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Dr Mike T Nelson: Flexible Diet for Performance and Body Composition

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Dr. Neslon talks about some of the implications on health and performance of the very popular ketogenic diet.

Transcript:

You can make an argument for using periods of ketosis, possibly, for health, possibly for some types of pathologies. I think it has a massive potential for that, things such as maybe type II diabetes, TBI (traumatic brain injury), but, for performance, maybe there is a few outlined cases that it may be superior, I’m not entirely sold on it for that.

Now again I have a presentation coming up on this too, it’s that if we take someone and put him on a ketogenic diet and then we give him back more carbohydrates, they’ve lost some of that ability to use carbs to their full potential. So, we will not see an instant increase in performance if they were doing that.

However, if they were doing a period of intermittent fasting, that does not change the body’s ability to use carbohydrates. That’s probably related to the PDH enzyme, pyruvate dehydrogenase.

High fat diets will change PDH. Again, we don’t know how long you have to be on a high fat or a ketogenic type diet to see changes in that. Again, the changes are not permanent, so if you talk to researchers, like my good buddy Dr. Don D’agostino, he’ll say that in some athletes, this period of time is a couple days, so that’s not a big deal. In other athletes it can be a couple weeks. So that can be a big deal. Right, so just keep that in mind, the high fat diets will change PDH, which will negatively decrease your body’s ability to fully use carbohydrates. Again, that doesn’t mean you’re not using carbohydrates, it just means that you’re losing a single digit percentage off of a top end. It’s usually speed and power that athletes report that just drops when they do a ketogenic diet. Now, if don’t care about performance, probably not a big deal. But if you’re a performance eccentric, then it is a very big deal.

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