Can You Use The Keto Diet For Body Building?

As with all new diet trends, queries arise regarding how well it can actually benefit your individual lifestyle. The Keto Diet is the latest fad to hit fitness and wellness outlets, and on the surface, it seems pretty great for almost anybody.

What is the Keto Diet?

The Keto Diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carbohydrate diet. This kind of nutrition forces the body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates, which is why it can be an excellent option for those who are wanting to lose weight.

The Keto Diet is named such because it allows the body to produce ‘ketones.' Ketones are small fuel molecules that are produced in the body when glucose (or sugar) levels are low. They are an alternative fuel source for the body, and their production is encouraged by the low-carbohydrate and adequate-protein diet.

Ketones are produced if you eat moderate amounts of protein, as excess protein will be converted into sugars, and a low-rate of carbohydrates, which are quickly broken into blood sugars when consumed.

Ketones are produced in the liver and act as an alternative source of fuel for the whole body, including the brain. The brain is a huge organ that runs on either glucose or ketones, making this diet a good healthy choice for those who are able to do it.

is keto diet good for body building?

Keto Diet For Bodybuilding

The reason there are doubts about how beneficial the Keto Diet will be for bodybuilders is due to the low-carbohydrates. It is commonly believed that carbohydrates are an essential part of bodybuilding regimes and that a lot is needed to bulk up.

However, carbohydrates actually have little to do with the success of your bodybuilding training. In fact, success in these kinds of regimes is mainly attributed to the habits and routines you develop.

The bodybuilding industry is enormous, and there are so many supplements, shakes and ready meals available that claim to help you on your journey – for a huge price tag.

No matter how many supplements you take, you will not see success in your bodybuilding unless you actually are dedicated to hard work.

The tried and tested rules of bodybuilding are backed by science and are surprisingly simple to follow if you are dedicated enough. If you are looking for keto supplements that will help boost your ketosis, we wrote a review on the best keto supplements.

How does Keto diet helps body builders

How To Be A Successful Bodybuilder

Bodybuilding does not require an overly expensive diet, supplements or shakes. Although these can help your bodybuilding process, most of the time the results they provide are incredibly minor.

The best ways to make a real difference to your body, to get in shape and get strong, is to put in the hard work yourself.

Train hard and regularly

The only way you are going to see long-lasting results in your bodybuilding is if you put in the work. Developing a strict and regular training routine is going to help you strengthen your muscles.

Eat the right amount of calories and the right food

Bodybuilding requires a certain amount of calories each day. You cannot perform well in the gym if you are running on low calories. When training, you need to have the right amount of calories each day as well as an increasing your protein intake to provide your muscles with the building blocks they need to grow and repair after each workout.

Water is important for body builders

Increase your water intake

Regardless of what training programme or diet you are on, drinking water is vital to your health. If you are getting into bodybuilding and/or are on the Keto diet, then you really need to focus on increasing your water intake as both of these contribute to significant water loss.

Pay attention to your hormones

Bodybuilding and a lack of nutrition can put a lot of stress on your body, which can cause increased testosterone and HGH production. The best ways to maintain your hormone levels when training or trying a new restrictive diet is to ensure you are getting good sleep, are consuming proper nutrition and fatty acids, and are working with your body not against during resistance training.

Taking care of yourself and getting the most out of your bodybuilding doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. When you are working on your body, in your fitness and diet, you need to remain mindful and take extra care to keep yourself in the best health.

fitness training while on keto diet

Can I Train On The Keto Diet?

As carbohydrates are not as essential to bodybuilding as previously thought, the Keto Diet, which operates on low-carbohydrates, can be used to build muscle if done correctly.

As the Keto Diet encourages the body to burn fat, rather than carbohydrates, it is possible for you to gain muscle and not weight when bodybuilding. But, be aware, this isn’t a quick fix.

In fact, training on the Keto Diet when you are used to a traditional high-carb and high-protein diet is going to take time. As with any new diet, your body needs some time to adapt.

Your body has to get used to using fat rather than glucose as fuel, and this isn't a process that happens overnight. During your ‘keto-adaption’ phase, you need to expect a lower performance during your bodybuilding training. This process can take anywhere between 1 – 4 weeks, and you will not be able to train as hard or as fast as you are used to because your body is relearning how to produce energy.

If you want to successfully train your body while on the Keto Diet then you need to be dedicated. The best way to see real changes in your body and strength while on a restricted diet like the Keto Diet is to maintain it for a long time.

The Keto Diet essentially forces your body to relearn how to produce energy and because it has been doing this the same way since you were born, by using glucose from carbohydrates, it is going to take time to change.

The longer you stay on the Keto Diet, the better your body will become at burning ketones for energy. This will ultimately improve your metabolism and can help you make some real changes to your body and strength. If you are interested on starting your own keto diet you should definitely check out our top 5 benefits of ketogenic diet.

When you remain dedicated to The Keto Diet’s low-carbohydrate, adequate-protein, and high-fat restrictions, your workouts will ultimately become better and easier over time. As long as you remain dedicated to this way of eating and training, you can see a significant increase in your energy and ability in the gym.

Once in ketosis, your body creates more energy

Once your body is fully keto-adapted, it will be able to create more energy or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from your body and dietary fat. This will provide you with more fuel for your workouts, allowing you to train better and harder.

This, of course, is only possible if you give your body time to adapt. You will have to be patient with yourself, especially during the early stages of the Keto Diet as you are going to be unable to train as well as you have previously.

You will need to take extra care of your body during this phase and will have to give time for your muscles to develop strength. This is why resistance training is so effective, as it allows your body to slowly increase in strength over time. Resistance training allows your body to get used to how it must perform, allowing a smoother and swifter transition to the next stage.

Adapting The Keto Diet

One of the biggest concerns for bodybuilders on the Keto Diet is the lack of protein. Our bodies need glucose to survive, especially when we are on a training regime where we burn more energy each day.

Although we need glucose to survive most of the population, including bodybuilders, consume way more than necessary. The Keto Diet allows our bodies to get the energy we need without gaining weight.

If you are training on the Keto Diet and want to increase your muscle mass, the solution is simple – increase your calories. To give you a rough idea for the type of food you need, have a look at our list of Keto Diet foods you easily can cook.

Even on a restrictive diet like the Keto, building muscle requires more calories. The more calories you consume, the more energy you will have in the gym.

When training:

  • Increase your daily calories by 150-500
  • Use your body mass to determine how much protein you need. It is recommended that you consume around 1 gram of protein per pound of your lean body mass
  • Healthy fats should make up the rest of your calories


If you are wanting to try the Keto Diet while bodybuilding, then you need to be in it for the long-run.

The Keto Diet is increasing in popularity due to how effective it is for weight loss. When training, you need to remain mindful of your energy levels and how well your body can perform under pressure.

The Keto Diet can be very beneficial to bodybuilders, as it will eventually lead to more fat being burned and less of a breakdown in your muscles. But it is not a quick fix and requires a lot of personal care, consideration and time.

About the Author Cathy

EHI Primary Care is run by Cathy, a 20-something fitness guru and yoga enthusiast. This is my blog, where I cover all sorts of topics around my healthy lifestyle.

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