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The keto diet claims to provide several health benefits. If you’ve decided to give it a try you’re probably looking to lose some extra weight and get fit.
Some of the benefits of going keto include weight loss and increased energy levels.
But can exercise kick you out of ketosis?
The effect of ketosis on athletic performance remains controversial.
We discuss the health benefits of exercising on the keto diet, as well as the drawbacks.
We also explore some of the best workouts for those on keto.
Can I Exercise on Keto?
Yes. It is safe and beneficial to exercise when on the keto diet.
Many people think you shouldn’t exercise when on a low-carb diet like keto. The truth is, you just need to be careful about the type of exercise to choose.
And besides, your workout performance on the keto diet may not always be the best. And you may not be able to work out as intensely or as often as you’re used to.
A low-carb diet, accompanied by light exercise, is the fastest way to get into ketosis.
Many people experience side effects after exercising when starting on the keto diet. These symptoms are known as the keto flu.
What is the Keto Flu?
Exercise and ketosis don’t always get along, especially during the first few weeks. It’s normal to feel weaker and light-headed while your body is getting used to your new diet.
There are some common signs that you are experiencing the keto flu and indicate that your body is transitioning to the metabolic state of ketosis.
Symptoms of the keto flu include:
- leg cramps
Watch this video for more on the keto flu and how to combat these symptoms.
If your symptoms persist despite your efforts, talk to your doctor to ensure it is nothing more serious.
In the beginning, they experienced decreased energy levels. However, this gradually went back to normal over time.
Can Exercise Kick You Out of Ketosis?
No, exercise won’t kick you out of ketosis. In fact, it can help your dieting efforts.
If you’ve been kicked out of ketosis, you can help your body use up your glycogen stores and get into ketosis quickly.
However, if you’re already in ketosis, low-intensity cardio workouts are enough to further burn fats.
You have to be careful, though, since you might get tired and hungry after working out.
Recklessly overeating high-carb foods after exercising will definitely knock you out of ketosis.
You still need to burn more calories overall than you’re consuming to lose weight.
Don’t over eat, but also don’t under eat.
When exercising on keto, be sure to eat enough fat. Otherwise, your keto flu symptoms may be worse.
To make sure you are not overeating or undereating, always track your macros. A keto calculator will help you figure out the right numbers for your macronutrients.
This will support your weight loss journey without hindering your athletic performance.
Does Working Out on Keto Impair Muscle Growth?
If your workout goal is to increase muscle mass, then keto may not be for you.
That’s because muscle growth requires a lot of protein to promote muscle synthesis and tissue repair.
On keto, you only need a moderate amount of protein to stay in ketosis. And eating too much can kick you out of ketosis as well.
However, working out on keto will not make you lose muscle mass. It’s recommended for the maintenance of your muscle mass and overall health.
Health Benefits of Exercising on Keto
Here are some potential benefits of working out while on the ketogenic diet.
Speeds Muscle Recovery
Keto can speed up post-workout muscle recovery according to published research.
Individuals reported improvements in recovery and inflammation after exercising on keto. But they also experienced a reduction in other measures of performance.
While high-intensity activities are not recommended on keto, some studies have shown that it can enhance your endurance.
In a study of 39 athletes in ketosis, it was found that they had improved endurance because the body used fat as an alternative fat source.
It is worth noting that the athletes were taking ketone supplements and not following the keto diet.
Similar results were presented in another study, where the keto diet improved 20 athletes’ endurance, body composition, and fat burning after exercise.
Boosts Fat Burning
Following the keto diet may also burn more fats as you exercise. In a small study, competitive race walkers on the diet had increased the ability to burn fats while working out.
However, it worsened their exercise performance.
Types of Exercise on Keto
Remember that the best workout to do on keto will enhance your ketosis, but it won’t necessarily speed up your weight loss.
Most experts recommend low-intensity cardio workouts like cycling, jogging, rec sports, or swimming.
You can also do strength training exercises like weightlifting at fewer reps with lighter weights.
These workouts are not high-intensity, so they do not rely on carbs for energy.
Avoid the following workouts on keto:
- Circuit training
- HIIT workouts
- Other types of workouts
FAQ Ketosis and Exercise
What is the Best Exercise for Keto?
The best exercise for keto is low-intensity exercises, like walking or yoga, to help maintain your athletic performance while enhancing ketosis.
While these exercises prevent the keto flu, they don’t necessarily speed your weight loss journey.
Learn more about the best types of exercise for ketosis to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
How Do I Count My Macros?
The keto diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet. But how much fat, carbs, and protein to consume depends on the individual.
If you want an exact recommendation for your daily macro intake, it’s best to calculate your own macros for better keto results.
How Much Protein Do I Need on Keto?
How much protein you need on keto depends on your body composition, lifestyle, and overall goal on the diet.
However, as a general rule, you need between 0.6 to 1 gram of protein per pound of your lean body mass.
Approximately 20% of your macros should come from protein too.
Find out more about how much protein is too much on keto.
Stay Fit on Keto!
It’s possible to remain fit and healthy on keto by working out while consuming low-carb and high-fat foods and drinks.
The combination can help you burn fat, maintain muscle mass, and improve endurance while enhancing your keto efforts.
Make sure not to overeat or undereat when exercising on ketosis to avoid getting kicked out or experiencing the flu.
All of these benefits are possible only if you do the right type of exercise for keto!