Keto Diet for Bodybuilding: Can It Work Successfully?

Sure, the keto bodybuilding diet can work successfully, but you should know that it is definitely not an easy thing.

Most keto bodybuilders believe that carbohydrates are essential to achieving a higher level of fitness. However, carbohydrates have nothing to do with the success of many bodybuilders.

In this article, we’ll talk about the “keto bodybuilding diet”, and discuss some questions, the most important of which are: How can bodybuilders properly follow the low-carb keto diet? How do you gain muscle when following the keto diet?

Keto Bodybuilding Diet: Can It Work Successfully?

There is a common misconception that keto bodybuilders may need to consume carbohydrates to build muscle. So does this mean you can’t successfully build muscle if you follow the keto diet?

It turns out that the method of building muscle and gaining strength with high amounts of carbohydrates is becoming an outdated method.

In fact, the keto diet can help you increase strength and build muscle, while at the same time helping burn and eliminate body fats.

Many bodybuilders have been able to build muscle and increase its mass and strength without relying on carbohydrates.

Note: the ketogenic diet requires a minimal amount of carbohydrates.

The importance of ketones in building body muscles

A common misconception is that you need to eat carbohydrates to build muscle.

Most traditional nutrition plans for bodybuilders focus on the need to eat carbohydrates to build muscle. However, we often hear from bodybuilders about the need for sugars to increase insulin levels and create a response that helps you build muscle.

The truth is, however, that you can build muscle on a low-carb diet if it’s applied properly.

Studies have shown that doing strength training along with a ketogenic diet can build lean muscle mass without gaining weight.

But this usually takes some time at first. Because your body switches from using sugars (they come from carbohydrates) to using fats (ketones) as an energy source.

* Adaptation to the ketogenic diet takes one to four weeks.

However, if you are new to the keto diet, you may initially experience a decrease in strength and performance. It is important to note that this decline is often temporary and occurs as your body adapts to dependence on ketones.

5 basic principles of the keto diet for bodybuilding

* Here are the five principles every bodybuilder should follow on a keto diet:

1 . Regular physical activity: You must make every effort to reach the body composition you want.

2. Eat enough protein: Protein is one of the prerequisites for building and strengthening muscles, and protein may be one of the most important nutrients that bodybuilders need.

3. Get the right amount of calories: Whether you want to reduce body fat or increase muscle mass, you must consume the right amount of calories.

On the keto diet, you will control the number of calories you eat by eating more or less fat.

4. Pay attention to your hormone levels: Hormones affect muscle growth and strength in different ways, with some specifically promoting muscle growth, while others influence the way we use and store glucose for training and competition purposes.

* The main hormones in bodybuilding:

  • Testosterone
  • Growth hormone and IGF-1
  • Insulin
  • Epinephrine. (Adrenaline)
  • Cortisol
  • Glucagon

5. Drink a lot of water: Water is essential for the overall health of the body.

What happens if you try the keto bodybuilding Diet?

* Why may you suffer from weakness on the ketogenic diet?

As for the keto bodybuilding diet, when you are in the first phase of this diet, you may not be able to exercise as vigorously as when you previously consumed carbohydrates.

This is because your body turns from breaking down sugar to breaking down fats and turning them into ketones for energy.

To successfully build muscle on keto, you may need to follow this diet long-term. (Knowing that its health benefits are not known in the long term)

Since your body usually relies on burning glucose (from carbohydrates) as its main source of energy throughout your life, your body will take time to adjust to these changes.

When you restrict the number of carbohydrates you eat, you must find another source of energy as an alternative. And with the ketogenic diet, ketones are the body’s main source of energy.

The longer you remain in ketosis, the more efficient your body’s metabolism processes and the ability to burn ketones for energy, and thus, your capabilities will be better at performing exercises.

Also, some studies have shown that a low-carb, high-fat keto diet will protect you from losing muscle mass. This means that once your body has fully adapted to fats, your body will prevent itself from losing muscle even when burning fat.

Importance Of Protein In Keto Bodybuilding Diet

Do you need to eat more protein on a keto bodybuilding diet?

One of the biggest concerns for keto bodybuilders is that increasing your protein intake can bring a person out of ketosis.

There is a process called gluconeogenesis, which is a process by which the body converts excess proteins into sugars in the bloodstream. These sugars, in turn, will prevent you from producing ketones.

Don’t forget to take into account that the body and mind need sugar to stay alive. Even if you are on the keto diet, you need to have a little sugar to feed some types of specialized neurons (especially brain cells) that can only function with glucose.

* So why do we go on the keto diet if we need glucose?

When you follow the keto diet, you will be providing your body with enough glucose (from proteins and fats) that it needs. And ketones will give you a more efficient source of energy, allowing you to build muscle and produce protein without worrying about excess body fat.

How much protein should you eat?

* Here are general guidelines for protein consumption for bodybuilders following the keto diet:

  • When not exercising: You should eat 0.5 grams of protein per kg of body weight.
  • If you do a little exercise: 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.
  • When doing moderate exercise: 1.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
  • For high-intensity exercise: 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Some benefits of keto bodybuilding diet

  1. One of the most general benefits of a keto bodybuilding diet is weight loss.
  2. Keto Bodybuilding diet to improve focus.
  3. Get energy from fats when you exercise.
  4. Reducing sugar cravings
  5. The keto bodybuilding diet protects you from Alzheimer’s disease.
  6. Helps you get rid of depression.

Some downsides of the keto bodybuilding diet

  1. When starting the keto diet, and before your body adjusts to breaking down fats for the needed energy, you will face some health problems, the most important of which are fatigue, dizziness, headache, and nausea.
  2. A significant decrease in your athletic performance.
  3. May loss of electrolytes and fluids in the body.

Some factors to consider on a keto bodybuilding diet

* Here are some factors to consider to help you build muscle for a keto bodybuilding diet.

1. Resistance training regularly

Resistance training usually involves lifting weights or doing other strength-based exercises to build strength and gain muscle mass. 

According to a review of 10 studies, resistance training at least twice a week was more effective at promoting muscle growth than training once a week.

Try incorporating exercises such as (squats, chest press, and pull-ups exercise) into your weekly resistance training routine to increase muscle growth.

* If you are new to the gym, consider hiring a personal trainer.

2. Think about nutritional supplements

Although nutritional supplements are not necessary, they may help you build muscle.

However, it is important to note that many protein powders contain carbohydrates, so keep an eye on the number of carbs you eat to stay in ketosis.

Remember that your levels of potassium, sodium, and magnesium may reduce while on a keto diet. Hence, it is best to eat foods rich in these minerals, such as dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Alternatively, you can take a supplement.

Tips for keto bodybuilding diet

* Finally

* Here are some additional tips for building muscle on the keto bodybuilding diet:

Stay patient: If you are new to the ketogenic diet, you may experience an initial decrease in strength and performance.

It is important to note that this regression is temporary, as it occurs when your body begins to adjust to fats, so be patient and do not stop early, and continue to follow a keto bodybuilding diet.

Track your carbohydrate intake: This helps you ensure you eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day to keep you in a state of ketosis.

Test your ketone levels regularly: You can use 3 methods of testing for ketones to determine if you are in ketosis or not.

* The three best ways to test ketones: 

  • Testing ketones in the blood
  • Testing ketones in breath
  • Finally, testing ketones in the urine

Prepare for the initial side effects of the keto flu symptoms: You might feel a little tired, and nausea…etc.

Get a good rest: Proper sleep is very important for athletic performance and muscle gain.

Beware the hidden carbohydrates: Beverages and condiments usually contain carbohydrates that many people are not familiar with, so it is important not to ignore them.

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