Bodybuilding on a Ketogenic Diet

 


ketogenic dietIf you’re interested in bodybuilding and performance enhancement, then chances are good that you’ve tried a number of diets designed to help you burn fat and build bulk. The ketogenic diet is a great choice for bodybuilders, and it offers a number of health benefits that can help you lose fat and improve your overall wellbeing.

What Is a Ketogenic Diet?

Simply put, a ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, but provides ample protein. It is designed to lower your insulin and blood sugar levels while forcing your body to burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a state called “ketosis”, which essentially means that the body becomes incredibly efficient at burning excess fat for energy. What’s more, it also turns fat into molecules known as ketones in the liver, which is an excellent source of energy for the brain. In fact, people on a ketogenic diet often claim that they have better mental function and memory over time.

Versions of the Diet

There are several different variations of the ketogenic diet, and some of these are better suited for bodybuilding than others. The traditional versions are difficult for some bodybuilders to incorporate at first because their bodies typically rely on an influx of carbohydrates for immediate energy. By reducing these carbohydrates drastically, they often feel fatigued – at least for the first few weeks. The most common ketogenic diet versions are:

  • The Standard Ketogenic Diet, or SKD. It is a very low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. On average, it consists of only 5% carbs, 20% protein, and a whopping 75% fat.
  • The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, or CKD. This is a modified version of the standard diet that rotates high-carb days with low-carb days. For example, you may follow the SKD for five days and then eat a high-carb diet for two days.
  • The Targeted Ketogenic Diet, or TKD. In this version, you can consume higher numbers of carbs targeted around your workouts. This is designed to provide your body with easy-to-use energy when you need it most.
  • The High-Protein Ketogenic Diet, which involves consuming more protein and less fat than the standard version. It consists of 5% carbs, 35% protein, and 60% fat.

The Best Choices for Bodybuilders

There is no one form of the ketogenic diet that will work best for all bodybuilders and athletes. The CKD and TKD are the most popular, though they do require quite a bit of planning and carb counting. Many bodybuilders will combine the high-protein ketogenic diet with the targeted version in order to help them maintain their energy levels while providing ample protein for the muscle building process, and it tends to work well as long as the majority of the carbohydrates consumed prior to a workout are complex in nature.

Although a ketogenic diet does provide a number of health benefits for bodybuilders, it is important to remember that most athletic bodies rely heavily on carbohydrates for energy, so making the transition can be difficult. The CKD and TDK are by far the best options for those who push their bodies, and combining this with a higher amount of protein is often the best way to build muscle while losing fat.