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What is Keto and Why Should Martial Artists Care?

Food plays a big part in just how fit you can be. But martial artists and other athletes don’t eat the same as everyone else. They have different physical requirements for their bodies and so must follow a very different set of dietary and nutritional rules. One of the goals of these athletes is to ensure that they have plenty of solid muscle, so they are always striving to achieve this. They are usually depleting nutrients and carbs at an unusually high rate and burning up their energy reserves. In short, they are pushing their bodies to the limit and beyond.

When it comes to physical stress, one of the more stress-inducing sporting activities for the human body is mixed martial arts training. With this kind of intense training, you are focusing on agility, speed, strength, and endurance all at the same time. Along with the significant physical demands this places on the body, mental stress can also be significant. This means that a martial artist’s mind has to be just as sharp and fit as his body to execute masterful fighting techniques at quick speeds.

There are any number of diets that martial artists can use in their efforts to optimize their strength, endurance, and overall health. One of the most popular is the keto diet. This diet has encountered a bit of controversy when used for the average person on the street, but it has a growing popularity among athletes. When used correctly, the keto diet can give martial artists more hard, lean muscle, additional energy, and the stamina to outlast their opponent.

At its core, the keto diet is a type of low-carb plan that enforces your body to manufacture ketone. This is used by your body as a powerful source of energy and is sometimes referred to as the ketogenic or low-carb diet. It makes use of natural processes already available in your body. This process is designed to help you survive when the food supply is very low. In ancient times, this helps the human body deal with famine. In other words, this diet has the goal of forcing your body into a different metabolic state that burns fat in order to cope with starvation. More on the keto diet can be found in this video from Prüvit.

A number of recent studies have demonstrated that the ketogenic diet can be a highly effective technique when it comes to enhancing physical strength and athletic performance. Obviously, this is extremely useful for martial artists. The increase in ketones in your bloodstream can help with muscle maintenance, improved cognitive thinking, and enhanced athletic performance. Along with this, martial artists that are "keto-adapted" have been demonstrated to burn fat at a much higher rate during their training sessions than those who are not.

For this process to actually work, you have to shift your body's metabolism into ketosis, and as it turns out, this is not a very easy thing to do. It requires a great deal of patience, discipline, time, and effort on your part. You are basically reprogramming your body’s system to burn energy in a very different way than it has since the day you were born. There are several things you can do to bring this about quickly and safely:

Lower and Upper Body Workouts

One of the core elements to getting your body into ketosis lies with your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system has the responsibility of delivering nutrients, fat, protein, and white blood cells throughout your body, while at the same time removing wastes and other materials that can damage you. Many people don’t realize that their lymphatic nodes operate as a system entirely separated from their bloodstream. In other words, fat is in no way affected by your heartbeat and the movement of your blood, and instead relies on your lymph nodes and muscle contractions.

These lower and upper body exercises can help you jumpstart your metabolism so that you can encourage your body to carry out more rapid metabolization of fats. Physical fitness advocates and supporters of the keto diet strongly recommend building this pumping action from the bottom up all the way to your top glands. This includes your liver, which is one of the most important organs in the body.

Increased Caffeine Consumption

In a study carried out in 2016, it was discovered that athletes who consumed a great deal of caffeine tended to have far more ketones in their bloodstream. In addition, when such athletes increase their coffee consumption from 3 cups a day to 5 cups, the levels of ketones in their blood double. At the same time, you don’t want to go too far when it comes to caffeine. Yes, caffeine can help you with a keto diet, but too much caffeine can be bad for you as well. Make sure you get your caffeine from healthy sources, like green tea.


MCT oil is derived from coconuts. This unusual oil is highly popular with athletes, including martial artists. It helps provide optimal energy for both body and mind. The oil is delivered directly to your bloodstream, avoiding your liver to provide a direct source of additional energy for your body. If you happen to cheat on your diet plan little or are trying to get back into your keto diet, doubling up on this oil is an excellent way to speed up ketosis when you need to.


In our well-fed (perhaps overfed) society, hunger is something we rarely experience in a serious way. But fasting also has a role to play in shipping your body to this new mode. It’s important to note that this approach is best if you have already been on the keto diet, took a short break from it, and are now trying to get back into things. Once your body goes into fasting mode, it sends out a signal that it needs to get rid of extra carbs by burning them to produce additional energy. Once these carbs have all been used, your body will then begin to break down fats and proteins. If you have been using the keto process previously, your body is already accustomed to burning fat, so it will make this transition very easy. You will get the best outcome if you fast for 18 to 24 hours.

So to wrap it up, it is vital for you to understand that they keto diet not appropriate for absolutely everyone. If you’re a martial artist, the keto diet might perfect for you, assuming that you maintain the correct intake of fat and protein while you are on the diet. Doing otherwise can cause more harm than good. And you need to recognize that this is not an easy diet, requiring a lot of commitment to self-improvement on your part. Feeling hungry for 24 hours at a time is not necessarily a pleasant experience.

This is particularly the case in the early stages when your energy levels may be affected as your body switches from using glucose as its fuel source to using ketones. Also note that you’ll want to implement this new diet regimen during an off-season; that way, you are not actually actively training. But if you do it right, you can reap huge rewards by using this approach. You’ll be able to see that fat just melt away. In a short time, you’ll hardly recognize yourself. All the work that you put in to following this diet will have great effects on your body and on your athletic performance in martial arts.

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