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Is the kéto regime good for running on foot?

The ketogenic diet can help you perform

The importance of running on foot

Good physical performance begins with good nutrition.

What you eat can do or undo your training sessions and affect how you feel. That's why riders rely on carbohydrates. In fact, up to 65 % of your runner's average diet is composed of carbohydrates.

This carbohydrate-based approach is based on recommendations from sports nutrition authorities such as the International Sports Nutrition Society (ISSN), which propose:

Daily carbohydrate intake from 5 to 12 g per kg body weight.
A carbohydrate intake that varies according to the amount and intensity of the training.
During moderate to high intensity training (more than 70 % VO2max) for 12 hours per week, a carbohydrate intake of 8 to 10 g/kg per day.
Eating this way improves glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. And while this approach works for the most part, there are some more promising options that people don't talk about, such as the ketogenic diet, for example. You will find many brands to help you Start your cetogenic diet on our online shop.

The problem with carbohydrates and glucose is that your body can store only a lot of them, and it will help you run 90-120 minutes. When all this glycogen is exhausted, your body starts to use fat for the rest of your race.

However, your body doesn't just go to another fuel like that. It first reports to your cells to slow down, it breaks down the muscle fibers and the metabolites begin to accumulate, resulting in a decrease in muscle strength.

Is the ketogenic diet good for runners?

According to Dr. Stephen Phinney, a medical researcher specializing in low carbohydrate nutrition, a low-carb diet like the ketogenic diet is perfect for runners. He has spent decades studying the effects of poor carbohydrate diets on endurance athletes' sessions. His theories are supported by research showing that glycogen reserves are insufficient to feed a marathon, but also by research examining the benefits of low carbohydrate and high fat diets (LCHF-Low Carb High Fat) on physical performance.

These studies have shown that CHF systems maintain endurance performance while improving body composition. This is contrary to what we usually hear about sports nutrition.

Carbohydrates are the mainstay because they burn faster than fat; it takes much more time and effort for the body to burn fat. But when you follow a ketogenic diet for a longer period, things change.

Coping with the ketogenic diet

The secret to operating a keto diet when you are a runner is the "fat adaptation" (fat adaptation).

What is fat adaptation?
Fat adaptation is a metabolic change that occurs after a ketogenic diet for a period of time. When you are adapted to fat, your body is able to use fat as a fuel, relying less on glycogen.

Endurance athletes who adapted after having followed a keto diet for 9 to 36 months had a maximum fat oxidation rate of about 1.5 g/min at about 70 % VO2max. This is much higher than the carbohydrate-adapted endurance athletes.

In addition, ultra-hardened athletes who have followed an LFHC diet for 6 months have reached a higher maximum exercise intensity than athletes following a carbohydrate-rich diet. These athletes also maintained a normal muscle glycogen, which is important for post-training recovery.

Thus, the most important thing is that the long-term ketogenic diet improves the adaptation of an athlete's fat. Keep in mind that one aspect of fat adaptation involves more production of ketone to specifically feed the brain.

Start a ketogenic diet

1. Start during the rest season.
Because it takes time to adapt to fat, it is better to cOmmit a low-carbohydrate diet during your free time. In the first pass to a ceto diet, almost everyone knows what is called the keto flu. It is caused by decreases in blood sugar and, in some cases, electrolyte imbalances due to the regime's potent diuretic effects. Expect this "flu" to last about a week when you start to run out of carbohydrates.

2. Eat enough protein
Eat daily between 1.3 and 2.5 g/kg body weight of protein to maintain muscle mass, gluconeogenesis and fat oxidation. The standard keto diet is based on the consumption of moderate amounts of protein (1 g/kg body weight). However, endurance athletes will need more than that, especially when they train for a marathon.

3. Use MCT complements
Coconut oils are natural sources of medium chain triglycerides (TCM). However, a more reliable and concentrated source of these beneficial fats is l' MCT oil, capsules and powders. These are supplements containing a special type of fat that your body digest and uses even faster than carbohydrates. Studies also show that TCM increases ketone production in a matter of minutes.

4. Try a cyclical approach
If you have not been able to follow a ketogenic diet long enough to fit your fat, try a cyclical approach. The cyclic ketogenic diet involves 5-6 days of high fat meals followed by 1-2 days of carbohydrate intake to improve both muscle glycogen and fat adaptation. You must also ensure that you stay well hydrated, take electrolytes and even consider exogenous ketones to increase your performance.

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