Sometimes, like tonight at a Christmas party, I feel that I am preaching the ketosis gospel. I am not or it is not my intention, it is just that I am so excited about what I have discovered that I can’t hide it. My experience with ketosis has been amazing, but I do not want to be blind either, so I am always looking for answers.
I just listened to Endurance Planet’s recent podcast and the nutrition specialist, Ben, responds to a readers question about carbing during a 50 miler. Now I have only gone 26 miles carbless, so I personally cannot respond directly from experience; nor am I a doctor or a scientist for that matter . . . Ben states that the brain needs a minimum of 30g of glucose (referring to carbs as source) and about 150g during a race per day. Which is to me the standard non-keto answer and later emphasizes his negative attitude towards ketosis and running, “Its not pleasant, to run 50 miles in a ketogenic state . . . but if you really truly want to stay ketogenic God know why? during a 50 mile run . . .” Now I am only 49 days in to my keto diet and I feel better running carbless than I did prior. Also, from my limited understanding and research of keto adapted
athletes people, the brain prefers ketones over glucose. In the article, “Your Brain On Ketones: How a high-fat diet can help the brain work better,“ Published on April 18, 2011 by Emily Deans, M.D. in Evolutionary Psychiatry Emily states exactly that. The article is a little rich, but if you are a keto athlete, it is worth a read. And check out the podcast and let me know what you think.
It is true that some parts of some brain cells can only burn glucose, but fortunately our bodies can turn protein into glucose through a process known as gluconeogenesis. This fact means that while there are essential requirements for both fat or protein (meaning we would die without eating at least some fat and at least some protein), we can live quite happily while consuming no carbohydrate at all.
Now, when I was taught about biochemical fuel-burning, I was taught that glucose was "clean" and ketones were "smokey." That glucose was clearly the preferred fuel for our muscles for exercise and definitely the key fuel for the brain. Except here's the dirty little secret about glucose - when you look at the amount of garbage leftover in the mitochondria, it is actually less efficient to make ATP from glucose than it is to make ATP from ketone bodies!
Doesn't sound to me like glucose really is the preferred fuel for the brain after all. ~Emily Deans, M.D.
Sports Nutrition: 5 New Superfoods to Add in Your Diet, Using Carbs in A Race if You’re Fat-Adapted
Ben joins the show to answer your questions on the top 5 foods that you’re (probably) not eating and should add into your diet in 2013, good online nutrition log/data software, the best kinds of magnesium (i.e. citrate? oxide? glycinate?) and dosage for athletes plus a follow-up from ATU on Mg in Skratch Labs Drink Mix, why it’s not advisable to go completely without carbs during a race even if you’re in ketosis/fat-adapted (and the minimum amount of carbs you need to get by), peanut butter and honey as ultra fuel, what to eat drink after a PM workout that’s right before bed, an allergy to chicken and turkey and what to do, and more.