A recent study, published in the journal Sports, poses a different question: Can the ketogenic diet make you a better athlete? A team based at the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University asked 12 participants to partake in a 12-week study to measure body composition, metabolic, and performance parameters in CrossFit practitioners.
The researchers wanted to better understand how the ketogenic diet affects resistance training, as a previous study with mice demonstrated that a low-carbohydrate diet reduces muscle mass. The authors addressed this controversy by pointing to their own six-week study with mice, noting that a ketogenic diet does not impair muscle glycogen levels or affect muscle protein synthesis in comparison to an isocaloric Western diet (consuming the same quantity of calories from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates each day).
For this study, seven volunteers in the ketogenic group were asked to return food logs after being given basic keto dietary guidelines. Only four complied, but given blood ketone levels measured in abstaining volunteers, researchers were confident they’d followed the diet for the duration of the study. The control group did not have to keep track of food intake.
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