Ketogenic Diets

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Ketogenic Diets

Postby gregsmith01748 » December 3rd, 2016, 5:29 pm

I know that there are lots of different view points on Ketogenic diets. I saw this posted a couple days ago and I thought it might provoke some interesting discussion.

http://www.mysportscience.com/single-post/2016/12/01/Ketogenic-diets-for-athletes

This is a write up of a session on LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat) diets where 5 studies were reviewed. One showed no effect on athletic performance and 4 showed a negative effect. I'd be interested in feedback from folks who are proponents of LCHF and Ketogenic diets on the article.


Thanks
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby Carl Watts » December 3rd, 2016, 6:12 pm

Not sure why anyone bothers with a "Diet".

Everyone knows what they should be eating, but the knowing and the doing are two different things so I guess if you have to call something a "Diet" to get the motivation to follow it, then it suits some people.

Whatever works for you I guess, without RowPro I would be stuffed in terms of motivation to sit on a seat and yank a chain for up to an hour a day. The side benefit of all the exercise is being able to stuff Indian curries, cream buns and wine and beer in your face.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby Bob S. » December 3rd, 2016, 10:11 pm

Carl Watts wrote:Not sure why anyone bothers with a "Diet".

Everyone knows what they should be eating, but the knowing and the doing are two different things so I guess if you have to call something a "Diet" to get the motivation to follow it, then it suits some people.

Whatever works for you I guess, without RowPro I would be stuffed in terms of motivation to sit on a seat and yank a chain for up to an hour a day. The side benefit of all the exercise is being able to stuff Indian curries, cream buns and wine and beer in your face.


Your comments are apropos for the usual use of the term diet. It also often has the connotation of something that one uses on a temporary basis to achieve a certain goal, when change in life style is really what is needed.

However in this case and a number of others it is used in a very different way. Terms like ketogenic diets, paleo diets, vegan diets, lo-fat diets, and others refer to very specific approaches to nutrition, each with its own rules. I suppose that some other word than diet could have been used for them, but none was. Language has a life of its own and we are stuck with it.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby Balkan boy » December 4th, 2016, 3:32 am

I've spent about eight months doing ketogenic diet. Goal was ~20g of carbohydrates, but I think I stayed at ~50g for later months.
Most of that time was specific preparation for 2k erg time trial. Mostly erging with one or two strength sessions per cycle.
- I used to do one ANP session (10x100m; max drag) per week and saw steady improvements in Peak Power on the order of 20-50W per week. It didn't hurt.
- I saw good adaptations in aerobic system. I could ride my bike (UT2-1, high impact) for hours without tiring. I've lost that since.
- In the first few months the middle distance workouts (L2; 4x2k etc.) were hell. I'd deplete the glycogen in the first rep and suffer to the end. Towards the end of the diet I didn't notice a detriment, but it was always hard.

I've changed my position on the keto diet since. I would recommend it only to someone who has basic knowledge of physiology, knows how to track macronutrients and aims at rapid fat loss. I don't think it's conducive for rowing as a long-term diet, unless you are one of the super-responders and do ultra-endurance.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby Shawn Baker » December 4th, 2016, 2:16 pm

Greg, as someone with experience with this stuff, I'll say that given time the body has the capacity to adapt and provide the requisite ATP needed for any activity regardless of macronutrients dietary composition- I very regularly go weeks and months without any significant carbohydrate and would argue that I can perform at a relatively high level. Regardless, I find the major benefit to restricting carbohydrates (especially processed and sugary ones) to be the relative reduction in inflammation and a greater capacity for recovery- the sports nutritionists continually fail to look past the metabolic partitioning/fuel preferences aspect of this- also in my view long term is not limited to just greater than 3-4 weeks- looking at 6 months to 1 year is in my view more relevant (as suggested by Volek's FASTER study). Additionally, much of the sports nutrition literature has been funded through institutions like the Gatorade sports science institute, with the obvious and very much real conflicts of interests. Certainly it is also starting to be a bit more mainstream to spend long phases of training in a relatively low carb state and then taper them up a bit for competition- certainly as a masters athletes I find low carb likely to be a very effective strategy to preserve and prolong my competitive capacity.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby gregsmith01748 » December 4th, 2016, 7:58 pm

