Should Runners Use The Keto Diet?

You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing about someone who is losing a tremendous amount of weight on Keto. And while it might be great for weight loss, is it beneficial for runners especially those who plan on doing marathons?

Unlike other diets like South Beach or Atkins, Keto is very strict about what you can and cannot eat. The diet is comprised of 80% fat and then about 20% protein. Almost no carbs at all. The average Keto diet consists of only 20 grams of carbs a day. If you enjoy eating fish, meat, eggs, and dairy then Keto is a great choice for you. But if you enjoy healthy carbs like whole wheat or fruit – you are out of luck.

People lose weight because when the body is unable to break down carbs for fuel it will then resort to fat. This is called ketosis. When a body is in ketosis it will produce something called ketones to help break down fat.

But can that actually fuel the brain and muscles in your body? There have been some studies on how athletes adjust to the Keto diet. One study showed that during a 10 week Keto diet the athlete’s body did improve appearance but it did not improve their overall performance. In fact, in the early stages of the diet, many of them had reduced energy and weren’t able to perform high-intensity workouts.

Sometimes people go on the Keto diet and don’t actually get into Ketosis. This is why it might be flawed unless they are continually monitoring their urine for ketones. However, long-distance runners have the tendency to put themselves into Ketosis during a long run, especially when the body has ran out of carb fuel. Scientists believe that marathon runners will adapt better to the Keto diet than those who do a quick jog around the neighborhood because their body is already used to going into Ketosis.

So marathon runners? Will you try the Keto diet?