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Keto for training

Old 06-17-17, 07:54 PM
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Great stuff guys and gals, I read through all the replies and appreciate everyone's advice! I've been doing keto for 9 months, lost over 40lbs. I went from 195 to 145lbs today. I'm 5'7" medium build and do moderate weight training now so I do carry a bit of muscle. I have naturally large and strong legs. I ran track as a teenager so I am used to endurance training. The first bike ride I did last week went 28 miles. I felt good throughout. I only had coffee prior to the ride and water throughout. I didn't feel hungry or weak although I did start to cramp a bit towards the last couple miles. Planning to do an even longer ride next time and thinking about taking some of those Phat fudge packs that are keto friendly. I'm thinking it would work similar to a gel if you're running on carbs. I'm also going to be training for a half marathon. This is my first time training for endurance on keto so I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I will continue with keto since I felt that during that ride I felt very strong throughout during a "fasted" state as my body was being fueled by ketones versus in the past where I did marathons/half marathons on glucose I always felt very famished and hungry.
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Old 06-17-17, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
That's kind of a big issue.

That's why I don't get why anyone would even think of trying this to get faster, or would try to ride 60+ miles on "just water". Averaging ~276 watts an hour is ~1,000 kJ, and that's not even a lot of watts relatively speaking. You need some carbs if you want to actually ride fast.
yanno, it's not really rocket science, or even all that complicated.

train in endurance pace, keto diet to cut weight (if weight cutting is needed).

train in higher zones (4,5,6) as needed, and usually those workouts dont break glycogen store limits. ketp still ok, body replenished via, oh hey, ketogenesis, ie recovering fat to make sugar.

fat adapt as part of training, so you can go longer distances w/o sugar so long as manage "time in zone". dont have to be keto, but long and slow burns fat, so why not maximise it?

lose weight, build base. easy peasy.

But this is NOT the "go hard on big miles" plan. this is the training plan. for people who want to cut weight.

cut weigtht + build base = keto.

skinny bastard + build base= not keto.

intervals building to a peak = not keto.

what part of this is rocket science?
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Old 06-18-17, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography

what part of this is rocket science?
That's a silly and incorrect question.

The question is, what part of this is necessary? And how much of keto is actually detrimental to endurance performance?

Those with more credentials than I would assert "none" and "a lot".

I mean, if you're keen on "being different" and aren't really concerned about being as fast as you can, then go for it. There's a lot more to riding than being fast. But the op asked about keto for training. Presumably training means going fast, but maybe it just means going sort of slow for as long as possible. Different types of training. Of course, I'd assert keto is far less than optimal for any of them.

Last edited by rubiksoval; 06-18-17 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 08-27-17, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TheFitAdventure
Great stuff guys and gals, I read through all the replies and appreciate everyone's advice! I've been doing keto for 9 months, lost over 40lbs. I went from 195 to 145lbs today. I'm 5'7" medium build and do moderate weight training now so I do carry a bit of muscle. I have naturally large and strong legs. I ran track as a teenager so I am used to endurance training. The first bike ride I did last week went 28 miles. I felt good throughout. I only had coffee prior to the ride and water throughout. I didn't feel hungry or weak although I did start to cramp a bit towards the last couple miles. Planning to do an even longer ride next time and thinking about taking some of those Phat fudge packs that are keto friendly. I'm thinking it would work similar to a gel if you're running on carbs. I'm also going to be training for a half marathon. This is my first time training for endurance on keto so I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I will continue with keto since I felt that during that ride I felt very strong throughout during a "fasted" state as my body was being fueled by ketones versus in the past where I did marathons/half marathons on glucose I always felt very famished and hungry.

As a keto adapted cyclist I have learned the bolded above is a direct effect that the keto diet causes us to lose salts. You must supplement before endurance. Sodium, potassium, magnesium. I make a drink with 'lite salt' and magnesium powder and some of that squirt flavor before a long ride. Also sometimes will have a teaspoon or two of coconut oil.


I did 50m yesterday ~17mph. No cramps, no bonk, no nutrition during the ride. It's the new normal for me.


Sorry if necroing this thread is bad... just wanted to add this.
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Old 08-27-17, 07:07 PM
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Even before adding cycling to the mix, I would say that unless you are A. substantially overweight, or B. diabetic, then a ketogenic diet probably isn't something you should consider.

Cycling on keto is going to be less than optimal, unless your primary concern above all else is weight loss.
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Old 08-28-17, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by adamhenry
Two years ago, LeBron James famously lost 25 pounds and upped his late-game endurance by cutting carbs and sugars from his diet.

