The effects of a ketogenic diet on exercise metabolism and physical performance in off-road cyclists.

The ketogenic diet stimulated favorable changes in body mass and body composition, as well as in the lipid and lipoprotein profiles.

Important findings of the present study include a significant increase in the relative values of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and oxygen uptake at lactate threshold (VO2 LT) after the ketogenic diet, which can be explained by reductions in body mass and fat mass and/or the greater oxygen uptake necessary to obtain the same energy yield as on a mixed diet, due to increased fat oxidation or by enhanced sympathetic activation.

The max work load and the work load at lactate threshold were significantly higher after the mixed diet.

The values of the respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were significantly lower at rest and during particular stages of the exercise protocol following the ketogenic diet.

The heart rate (HR) and oxygen uptake were significantly higher at rest and during the first three stages of exercise after the ketogenic diet, while the reverse was true during the last stage of the exercise protocol conducted with maximal intensity.

Creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity were significantly lower at rest and during particular stages of the 105-min exercise protocol following the low carbohydrate ketogenic diet. The alterations in insulin and cortisol concentrations due to the dietary intervention confirm the concept that the glucostatic mechanism controls the hormonal and metabolic responses to exercise.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24979615

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