The Keto Diet for Swimmers: Main Pros & Cons

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Description: there are many benefits to the ketogenic diet, as well as some cons. So what can the keto diet bring to you as a swimmer? This article looks at how this diet can impact your swimming.

The world isn’t short of people who are embracing the ketogenic diet. Everywhere you go, you’ll see celebrities talking about how brilliant it has been for them. You’ll find runners who have claimed to have run tens of miles without needing to go to the toilet after sticking to a high-fat diet and taking best keto supplements. You’ll even find deacons embracing various keto diet snacks. Like it or not,  this diet is really everywhere you go. However, is it safe to try? We’re going to bring you up-to-date with everything you need to consider about this diet before you decide whether to try it for yourself.

What’s it all about?

If you’re unsure about keto diet with exercise because you simply have no idea what it is, fears not! Were going to take you through it.

Fortunately, the principles behind the keto diet are really very simple. The key is to ingest high-fat food with low carbohydrates. If you do this, you can put your body into a natural metabolic state known as ketosis. Ketosis causes the body to ban fat stores instead of carbohydrates that it usually targets to burn for energy. However, you will need to eat the right quality of food (no junk). You will need to consume a very low amount of carbohydrates, typically between 25 and 45 g a day, in order to start burning fat for energy. People who have chosen to follow the ketogenic diet with success have always adhered to counting the carbs with accuracy.

What can you eat?

If you’re looking at a keto diet for beginners, as a rule of thumb, you will want to avoid carbohydrates, as we mentioned. It is also important to know that you are what you eat, so you should avoid processed food and junk food as much as you can.

Here are some foods that you might find on a keto diet plan for athletes:

  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Meet
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Oils
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Fibrous vegetables
  • Berries 

Photo by Sabrina Schulz from Pexels

The pros and cons

High-fat diets have had a lot of success in preventing seizures for those suffering from epilepsy. A lot of research has been done to show that the ketogenic diet can help people with type II diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels. This kind of diet has also been linked to a reduction in heart disease risk. 

Those who are trying to lose body mass find that exercise and ketogenic diet go hand in hand. This is because fat and protein can provide satiety easily, resulting in people eating and snacking less on the whole. This can be great if you are swinging because you can lose weight and build lean protein, which will help you swim.

If you are a swimmer who trains at a low intensity, i.e. 70% of your maximum heart level, the body will completely rely on fat energy, this makes the ketogenic diet very effective in keeping your weight down and your muscle lean. This proves massively advantageous to swimming where you want to be as light as you can and as strong as you can as well.

However, if you’re not going to follow the diet accurately, you could experience some discomfort in your gut. Some studies have suggested that swimmers who have been on a keto diet for athletes have had little benefit in terms of high-energy performance. This means that you could lack energy as a swimmer if you want to go all out within a race. Some swimmers have reported not having enough intense energy at the last minute so that they can win a race that can prove very disadvantageous. The best thing to do is to stick to the diet in the long run in order to reach ketosis and get the body used to burn fat.

Low-carbohydrate diets lead to the body producing many ketones and burning high amounts of fat instead of carbs to gain energy. It can be dangerous for us when out if too many of these ketones are to build up in the body. Too many and you can become dehydrated, changing the chemical balance of your blood. However, steady ketosis can make you reach satiety easier, thus helping you to maintain lean muscle mass. It is also vitally important to drink as much water as you can to stay okay.

Is it good to try?

We would thoroughly recommend sticking to it if you’re going to try. it. The body needs to adjust and reach ketosis and a lot of people who have noticed discomfort are those who have not given themselves enough time to adjust. It can be quite difficult because it isn’t the kind of thing you can ease into very well due to its restrictive nature, however, it is still possible to have a well-balanced diet whilst being on keto.

Keto diet final thoughts

If you’re wondering is the keto diet safe, we would definitely say yes, as long as you are following it correctly. The benefits of the keto diet can certainly help you if your swimmer,  just as long as you stick to it for enough time to reach ketosis. Do that, and you’ll be swimming like a fish for many years to come.

Have you ever used a keto diet calculator? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.

Author’s bio: Adam Reeve loves to swim. He has basically been swimming ever since he was in his mother’s womb. Working as a writer, he has time to swim in local competitions on an amateur level. Adam loves to write about swimming and all things related.

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About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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