T Nation

Ketosis and Carbs

In the past when I want to get ripped, I have gone on a very low carb, high protein diet, and it has worked well. However, I want to see if I can continue to get some benefit from my workouts, so I have decided to drink a carb/protein drink which has about 40 grams of carbs after my workouts. My question is, if I take in those 40 grams of carbs each day usually late morning or early afternoon, will that keep me from going into ketosis. I will also probably be taking in another 20 or 30 grams of cards from other sources during the early part of the day. I will be taking in about 225 grams of protein each day. I weigh around 185 pounds. Thanks for your help.

I think you just reinvented the T-dawg 2.0 diet. And remember, you don’t have to be in ketosis to drop fat. Read the article if you missed it: www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/243tdawg.jsp

Probably TT’s domain, but you need to give us a few more details. Are you iso- or hypocaloric? By how much?

Essentially, with 40g carbs post-workout, this will probably be used up immediately for muscle glycogen replenishment. A total of 70g carbs per day is low. I would doubt that it would prevent a ketotic state, but once again it depends on your total caloric intake vs need.

Isn’t ketosis a matter of degrees? I don’t believe it is an all or nothing type of thing. At so few carbs per day you will certainly be in ketosis still. Another thing to think about though, is that sometimes excess protein can be converted into carbs/glycogen - just a thought to consider if being ‘absolutely’ in ketosis is a goal. But like was said, being in ketosis is highly overrated, fat loss is about the same whether you low carb or no carb. The only significant advantage of ketosis is that it might be more muscle sparing, but even this is highly debated.

Like SRS said, TX (i.e. Tampa-Terry) can probably shed some light–hell, she’ll bring on the sun–to this subject. A few thoughts, though. One, I don’t know how critical it is to be in ketosis. Anyway, with so few carbs, all you’re doing is a TKD or T-Dawg type of diet, like already pointed out. I think that this approach will be of benefit, actually.

SRS, I have a quick question for you, as related to your comments. You mentioned iso- vs. hypocaloric. This may sound like a rather juvenile question–and I feel a little silly asking–but this would lead me to believe that isocaloric means maintenance calories–seeing the hypocaloric means a caloric deficit. I was under the impression that isocaloric meant equal contributions of the macronutrients to total calories. Please straighten out my thinking, my friend. It’s much appreciated.

Gosh, SRS, that’s not fair. Your contributions in this area have been substantial. I’m just more long-winded than you. (grin)

Stan, anything below 100g of carb intake per day is considered ketogenic. Like KingProtein said, it’s all a matter of degree. On any given day you should not take in less than 20 or 30g of carbohydrates because the brain (and a few other things) require glucose for energy. If you’re not taking in any carbs (or below the number I recommended), you’ll find the body breaks down muscle to meet those glucose requirements.

What I’d really like you to do is read up on Surge (which has roughly 25g of protein and 50g of carbs per serving). The articles here on T-Mag explain why it was formulated the way it was and how it prevents post-workout catabolism and promotes protein synthesis.

So the fact that you’re considering incorporating a post-recovery drink, I feel, is a VERY positive move on your part, even if you’re going the low-carb route. Yes, it will affect ketosis, but think about it this way. You take you post-recovery drink and spike insulin to reduce catabolism and promote anabolism. It takes a couple hours or so for the body to process the carbs and blood sugar levels to drop. As long as you’re hypocaloric, as SRS said, you’re back in fat burning mode. So in any given 24 hour period you work out, you’re burning fat 21 hours (give or take, but you get the idea) and NOT burning fat 3 hours.

Just do me one BIG favor. Whether you do Surge or not, make sure you’re taking in some pre-digested protein with those post-recovery carbs.

Bottom line, it may effect ketosis, but if you continue on with the low carbs for the rest of the day, you’ll still be drawing on fat stores for the majority of the day, and it WON’T affect your cutting cycle negatively.

Timbo, you would be right- I refer to ISOcaloric as maintenance calorie intake, or more precisely the number of calories for that particular individual that is necessary to maintain the same (or essentially the same) body composition. This takes into consideration all extra daily calorie requirements e.g. work and exercise, so it is not actually MAINTENANCE, but some arbitrary figure above this.

Hypocaloric- below needs for maintenance body comp;

Isocaloric- equals;

Hypercaloric- above.

Not sure where you got the equal macronutrient breakdown definition from. Not to say it’s definately wrong, I’ve just never seen isocaloric used with this idea in mind. SRS

SRS (How the heck do I come up with a nickname for that! C’mon, throw me a bone!)…thanks for clearing that up. I now remember where I got the idea from though. I read an article by Dan Duchaine discussing the Iso-caloric diet, in which protein, carbohydrate and fat all contribute 1/3 of total calories.

I see exactly what you’re saying, though, and that makes sense. I also like the fact that you’ve got your terms down pat. That is, so many people misuse the terms BMR and RMR for their Total Daily Energy Expenditure (the latter, in your terminology, would be Isocaloric). This is far from fact, and could be very, very off for more active individuals.

Thanks, S.

I eat oatmeal for breakfast and 2 scoops of surge after I workout and that along with low glycimic fruits and vegitables is all the cabs I eat. I also try to consume all carbs before 3:00pm and I can still feel my body in ketosis or as close as need to be to lose fat while maintaining lbm.

Throw you a bone? Sorry dude, don’t know what you mean. I’d rather just remain the dark horse for now:-)

I’ve been reading T-Mag for about 3 years off and on now, but have only a few months ago made the conscious decision to contribute. As I said in another post to a certain G_T, I’m just happy chewin’ the fat, learnin’ a little, helpin’ out a little. Life is good :-). SRS


What hasn’t been addressed that we can discuss, Stan??


Ah, the Dark Horse. Me likes:-) Well, I’m not sure how much fat you have in your diet (i.e. “chewin’ the fat”), but you’ve demonstrated well that you are and have learned a good deal. And your contributions, SRS, they’ve been Quality. Keep up the outstanding work, and I look forward to reading more of your insightful opinions and information:-)