All the rage in the fitness world is about the Keto diet and how people swear by it for weight loss. The reason it has become so popular of late is that in a short period of time, it promises a drastic change in a person’s weight.
When it comes to athletes and athletic performance, there is quite a conflict. Some say it is a great diet for athletes, but some say it is not.
The Keto diet is all about eliminating carbs or reducing them in our daily intake of food and instead of increasing the amount of fat we eat.
If you have to break down what a keto diet would be like, then it would look like this:
- 5% of the diet is calories from the carbohydrates
- 20% of the diet is calories from the proteins
- 75% of the diet is calories from the fat
Keeping that in mind, here are the pros and cons of a keto diet for sportsmen.
#1. You will lose weight:
If you are consuming no carbohydrates and are eating selective fruits and vegetables, then you are bound to lose weight. All your fat is derived from eating things like nuts, avocados, oils, and butter. People are said to feel less hungry as the fatty foods give a feeling of being satiated for a long time.
#2. Abdominal area loses more weight:
If you are an athlete you know you need to have a strong and tight core. Excess fat in the abdominal area can be a hindrance to having a strong and tight core. Even though we can’t choose where we lose weight from, most people have noticed that the abdominal region gets positively affected.
#3. Health benefits:
Keto is reported to have health benefits like reduced heart diseases and a reduction in epileptic seizures. For an athlete having a healthy heart at all times is essential.
#4. More energy:
According to the people who follow the keto diet, they claim that energy levels have increased and hence stamina is also affected positively. Consuming fewer carbohydrates ensures that blood sugar levels don’t spike and stay more or less even.
#1. Not sustainable for athletes:
All said and done, an athlete or even sportsmen who train vigorously throughout the day require carbohydrates to sustain themselves. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our bodies. Trying to cut out carbohydrates in an athlete’s body, is like removing the fuel of a car and expecting it to work.
Even though it’s a fast way for athletes to lose weight, it is not necessarily the right way.
#2. Nutrition deficiency:
While on keto, an athlete is depriving himself/herself of a variety of nutrients that they require to fuel their bodies. Vitamins, minerals and even fibre aren’t consumed in the right proportion. This could do more harm than good. Due to these deficiencies, people tend to feel tired and fatigue quicker than usual.
#3. To adapt to a keto diet isn’t easy:
For athletes who are used to recovery by eating good and balanced diets, switching to keto can be a nightmare. The food options are so limited that it is normal for them to feel deprived. It can be a very uncomfortable time for them. It can be associated with headaches, cramps, and even cravings. This can hamper an athlete’s training.
#4. It can be very expensive:
To sustain a keto diet can be expensive as you have to buy special products all the time. Buying things like keto-friendly snacks, keto-friendly coffee, and even avocados can turn out to be very expensive. For an average athlete who has very limited income, this can be an issue.
Having listed the pros and cons of keto, what people do not understand is that even though weight loss is high during this diet, after you stop, going back to square one is very easy.
Maintaining your new weight after keto is going to be extremely hard. Keeping all this in mind, you be the best judge on whether the keto diet is for you.
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