You’ve started the keto diet because you want to experience some of its amazing health benefits like fat loss, better skin, and improved cognitive function. Maybe you even powered through the dreaded “keto flu” during the initial period of the diet, and you’re finally fat adapted and running smoothly on ketone bodies. And now that you’re feeling great, you’re ready to get back to the gym.
Which presents you with your next keto challenge. How do you fuel your workout? During your carb days, an ideal pre-workout snack might have been a protein shake, a banana, or maybe even a sandwich. However, those aren’t things you can consume any longer. While you’re on the keto diet, you’re massively reducing your carb intake and loading up with healthy fats.
You don’t necessarily want to consume a lot of fats right before a workout. Fats take relatively longer to digest when compared to carbohydrates, and it might not provide you with the burst of energy that you need in time, to get through a high-intensity workout.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make sure that you’ve got all the energy you need for a workout while you’re on the ketogenic diet. Here, we’ll discuss some of the best keto pre-workout snacks and supplements.
What should I eat before workouts on the keto diet?
You might need a bit of time to get adjusted to your new keto-friendly pre-workout routine, but in a way, it simplifies the process. You no longer need to worry about when or how many carbs you need to eat before you hit the gym since fats and proteins are your only choices. Feel free to experiment with some of the pre-workouts that we discuss below until you find out what works best for you.
Your first option is to not eat anything at all and exercise in a fasted state. Contrary to popular belief, fasting is about having insulin in your system, as opposed to having food in your stomach. When you eat a meal, insulin works to transport the fuel from your blood to your cells, so that your body can utilize it as it needs. When that process is complete, typically 3 to 6 hours after a meal, you’re considered to be in a fasted state.
The most significant benefit of working out in a fasted state is that it has been shown to burn more fat . Some studies have also shown that fasted workouts result in an increase in human growth hormone levels , which might help you recover faster from a workout. The only potential drawback is that you might not be able to reach peak intensity levels. So, fasted state workouts are ideal if you’re going for a jog, a swim, or for a low-medium intensity yoga session.
Keto-friendly pre-workout snacks
Fat bombs are a popular snacking concept with people on the keto diet since they provide a boost of energy without overloading your digestive system. They’re usually made of coconut oil, almond butter, cashew butter, raw cocoa powder, and non-carb sweeteners like stevia. They might also contain specific nuts and seeds, depending on your taste preferences. You can buy fat bombs at stores, or you could make them at home. You can find plenty of recipes with a quick Google search (some of the best fat bombs I’ve ever made I found on the chocolatecoveredkatie blog) and there’s even a dedicated recipe book full of keto fat bomb recipes on Amazon that’s highly recommended. Fat bombs are suitable before all sorts of workouts.
Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are keto-friendly foods that you can eat as a pre-workout snack. They are high in protein, and while they do have a small number of carbohydrates, it’s not enough to kick you out of ketosis. The minimal carb content can be ideal before a high-intensity workout session to give you an extra boost. Be sure to check for sugar content when you buy them at the store, and only to get the plain and unsweetened kind.
Available in delicious flavors like chocolate-chip cookie dough, salted caramel, and almond butter brownie, you’d find it hard to believe that these bars are keto-friendly. They contain less than 3 grams of net carbs, and they are free from added sugars, gluten, dairy, and soy. The Perfect Keto bars also include 19 grams of healthy fats, mostly from keto-friendly sources like coconut oil, almond butter, and cacao butter.
The Perfect Keto bars are not only a great before a workout, but they are also the ideal keto snacks to carry when you’re traveling and might not have access to other keto-friendly foods.
Keto-friendly pre-workout supplements
The purpose of your pre-workout is to give you the boost in energy and strength without kicking you out of ketosis. So, you want a pre-workout supplement that has minimal carb content and no added sugars. It is, however, acceptable for a keto-friendly pre-workout to have natural sweeteners like stevia. You should also check to make sure that it does not contain any harmful chemicals or dyes, which are unfortunately present in many supplements.
Here are some of the best pre-workout supplements for those following a ketogenic diet.
A sports drink made with high-quality ingredients designed to support athletic performance. It has zero carbs and zero sugars, which is optimal for the keto diet.
It contains beta-hydroxybutyrate, the ketone bodies that fuel you in the absence of glucose. It also includes MCT oil and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) to provide you with energy and support muscle growth, among other performance optimizing ingredients.
One of the ingredients in the Perfect Keto Perform drink is beta-alanine, an amino acid that has been shown to improve output, especially during short bursts of high-intensity exercise. It is ideal for strength training, sprinting, MMA, or other explosive activities . Beta-alanine also delays fatigue and helps you get some extra reps in .
For best results, it is recommended that you take Perfect Keto Perform around 30 minutes before your workout.
Along with beta-hydroxybutyrate and MCT oils, the BPI Sports pre-workout also contains caffeine. So, not only do you get the energy and strength for your workout, but you also get an added level of mental focus. It also contains CDP-Choline, which has been shown to have a performance-boosting effect. BPI Sports Pre-Workout is keto-friendly with zero carbs and added sugars.
Because of its caffeine content, it is recommended that you stay hydrated when you use this pre-workout. One way to keep yourself hydrated is to take a keto-friendly electrolyte supplement.
While you’re on the ketogenic diet, you’re severely carb restricted, and you’re fueled by ketone bodies instead of glucose. Your kidneys might also be flushing out a lot of water, and some critical minerals along with it, due to the decreased insulin levels in your system . With that in mind, here are a couple of additional supplements to consider as you continue on the ketogenic diet.
Electrolyte supplements – To replenish some of the minerals that you might be losing due to your kidneys flushing out water on the keto diet, you can take a keto-friendly electrolyte supplement. Look for ones that combine potassium, sodium, and magnesium, and make sure they don’t contain any added sugars.
Kegenix Exogenous Ketones – Ketone supplements, or exogenous ketones, can help you increase ketone bodies in your system to elevate energy levels and cognitive function. Exogenous ketones help you achieve and maintain ketosis during your workouts, and throughout the day.
Final thoughts on Keto-Friendly Preworkouts
You might be relatively new to the keto diet and lifestyle. Just like anything else, it might take you some time to get adjusted to fitness on the ketogenic diet. Keep experimenting with different keto-friendly pre-workout snacks and supplements, or even with fasted state exercise. Soon enough, you’ll figure out what works best for you depending on your goals and type of workouts that you’re performing.
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