Looking to have more energy, feel better, and perhaps even live longer? Try going on the ketogenic diet. No, this just isn’t some trendy diet that people go on for the short term. Many dieters are not only going on it to lose weight but have also decided to stay on it going forward. We address this more in the Body Reboot book. Some people may be apprehensive about adding exercise to the mix since in some cases, non-stop exercise is strenuous on keto, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In all actuality, combining a low carb diet with exercise can result in many health benefits.
1. Prevents tiredness combined with a low carb diet
U.S. News discusses a study by Medicine Science Sports Exercise. In the study, researchers wanted to see if a low-carb diet could help athletes not only burn more fat but feel less tired during their workout.
Their study found that ketogenic athletes burned mostly fat at up to 70% of max intensity, vs only 55% in the high-carb athletes. In fact, the ketogenic athletes in this study burned the most fat ever recorded in a research setting.
Yet despite these positive findings, fat may be unable to produce energy fast enough to meet the demands of the muscles of elite athletes.
Therefore, more research is needed in an athletic population before any firm recommendations can be made.
Nevertheless, studies have found that low-carb diets can help prevent tiredness during prolonged exercise. They may also help you lose fat and improve health, without compromising low-to-moderate intensity exercise performance.
Furthermore, these diets can teach your body to burn more fat, which may help you preserve muscle glycogen during exercise.
Research has been done on the use of fat as fuel in sports performance.
During exercise, fat provides more energy at lower intensities and carbs provide more energy at higher intensities.
Here are the results of the study that Medicine Science Sports Exercise conducted in 1988:
Twelve obese women completed a maximal and an endurance exercise test (70% peak VO2) during a weight maintenance week. For the next 4 wk, the women consumed either a high (71%) carbohydrate (HC) or a low (33%) carbohydrate (LC), isonitrogenous very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) of 2,219 kJ (530 kcal).d-1. A supervised exercise session at 60% peak VO2 took place 3 times.wk-1 for 30 to 45 min. Peak VO2 and exercise endurance tests were repeated during the fourth week of the VLCD. One week of a 4,186 kJ (1000 kcal) diet followed the VLCD. The average weekly weight loss was 1.7 +/- 0.1 kg for the HC group and 2.0 +/- 0.2 kg for the LC group. Urinary nitrogen loss was greater for the LC group early in the VLCD but not different than HC over the entire experimental period. Serum cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol decreased in both groups but the ratio of these lipids improved over the treatment. Serum beta-hydroxybutyrate and uric acid increased significantly more for the LC than the HC group. Although absolute peak VO2 decreased, VO2 relative to body weight was maintained. Time to exhaustion improved by 36% for both groups in the endurance exercise tests. The endurance exercise R ratio was significantly more depressed by the LC than the HC treatment. In summary, both supervised treatments were effective in causing substantial weight reduction and improved blood lipid profiles in healthy young women but caused a net loss of body protein. Neither treatment compromised ability to participate in a thrice weekly exercise program. Although peak aerobic capacity did not increase, aerobic endurance at a fixed sub-maximal exercise load was improved.
Similarly, another study, this time by Journal of Clinical Invest., found that a ketogenic diet increased their subject’s energy and they also lost weight.
To study the capacity for moderate endurance exercise and change in metabolic fuel utilization during adaptation to a ketogenic diet, six moderately obese, untrained subjects were fed a eucaloric, balanced diet (base line) for 2 wk, followed by 6 wk of a protein-supplemented fast (PSF), which provided 1.2 g of protein/kg ideal body wt, supplemented with minerals and vitamins. The mean weight loss was 10.6 kg. The duration of treadmill exercise to subjective exhaustion was 80% of base line after 1 wk of the PSF, but increased to 155% after 6 wk. Despite adjusting up to base line, with a backpack, the subjects' exercise weight after 6 wk of dieting, the final exercise test was performed at a mean of 60% of maximum aerobic capacity, whereas the base-line level was 76%. Resting vastus lateralis glycogen content fell to 57% of base line after 1 wk of the PSF, but rose to 69% after 6 wk, at which time no decrement in muscle glycogen was measured after >4 h of uphill walking. The respiratory quotient (RQ) during steady-state exercise was 0.76 during base line, and fell progressively to 0.66 after 6 wk of the PSF. Blood glucose was well maintained during exercise in ketosis. The sum of acetoacetate and beta hydroxybutyrate rose from 3.28 to 5.03 mM during exercise after 6 wk of the PSF, explaining in part the low exercise RQ. The low RQ and the fact that blood glucose and muscle glycogen were maintained during exhausting exercise after 6 wk of a PSF suggest that prolonged ketosis results in an adaptation, after which lipid becomes the major metabolic fuel, and net carbohydrate utilization is markedly reduced during moderate but ultimately exhausting exercise.
2. It boosts immunity
WebMD reveals that exercise can help boost your immunity. So if you’re sick or would like to keep the germs at bay, consider working out more frequently!
Regular exercise can reduce your risk of certain serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. It can also decrease your chances of developing — and getting stuck with — more common illnesses, such as flus and colds. (According to one recent study, colds lasted 43 percent longer for people who exercised once a week or less.)
3. It combats stress
It should come as no surprise that U.S. News says that exercising more regularly helps combat stress. Furthermore, combine a low carb diet with exercise, and you’ll feel even better knowing you’re eliminating sugar and becoming more active.
Jumping on the treadmill or cross trainer for 30 minutes can blow off tension by increasing levels of “soothing” brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. What's fascinating, though, is that exercise may actually work on a cellular level to reverse stress's toll on our aging process, according to a 2010 study from the University of California—San Francisco. The researchers found that stressed-out women who exercised vigorously for an average of 45 minutes over a three-day period had cells that showed fewer signs of aging compared to women who were stressed and inactive. Working out also helps keep us from ruminating “by altering blood flow to those areas in the brain involved in triggering us to relive these stressful thoughts again and again,” says study coauthor Elissa Epel, an associate professor of psychiatry at UCSF.
4. Combats diseases
We all know that you’re more likely to get the disease when you don’t diet and exercise. That’s why the Mayo Clinic reminds us how vital it is to stay active to prevent that from happening.
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight is, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, and it decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including:
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Many types of cancer
It can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes.
5. It exercises the brain
U.S. News reveals that exercise also “exercises” the brain, or, in other words, keeps your mind active and fit. Active people are most likely to have better memory and vocabulary.
Even mild activity like a leisurely walk can help keep your brain fit and active, fending off memory loss and keeping skills like vocabulary retrieval strong. In a 2011 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Canadian researchers analyzed the energy expenditure and cognitive functioning of elderly adults over the course of two to five years. Most of the participants did not work out; their activities revolved around short walks, cooking, gardening, and cleaning. Still, compared with their sedentary peers, the most active participants scored significantly better on tests of cognitive function, and they showed the least amount of cognitive decline. By the study's end, roughly 90 percent of them could think and remember just as well as they could when the study began.
The Body Reboot book explains how a low carb diet combined with exercise can lead to some incredible health benefits. Want a free copy? Help cover shipping and visit this page to get your free copy today.
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