Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets may help endurance athletes perform better, but team and sprint athletes may see a drop in their performance.
Ketogenic diets are not just for losing weight. Many endurance athletes also turn to these very low-carb, high-fat diets to boost their performance.
But athletes involved in high-intensity, short-duration sports might see drops in performance while on a ketogenic diet, suggests new research.
Researchers from Saint Louis University tested the anaerobic exercise performance of 16 men and women following either a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet or a high-carbohydrate diet for four days.
People on the ketogenic diet performed more poorly at anaerobic exercise tasks than those eating more carbs.
Depending on the task, their performance was 4 to 15 percent lower than the high-carbohydrate group.