If you are a bodybuilder you surely want to keep your lean mass high. At the same time you also want to reduce your fat to the minimum. The question you might have is “Can I use a Keto Diet for bodybuilding? You are going to see some good and bad points here.
The Ketogenic Diet is a very low carbs and high fat diet with the focus of triggering and maintain Ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body burns fat as primary fuel instead of carbs (because they are missing or insufficient). Ketosis brings several advantages like for example more mental focus and clarity and a constant level of energy, this is thanks to the Ketones (the source of Energy during Ketosis).
While the Ketogenic Diet is not ideal for anaerobic exercises (short time and very high intensity), this is still a good diet for low to medium intensity fitness activities.
Bodybuilding is a discipline focused on increasing the lean muscle mass keeping the body fat percentage to a minimum. This allows a better definition of the muscles.
The three basics for building more muscle are:
- Eating enough proteins, which are the building blocks for the muscles
- Have a calorie surplus, so eating more than for only maintenance, because you want to create more muscle
- Training correctly, and promote hypertrophy in your muscles, basically, exercise to increase the volume
Can I Use A Keto Diet For Bodybuilding?
The debate is real. Some people think that Keto Diet for bodybuilding is a bad idea while other bodybuilders use it successfully. The main argument is about carbs. You first need to understand some concepts and then we can put them together.
As mentioned before the Keto Diet is a very low carbs and high fat diet. It is popular opinion in the bodybuilding community that carbs cannot be cut in bodybuilding. So Keto Diet equals low carbs, high fat, and getting energy from fat.
Building muscle with carbs is quicker, because carbs trigger the release of insulin and insulin accelerates the restoration of glycogen in the muscles. In having said that, insulin can also trigger the storage of glucose as fat.
In normal circumstances (no Ketosis), the body uses the glucose as primary source of energy. Glucose is a product of carbs and can also come from glycogen stores in the muscles.
A body in Ketosis, instead, uses fat (converted in Ketones) as primary source of energy, and the depleted glycogen can be restored from the proteins instead that from the carbs. The body can in fact convert proteins in glycogen through a process called gluconeogenesis.
To give a short answer if the Keto Diet can be an option for bodybuilders. The Keto Diet is a possible option for bodybuilding. The advantages of this diet in this context are:
- You can use body fat (and eaten fat) as primary source of energy
- You will build more lean muscle mass
It might be slower to increase the mass but this is because it is lean mass.
If you are a bodybuilder you can consider the Ketogenic Diet as a viable option for your fitness and nutrition plan. The Ketogenic Diet allows you body to burn fat as primary source of energy and at the same time builds lean muscle mass.