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When the word "keto" escapes my lips, the first thing I get is a comment or message about how it's great for weight loss and terrible for athletes. As it happens, I'm an athlete and I haven't lost weight.... and yet it's good for me.

Mostly people worry about endurance, hitting a wall, not having energy during training, etc. All of this is exacerbated by the fact that I also fast every other day. Not only is low carb supposed to make you tired, but no food at all should make you unable to move. I've experienced none of this. Not even so much at the beginning, before I was fat-adapted. But I will say this: folks who experience the drag and fatigue - or those who are simply afraid of it - I highly suspect the culprit is not calories or macros at all, but rather electrolytes.

If you're struggling to train low carb or fasted - truly, either one - I would urge you to try focusing on your sodium, potassium and magnesium first. All those pre-blended satchets of electrolytes will have glucose in them as well, but I make my own without that and believe it's not needed at all. I'd wager that most of what people experience in being dead-tired when coming to Thailand, feeling depressed, exhausted, etc. is truly more to do with electrolytes than even the physical load. And the physical load is a lot; it's fucking exhausting. But if we're building a pyramid for what's most important, calories and breakdown of food comes a far third to both hydration (meaning electrolytes + adequate water) and sleep. You could eat absolutely nothing and have the electrolyte and sleep thing down and do okay. 

Even if you don't go low carb or keto, if you're struggling - anywhere in the world, but especially in hot climates where you sweat all day - start with electrolytes, fix your sleep. I heavily suspect people ignore or are ignorant of both these factors and so they focus on food. Did you eat "enough protein?" Are you eating enough or too much rice? Did you eat before training? You didn't eat before training. It goes on and on. On a violin there are pegs that pull the strings from the very end of it, on what's called the "scroll." Those make big changes to tuning the violin. At the opposite end of the string are little metal pegs, attached to the bridge. They make tiny adjustments to the string. Both are needed to tune a violin, but don't mistake them for each other. You can crank and crank at the little metal pegs and make no significant changes. Or you can barely move the bigger pegs on the scroll and have an entirely different sound. Sleep and electrolytes are the big pegs; food, even though it's important, are really those little pegs in comparison.

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44 minutes ago, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

As it happens, I'm an athlete and I haven't lost weight.... and yet it's good for me.

I will say, you have actually lost weight, which is kind of incredible because when you were walking around at 48 kg nobody in this world would have thought you could, or even should have lost weight. But a really weird thing happened. You lost about 1.5 to 2 kgs and got stronger. I know you mean that you haven't lost weight in the common sense of "lost weight", but what really happened was a change in body composition. You got leaner somehow, and longer, and stronger. It could be that the body just stopped holding water in the same way, I'm not entirely sure, but it is pronounced even though a few pounds.

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Not entirely about cardio/endurance/power - hope it's ok to post on this thread. I am curious to hear if anyone else had trained/fought fasted. If anyone has, I would love to hear their experience, particularly with regards to focus. 

I have been on keto for 11 months now and did my recent fight camp and fight on keto. No significant change to power and endurance. My coaches said my fitness looked good at different times (they did't make a point of saying that for my fights 🤷‍♀️). I did have to stand my ground when my coach suggested that I add back a little bit of carbs the day before the fight.

I did have trouble with my focus during the fight. I was overthinking which lead to an inability to do things that I thought I should be able to do that. I am considering doing my sparring on the same days I do my 24 hour fasts to facilitate the practicing focus and freeness. The days I do 24 hour fasts, I am usually really focused and productive at work.

I seem to recall Sylvie talking about being able to do things in fights after starting 1+1 keto, when she wouldn't have been able to before. (Sorry, that's too vague.) I think it was around the time when she talked about learning to disengage in clinch to throw close range low kicks from Dieselnoi and then being able to use it in a fight several days after learning it. 

Would love to hear more stories/experience of keto and training/fighting if anyone else is doing it 🙂

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2 hours ago, Matty said:

 

I seem to recall Sylvie talking about being able to do things in fights after starting 1+1 keto, when she wouldn't have been able to before. (Sorry, that's too vague.) I think it was around the time when she talked about learning to disengage in clinch to throw close range low kicks from Dieselnoi and then being able to use it in a fight several days after learning it. 

Would love to hear more stories/experience of keto and training/fighting if anyone else is doing it 🙂

Yeah, I had this experience first in fighting fasted - being able to think something and then actually manifest it as an action, which previously I'd just think it and think it and never DO it. That's not 100% diet, I'm sure, but a mix of gaining experience and skill and then the diet factor allowing me to access it. Another factor I'd suggest is sodium. When I started taking sodium throughout the day and particularly just prior to training, my mental abilities in sparring (meaning under pressure) were light light and day. I could actually hold two thoughts in my mind at the same time, which is super helpful under those conditions! Being able to think "this isn't working," and "this is working," about two things is something my brain just didn't do before.

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42 minutes ago, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

When I started taking sodium throughout the day and particularly just prior to training, my mental abilities in sparring (meaning under pressure) were light light and day.

Thanks I'll try sodium as well.

Any improvement in being able to perform more freely/ less hesitant when you increased sodium?

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