This is our first guest post.  Karl is a chef of 16 years with just a few nutrition qualifications (to many to list) who has been training with us for a little over a year now.  He is dedicated to his nutrition and the below post is how he tweaked things for optimum performance at his first CrossFit competition. Enjoy!

Lets talk Keto in performance sports

As some of you may know, I am a Crossfit athlete and I am keen on competing, testing the boundaries of Keto performance.

Last weekend I competed in a competition called The Solent Series held in Southampton.  The competition took place on the Saturday and the format of the competition was to complete 4 workouts to determine the top 6 who then went onto the final workout.
Crossfit it is predominately made up of anaerobic exercise with the workouts typically using shorter bursts of energy, such as weight training or high-intensity interval training. For this type of training Carbohydrates are the primary fuel.  As a keto athlete relying on my fat stores it would be difficult for me to so provide enough energy, quickly for this type of workout.
As this is the case I knew that I would need to consume more carbohydrates on the day of the competition. However I did not want to increase the amount of carbohydrates at a detriment to my state of ketosis. I therefore did some research.
When you train (whether that is for performance, muscle gain, or fat loss) you need to consume carbohydrate the same day in order to replenish the depleted glycogen stores in your muscles and liver. Glycogen stores can be used for energy at your next workout, which leads many to believe that you need fast-digesting or high-GI (glycemic index) carbs to help you recover and replenish glycogen as quickly as possible. Contrary to popular belief however, if you’re only partaking in 1 session per day you don’t need to take in any High GI fast digesting Post workout carbs. Sure, if you’re hitting multiple workouts within a few hours, you might want that jam with rice cakes or some sweets post-workout, but for anyone else, fast vs slow digesting carbohydrates is not important.


To Prepare for the competition I needed to know how many workouts I was going to compete in and rough timings to allow me to calculate the energy I would be burning and subsequently need to replenish afterwards.  I used the following formula to calculate the correct amount of carbohydrates I would require to replenish the depleted glycogen levels after each workout.

On average I lose 4.3mmol of Glycogen from each 1kg of lean muscle, for every minute I work at high intensity

So I will calculate a 6 minute workout which is the time it took me to complete the final workout at the competition.
Total time = 6 Minutes 
My Lean Muscle Mass = 34kg
That’s 4.3mmol x 34kg = 146mmol lost every Min
So the total glycogen lost will be 146mmol x 6 Min = 877 mmol
I then calculated how much carbohydrates is needed to replace that much glycogen.
On average 5 grams of carbohydrates will replace 30mmol of glycogen.
So 877 total mmol / 30 mmol = 29 
29 x 5g = 145g Carbohydrates
With this calculation I could confidently increase my carbohydrate and caloric intake so that I could stay in a state of ketosis. This would also enable me to maintain my energy levels throughout the day.  With the short, high intensity workouts being taken care of with the carb calculation above all that was left was the endurance element.  With my keto diet on point and the benefits of this using my fat stores which release energy slower and over a longer period of time I had no issues.
Another great piece of information that I found was that the most consumed beverage in the world, Coffee, (which I love) and more importantly Caffeine would be a game changer in terms of recovering post workout.  Caffeine can improve insulin sensitivity, stimulate glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, and when adequate carbohydrate intake is observed,  can improve the absorption of glucose into the blood stream by as much as 4 times faster then normal.  My solution to this? Crush dark chocolate coated coffee beans after every workout, a little radical but very tasty.
I consumed 6305 Calories on the day of competition and my carbohydrate intake was 5 times more than on a standard training day. However on the Sunday morning I was still in Ketosis proving that science works.
I am heavily invested in remaining ketogenic, and applied my principles to the competition and succeeded in finishing 2nd in my category.  I do however work with CrossFit athletes and elite triathletes who aren’t keto advocates.  The fundamentals are the same.  The calculations are the same the only difference is the food we use to get the results.  If you would like help in performance nutrition or just with making changes to your nutrition for a healthier lifestyle visit, and check out my instagram @ketokarlos.