T Nation

Nutrient Timing for Building Muscle on Keto?

Hello Nation. I think what I’m asking about is the TKD or targeted ketogenic diet. Judgments aside (I have my reasons), if you were to objectively design the perfect peri-workout nutrition plan, with the goal being to maximize muscle growth and remain in or close to ketosis as possible, what would it look like? I would train three times per week and walk a bunch on my off days.

The plan would be to consume the days carbs (30 total grams or so, but could bump to 50 if the insulin is needed) around my workout. I assume I should consume BCAA before and then have a protein and carb meal after? Should i have carbs before also to replenish glycogen stores?

Thank you for your input

You don’t need carbs to stimulate insulin. Protein; specifically leucine, stimulates insulin. Ditch bcaa’s. Use whole animal proteins and whole eggs. I think meeting your protein needs over the day is more important than timing. Try mct for peri workout energy.

Thank you for your response. I do use MCT in my morning coffee and I’ve had amazing mental clarity and energy since I started it.

So do I

It depends. Training with low insulin levels can increase breakdown of protein to make glucose, but if you are already 10+ hours into a fasting window, that also raises growth hormone levels and the ketones can replace the need for muscle derived glucose (protein->glucose). Growth hormone does not rise as much if you eat a calorie restricted diet but don’t restrict the time period, or don’t train in a fasted window.

You did not mention being in a calorie restricted diet or trying to lose bodyfat at all which should be the first thing to mention for advice on this if it is the case, since it will dictate whether you need peri-workout nutrition to meet your goals, so I begin with the assumption from your post that you are not restricting calories, but simply eating a ketogenic diet, and training for performance and muscle gain without gaining fat. On a ketogenic diet, your muscles don’t even use glucose very well since they get loaded with fatty acids, and they stop making glucose burning enzymes. If anything, carbs around a workout on a ketogenic diet cat shut of ketones and reduce fat mobilization and decrease your available energy, and growth hormone (which also can improve performance).

Putting carbs around training in a calorie deficit with balanced macros makes sense. It makes no sense if you are keto adapted, which is different, by the way, from simply having some ketones in your blood (0.2-0.8 or so).

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I understand the whole food emphasis, but leucine is a BCAA, and a good BCAA source will have 25% leucine, 25% other BCAAs and 50% EAAs. High leucine whole food protein sources only get about 8-9% of their amino acids in the form of leucine.

Also, stimulating insulin with leucine before training without carbs tends to produce hypoglycemia. If you are keto adapted, that won’t be a problem since your nervous system will be running on ketones, but then you don’t benefit from insulin during the workout anyway since it turns off ketones and reduces hormone sensitive lipase that provides fatty acids for training.

Yea, that’s true.

As an aside I tried Poliquin’s mega dosing of bcaa; @40gms a day, to no noticeable effects.

Do cyclic dextrines raise insulin ?

Yes. The insulin response is almost identical to that of pure glucose. This is confirmed in literature. The primary benefit of cyclic dextrin is that since there are larger than mono- and disaccharides they don’t pull much water into the gut and out of the bloodstream. They may have a little longer tail end action.

If you wanted to do a TKD, you could do like 15g EAA, 20-30g carbs, 5-10g glutamine. Glutamine always helped my BG more stable. maybe more carbs if doing legs or high volume workouts.

No shit ? That’s interesting. I used to use a scoop occasionally before training. But my days of highly glycolytic programs are over. I do greasing the groove now along with my wrestling, jiu jitsu and kickboxing. Fats and proteins working well for me.

Have you checked out Louis Villasenor of Ketogains? He swears by TKD and his formula is pretty basic.

Hi yes thank you. I initially posted a link but it’s been a while since i’ve been on the forums and I forgot that it’s not allowed

He seems a nice guy. I’ve always thought his 5-10 CHO pre workout seemed a bit light to make any palpable difference but it seems to work for him.

I’ve tried various ratios and I believe unless you’re obsessed with getting back into ketosis as quickly as possible you can go a bit higher e.g 20-30.

I appreciate the input and I agree; I enjoyed watching the interview I saw him do on bodybuilding on a ketogenic diet

I like that guy.