Balkan boy wrote:I've spent about eight months doing ketogenic diet. Goal was ~20g of carbohydrates, but I think I stayed at ~50g for later months.
Most of that time was specific preparation for 2k erg time trial. Mostly erging with one or two strength sessions per cycle.
- I used to do one ANP session (10x100m; max drag) per week and saw steady improvements in Peak Power on the order of 20-50W per week. It didn't hurt.
- I saw good adaptations in aerobic system. I could ride my bike (UT2-1, high impact) for hours without tiring. I've lost that since.
- In the first few months the middle distance workouts (L2; 4x2k etc.) were hell. I'd deplete the glycogen in the first rep and suffer to the end. Towards the end of the diet I didn't notice a detriment, but it was always hard.

I've changed my position on the keto diet since. I would recommend it only to someone who has basic knowledge of physiology, knows how to track macronutrients and aims at rapid fat loss. I don't think it's conducive for rowing as a long-term diet, unless you are one of the super-responders and do ultra-endurance.


Thanks for your thoughts. I have definitely heard that ultra-endurance athletes do well with a Ketogenic diet. I lost a ton of weight on the Atkins diet a couple of decades ago, but I can't say that I felt all that great when I was on the diet. I'm giving it a little thought because I am going to train for a 3 to 4 hour event next summer and it might make sense to be Keto-adapted for it.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby gregsmith01748 » December 4th, 2016, 8:00 pm

Shawn Baker wrote:Greg, as someone with experience with this stuff, I'll say that given time the body has the capacity to adapt and provide the requisite ATP needed for any activity regardless of macronutrients dietary composition- I very regularly go weeks and months without any significant carbohydrate and would argue that I can perform at a relatively high level. Regardless, I find the major benefit to restricting carbohydrates (especially processed and sugary ones) to be the relative reduction in inflammation and a greater capacity for recovery- the sports nutritionists continually fail to look past the metabolic partitioning/fuel preferences aspect of this- also in my view long term is not limited to just greater than 3-4 weeks- looking at 6 months to 1 year is in my view more relevant (as suggested by Volek's FASTER study). Additionally, much of the sports nutrition literature has been funded through institutions like the Gatorade sports science institute, with the obvious and very much real conflicts of interests. Certainly it is also starting to be a bit more mainstream to spend long phases of training in a relatively low carb state and then taper them up a bit for competition- certainly as a masters athletes I find low carb likely to be a very effective strategy to preserve and prolong my competitive capacity.


Shawn, Thanks for taking the time to respond. You and a number of other folks who I have a lot of respect for have adopted these types of diets. Your point about who supports the research is an interesting one. And I hadn't thought about the anti-inflammatory implications.

It's something I am thinking about.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby left coaster » December 4th, 2016, 9:46 pm

I'm mentioned this before, but I believe there are genetic differences in inflammatory responses to simple carbohydrates. There's enough research on folks with APOE 2 (like me) to convince me that my aversion to simple carbs is driven by how I respond to them. I expect there are other markers that also play a role. I recognized that simple breads and carbs made me feel like crap by the time I was about 17.

I remain confused about how folks like Shawn maintain other micro and macro nutrients in what seems to be an absence of omega 3, fruits and vegetables. I expect there are some supplements happening. The potential for chronic nutrient depletion keeps me from delving more deeply into a lchf diet. As I write this I'm about to chow down on a big bowl of leafy greens with shredded beats and other goodness. I also eat a lot of beans and nuts which have a good hit of carbs.

I will admit that participating in this forum has led me to lean a bit more towards a lchf diet, but I'm not keto. I will often limit carbs to about a 3-4 hour period each day though. It seems to be a good balance for me.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby Shawn Baker » December 4th, 2016, 10:55 pm

Lefty- I eat a ton of pastured eggs which are particularly nutrient dense, also our absolute requirement for omega 3 and 6 are not that big- we typically likely far over consume the omega 6 stuff
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby sander » December 5th, 2016, 3:07 am

I am clearly in the "eat normal" camp.
But I have to explain what "eat normal" is. For the readers in the US: When I travel there, I see my American colleagues eat a lot of food that I don't consider normal. Huge portion sizes. Sugary, fizzy drinks. Potatoe chips. Donuts. Incredibly flavored coffees. Ugh.

