Increasingly, athletes follow low-carb diet regimens. In a study published in Metabolism 2017, 20 athletes were randomly divided into two groups: the first (n ° 11 athletes) was subjected to a diet rich in sugars (HC% of carbohydrates: proteins: fat = 65 : 14 : 20) and the other (n ° 9 athletes) to a low calorie ketogenic diet (LCKD,% of carbohydrates: proteins: fat = 6 : 17 : 77). Both groups performed the same training program (resistance, strength and high intensity interval training). Before and after the 12 weeks of diet and training, body composition was assessed and speed and power testing performed. The LCKD group reported an improvement in body composition, fat oxidation during exercise, and implemented performance in endurance athletes during competitions.
Endurance training generates an increase in blood flow and oxygen to the muscle with less production of lactic acid: all adaptations that promote fat oxidation. A diet that provides a greater quantity of fat can therefore lead to an increase in the athlete’s performance.
McSwiney, Fionn T., et al. “Keto-adaptation enhances exercise performance and body composition responses to training in endurance athletes.” Metabolism 81 (2018): 25-34.