Plan, then plan some more.
A long day in the saddle normally starts with a few quick checks: Take more hydration than you think you need, slather on sunscreen and chamois cream, and bring lots of snacks—the carbier, the better.
But thanks to recent buzz about Keto, the allure of rapid weight loss claims, and murmurs in the peloton, the general population, many athletes have begun experimenting with it.
“Early ketogenic research concerning sports found negative results concerning the diet and endurance, but the problem with these studies was their duration,” “After one to two weeks of being on the keto diet, performance will decrease. There is an adaptation phase where the body needs to get used to running off fats before performance can increase—the studies that took this into account and tested their athletes after one month found results were back up to pre-keto levels.”
How to Ride on the Keto Diet
“When it comes to ultra-endurance, or when it comes to doing a long ride and not a race, [the keto diet] can work,”
One of the first questions many people have when they begin training on the keto diet is whether you are allowed to eat more carbs on hard exercise days, or if doing so would kick me out of ketosis. The short answer is yes you can take on more carbs when ridding hard or long and no this will not kick you out of ketosis, provided you don’t go overboard.
Rather than focusing on hitting a specific number of grams each day, it’s smarter to track your keto diet by macro percentages. Your caloric needs change based on your energy output anyway, and “the amount of energy expended [during exercise] means carbohydrates will constantly be depleted, leaving the body in a state of ketosis so long as the appropriate amount of fats and proteins are consumed. While the ideal macro percentages vary per person and situation, a ballpark range for the keto diet is 70 to 80 percent of your calories from fat, 15 to 20 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from carbs.
Experiment With Your Fuel
But just because something works for me doesn’t mean it going to be the perfect solution for you, learn by doing. While the basics of the keto approach are the same for all, the details of meal timing and snack choices can vary. Try different options and find what works best for you.
When on a Keto approach, take in fuel on more of a delayed schedule than you would on a high-carb diet—about every 40 mins instead of every 25 -30 mins.
Fat-adapted athletes still need to make hydration a priority, [as] excessive sweat losses will result in losses of sodium and potassium, which need to be replaced in order to maintain exercise intensity.
Use a hydration supplement full of sodium and electrolytes to help recoup your losses like Keto HydroPlus or EnduroPlus.
Supplementing with exogenous ketones offers a quick and readily available source of ketone energy similar to that of sugar, for carb athletes. Using exogenous ketones before starting a ride can supply your body and brain with useable ketones from the start, kick-starting your fat burning process, and sparing glycogen.
Have a Reserve of Carbs
You never know what’s going to happen on the road. As prepared as you think you are, it can affect everyone differently. In the first few weeks take along a ‘safety’ net of a few dates, trail mix or an emergency gel, until you are confident enough to complete your ride feeling strong and well fueled to the end.
Take your time and don’t rush it. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters. While you need to stick to the basic rules of the diet, it’s also important to tailor it to suit your own needs.