If I had any Faithful Readers, they would know I’ve been doing some form of ketogenic dieting for the better part of 4 years. I started with a cyclical ketogenic diet, which entailed ultra-low carb dieting during the week (less than 30 grams of net carbs per day), followed by a carbohydrate load of some duration once a week. I’ve also done a standard ketogenic diet, which is just the low carb part of the cyclical diet without the weekly carbohydrate load. For the last year I’ve been following a Paleo low carb diet, which is not as exacting in terms of daily carb intake, but is still quite low.
Recently I read an interview with Ketogains guru Luis Villasenor on Examine and it reminded me that he typically uses a Targeted Keto Diet to improve his performance in the gym. The TKD involves eating a small amount of dextrose before training. Once I made the decision to try it, I went to my local Sunoco and found the most accessible version of dextrose available to me: Spree. I ate 25 grams of dextrose with my typical pre-workout beverage and hit the gym. The difference was immediately noticeable as I found myself more enthusiastically attacking my front squats and had seemingly boundless energy. Perhaps the sugar even coordinated with the caffeine I always take to make that more effective.
So after only one experimental workout, I rushed to the closest dextrose distributer (Walmart) and purchased 4 lbs of it:
The only thing I don’t care for with the TKD is that I have to alter my post-training meal. I typically come home and eat my largest meal of the day after lifting, and it’s a standard meal like all the others I make. With the TKD though, you want that first meal to be low fat since you may still have elevated insulin levels from the packs of Smarties you downed before training and insulin is a powerful storage hormone. The risk is that you’ll store away the fat you eat in that post-training meal. For today’s post-workout meal I had a can of white albacore tuna with romaine lettuce, onion and not much else. Not as satisfying as my usual fare, but for now a sacrifice I’m willing to make to enjoy the added performance bump from the pre-training carbs.
I probably ate more dextrose than needed to get the energy spike I am looking for, so for tomorrow, I’ll follow the formula from the Ketogains site:
A good number to start experimenting with is to use 0.05g / lean lb of body weight
I’m currently tipping the scales around 173.5, and I’m likely between 10-12% body fat, maybe as high as 14%. So I should be good with under 8 grams of dextrose, a far cry from the 19 grams I had this morning. I had a hell of a good workout though.