Can Low-Carb Hurt Your Athletic Performance

Ketosis and Athletes

The ketogenic diet is a very effective way to lose weight without starving yourself or causing any other negative side effects. However, it does not work well for everyone. Some people are unable to tolerate its effects. These individuals may experience some adverse reactions such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even seizures if they go too long on the diet.

Other people have no problems with the diet, but still want to maintain their health. They may need to eat less than recommended amounts of food, which can lead them into nutritional deficiencies.

If you fall into this category, then the ketogenic diet might not be right for you. You will probably benefit from following a balanced low-carbohydrate diet instead. A balanced low-carbohydrate diet is one that contains carbohydrates (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains) along with protein and fat. There are many different types of low-carb diets available.

The most popular ones include Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet and Zone Diet.

Can Low-Carb Hurt Your Athletic Performance?

There are several studies conducted on the subject of whether or not low-carbing can hurt your athletic performance. Some of these studies have suggested that when you switch from a high-carb diet (or even a balanced low-carb diet) to a very low-carb diet you may experience a drop in endurance capacity. Other studies suggest that if you consume the right types of foods during the early stages of your low-carb diet, you can minimize or even eliminate this potential decline in endurance capacity.

Reduced endurance capacity is only one of the potential side effects a low-carber may experience. Another, more common problem (which most of us have probably experienced) is what is known as “keto flu.” This condition is triggered by the sudden increase in the production of ketones in your body. These ketones are a byproduct of fat metabolism and can build up in your blood faster than your body can get rid of them.

Sources & references used in this article:

What the Fat? by G Schofield, C Zinn, C Rodger – 2019 –

The CSIRO low-carb diet by G Brinkworth, P Taylor – 2017 –

… ” Chapter 14: Carbohydrates, What We Know about low versus High Levels in Athletes.” Nutritional Guidelines For Athletic Performance. Ed. Lmuel W. Taylor … by PG Machat –

Why Low-Carb Diets are Terrible for Athletes: Part 2 by A Colpo –

K2 Athletic Performance Training by ALCDM Plan –