Does KETO work for High Performance Athletes?

Dr. French’s latest Hammer Nutrition blog post, Demystifying Keto Part ll, Keto for High-Performance Athletes discusses how a Ketogenic Diet applies to serious athletes like you, which provides me the opportunity to take up where this article leaves off, so you can achieve higher health and peak performance.

How does Keto and Athletic Performance Work?

“What about Athletic Performance?” . . . Dr. French poses a great question here, and cites the science to date, in particular, Dr. Jeff Volek and the seminal FASTER Study which demonstrated that properly fat adapted athletes can burn over twice the fat of a conventional high carb athlete, something previous to FASTER had not been published in the literature. 

The Backstory on the Faster Study

There is an enormous backstory to FASTER which supports Dr. French’s hints that carbohydrates can be included to add that Performance Punch… 

All of the Low Carbohydrate Diet Cohort in the FASTER Study did not live on a strict ketogenic diet in the real world of training and racing. They followed the OFM protocol, including the use of Vespa, which includes the use of “Strategic Carbs” around training and competition. Furthermore Drs Volek & Phinney profiled VESPA & OFM in their 2012 book ‘The Art and Science of  Low Carbohydrate Performance’ where they mentioned that I recommended using carbohydrates around competitions.

Another key point not mentioned in the article but just as relevant, is that these athletes also burn all this fat at 75-80% of their VO2Max, the sweet spot of endurance sports racing. 

Those of you who know me probably already know I helped these athletes get fat adapted, and was instrumental in the evolution of the FASTER Study, but if you are skeptical and wondering “Who is this guy?” you can find my name appearing behind the scenes in the acknowledgements of both the FASTER Study and both books by Drs. Phinney and Volek published in 2011 & 2012 .

Now let’s move the needle beyond the FASTER Study and published science to date. FASTER limited it’s experimental design to examining the role of a ketogenic diet, whereas OFM is a multi-faceted individualized approach to performance. 

In conversations with some of the FASTER Study subjects and other athletes subsequent to the publishing of FASTER,  we discussed how we knew from our experience there was more out there, a LOT more.

John Rutherford, who clocked the highest peak fat oxidation rate of 1.78 grams per minute in FASTER, and I discussed how over 2 grams per minute of fat oxidation was easily possible simply by adding VESPA. Then it happened. Elite Ultrarunner, Jeff Browning, recorded 2.22 grams per minute of peak fat oxidation during a fasted plus VESPA VO2 Max test. This led us down the rabbit hole of more testing where athletes like Jeff Browning and Peter Mortimer have data showing them sustaining over 2 grams per minute of fat oxidation for several minutes and NEVER crossing over up to their VO2 Max! 

This is how and why the athletes we work with no matter their age, gender or ability are able to reach their health and performance potential then ride that wave of benefits for the long term. . . . and the best part about it is you can have those carbs when you need them just not in the massive amounts that lead to the “unintended consequences” consuming too much sugar has on your body!

Whether you are already on your fat adaptation journey or not, the easiest way to get started is to grab a 12 pack of VESPA and start your journey today.

Click here to find out more about Vespa and how it can naturally enhance your fat metabolism -