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  1. #1
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    Ketogenic Athlete Study

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    JISSN | Full text | Ketogenic diet does not affect strength performance in elite artistic gymnasts

    Mark posted this today in Sunday Links.

    While I talk a lot (OK, a whole lot) about potatoes, I am also interested in ketogenic diets and plan on doing one for about 3 months this winter starting right after Thanksgiving.

    The article is pretty in depth, but of foreign nature. Anyone want to take a crack at deciphering parts of it in terms the average PB'er can understand? Cut and paste a paragraph and tell us what it means!

    For instance:

    "The diets were explained to all subjects by a qualified dietician during an individual visit. Dietary intake was measured by validated 3- day food diary that has been used in the past in studies with athletes and analysed by Dietnext® (Caldogno, Vicenza, Italy) software. During the ketogenic period the prescribed daily intake of carbohydrate was 22 g. The percentage distribution of total daily energy macronutrients was 54.8% fat, 40.7% protein and 4.5% carbohydrates. The total amount of daily kilojoules was 8254.5 ± 1136. During the WD period the macronutrients were distributed in the following order: 46.8% carbohydrate, 38.5% lipids, 14.7% protein. The Western diet provided a total daily kJ 9520.7 ± 1080.71"

    TRANSLATION:
    The ketogenic diet for the test subjects was composed of 1971 calories (+/- 271 cal), 54.8% fat, 40.7% protein, and 4.5% carbs. Carb intake was limited to 22g.

    The Western Diet (WD) was composed of 2273 cal (+/- 251 cal), 46.8% carb, 38.5% fat, and 40.7% protein.


    Anyway, the study showed very favorable outcomes for these athletes on a ketogenic diet for 30 days:
    CONCLUSION:
    Many coaches do not favorably accept the use of a ketogenic diet by their athletes, both due to the absence of knowledge of the effects of the LCKD and due to fear that the diet can rebound on the physical performance of the athlete. Unfortunately there are very few studies on the topic “ketogenic diet and exercise”, showing consistent methods and results. Those that reported negative effects of VLCKD on performance were only carried out for a time of up to 15 days [22]; but a longer period of time is necessary in order to induce the keto-adaptation [66]. This process of keto-adaptation seems to require a significant adherence to the dietary restriction of carbohydrate that needs to last at least 10/14 days to produce the positive reported effects. Individuals who intermittently consume carbohydrates during a ketogenic diet reduce their tolerance to exercise [18,19,22,58]. Our data suggest that athletes who underwent a VLCKD with adequate protein intake lost weight and improved body composition without any negative changes in strength and power performance. Taken together these results suggest that a properly monitored and programmed ketogenic diet could be a useful, and safe, method to allow the athletes to reach their desired weight categories without the unnecessary and harmful procedures currently in use. In conclusion, this dietetic approach in the short term could be helpful in sports that involve weight categories.
    Last edited by otzi; 11-18-2012 at 11:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    Glad you posted. Been thinking about this alot the last couple of days. I would like to understand more. I do okay on about 60-65% fat but after that, I start to run into trouble with weight loss and energy loss. I think potentially two things - too few of calories and maybe I needed to do a refeed once in awhile?

    What I would like to understand, and I do not even know how to assemble my question, so I am going to have to think about it before I ask so I dont sound ridiculous (more ridiculous)
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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    "In our experimental design the ketogenic period was maintained for 30 days. Regarding adequate electrolyte supplementation it is noteworthy that a supplement containing sodium and potassium is needed to maintain an effective nitrogen balance with functional tissue preservation [58] and the Tisanoreica® protocol reported here included an electrolyte supplementation [16]. Finally to maintain lean body mass a protein intake of 1.2–1.7 g/kg/bw with reference to body weight is required [58]."

    This part telling why the previous studies have not always shown favorably and what was different in this study. Think it quite pointedly says don't ignore the recommendation to consume electrolytes. Most low carb experts point to sodium, but it seems that supplementing potassium may also help. Keep the protein up.... And give it 4 weeks.

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    "Both the foods mentioned in the list and the standard ration could be consumed during the same meal and VLCKD was taken by athletes ad libitum. During the VLCK diet, the athletes also consumed some specific herbal extracts: 20 ml of extract A, 20 ml of extract B and 50 ml of extract C as described in Tables 1 and 2. Moreover, during ketogenic diet periods, athletes assumed 1 caplet in of a multivitamin-mineral supplement each morning ([19,25,26]. The composition of the caplets was: Magnesium19 mg, Calcium 16 mg, Phosphorus 8 mg, Zinc 4.5 mg, Iron 4.62 mg, Manganese 1 mg, Potassium 0.5 mg, Copper 0.4 mg, Chromium 28.55 μg, Selenium 4 μg, Niacin 10 mg, Beta carotene 1.8 mg, Folic Acid 66 μg, Biotin 30 μg, Vitamin C 19.8 mg, Vitamin E 3.3 mg, Pantothenic Acid 1.98 mg, Vitamin B6 0.66 mg, Vitamin B2 0.53 mg, Vitamin B1 0.426 mg, Vitamin D3 1.65 μg, Vitamin B12 0.33 μg (Multivitaminico Balestra e Mech, Gianluca Mech SpA, Asigliano Veneto VI). "

    The whole deal with plant extracts and a MVMM is curious to me. I understand why they do the electrolyte bit, but I actually wonder about this part. I'd like to see the study ran without these other confounding factors (outside the electrolytes maybe). It does say that these were consumed during the VLCK portion so I guess we can assume they were discontinued in the following phase.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 11-18-2012 at 11:35 AM.

