A timeline of ketoadaptation

This is how ketoadaptation works (when it works), chronologically, on physical performance (I think):



Dark grey line: the gradual increase in performance for someone training on a regular diet.

Red line: performance declines on keto initially, but is back to baseline (light blue line) by week 3.

Light grey line: as long as ketoadaptation doesn’t impair performance, similar gradual increase in performance for someone training on a regular diet.  Parallel to the dark grey line.  May even catch up to the dark grey line.  I don’t know, but probably not as per FASTER – long-term LC athletes were not superior to their LF counterparts.



if you’re hell bent on LC + training, gotta compensate by increasing protein… and even then, it doesn’t always work



New study: impact of a 6-week non-energy-restricted ketogenic diet on physical fitness, body composition, and biochemical parameters in healthy adults (Urbain et al., 2017)



They increased protein by THIRTY GRAMS per day and it still wasn’t enough to combat keto-induced loss of lean mass :/



they should’ve done some resistance exercise



This study doesn’t really support the light grey line theory, as performance didn’t quite increase from week 3 to week 6, probably because they weren’t exercising.  Duh.  (I think).



As mentioned many times, keto is: 1) good for fat loss in obese IR; 2) should be at least neutral on physical performance if combined with high protein and exercise (as per the Elite Ketogenic Gymnasts and FASTER); and 3) not good for muscle gainz.


The elite ketogenic gymnasts increased protein from 84 to TWO HUNDRED GRAMS daily:



They were exercising regularly and barely maintained their muscle mass… but physical performance was exactly as expected in a month-long study: back to baseline (supports the grey-line theory).


I’d say we know enough about ketoadaptation to predict how these studies will pan out.  I’m thinking: combined with high protein and resistance exercise, the 3-week ketoadaptation grey-line theory.

That said, if you’re skinny and want muscle gainz: carbs > dietary fat.  This is not keto’s strong suit.



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  • Demon King

    I love you.

  • Abu Sumayah Laughton

    There is no reliable evidence that carbs are necessary to build muscle. As long as someone eats more calories than normal then gaining lean muscle mass should be no problem. Most people on keto who follow a good training protocol for muscle gains but don’t see results are usually not eating enough! I found it interesting that you keep going on about losing lean body mass but the study doesn’t seem to say this at all, unless I missed it… One part of the study you cited reads, “Together with our result having documented a rise in hand grip strength
    as a surrogate marker of total muscle mass and function, we conclude
    that our intervention affected neither muscle mass nor muscle function
    negatively. The body composition changes may be regarded as positive.”

    • they increased protein by 30g/d and it was barely enough to combat keto-induced loss of lean mass

  • Jord

    A keto diet will most likely never reach the same level of performance as someone who includes carbs in the diet.

    There are entire reviews on the benefits of carbs for performance. The data also clearly shows negative performance outcomes for keto diets.
    Will downregulate PDH and limit use of carbs for fuel.

    Possible benefits for ultra endurance – slooow, long distance.