It was once believed that you couldn’t be ‘keto’ and be strong, that you needed to eat mountains of carbs to build strength and muscle mass.
This is 100% true!…… If you are a sugar burner.
When you are dependant on glucose to fuel your everyday energy, as well as work out and you don’t eat enough calories from carbs you will become hypoglycemic, requiring glucose to maintain energy to yuor muscles and brain.
If you don’t eat, your body WILL then breakdown muscle fibre to produce glucose through the conversion of amino acids in the liver. This process is called gluconeogenesis, and the reason why body builders and other power athletes eat so much food in general, and carbs specifically to avoid this issue.
So why does this not happen on Keto ?
As a fat adapted athlete when your body is faced with the same problem of not having enough energy, instead of breaking down muscle fibre to produce glucose, you will release fat from fat cells to produce Ketones and energy for your brain and body sparing the muscle fibre.
This is an evolutionary adaption that we have to preserve our precious muscle fibre to remain strong and healthy. The reason sugar based athletes can’t do this is because they haven’t taken the time to upregulate their fat oxidisation process (turn fat into energy) and therefore can’t convert fat fast enough to maintain the calorie requirement from fat alone.
This is a HUGE advantage for all Keto Athletes from Body builders to marathon runners. Despite the difference in physical size and requirement of muscle based in your sport, the strength and health of the muscle tissue is of primary importance to performance!
– Spare muscle tissue
– Burn fat not muscle in low calorie states
– Protect the body from Hypoglycaemia
– Can upregulate fat oxidisation to meet energy requirements
– Convert muscle protein to glucose
– Need to eat a lot to maintain muscle mass
– Susceptible to hypoglycaemia and energy crashes
– Can’t use fat efficiently to make up the calorie deficit