From: The truth behind the world's most cutting-edge, fat-burning performance meal plan: the keto diet
You lose weight by cutting calories. It's the law of thermodynamics. You don't magically lose weight by cutting sugar unless that leads to a reduction in calories.

"A 2001 study published in International Journal of Obesity followed overweight subjects whose diets derived either 10 or 5 percent of calories from sucrose.[4] On a 2,000-calorie diet, this would be the difference between 50 and 25 grams of sugar per day. After eight weeks, there were no significant differences in weight loss or BMI. In fact, the high-sugar group lost about 1-1/2 pounds more, but this effect was statistically insignificant.

This finding jived with a huge six-month study on more than 300 people, in which subjects demonstrated no differences in weight loss or body composition with a diet higher in sugar versus a diet lower in sugar—when calories, protein, and fiber were the same.[5]"

https://www.bodybuilding.com/content...-fat-loss.html

Keto is dumb for endurance sports.
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Old 08-28-17, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Philly215
You lose weight by cutting calories. It's the law of thermodynamics. You don't magically lose weight by cutting sugar unless that leads to a reduction in calories.

"A 2001 study published in International Journal of Obesity followed overweight subjects whose diets derived either 10 or 5 percent of calories from sucrose.[4] On a 2,000-calorie diet, this would be the difference between 50 and 25 grams of sugar per day. After eight weeks, there were no significant differences in weight loss or BMI. In fact, the high-sugar group lost about 1-1/2 pounds more, but this effect was statistically insignificant.

This finding jived with a huge six-month study on more than 300 people, in which subjects demonstrated no differences in weight loss or body composition with a diet higher in sugar versus a diet lower in sugar—when calories, protein, and fiber were the same.[5]"

https://www.bodybuilding.com/content...-fat-loss.html

Keto is dumb for endurance sports.
thats a pretty bold statement. keto is dumb for high performance bike racing or spirited riding and training, but to say it is dumb for all endurance sports is pretty ignorant. Just take a look at the FASTER study, ultramarathon keto runners are currently dominating the field, but running isn't cycling.
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Old 08-28-17, 12:37 PM
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Someone who makes a universal statement that something is universally dumb across a very broad context is too dumb to be taken seriously. Or least their dumb statement is.
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Old 08-28-17, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97
thats a pretty bold statement. keto is dumb for high performance bike racing or spirited riding and training, but to say it is dumb for all endurance sports is pretty ignorant. Just take a look at the FASTER study, ultramarathon keto runners are currently dominating the field, but running isn't cycling.
Na it's dumb.

"There are several main reasons that I recommend retaining carbohydrates. The first reason being that carbohydrates are much more muscle sparing than fats during times of stress when glucose becomes a primary source of fuel (i.e. anaerobic exercise, injury, infection, etc) 3.

The muscle-sparing effects of carbohydrates occur via several different mechanisms. When the body is in a low energy state, it may try to produce energy by converting amino acids to glucose. Carbohydrates prevent this since they can be easily broken down (and converted if need be) to glucose molecules. Carbohydrates then spare dietary protein from oxidation and these proteins can be stored rather than oxidized.

Carbohydrates are also muscle-sparing during exercise. When one lifts heavy weights, the primary pathway that is used to produce ATP (cellular energy currency) is the anaerobic or glycolytic pathway (as the name implies this pathway operates in the absence of oxygen). The only substrate for this pathway is glucose, which can be obtained from dietary carbohydrates or by breaking down glycogen (the cell's stored form of glucose).

If one is on a ketogenic or extreme "low carb" diet however, the body will need to utilize another source to synthesize glucose from. Since glycogen levels are low on a ketogenic diet, the body will actually convert amino acids to glucose and this glucose will be used in the anaerobic pathway to produce ATP. These amino acids will come from dietary protein, amino acids from the cellular amino acid pool, and from muscle tissue. The latter situation is where one would experience muscle loss. Dietary protein would be sacrificed for ATP production and the depleted amino acid pool would not bode well for protein synthesis rates, thus causing a net loss in muscle mass."

Dr Layne Norton
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Old 08-28-17, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Philly215
Na it's dumb.

"There are several main reasons that I recommend retaining carbohydrates. The first reason being that carbohydrates are much more muscle sparing than fats during times of stress when glucose becomes a primary source of fuel (i.e. anaerobic exercise, injury, infection, etc) 3.

The muscle-sparing effects of carbohydrates occur via several different mechanisms. When the body is in a low energy state, it may try to produce energy by converting amino acids to glucose. Carbohydrates prevent this since they can be easily broken down (and converted if need be) to glucose molecules. Carbohydrates then spare dietary protein from oxidation and these proteins can be stored rather than oxidized.

