Evidence Strong Logo

Evidence Strong

Ketogenic diet for weight loss and performance in powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting

Summary of a study compering ketogenic diet with usual diet for powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting.

Who

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).

Design

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

Usual diet

  • calories' intake as needed, usual diet with a target of >250 g daily intake of carbohydrates
  • 12 weeks

Outcome measures

  • 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)

Main results

Ketogenic diet for weight loss and performance in powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting Infographic

  • 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

For a clinician
3 months of low carbohydrate ketogenic diet (≤50 g or ≤10% daily intake of carbohydrates) resulted in reduced body weight (-3 kg) and lean body mass (-2 kg) but the same performance as when eating usual diet (>250 g daily intake of carbohydrates)in experienced powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters.
For a parent
Ketogenic diet reduced body weight but not performance in powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters.
For an athlete
Ketogenic diet reduced body weight but not performance in powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters.

Original article

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.

© 2021, built by @ognus
To the top