It is not uncommon for those following a ketogenic diet to report a decline in their performance upon initiation of the diet. However, once keto-adapted, many of these decrements tend to disappear. However, there are still some cases when performance can become impaired and having effective techniques to overcome these situations are important! During graduate school, I was fortunate enough to conduct an experiment with CrossFit athletes on a ketogenic diet. From these experiences and from adopting a ketogenic lifestyle myself, I have learned several strategies that can be used to ease the process and allow for an optimal level of performance. Here are my 6 tips!
1. Stay Hydrated
When following a ketogenic diet (or lifestyle), insulin levels tend to be lower due to less carbohydrate intake. Low insulin levels cause the kidneys to excrete more water and sodium. This puts a ketogenic athlete at an increased risk for dehydration if they are not consuming adequate water intake throughout the day.
Consume a large glass of water immediately upon waking.
Add a splash of fresh lemon juice, for the added vitamin C and antioxidants and a splash of apple cider vinegar, for it’s profound health benefits.
As a general rule, consume AT LEAST ½ your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., you should consume AT LEAST 75 ounces (150/2 = 75) of water per day (more if you workout and sweat heavily!). That would be about 4.5, 16.9 fl oz. water bottles per day.