Today, I was asked why I do not recommend a ketogenic diet more often, because it is so good to lose fat and build muscle. This may be true, but under following conditions: It must be hypocaloric, the workout is super strenuous and the athlete experienced.
Most people want to build muscle. The biochemical 1×1 sets simple rules, to which even with the ketogenic diet must abide. A muscle without glycogen will NEVER achieve the same performance and growth as one with.
The muscle is composed of 2 types of fibers: the “fast” white glycolytic fibers (sometimes called Type 2 or type 2X) and the “slow” red oxidative fibers (sometimes called type 1). The white fibers can become broader and thicker, which is usually the goal in bodybuilding. But they are really bad in the use of ketones as energy supply. The red fibers can become “better” but not much thicker due to their structure and their metabolism. That is why endurance athletes, despite their considerable performance, are never very muscular.
This means that under a strictly ketogenic diet, the muscle can not properly use and activate its “strong” fibers, and thus they can not become thicker and larger because the muscle can not lift much weight. If you want big muscles, you have to grow them with big weights, and this is only possible with carbohydrates in the food.
However, if you’re on a diet and want to emphasize the muscle structure and reduce your fat, it’s easier with the ketogenic diet because you’re less hungry because of the lack of insane insulin fluctuations.
In conclusion: First set the target, then set the nutritional form and do not simply try it without switching the brain on 🙂