Contrary to the popular belief that you cannot eat keto while bodybuilding, it’s very possible. However, there are certain things you should do in order to stay safe while keto-ing. Namely, you need to adjust your macro intake, use certain supplements, and make sure you consume only keto-friendly foods, such as a keto shake.
In order to be able to follow the keto diet as a bodybuilder, you need to understand how this diet affects your body. Since you reduce the carb intake to 20-50g of net carbs per day, your body needs to replace its main energy source (carbs). First, it turns to muscle tissue and breaks it down in order to produce energy. So, you have to prevent this from happening by making a few adjustments. Here are a few tips on how to do that.
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Increase Your Protein Consumption
The standard keto diet follows the ratio of 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs. But, in order to prevent your body from using your muscle tissue as an energy source, you should increase your protein consumption a bit. So, instead of following the above-mentioned ratio, you will need to increase your proteins to 35% and decrease your fat to 60%, while the carbs stay the same.
This new ratio is actually from one of the types of keto diet known as the high protein keto diet. Apart from this type, you can also follow the targeted keto diet. This type is similar to the standard diet with one difference of consuming carbs right before or after your training session. In this way, it allows your muscles to receive increased energy when active.
Regardless of which type to choose to follow, you need to ensure you consume enough proteins. If you don’t, you won’t be able to feed and build your muscles. Fortunately, there a way to make sure you get plenty of proteins on a daily basis. In order to do that, you need to:
- Focus on eggs, meat, fish, and full-fat dairy products
- Eat high protein keto-approved snacks.
- Add grass-fed whey protein powder or collagen protein powder in your smoothies and shakes.
This one might not sound so interesting, but being hydrated is essential for successful keto-ing and muscle building. This is because when entering ketosis, your body loses water and electrolytes. And, if you don’t replenish the water lost, it will affect your brain function and workout effectiveness. So, you will feel bad and won’t be able to tone those muscles as you want.
In order to prevent that from happening, you need to drink lots of water. In fact, you will need to drink more water than other people do. In numbers, it means women should drink 2.7l and men 3.7l of water per day. In this way, you will ensure your body still has enough water although it loses a lot through urine and sweat.
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There are different supplements for different purposes. While you can take multiple supplements, it’s best to focus on those you really need. So, let’s have a look at them.
- Creatine – helps produce glycogen, build muscles, increase your strength, improves workout performance, improve brain function, prevent muscle loss due to age.
- Beta-alanine – helps prevent muscle burnout, improves workout capacity, and decreases muscle fatigue.
- Branched-chain amino acids – valine, leucine, and isoleucine are all essential amino acids which help build muscles, relieve muscle pain, and decrease muscle fatigue.
- HMB – helps increase muscle mass, increase workout performance, and decrease age-related muscle loss.
- Electrolytes – you lose a lot of electrolytes in ketosis and through sweat. Since they are essential for one’s health, you need to replenish the electrolyte levels in order for your body to be fully functional. If you want to do that quickly, you can take electrolyte supplements. Moreover, you should consume foods that are rich in minerals, such as leafy greens, avocados, nuts, and seeds. And, you should add a pinch of salt to your water and add more salt to your food.
- Fruit and vegetables – It’s important to maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables for health but for energy levels too. Greens supplements like supergreen tonik is a popular example that is trending at the moment.
Sample Daily Menu
Breakfast – eggs and bacon prepared with olive, avocado or coconut oil, and a piece of cheese.
Snack – nuts, seeds, half avocado, keto-friendly shake/smoothie, or a slice of deli meat
Lunch – avocado and salmon
Pre-workout – creatine, whey protein or another supplement
Post-workout – creatine, whey protein or another supplement
Dinner – spinach with olive oil and flank steak
Snack – boiled eggs or a slice of meat
When following a keto diet while bodybuilding it’s very important to track your macros. In this way, you will ensure you consume enough fat, protein and carbs. Additionally, you need to make sure you don’t exaggerate with fat or protein intake because that may put you out of ketosis.