Carbohydrates are also muscle-sparing during exercise. When one lifts heavy weights, the primary pathway that is used to produce ATP (cellular energy currency) is the anaerobic or glycolytic pathway (as the name implies this pathway operates in the absence of oxygen). The only substrate for this pathway is glucose, which can be obtained from dietary carbohydrates or by breaking down glycogen (the cell's stored form of glucose).

If one is on a ketogenic or extreme "low carb" diet however, the body will need to utilize another source to synthesize glucose from. Since glycogen levels are low on a ketogenic diet, the body will actually convert amino acids to glucose and this glucose will be used in the anaerobic pathway to produce ATP. These amino acids will come from dietary protein, amino acids from the cellular amino acid pool, and from muscle tissue. The latter situation is where one would experience muscle loss. Dietary protein would be sacrificed for ATP production and the depleted amino acid pool would not bode well for protein synthesis rates, thus causing a net loss in muscle mass."

Dr Layne Norton
how about you say it in your own words instead of regurgitating BS. Hes going to bring up gluconeogenesis and not even mention glycogen gluconeogenesis from glycogen, the free portion of the triglyeride chain in which the FAs are cleaved from? No discussion of which percentage of aerobic threshold the physiology he is discussing plays a role in? Again, your blanket statement about endurance activities is straight up ignorant.
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Old 08-28-17, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography
Depends on:

current power
current weight
current fitness
power goal
weight goal
fitness goal
time frame

Example: cut weight while building base. May be great application for keto.

Example: building power to peak for long rides / races. Keto may be counter productive.
Keto is not needed to achieve any of these goals, or any goal for that matter. Except if keto in itself is the goal
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Old 08-28-17, 07:43 PM
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Straw man much?

Where EXACTLY did I say it was needed?

Srsly. wtf is it with reading comprehension anymore.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:51 AM
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Hello - Newbie here.

I've been on a Keto Diet for coming up to 6 weeks. Getting fat adapted and replying on my body's own fat for fuels during rides is something that's always appealed ,however given the relatively new application to sports (and cycling) there's not a great deal online about what to do,when to do it and what not to do. The whole diet / lifestyle has me asking questions i can't find the answers to. I've skimmed the The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance however it's a bit contradictory and N=1 experiment heavy. It doesn't really map out what to do for sport application.

Good

Satiety between meals is fantastic - I used to eat 6 times a day and constantly be hungry. This is now a thing of the past
Food has been good and cravings low however i'm fairly disciplined when it comes to food and what I eat
I've lost about 4-5 lbs ( i'm 5ft 11 149lbs). I'm fairly lean but borderline skinnyfat.

I did a 40 mile ride last weekend in Zones 1-3 on 20g carbs and 5g MCT oil. I felt fine but it was a slow ride ( 25kph ave - normally ride around 30kph average over mixed rolling terrain).


Bad

Workouts have suffered. I normally do SS or VO2 Max efforts. i'm unsure if I should be adding some carbs in pre workout given that i'm only 5 weeks in. I often do 4x4 vo2 max intervals but can only manage half of that. I split them into 8 x 2mins.

On the road I like to ride sub-threshold efforts at around 260w - 290w, in 20 minute bursts and generally like to ride between 3-4 hours. I can't do this when riding at present.


For those guys who have successfully adapted, do you have any advice on when to add in carbs for harder efforts? Is it worth me leaving it 12 weeks or so to get fat adapted before adding in carbs around workouts and on rides and just take it easy until then?
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Old 10-25-17, 08:57 AM
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holy ish! welcome to the forum.

you are way too educated and analytical for this place. be prepared to have your head spun by BS and bickering, but if you stick around there is tons of good info here.

how old are you, how long have you been training, and what are you training for?

I suspect that you are young, and as such, an overall ketogenic diet, at your height/weight, is counterproductive.

consider this: Ketogenic rides and training does not necessarily require a ketogenic diet. they are two different things aimed at two different results.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:28 AM
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I'm 32 in January so not young but certainly in my prime in terms of fitness. I've been into cycling all my life but training for about 5 years now. I'm fairly consistent, training 3 times a week on ave. What do i train for? I often ask myself this question. I've done a couple of 100 mile road races but I quite like going out with friends and being competitive with them. I've gotten into the habit of training as it makes me feel good. If i don't train for a week i start to feel guilty.... its a silly mindset, i know.

I ride in Mallorca around 3 times a year and do have a penchant for an alpine climb.