I can also understand why many Americans shy away from bread, given the awful quality of it, at least judging by what hotel breakfast buffets normally offer. Perhaps there are quality bakers in the US, but I didn't see them.

I also have to admit that I struggle to adhere to my own standard of "eat normal", i.e. normal sized portions of varied food, with an emphasis on vegetables and fish, but not shying away from the steak or burger now and then. On the other hand, not at all disturbed by eating vegetarian for a few days. In my more healthy eating periods, I go completely without "snacks", "in-between meals" etc, but I currently don't. I also forgot to stock up my office with apples, so that makes it easier to fall for the chocolate bar.

It's probably not optimally engineered for top sport, but then what I do is not top sport. Also, I never have to refuse any home-baked pastry or other tasting experience because of certain food that I am forbidden to eat.

I like a glass of wine with my meal on weekends, and the occasional beer, but I definitely feel that alcohol is more detrimental to my training regime than unhealthy food. I am not talking about hangovers. I am talking about the effect is has on metabolism, and how drinking a glass of wine or beer makes you eat and drink more than you need, and the overtime needed by my system to get rid of the poison. I stopped believing the "it's good for your heart" fables.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby hjs » December 5th, 2016, 5:04 am

At the moment not overly conserned with food intake. Certainly not low carb. But do not drink anything suggary. And eat everything fullfat. And do drink wine at dinner. For the rest no alcohol.

I have been on a very low carb, high fat diet. Think its the most easy way to get really lean. One thing I found, higher volume anaerobic work is very tough low carb. Longer aerobic work is fine, can be done on fat, strenghtwork also fine, the need for glycogen is not high.

The people who do well on high fat, why I see, are people who where very overweight, which means doing everything wrong, not exercising well, eating wrong etc. If these people go low carb, the fat will fall off.

You have the extreme distance people, intensity of work is low, fatburning is by far nmr one, works well.

The low volume speed/strenght people, (Shawn) you need to be an outliner in some way to eat like that.

Nowadays in cycling low carb is used to reach very low bodyweights, but not during races, here carbs are used for the hard stayes.

I think this field is still relative in the early stayes, modern food is crap, if everybody ate to begin with, nothing processed, average health and bodycomposition would be so much better. Think average age could rise a good bit and people could stay healthy much longer.

Last point, when I see a person working in the medical profession who does not look somewhat healthy him/herself I have a very hard time taking them serious.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby ArmandoChavezUNC » December 5th, 2016, 9:39 am

Greg,

What's the reason that you're looking into a ketogenic diet?

I think you'll find that the research fairly conclusively shows that you're better off sticking with a "normal" diet (whatever that means) with plenty of carbohydrate intake, especially if you're an athlete who trains regularly. This is not to say ketogenic diets don't "work," but rather that I'm not sure the cons outweigh the benefits.

As you yourself pointed out, if you judge it by the studies that have been done, the evidence points in one direction, while you'll get a totally different answer when posting the question to the public where you're going to get mostly responses from people who are proponents of the diet and you're going to run into a self-selection and anecdotal evidence issue.

Anyway, just curious why you're considering this type of diet when you're already a very successful athlete as it is.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby sander » December 11th, 2016, 6:10 am

Greg,

I found a very good diet. Eat lots of kiwis with your partner. You will be a kiwi pair. :D
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby gregsmith01748 » December 11th, 2016, 10:41 am

ArmandoChavezUNC wrote:Greg,

What's the reason that you're looking into a ketogenic diet?

I think you'll find that the research fairly conclusively shows that you're better off sticking with a "normal" diet (whatever that means) with plenty of carbohydrate intake, especially if you're an athlete who trains regularly. This is not to say ketogenic diets don't "work," but rather that I'm not sure the cons outweigh the benefits.

As you yourself pointed out, if you judge it by the studies that have been done, the evidence points in one direction, while you'll get a totally different answer when posting the question to the public where you're going to get mostly responses from people who are proponents of the diet and you're going to run into a self-selection and anecdotal evidence issue.

Anyway, just curious why you're considering this type of diet when you're already a very successful athlete as it is.


One reason I posted the review of studies was because I have seen a lot of anecdotal evidence from different places about people doing well with these diets, and I wanted to see if they saw gaps in the studies that I didn't. I thought Shawn's feedback about inflammation and the length of the studies was interesting.

