The key benefit of a Keto style diet for endurance athletes is in improving your metabolic flexibility - your ability to use fat as an energy source. The secret is to train your bodies ability to burn fat for energy and also lose weight, all without having to be on a full keto diet.
💁♂️Tip: If you are on a full Keto Diet as an endurance athlete, read below the pitfalls of Keto for endurance sports to make sure you are not sabotaging your performance.
The Fasted Morning Workout.
This is the easiest way to improve your metabolic flexibility as an endurance athlete. The idea is to train in a fasted state first thing in the morning so that your body has lower glycogen stores so you can quickly deplete the glycogen stored in your muscles forcing you to burn fat for energy. Here is how I do it.
I eat dinner 12 hours before my morning training session and don't consume any calories once dinner is finished. So if I'm going to train at 7 AM, I finish my dinner by 7 PM the night before.
When I wake up, I drink black coffee or tea (no milk or sugar) with HVMN MCT Oil Powder added in. You want a C8 MCT oil that your body can absorb faster and will keep you in a fasted state and satiate hunger pains.
I make sure my workout is 60 minutes or longer. I need the first 40 minutes to make sure I've burned all my stored glycogen. Your pace should not be hard. This is an endurance workout with moderate intensity (Zone 1 and 2). I try hard to never get in an anaerobic state, so you keep your body in its maximum fat burning zone.
I use Nuun Sport or Nuun Sport + Caffeine as my electrolyte drink; it has less than 1g of sugar so it won't break my fasted state. I don't use any other nutrition before or during this workout.
💁♂️ Tip: Fasted workouts aren't for every day. You still need your high-intensity workouts. I aim for 2 to 3 times per week, especially when I'm trying to also lose weight. If you want to seriously boost the benefit you are getting from a fasted morning workout, here are my two supplement hacks that I feel double the benefits I'm getting from fasted workouts.
Keto Before Six
Quicksilver Keto-before-Six. This is a new product that will help you get into a fat-burning state (ketosis) much faster than you can on your own. It works in a variety of ways, but primarily by buffering insulin spikes that hinder you ability to get into Ketosis. It is a liquid, and I take one teaspoon and hold under it under my tongue for 30 to 60 seconds. I do this twice a day, BEFORE dinner and then again BEFORE your morning coffee and workout.
The Biohacker community swears by using Glutathione on a Keto diet. It is the most potent anti-oxidant our body produces, and it's levels get depleted when in Ketosis, so supplementation is essential. I use Thorne's Glutathione-SR and take one capsule in the morning and another at night.
Once I finish my workout, I try to stay in ketosis for as long as I can to get maximum fat burning adaption and burn more calories to lose more weight. If you are already at your ideal weight, you will want to carb-reload right after your workout.
Perfect Keto Bars
These are the only Keto bars that I have tried that taste good. They satiate my hunger, are super portable, and taste pretty good. They are essential to have with after every fasted workout, so if I have a hunger attack, I have an emergency snack that is not a high-carb and sugar-laden Starbuck's Scone.
HVMN Keto Collagen+.
This is my favorite product to use after a fasted workout. It is low-carb and sugar-free. It has the right amount of protein and tastes incredible. It is hands down the best taking shake I have tried with or without sugar. I also really appreciate the collagen's ability to lubricate my aging knees and other moving parts. The "+" in the name, are three cofactors that HVMN has added to help your body absorb the collagen.
Bonus: Losing weight by 🔥 burning fat
In addition to improving your metabolic flexibility, the Fasted Morning Workout is a great way to burn fat and lose weight. While hard, intense workouts will still burn more overall calories, in the fasted morning workout, you will burn a higher % of calories from fat and increase your lean muscle mass.
The pitfall of a full keto diet for endurance athletes.
While many athletes have experimented with the Keto diet, we have seen many sporting disasters from athletes trying to compete in a Keto state. The exceptions are Ultra Marathons and long-lasting endurance events where you seldom go above your lactic threshold. For everyone else, maximum intensity is the key to performing your best, and you can only do this when you maximum the glycogen levels stored in your muscles.
Even if you become a fat-burning machine, you will never be able to tap into fat energy stores as efficiently as your bodies ability to convert glycogen to energy. You want both.
The fasted morning workout will give you all the best parts of a Keto diet, without sabotaging your performance as an endurance athlete.