Can you exercise on a keto diet? The ketogenic diet cuts out one major fuel source for the human body – carbs. Without carbs, energy is hard to come by, and that’s where ketones come in. The keto diet helps the human body produce ketones, organic compounds that provide fuel when there’s a lack of carbs. While the keto diet has been linked to a slew of health benefits and is amazing for weight loss, one major disadvantage is that you can’t work out while on it.
According to many experts, working out on the keto diet can drain your energy levels further and make muscle growth challenging. Others believe that with the right plan, exercising on keto is possible. There are certainly benefits to it if you follow a good keto diet meal plan and you stick to exercises which won’t drain your energy a lot.
Benefits of Working Out While on a Keto Diet
Here are some of the biggest benefits of exercising on the ketogenic diet:
May Boost Fat Burning
According to research, keto diet exercises may boost the fat burning process. You’ll be losing weight because of the diet itself and thanks to the exercises too. Studies with athletes have shown that switching from a regular to a ketogenic diet can boost the fat burning process over 4 weeks while working out. Adjusting your intake to consume fewer calories can help you burn even more fat, resulting in significant weight loss.
May Speed Muscle Recovery
Although there are just a few studies on it, science has shown that the keto diet can result in better post-workout muscle recovery. This is most likely caused due to the reduced levels of lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase. These enzymes are used to measure muscle damage. Limited search has shown that it also leads to reduced muscle inflammation in athletes which can result in performance improvements.
May Improve Endurance
While HIIT programs and other high-intensity exercises are off the question while on a keto diet, it can certainly enhance performance in athletes seeking to improve endurance. According to studies, following the keto diet for 10+ weeks can result in improved performance, fat burning, and body composition during exercise. Even better, the study noted improved levels of ketones from supplements. It resulted in better muscle recovery and protein breakdown. More studies are definitely needed to confirm that the diet improves endurance while working out, but for now, the results are promising.
Drawbacks of Working Out While on a Keto Diet
May Harm Muscle Growth
While it might help with muscle recovery, regular exercise on the keto diet may also impair muscle growth. This is because of the protein cutbacks – we all know that protein is the building block for muscles and is required for muscle growth. Many versions of the ketogenic diet severely restrict the protein intake, and without it, muscle growth can be pretty challenging.
May Reduce Your Energy Levels
Since you’re not consuming a lot of carbs on the keto diet, your energy levels will drop down. They will drop down even further with keto exercises. The keto diet will surely negatively affect your athletic performance and energy levels to the point where high-intensity programs you’ve done before will be out of reach. The raised levels of ketones in your blood can also lead to fatigue and no desire to work out.
Top Keto Diet Exercises
When you follow a low-carb diet, it’s best to stay away from high-intensity exercises. Sprinting, swimming, jumping rope, or running are best avoided since you’re not entering enough carbs to fuel your body.
Incorporating low-intensity and steady-state exercises work best if you’re following a ketosis diet. These include rowing, biking, and yoga among other exercises.
Of course, if you feel like it, you can try doing high-intensity exercises. However, keep in mind that you might not be suited for that type of performance. This goes especially if you’re following a vegetarian keto diet plan.