For those of you who don’t know, the Keto Summit was an event that just past last month rounding up the industry experts on the ketogenic diet.
It’s like the TED Talks of the low carb high fat industry.
Menno Henselmans, the extra shredded bodybuilder from Bayesianbodybuilding.com graced his presence spittin’ tons of knowledge bombs.
Anyways, the talk isn’t available anymore so luckily I took some notes.
And i’m sharing it with you guys because I love you.
I’m like the guy who takes extremely concise notes in college and decides to share it with the class. While the class sits back and waits for Mr. “Note-Taker” to finish doing what he’s gotta do.
Well class is over and here are my beautiful notes so you know what Menno Henselman’s point of view is on the ketogenic diet and bodybuilding.
Henselmans starts off saying that the ketogenic diet is HIGHLY underrated from a bodybuilding point of view. The traditional bodybuilding regimen followed a super high carb super high protein and virtually no fat diet.
The complete opposite of the ketogenic diet. Sounds like hell.
He then goes on to drop more knowledge nukes explaining the benefits and science behind keto and bodybuilding:
- The keto diet is very appetite suppressing, to Menno, this is one of the biggest benefits because it becomes easy to drop fat (by eating less than your body burns).
- It does NOT adversely affect strength training performance.
- Your body uses glycogen when lifting weights, this is already inside your muscles.
- It’s not about what you ate immediately before your workout, it’s about what you ALREADY HAD inside your body.
- Even high levels of bodybuilding only burns about 40% of glycogen in the muscle.
Pretty much what he’s trying to say is the keto lifestyle can be super beneficial for weight lifters.
AKA screw the naysayers’
He also stated that “high levels of bodybuilding only burns about 40% of glycogen in the muscle.”
Even with the miniscule amounts of carbohydrates you are eating on the keto diet, your body still has more than enough to maintain a proper bodybuilding regimen.
The science behind this explained by Menno via the Cori Cycle:
“The Cori Cycle provides the body with important pathways to maintain adequate muscle glycogen levels without glucose from the diet. The liver effectively recycles the lactate produced during anaerobic exercise back into glucose. The energy for this process can be derived from fatty acid oxidation…
…the glycerol backbone of the fats in your diet can be converted into glucose. Though the contribution of glycerol to glucose production is normally modest, the body is capable of deriving a significant percentage of its glucose needs from glycerol and the limits of this have not been adequately tested.”
Another way to explain it is our body’s being smart with the way utilize what we eat and drink.
It’s like comparing being drunk off of wine to being drunk off of beer.
They both get you feeling tipsy, but at the same time in a completely different way.
The next series of tidbits are studies that Mr. Henselmans retrieved from credible sources as well as a couple tips he’s successfully used:
- You should be having SOME carbs even on a keto diet. You need to have a decent fiber intake and want to eat some veggies.
- The name of the game is getting as many carbs in as you can while still staying in ketosis
- During the initial period, you should at LEAST be using ketone strips. It is preferred to use ketonix.(affiliate link)
- Eventually, when being in ketosis long enough, you don’t need to measure ketones as much.
- Low carbohydrate dieting isn’t the “performance killer” that people make it out to be.
- If you’re looking at pure strength training, the keto diet is not an issue.
- If you are performing glucose intensive workouts such as sprints or 1 rep max workouts, glucose may be necessary.
- It is crucial to differentiate between strength training and other forms of physical activity when assessing the need for glycogen and dietary carbs.
It’s starting to become clear that the ketogenic diet can be worked into your bodybuilding diet as long as you’re doing it correctly.
I have more tips that’ll help you out a lot with the ketogenic lifestyle and bodybuilding in my free ebook, just signup with your email below:
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Menno has been fueling his bodybuilding workouts through a ketogenic diet for years now and clearly its been working.
If you don’t believe me and you don’t believe Menno, maybe some studies might change your mind:
- A study showing, “keto dieting with only ~22 grams of carbs a day has been found to have no impact on strength performance in international level gymnasts training on average 4.3 hours a day.”
- Tampa study explaining, “a keto diet in bodybuilders and powerlifters does not hinder pwoer output, though anaerobic cycling endurance was predictably impared.”
- More studies found that, “When the intensity is low enough, ketogenic dieting again does not appear to reduce performance, as the body starts using fat instead of glycogen as the primary fuel source.”
- Lastly, an unpublished research study from the University of Texas shows, “clear benefit in terms of muscle growth and fat loss in favor of the ketogenic diet group compared to a higher carb diet.”
These types of studies move me to stick to this ketogenic lifestyle.
I understand not everyone wants to become a bodybuilder but it’s reassuring to know that it is completely possible, if not, optimal to gain some muscle on keto…
…and for that I appreciate Mr. Henselmans for his extensive research.
He then speaks of how the diet is effective in combination with strength training:
- One of the main benefits of a high fat diet is increased anabolic hormone production. This effect is stronger in strength trainees than sedentary people, likely due to higher activity of these hormones.
- Keto diets are particularly effective at reducing chronic inflammation, which may increase muscle growth via a clearer inflammatory signal for muscle repair.
- Strength training may interact with the altered amino acid metabolism during ketosis.
- Any protein sparing effect of ketosis will be extra beneficial during strength training, since protein turnover is higher.
- Exercise may benefit from the increased production of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Adrenaline and noradrenaline are often viewed as catabolic hormones, but actually they decrease protein breakdown.
And that’s just about wraps up the interview.
Golden keto nuggets for my keto bodybuilding crew out there.
Remember, as you’re beginning your journey on this low carb high fat thing, don’t get discouraged when you don’t feel like a superhuman when you’re first starting off.
Like anything else, it takes time.
Just like anything else worth working and waiting for, the ketogenic diet WILL benefit you as long as you are properly following a correct protocol.
And just like Menno himself, I’ve been eating low carb high fat for quite a while. It’s changed the game for me physically, mentally, and I honestly feel obligated to spread the knowledge.
Go ahead and sign up below for my mailing list for the tips I personally have accumulated that’s helped me out drastically.