For most people on the keto diet, overall health is important. It’s not just about losing weight (it shouldn’t be). Keto followers are often into fitness – it goes with the territory. They understand that eating and exercising are vital components of a healthy lifestyle. Have you started a workout program to help you reach your health goals? Don’t neglect an important part of the puzzle: your nutritional intake. Sure, you can argue that the ketogenic diet will take care of that. But when you start exercising, the equation changes and allows more room for error.
Carefully considering supplements and other dietary components is an important part of the holistic health plan for low carb fans. What you eat before a workout can have a big impact on performance. If you take the time to consider and plan out keto workout supplements, a keto pre-workout meal or even a low-carb pre-workout meal, you make sure you get the best health benefits possible.
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Why You Might Need Pre-Workout Supplements
Any normal diet needs supplements when certain conditions are met, and keto is no exception. While the keto diet is amazing all on its own, supplements are sometimes necessary when you add an exercise regimen to the picture. Here’s why:
Replace Missing Nutrients
This might be a controversial statement, but here goes: While most keto diets are comprehensive, the fact is that when you cut carbs, you also run the risk of cutting out vitamins and minerals that are in those carbs. Chromium, Calcium, B5 and B7 are nutrients that are often found in carb-based foods like grains, and cutting those from your diet by accident can have side-effects. While most keto diets take this into account, exercise adds addfitional stress on your body and must be considered in your holistic approach to health.
Replace Missing Electrolytes
Just as certain nutrients are harder to get on a keto diet, so are certain electrolytes such as sodium and magnesium. These supplements are great to aid your body as it goes through ketosis, but in addition to that they are necessary for lifestyles that contain high levels of physical activity to begin with.
Aid in Fat Burning
Probably the main reason most people consider keto pre-workout supplements has to do with this third reason: certain supplements you can take can actually trick your body into thinking there is more fat to burn. This additional fat can kick you into ketosis quicker than normal, aiding in overall fat burn.
With these reasons in mind, let’s look at some of the best keto pre-workout supplements (and other dietary ideas) out there today.
Creatine and Keto
Creatine is a naturally occuring substance found in different living species, including humans. Creatine is a compound that works to improve your body’s overall ability to generate power. It does this by aiding in the production and recycling of ATPs (adenosine triphosphates), which are what muscles and other cells use for energy. As a result, creatine is a highly sought-after supplement that can aid in muscle development, cognitive processes and can even ward off age-related muscle loss. In short, if you work out and care about peak performance, consier taking creatine. It helps give you more energy to work harder, burn more fat and build muscle mass.
Creatine can be found on its own as a supplement, but is often included as one element of more comprehensive supplements.
Another group of essential compounds to consider are BCAAs, or Branch-Chained Amino Acids. These amino acids occur naturally in foods and are thought to play significant roles in both overall body performance and weight loss.
There are three BCAAs in the body: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Together, these three amino acids make up about 35% of all amino acids found in your body, and about 18% of all the amino acids found in your muscles.
These types of amino acids are primarily broken down in your muscles (as opposed to the liver, where other amino acids are broken down) and because of this are thought to aid in muscle performance, including energy production and fatigue reduction. It’s also thought that leucine helps your body build proteins. All in all, these BCAAs are vital for a strong workout regimen.
The kicker? Your body cannot produce these amino acids on its own, but has to rely on getting them from outside sources.
Like Creatine, BCAAs can be found as supplements on their own or as part of other, more general supplements.
Another supplement used by many ketogenic diet followers is MCT Oil. These oils are commonly added to drinks, smoothies, salad dressings and other liquid-based foods. MCT oil is generally extracted from coconut oil but the finished product can include palm oil as well.
Many people use MCT oils in their morning coffee. The Bulletproof coffee trend has probably increased the sales of this kind of oil by a factor of 10. Try it but don’t go overboard on the oil. Too much MCT can lead to bloating and gas.
MCT oils have been shown to promote weight loss, provide energy and even reduce certain health risk factors such as cholesterol.
When it comes to general, comprehensive supplements, there are a lot out there to choose from. Some are very keto-friendly, other (even those that claim to be) aren’t. It’s important to choose a supplement that actually gives you the energy you need without loading your body down with all those unwanted carbs.
Perfect Keto Perform
Perfect Keto Perform might actually deliver what the name suggests: a perfect supplement for your keto workout. Packed with creatine, BCAA and a ton of other keto-friendly ingredients, this supplement will give you the energy you need to perform at your maximum. Even better, with less than 1 gram of carbs per serving, you’re getting all of this boost without sacrificing all that hard work you’re doing outside of the gym, as well. The main drawback of this supplement is that it can be pricey.
BPI Sports Pre Workout
The name BPI Sports should automatically inspire confidence. These guys know what they’re doing, and this supplement is no exception. Like Perfect Keto Perform, BPI Sports Pre Workout contains all the nutrients your body needs to perform at its best during your complete workout. One thing that sets this supplement apart, however, is that it also contains CDP-choline and other compounds that give you a mental boost as well. This carb-free supplement helps you stay focused during your workouts, and keep that clarity afterwards.
In addition to getting the supplements for your body, it’s also important to think about the actual fuel your body has to work with. What sorts of food do you eat before a workout? Following a predetermined keto diet is great for the day-to-day of weight loss, but when you want more out of your body you need to give it more. Here are some low-carb options that can help give you that extra boost:
Sure. You’re thinking that most berries aren’t really a good fit for the keto diet, right? Like most fruits, they tend to be high in sugar and cars, making them a food you’ve probably been avoiding. However, in small doses, berries are perfectly fine. And before a workout, when your body is going to need an energy boost, a handful of raspberries or blueberries can be just the thing.
Dairy products are loved by keto dieticians because they are high in fat, which is what a keto diet is aiming for. More fat in your food equals more fat to kickstart ketosis, after all! It’s lucky, then, that there are so many tasty options out there. Dairy products like Greek yoghurt are high in fat, low in sugar and contain a good quantity of protein as well. Make sure you get unsweetened yoghurt, though, as manufacturers often like to add sugars to boost the taste, and you don’t want that!
Cottage cheese can also be a delicious dairy pre-workout snack.
Just like they make breakfast bars and granola bars and chocolate bars and any other kind of bars, they also make keto-friendly bars. You can find these in many grocery stores or online. These are not supplements in the sense that they are not full of extra compounds and nutrients. They are just simple, keto-friendly food packed into bars for easy and convenient snacking.
Try the Stoka Bar.
As you can see, there are many options when it comes to choosing the perfect keto pre-workout supplement for your exercise regimen. Regardless of whether you’re looking for specific nutrients such as creatine, a comprehensive supplement that provides a host of compounds or a more natural food that can give your body a much-needed boost, there are a variety of options to consider. The best choice is to speak with your healthcare provider to discover which option works best for you.
CrossFit fan. Ex-personal trainer, triathlete, and cross-country mountain biker. Masters Competitive CrossFit athlete. Writer and blogger.