As for why I might consider this type of diet. I used to be much heavier, and it is a struggle to keep my weight down. In fact, I really should be 20 pounds lighter. If I eat very clean, and constantly count calories on a standard diet, I can lose weight, but it is a pretty miserable existence.

I am embarking on an 8 month project to train for a longer open water race, the Blackburn Challenge. It's a little over 20 miles of offshore rowing and can take between 3 and 5 hours to complete, depending on weather conditions. Obviously, training for this is going to be focused on base aerobic / fat matabolism kind of stuff. It seemed like it ketogenic diets might work as well or better than conventional diets with this type of training plan.

I probably won't do it. My life includes a fairly large amount of social and business dining. I don't want to be "that guy", who is a pain to go out to an Italian restaurant with. I think I will get back to counting calories though. I don't want to drag extra weight in this race.
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Re: Ketogenic Diets

Postby Shawn Baker » December 11th, 2016, 5:30 pm

Greg- 1- almost every Italian restaurant I've ever been to usually had steak on the menu!

2-I have no desire to try and tell anyone what they should eat, it's very personal and often a very emotional subject- from a health standpoint you can find literature to support just about any diet and the amount of research is prodigious and almost no one could possibly ever read it all- from my own reading and self experimentation and seeing numerous anecdotes I no longer believe that fat, saturated fat and unprocessed meat is in anyway unhealthy. I also am coming to the conclusion (although most will either disagree or dismiss it as crazy), that we don't need any plant material at all in our diets (there are just too many examples of people that currently are absolutely thriving for years on a total animal sourced diet-without any sort of supplements, etc...)- something like 97% of plants are unfit for human consumption, most will make us sick and many will actually kill you- the plants we eat today have been heavily genetically modified from what they were 10,000 years ago (often to greatly increase their sugar yield-fruit today in no way resembles what it did back then)- other than the fruit, the plant don't really "want us to eat " the rest of its parts (leaves, stems, roots etc..-and most have evolved some type of defenses- thorns, spines, lots of toxic chemicals (we have to extensively process a lot of these so they are even edible) -point being is plants are not waiting to die so that we can eat them)

Whether one believes this or not is irrelevant to me- what is relevant to me is how my health and performance reacts to whatever diet I utilize- up to this point,(and now it has been several years) I can objectively say that my athletic performance and my overall health continue to improve- skin is better, hair is thicker, frequency of illness is extremely low, libido is great, strength is great, body fat is low, blood pressure is low, energy is great, mental clarity is great, no joint pain, recovery is great, ability to train intensely is great....

I know we've all heard since infancy that vegetables are nutritional gold and fruit is wonderful, also whole grains are divine- I simply don't see things that way anymore- certainly a diet of fruits and vegetable is an improvement over sugar and processed food and many relatively improve going that route- for me the closer I get to a fully animal based diet the better I continue to do- this flies in the face of everything I learned as a physician and everything I've heard my whole life- I am an extreme skeptic and find most people that have a diet also have some kind of financial incentive or product to sell- I've certainly been down the low fat, heavy vegetable route before and can honestly say I initially was able to get leaner, but it required an enormous amount of self discipline, hunger and exercise to do it- now I just basically eat steak much as I want whenever I want to!

Certainly I don't think we can feed the world this way and I am fortunate to be able to eat this way- we will continue to export massive amounts of grains and processed foods as that is the cheapest way to supply calories (however nutritionally devoid they may be)- much to the detriment of the health of the developing world-better they are chronically sick then starving is the thought I guess- perhaps the efforts to grow meat in the lab will yield an answer to the ethical problems for some??

I know you like to experiment and diet I think is very much open to this- do your own thing- minimize the confounded and make up your own mind- for me seeing an effect-good or bad- requires you step away from the idea of balance or moderation as they are both extremely nebulous concepts and lead to endless confounders IMV, also it is certainly clear that our body's adapt over time and I'd say in my experience and from the anecdotes I've read about about I'd give it several months to see!

I'm not going to post studies or refute anything- this info is easily available and we all know how to use a search engine- I'm just going to keep doing my thing and see how things go- if my health or performance go South, I won't hesitate to change things!
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