  5. #5
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    8 athletes, elite artistic gymnasts (age 20.9 ± 5.5 yrs) were recruited. We analyzed body composition and various performance aspects (hanging straight leg raise, ground push up, parallel bar dips, pull up, squat jump, countermovement jump, 30 sec continuous jumps) before and after 30 days of a modified ketogenic diet. The diet was based on green vegetables, olive oil, fish and meat plus dishes composed of high quality protein and virtually zero carbohydrates, but which mimicked their taste, with the addition of some herbal extracts. During the VLCKD the athletes performed the normal training program. After three months the same protocol, tests were performed before and after 30 days of the athletes’ usual diet (a typically western diet, WD). A one-way Anova for repeated measurements was used.

    Results
    No significant differences were detected between VLCKD and WD in all strength tests. Significant differences were found in body weight and body composition: after VLCKD there was a decrease in body weight (from 69.6 ± 7.3 Kg to 68.0 ± 7.5 Kg) and fat mass (from 5.3 ± 1.3 Kg to 3.4 ± 0.8 Kg p < 0.001) with a non-significant increase in muscle mass.


    TRANSLATION:
    8 athlete gymnasts aged 15-25 were selected for a ketogenic diet trial and their strength was tested before and after. The diet consisted of green vegetables, olive oil, fish and meat and herbal supplements with virtually no carbs. They did this diet for 30 days, then switched back to their normal Western Diet.

    Strength tests were nearly identical in ketogenic and western diets, however, the athletes on the ketogenic diet lost about 3lbs of bodyweight which was nearly all fat.
    Last edited by otzi; 11-18-2012 at 11:45 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    "In our experimental design the ketogenic period was maintained for 30 days. Regarding adequate electrolyte supplementation it is noteworthy that a supplement containing sodium and potassium is needed to maintain an effective nitrogen balance with functional tissue preservation [58] and the Tisanoreica® protocol reported here included an electrolyte supplementation [16]. Finally to maintain lean body mass a protein intake of 1.2–1.7 g/kg/bw with reference to body weight is required [58]."

    This part telling why the previous studies have not always shown favorably and what was different in this study. Think it quite pointedly says don't ignore the recommendation to consume electrolytes. Most low carb experts point to sodium, but it seems that supplementing potassium may also help. Keep the protein up.... And give it 4 weeks.
    So what would be a good way for the average PB'er to maintain their electrolytes while on a ketogenic diet--I'd never given that any thought.

  7. #7
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    When I fast, and later thought I should have done in while LC also, I start my day with a sea salt water & sometimes add lemon. When I would start to feel tired, I might have another. I also took potassium among other things.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by otzi View Post
    So what would be a good way for the average PB'er to maintain their electrolytes while on a ketogenic diet--I'd never given that any thought.
    Bone broth has usually been recommended (salted). People like Volek say to use bullion cubes, but broth would "Primalize" that . Oh, gopintos could have a good answer right there being that lemon has some potassium in it.

    So some bone broth and use lemon in your water. Or I suppose you could just take the MVMM.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 11-18-2012 at 11:58 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Bone broth has usually been recommended (salted). People like Volek say to use bullion cubes, but broth would "Primalize" that
    Oh yal, I have become the Queen of Bone Broth now. No one else here will touch it, which is okay, more for me
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by otzi View Post
    The ketogenic diet for the test subjects was composed of 1971 calories (+/- 271 cal), 54.8% fat, 40.7% protein, and 4.5% carbs. Carb intake was limited to 22g.
    That is a VERY high percentage of protein and relatively low percentage of fat as I've ever seen posted for a ketogenic diet. Ketosis isn't merely about maintaining a low intake of dietary carbohydrates. As most of us know, excess protein can get converted to glucose. It looks like, from those percentages, they were consuming quite a bit of protein, upwards of 200 grams or even more. Unless these athletes were absolutely huge, that's a lot of protein ripe for conversion to glucose unless they're making sure to utilize it before it has a chance to convert.

    What does that say to me? In order to stay in ketosis at those ratios, they must have had some MONSTROUS weight training schedules and routines.

    I weightlift and do bodyweight stuff myself, but still get whacked out of ketosis if I go over about 27-30% protein.

    Or we're they just defining the "diet" as "ketogenic" in nature and not actually specifying that the athletes need to be in ketosis all the time for this experiment?

    Edit: They consumed between 180-210 grams of protein per day depending on their exact total caloric intake. Still ripe for conversion to glucose at those levels without mega training unless these athletes are simply HUGE.
    Last edited by Drumroll; 11-18-2012 at 12:38 PM.

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