I feel having gotten this far with the diet I want to see it though, or at least give it 12 weeks before chucking it in. My other half is also following the same diet - it makes things much easier if we do it together.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:35 AM
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I never did real keto but it makes sense on paper.
I have very limited time to ride, so I like to ride real fast, which requires carbs. If I had all day I would do some more relaxed riding and keto would make sense.


I eat lower carb on days I don't ride, and higher carb when I do ride. Doing some low carb time (and/or short fasts) will give you more insulin sensitivity so when you do use carbs they work better.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bikergrove
I'm 32 in January so not young but certainly in my prime in terms of fitness. I've been into cycling all my life but training for about 5 years now. I'm fairly consistent, training 3 times a week on ave. What do i train for? I often ask myself this question. I've done a couple of 100 mile road races but I quite like going out with friends and being competitive with them. I've gotten into the habit of training as it makes me feel good. If i don't train for a week i start to feel guilty.... its a silly mindset, i know.

I ride in Mallorca around 3 times a year and do have a penchant for an alpine climb.

I feel having gotten this far with the diet I want to see it though, or at least give it 12 weeks before chucking it in. My other half is also following the same diet - it makes things much easier if we do it together.
Are you trying you cut more weight? Do you feel your body fat is high even though you are 5'11 and 145? which is very thin overall?

What do you want to achieve w/ keto?
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Old 10-25-17, 09:53 AM
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I'm 150 lbs. I don't plan on losing anymore weight.

What i'd like to achieve through keto - free myself from being 100% glucose dependent when riding in all zones. It would be great to go for a 40-50 mile ride and not have to constantly throw down sugars. Without fail I breakout ( acne) normally 24- 48 hours after weekend rides where i've taken on board sugars in various forms. I've tried everything from waxymaise starch, vitarigo, rice cakes, sweet potatoes, energy drinks, home made oat bars... you name it i've used it. Same results. I've not had base metabolic testing done but I would imagine i'm a high sugar burner... or was.


I enjoy not being constantly hungry. This is something almost all the guys I ride with compain about. If I eat say, 100g oats for breakfast at 8am I would be hungry at 10am.

I also like to self experiment so... I believe what i'm trying to achieve is referred to as optimal fat optimisation. I read a bit on VESPA's website but it's pretty vague and always ends of referring you to it's ridiculously expensive supplements. I'm not keen on shedding out dollars for Superstarch or Bee enhanced BCAA's. if this diet is " primal" then there must be a way of doing it without spending money on expensive supplements.
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Old 10-25-17, 10:39 AM
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ok what you are describing does not fit an overall keto diet. what you are describing is an application for fasted base training (fat adapting / fat burning rides), achieved by sorting out your training zones (hr, power meter, and lactace and/or ftp tests), then riding those fat adapting rides according to your zones.

Do 50 miles in z2, not going into z3, and you will be training your body to burn fat.
Then do the same 50 miles in z3, and you will be training your body to burn mostly fat.

Then you can build up to longer distances while keeping your effort in z2/z3.

But every effort into z4/z5 will burn some glycogen.

However, the more base training you have (fasted/keto RIDES, but a balanced diet), the more your body will be able to metabolize fat and you will burn LESS glycogen.

Get the idea?

Though I usually want to at least have water, I can (and have) done my wed 50 miler after work w/ no bottles. Then ride another 11 miles home. But it takes experience, a fat adapted base of training, and knowing my zones.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography
ok what you are describing does not fit an overall keto diet. what you are describing is an application for fasted base training (fat adapting / fat burning rides), achieved by sorting out your training zones (hr, power meter, and lactace and/or ftp tests), then riding those fat adapting rides according to your zones.

Do 50 miles in z2, not going into z3, and you will be training your body to burn fat.
Then do the same 50 miles in z3, and you will be training your body to burn mostly fat.

Then you can build up to longer distances while keeping your effort in z2/z3.

But every effort into z4/z5 will burn some glycogen.

However, the more base training you have (fasted/keto RIDES, but a balanced diet), the more your body will be able to metabolize fat and you will burn LESS glycogen.

Get the idea?

Though I usually want to at least have water, I can (and have) done my wed 50 miler after work w/ no bottles. Then ride another 11 miles home. But it takes experience, a fat adapted base of training, and knowing my zones.
This. I followed a fasted training protocol through the first 4 months of the season as I did base building. Can now ride upwards of 3 hours on no food
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Old 10-25-17, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by adamhenry
Two years ago, LeBron James famously lost 25 pounds and upped his late-game endurance by cutting carbs and sugars from his diet.

