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Is it risky to exercise on an empty stomach? Read on to find out. Do intermittent fasting and exercising m esh? Whether you're pounding the pavement or cranking out squats, your body primarily uses glycogen, or stored carbohydrates , to fuel exercise.
The exception occurs when your glycogen reserves are depleted, which could happen if you haven't eaten in a while, says Kelly Pritchett, Ph. When that's the case, your body is forced to find and burn other energy sources, such as fat.
Before you get too excited, consider this: So, while you may shed more fat when exercising on an intermittent fasting diet, you may lose more muscle, too. If you're heading out on a long run, but haven't eaten any carbs, your body might start burning protein within a couple of hours. That won't just thwart how much weight you can bench press or how toned your butt looks. It will also slow your metabolism, which can make losing weight more difficult in the long run.
In an effort to prevent starvation, your body adapts to the number calories you give it. So if you're frequently making drastic cuts to your calorie intake, your body will eventually adjust, burning fewer calories per day to ensure you have enough energy left to stay upright, breathing and healthy, Pritchett says. That's not exactly ideal for any exercise plan that's supposed to end in weight loss.
Plus, if you've ever tried to power through a tough workout with a growling stomach, you know that working out on empty is just plain hard. If your glycogen or blood sugar levels are low, you will feel weak. And if you don't have enough energy to really go after it during workouts, your fat-burning and muscle-building results will suffer, says Jim White, R. How to sweat smart when f asting. Intermittent fasting enthusiasts don't need to throw in the towel on tough workouts just yet, though.
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A ketogenic diet means your body has reached the point where it's actually producing ketones in sufficient amounts that there are elevated levels of ketones in your blood and they're being utilized for fuel. In short, the metabolic changes are very different from those obtained by ordinary low-carb eating. Consuming a high amount of dietary fat and a low amount of dietary carbohydrate are the key features of a ketogenic diet.
Exactly how much fat and how few carbs? Now the really important part for most people to consider is their protein intake. Most of us in the training world have it pounded in our heads that high protein intakes are the way to go and this is a large part of why forays into ketogenic diets usually fail.
Ingesting protein above certain quantities is glucogenic and will prevent you from staying in ketosis. In practical terms, consuming protein at or above.
There have been epic debates about whether ketogenic diets affect sport performance. While I won't claim to settle the debate, I hope to use just two studies to highlight the current understanding of how ketogenic diets affect performance.
Each cyclist underwent 4 weeks of a mixed diet and a ketogenic diet KD in a crossover design and then performed a continuous exercise protocol on a bike with varied intensity. However, when you lose fat mass, your VO2 goes up because that's how the analysis works.
If you reduce body mass, you reduce the number in the denominator, thus you increase the relative value. However, the max workload and the workload at lactate threshold were significantly higher after following a mixed diet. Low carbohydrate ketogenic diets decrease the ability to perform high intensity work, due to decreased glycogen muscle stores and the lower activity of glycolytic enzymes, which is evidenced by a lower lactic acid concentration and a maximal work load during the last 15 minutes of the high intensity stage of the exercise protocol.
The human metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction: Study 2 is perhaps the most well known of the ketogenic diet studies. The paper had five highly-trained cyclists performing a VO2 max and "Time to Exhaustion" TEE cycling test before and after a four-week ketogenic diet.
The TEE test showed extremely high variability between the participants. One showed a huge increase in TEE not sure how a highly trained cyclist increases their TEE by 84 minutes in 4 weeks , another showed a minute increase, two showed roughly minute declines, and one showed almost no change. As for muscle glycogen stores, muscle biopsies showed that the KD reduced muscle glycogen to almost half of normal.
That alone is enough to indicate high-intensity performance might be impaired. Let's take a look at what's consistent across these two studies and in fact, many studies on ketosis and see what we can learn about ketogenic diets and performance. The first consistent theme is improved body composition. But this is most likely from spontaneous caloric restriction.
There's a substantial amount of data from other diets that reduce caloric restriction from any source even those that reduce fat that show improved body comp. Of course, when we're talking about improved body comp in ketogenic diets, we're referring almost exclusively to a loss of fat mass. However, there's no literature to support that a ketogenic diet is beneficial for promoting increases in muscle mass.
Many studies show decreased capacity to perform high-intensity work. This is likely due to two mechanisms: The reduction in performance at high-intensity is likely a feature of the reduced levels of intramuscular glycogen seen across the studies.
This may also impact recovery for hard training athletes and impair the ability for muscles to increase in size. In high-intensity, anaerobic exercise, your body relies mainly on glucose from blood glucose, muscle glycogen, hepatic glucose output, and gluconeogenesis for fuel.
Since ketogenic diets reduce muscle glycogen, it's really hard to train at a high level. Let's get down to brass tacks.