This past week I’ve been up to my eye-holes in more PubMed studies than you could shake a mask at. I was creating a 160 + slide PowerPoint for the new online course “Traumatic Brain Injury and the Ketogenic Diet” for the Carrick Institute.
I’ve been working on it for 6+ months now and have combed through 80+ references in the process.
You may be surprised that I am suggesting the keto diet as a potential option…
…if you are dealing with a pathology such as TBI and other neuropathologies.
There is a big difference between a pathology (where something is not working well and is wonky – techy neuro nerd time) vs normal physiology. Massive difference.
If you opt to go down the keto path there are a couple of pitfalls to watch out for on your journey to the land of bacon, not bagels.
1) Longer Rest Periods When Lifting
Since long-term ketogenic diets will results in the loss of top-end speed and power via changes in PDH (Stellingwerff T et al.), take longer rest between sets to give your body time to regenerate ATP (cellular energy). If you do that and your goals do not involve speed/ power, you will be fine.
2) Fluid/Sodium Loss (Aka Keto Flu)
No need to wear a mask to avoid dat keto flu bro-sefus. It is not contagious. While there is not a technical definition of keto flu, it is most likely not enough electrolytes, especially sodium (Bostock ECS et al).
When you drastically cut carbs, your body lowers its insulin output. This combined with a loss of muscle glycogen (stored carbs) actually results in fluid and electrolyte loss. The result is that you feel like dog doo doo for some time.
The solution is to up your electrolytes especially sodium.
Yep, salt (sodium chloride) to offset this massive whizzing out of them.
Even if you avoid keto, this can happen with a longer fast too as I recommend in the Flex Diet Cert.
My fav electrolyte supplement is LMNT. Amazingly they made 1,000 mg of sodium taste amazing.
Seriously, it tastes great (less filling too -hahaha).
And they did it without any crazy ingredients.
Sure you can salt the ever-living piss out of your water in the AM.
I tried that since I can be a massive cheapskate with some items. Just ask my wonderful wifey about this habit. Sure, I’ll drop several thousand dollars on metabolic testing equipment and new items for the garage gym, but pay more for salt, pleeeeeeze. Stop it with the crazy talk as your money tree must be working well for you.
I changed my tune after realizing that my water I salted just sat there on my table and never made it anywhere further than the sink at the end of the day. The thought of saltwater was completing nose-turn-up worthy.
Fast forward to my first sample of LMNT almost 2.5 years ago now.
Wow, it actually tastes amazing.
The moral of the story here, if you are doing keto or a longer fasting day, up your electrolytes, especially sodium and you will thank me later. LMNT makes that a super easy process.
Now you can test it out for yourself by getting an 8 pack to sample for just 5 clams to cover shipping.
You can’t pass that up.
>> LMNT shipping only offer <<
Yes, I do get some a bit of dinero from it if you stay on their subscription plan as I am an affiliate for them. I only do a handful of affiliate products and only ones I truly believe in 100%. I was using this for a full 2 years before I was an affiliate. Heck, I bought a bunch with my own dime to toss at friends for their response. Everyone loved them.
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Your salt pusher friend,
Stellingwerff T, Spriet LL, Watt MJ, Kimber NE, Hargreaves M, Hawley JA, Burke LM. Decreased PDH activation and glycogenolysis during exercise following fat adaptation with carbohydrate restoration. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Feb;290(2):E380-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00268.2005. Epub 2005 Sep 27. PMID: 16188909.
Bostock ECS, Kirkby KC, Taylor BV, Hawrelak JA. Consumer Reports of “Keto Flu” Associated With the Ketogenic Diet. Front Nutr. 2020 Mar 13;7:20. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2020.00020. PMID: 32232045; PMCID: PMC7082414.