Can The Ketogenic Diet Cause Anemia In Trained Endurance Athletes?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses the latest research on the ketogenic diet and how it may decrease blood iron levels in endurance athletes.

Why The Ketogenic Diet IS NOT Ideal For Endurance Athletes

Can going KETO cause iron deficiencies in trained endurance athletes?

  • The answer seems to be yes...but first.
  • From previous videos, we know that the keto diet is not ideal for most endurance athletes except MAYBE (and that’s a big maybe) the ultra-endurance crowd where the intensity during racing and training are largely below anaerobic threshold.
  • A lot of you keto people have been hatin’ on me for saying this so let me remind you of something.
  • The majority of research on endurance athletes supports high carb diets for optimal performance...this cannot be debated and your n=1 keto experiment does not hold a lot of credibilities when it comes to the endurance athlete population as a whole.
  • Also, remember without data it’s just your opinion.
  • Back to the topic on hand.
  • A 2017 study conducted by McSwiney et. al took two groups of trained endurance athletes and split them into two groups.
  • For 12 weeks one group adhered to a high carb diet (65% total daily calories from carbs) while the other adhered to a keto diet.
  • At the end of twelve weeks, the researchers discovered that the keto group had significant decreases in blood iron levels while the high carb group did not.
  • Take home point...I’ll still argue till the cows come home that the KETO diet IS NOT ideal for endurance athletes and this study gives me one more reason to support this belief.

 

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