There are an amazing amount of benefits that come from endurance running on a keto diet. Keto is extraordinary for the purpose of endurance sports as you can use your body’s fat reserves which helps you avoid the bonk most runners hit on long-distance endurance racing.
One of the keys is the ability to access your body’s large store of excess calories in body fat. As long as exercise is lower speed over a longer course a keto diet gives you a huge battery of stored potential energy for enduro-style runs over hundreds of miles without dramatic impact.
Also, keto dieters tend to speak about an overabundance of energy and many reports much improved mental clarity.
We should explore how this adds benefits to endurance running on a keto diet, we will break down how your performance can be increased and why it is so amazing for endurance sports.
At the end of this article, I will have a link that can get you all the information you need to learn about keto more in-depth.
Benefits To Endurance Running On A Keto Diet
There are many benefits to a ketogenic diet and running long distances. This is more specifically aimed around non-HIIT related activities, which most of us know has been the current rage in fitness circles.
Running has long been a pastime of humans, we have been doing it since the recorded history for food and survival.
We were able to run animals to death as a community of men and women, as time moved we built cities and lost the connection to running, unfortunately.
With a ketogenic diet, we have had life sprung back into running as it has amazing benefits to inflammation and overall health as we will talk about next!
Keto And Inflammation
One large benefit to a ketogenic diet is that limiting the glucose metabolism helps decrease your inflammation levels throughout your body.
This isn’t just a decrease in your legs, it is a decrease in your overall body inflammation which helps you recover from everything including sickness faster and more efficiently.
Keto has also been shown to help start autophagy, or cellular cleanup and regeneration, this process destroys used and abused cells and allows the body to create newer versions.
This regeneration effect is being studied to see about its ability to help those with damaged immune systems possibly recover some natural ability.
Ketosis And Bonking
A very cool feature of a ketogenic diet is that it is amazingly beneficial to an endurance runner. This is due in large part to what amounts to endless energy, like being a kid again, due in large part to the freedom from bonking.
Since bonking occurs due to a lack of the body being able to access glucose, a ketogenic diet diverts around this problem as power is generated instead through ketones in the blood.
Many refer to keto as “bonk proofing” for endurance athletes. Though typical adaptation requires a minimum of 4-6 weeks on average for performance to come back.
Ketones burn much cleaner than glucose and are the much more abundant source of energy. Most people have around a theoretical max amount of glucose, where most human fat stores are large enough to burn for days without exhaustion.
Why Does Endurance Get Boosted?
When you start a ketogenic diet and stay low in carbohydrates continuously without having binge or “cheat” days you start to become fat adapted.
Eventually, you become fully adapted which means you switch back and forth between fuel sources with more ease, allowing things like CKD, TKD and more to become solid options.
Being a fat-adapted runner gives you access to the massive quantities of calories stored on your body as body fat. This grants you access to an immense fuel source that can’t be rivaled by carbohydrates.
The typical amount of calories a person has as stored glycogen on average is around 2000 before you run out, or bonk.
The typical amount of calories a person has as body fat is typically at least 20,000, which means days before you could run out.
What is even more crazy is almost none of us are lean enough to only run 20,000 fat calories as that only works out to about 7lbs of excess body fat.
Remember there is a level your body will need to maintain for proper health which is why there is a lower limit to where body fat shouldn’t go under.
Currently at 230 pounds and looking at my latest InBody testing I have around 165 lbs of lean mass, which means I currently have 65 lbs of fat on me that I am working to lose through a well-formulated ketogenic diet and running.
65 pounds of fat works out to approximately 227,500 calories of stored energy on my body. As long as I manage my diet correctly I should be able to shed around a half to one pound a week, which means if I do well for a year I should get to my prime, or best-managed weight.
Interested In Learning More About A Ketogenic Diet?
If you like to read to understand and gain a solid foundation before you choose to change your diet then I have a good link for you to a couple of books centered on teaching you all the ins and outs of keto. This course should give you the jump you need to get your adaption started.
This amazing ketogenic masterclass includes books which cover a multitude of topics from keto basics, eating correctly for a ketogenic diet, maintaining on keto, intermittent fasting, surviving social engagements and much more!
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