What Athletes Should Know About Keto

The science behind the Keto Diet has been around for more than 100 years, yet this diet has recently taken the world by storm. Why? Even though the Ketogenic Diet has proven very effective in weight management, there have been studies which have also demonstrated the range of health benefits that go far beyond weight loss. When it comes to the health and fitness of a competitive athlete, the Keto Diet has proven to increase energy levels, improve cognitive function, and enhances athletic performance as a whole.


Advantages for Athletes 

While the most efficient diet and lifestyle for each individual is quite unique, the Ketogenic Diet continues to allow personalization, while also ensuring that the body is able to perform at its highest capability in any stage of athletic exertion. The reason that the Ketogenic Diet is so effective stems from the body's transition into burning ketones instead of glucose. When athletes burn ketones in place of glucose, they experience an increase in cognitive and physical performance as a result to the efficient source of energy.

Along with physical performance, the brain functions more efficiently when using ketones as opposed to glucose from the sugar or carbs that it typically would. Ketones are a competent, slow-burning fuel source with preserved uptake by the brain, leading to increased levels of concentration along with longer periods of focus. Ketones also increase the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which works to support the brain’s existing neurons while also encouraging new neurons and synapses to grow.

The transition to burning fat instead of glucose for energy has shown to improve endurance capacity in athletes, while also improving fat mobilization and oxidation throughout the exercise performance. Keto-adaptation aids in improving aerobic and anaerobic exercise capacity in endurance athletes. The Keto Diet reduces the breakdown of muscle tissue and increases the body’s ability to maintain the lean body mass while burning fat, which is helpful for performance athletes’ body composition. Moreover, ketones increase mitochondrial glutathione levels, thus leading to more rapid recovery between exercise sessions. 


Taking Endurance to the Next Level

The ultimate outcome of keto-adaptation for athletes is an enhanced endurance capacity during competition. For example, performance athletes who have entered into ketosis have experienced a higher reate of endurance and less central fatigue throughout their competition. On the Ketogenic Diet, the body taps into slow burning fat storage, which can help to prevent athletes from hitting the wall. This is particularly beneficial to those athletes who cannot easily digest foods while exercising. During keto-adaptation, liver and muscle glycogen deposits are maintained, weakening the glycogen depletion observed in athletes consuming high carbohydrate diets. With the absence of glucose to burn, athletes will not experience the peaks and valleys of fluctuating blood sugar levels.

Off-Season Benefits

Athletes looking to improve their fat to muscle ratio, particularly those who are required to meet particular weight goals for their sport, stand to benefit from an offseason Keto Diet. Exercising while glycogen storage levels are low is a training technique which is very popular for improving mitochondrial function, and key strategy athletes can utilize if they are looking to improve endurance. By reducing oxidative stress, gut and immune functions are better supported, which helps athletes sustain their health while they rest. Ketones also make available substrates which help repair damaged neurons. Overall, the Ketogenic Diet is able to serve the body in any season so that maximum performance can be achieved.


Where does a BHB Supplement Come in?

Where does a BHB Supplement Come in?

Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is a ketone body produced by the liver, from fat, for energy when glucose isn’t available. The Keto Diet calls for an exclusion of these quick sources of energy, so BHB will become the primary source of energy for the brain and body. Since the liver naturally produces BHB during ketosis, the process can take quite some time, often resulting in symptoms of fatigue, hunger and mental cloudiness. That’s why supplementing BHB on a Keto Diet can have a profound positive impact. For the highest efficiency and long-term success of your Keto endeavor, Rayn BHB will propel you forward in every way.