Summary of a study compering ketogenic diet with usual diet for powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting.
14 intermediate to elite powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters (5 females) aged 35 ± 11 years with 6.2 ± 5.8 years of lifting experience (weight: 78 ± 12 kg; body fat %: 17.5 ± 4.6%) (Australia).
Randomized crossover design.
Low carbohydrate ketogenic diet
- calories' intake as needed, with a target of ≤50 g or ≤10% daily intake of carbohydrates, 70% fat, 20% protein (+sodium)
- 2 nights
- calories' intake as needed, usual diet with a target of >250 g daily intake of carbohydrates
- 12 weeks
- lifting performance (1RM for one of snatch, clean and jerk, bench press, back squat, deadlift)
- blood glucose, ketones and electrolites
- body composition (via DXA scan)
- resting metabolic rate and respiratory quotient (via indirect calorimetry using breath-by-breath gas analysis with a ventilated hood canopy)
- calories’ intace (via MyFitnessPal)
- training load (session frequency, duration and intensity on a 10-point scale)
- No differences between groups in calories’ and protein intake, and training variables.
- 3 months of low carbohydrate ketogenic diet resulted in lower body weight by 3.26 ± 1.07 kg and lower lean mass by 2.26 ± 0.64 kg.
- Fat mass and 1RM lifting performance did not differ after 3 months of dieting, regardless of diet, nor did resting metabolic rate or resiratory quotient.
Take home message
Greene DA, Varley BJ, Hartwig TB, Chapman P, Rigney M. A low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet reduces body mass without compromising performance in powerlifting and olympic weightlifting athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2018 Dec 1;32(12):3373-82.