance could be affected by lots of things and isn't necessarily an accurate measure of your chemistry.

Also, I think I read somewhere that your count will balance out and even fall back after maintaining ketosis for a given time. No idea what that time is, specifically. Or, if it's even credible information.

Of course, I'm assuming you're testing your urine. Otherwise, never mind.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 29, 2012
at 11:52 AM

it sounds like he's testing his blood. It's what all the cool kids are doing.

B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

(694)

on December 29, 2012
at 01:32 PM

Ya, checking blood ketones with the precision xtra kit, a la Jimmy Moore. Trying to do the same n=1 experiment he did at livin la vida low carb.

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