LeBron lost the weight for his role in Trainwreck. Then he played rather lousily the first part of his first season back in Cleveland. By the end of the year, he'd put a lot of weight back on and was utterly dominant again. I should note that he also had a hurt back that year and took some time off because of it, but he has a wonky back generally. Bottom line, he plays better, much better, at his higher weight. I don't agree at all that he upped his late-game endurance. His game suffered all around until he put the weight back on.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:23 PM
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So how is fat adapted defined and how do you prove that you are now more fat adapted than before. Seems to me this whole thread revolves around very loosely defined terms. How do you even know you are fat adapted, why not "protein adapted". The body can and will burn muscle under certain circumstances.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:32 PM
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As others have said, the OP asked about training.

As far as endurance goes, I particularly enjoy endurance riding, always have. I've been riding long enough to have had the time and opportunity to try different training strategies. One thing that's for sure is that intense training beats the heck out of LSD for increasing endurance. Sure we need LSD too, but as it is said, "Riding slow makes you good at riding slow." The best endurance training is to ride hard and fast, a 3-6 hour ride once a week which is hard enough that you can hardly walk at the end, say 1-1.5 hrs. of zone 4 and .5 hours of zone 5, almost no zone 1. I try to do something like that once a week, then a mix of training during the rest of the week, say 10-15 hrs. total. You can't do that unless you get an adequate amount of carbs, various sugar compounds being the fuel of choice.

As an endurance event approaches, I'll include longer and longer rides, but still riding for time, trying to hold zone 4 on the pass climbs as much as possible. Can't do that except on carbs. Depending on length, I probably won't ride that hard during the event - I'll back it off though still riding for time. Even backed off, I'll be faster than an equivalent athlete who didn't train like this.

So that's endurance cycling training. RAAM riders stuff themselves with carbs. Training for shorter rides mostly involves shorter, harder intervals, which one can't do on keto either.

"Training" on keto, you mostly get bragging rights for being able to ride any distance at all. How about 400k in under 15 hours or 200 miles in under 12? Make that your goal and figure out how to do it. I think that's really the best way to train: pick a goal which seems impossible to you and figure out how to train to be able to do it. You'll learn a lot along the way.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bikergrove
I'm 150 lbs. I don't plan on losing anymore weight.

What i'd like to achieve through keto - free myself from being 100% glucose dependent when riding in all zones. It would be great to go for a 40-50 mile ride and not have to constantly throw down sugars. Without fail I breakout ( acne) normally 24- 48 hours after weekend rides where i've taken on board sugars in various forms. I've tried everything from waxymaise starch, vitarigo, rice cakes, sweet potatoes, energy drinks, home made oat bars... you name it i've used it. Same results. I've not had base metabolic testing done but I would imagine i'm a high sugar burner... or was.


I enjoy not being constantly hungry. This is something almost all the guys I ride with compain about. If I eat say, 100g oats for breakfast at 8am I would be hungry at 10am.

I also like to self experiment so... I believe what i'm trying to achieve is referred to as optimal fat optimisation. I read a bit on VESPA's website but it's pretty vague and always ends of referring you to it's ridiculously expensive supplements. I'm not keen on shedding out dollars for Superstarch or Bee enhanced BCAA's. if this diet is " primal" then there must be a way of doing it without spending money on expensive supplements.
The most likely cause of your acne is the ride itself, nothing to do with what you ate on it. You may have rosacea, which cycling commonly exacerbates. It's treatable.

Be that as it may, try to eat more fat and less carbs in general. Eat a mix of carbs, fat, and protein at every meal. Half the plate vegetables, protein the size of your palm, carbs the size of your fist. That said, I don't generally eat vegetables for breakfast, though many cultures do. A slice of bread, piece of cheese, yogurt, and fruit juice will get you a long way as will eggs, milk, toast and jam, and fruit juice. Try for a balanced diet. When I was training as a kid, I'd eat 2 eggs, 2 pieces of buttered toast and jam, 24 oz. of whole milk, and 12 oz. fruit juice. I was burning a lot of calories and weighed 138. Ixnay on the supplements.

Don't worry so much about what you eat on the ride. Clif bars work fine. Exercise protects you from insulin-blood sugar swings, which is what you are experiencing.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan
So how is fat adapted defined and how do you prove that you are now more fat adapted than before. Seems to me this whole thread revolves around very loosely defined terms. How do you even know you are fat adapted, why not "protein adapted". The body can and will burn muscle under certain circumstances.
I think there's a fair amount of bro-science going on. Here's some info on low-carb, high fat diets by Louise Burke who's been studying this subject for years: Re-Examining High-Fat Diets for Sports Performance: Did We Call the ‘Nail in the Coffin’ Too Soon?

More papers by Louise:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?...fat%5BTitle%5D
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