What is the best keto pre-workout food you can eat? Learn all about the carbs on keto and how to adjust it for exercise.
You’ve probably heard people say one of the best ways to lose weight is to eat right and get more active. But what should you eat before exercising if you are on a low-carb diet?
Most of the things your friends probably eat before working out include fruit smoothies or oatmeal. While fruits are allowed on the keto diet, you have to watch how much you consume since they have sugars in them – even natural ones. And oatmeal is a wonderful source of carbs – exactly what you don’t want.
So what can you eat before you work out that will give you tons of energy?
Read on to discover all about carbs and energy and whether eating them before you work out will throw you out of ketosis.
Keto Pre-Workout – What You Need to Eat
Have you heard people suggest that you should eat carbs before working out so you have more energy? It’s a pretty common piece of advice. And while carbs really can give your body energy, that’s not the type of energy you want when you are in ketosis.
In fact, eating too many carbs can kick you right out of ketosis.
Ketosis: When Your Body Uses Fat For Energy
Don’t you need to “carb load” before working out so you can have more energy? Nope, that isn’t necessary – your body doesn’t need carbs for energy when it has ketones.
Remember, when you are in the state of ketosis, the ketones in your body use your body fat for fuel instead of getting that energy from carbs.
So that the “carb-loading” theory isn’t necessary when you are in ketosis. Your body doesn’t need more carbs before working out, it will burn more fat instead.
Studies show that keto dieters burn twice as much body fat during exercise as those that consume carbs.
If you’re new to the ketogenic diet and how it works, then you can check out the post I wrote about how to start going on a keto diet and a more in-depth analysis of the effects ketosis has on the human body. You will learn what the keto diet is and what it does to your body.
Pin those posts so you can find them later. Right now, let’s take a closer took at what you can eat before you work out if you want to keep your body in ketosis.
What Can You Eat Before A Workout on Keto?
There’s a huge debate on whether it’s more efficient to go on a workout with an empty stomach or not. I usually have a good keto breakfast before working out, so if you’re like me and feel like eating gives you more energy and stamina, then there are some things you should keep in mind.
#1 Eat Good Fats
First, you should eat something that is high in healthy fats before you work out.
On a keto diet, your body is burning fat for energy. So if you incorporate good fat in your diet, then you’ll have more energy. What are good fats? These are your mon-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats that come from whole foods.
Some examples of healthy fats include fish, avocados, and cream cheese.
Pro Tip: Make one of our many easy fat bomb recipes! That way you’ll have plenty on hand to snack one right before you go to the gym.
Another fantastic source of good fats is nuts. If you want to eat a nut-butter or incorporate them into a fat bomb or shake, choose sugar-free options. You might be shocked at how much sugar is in typical peanut butter.
If you are allergic to nuts, you are in luck. We have a nut-free keto shopping guide. Use it to fill your menu and cabinets with healthy fats that are all nut-free.
#2 Eat a Full Meal
Some keto dieters prefer to eat a complete meal before they exercise.
This is a very personal preference. Some people don’t like working out with a full stomach. But some people find that if they eat an entire keto-friendly meal, they have more energy.
There are a lot of keto-friendly recipes available here on Real Balanced that will help fuel your body without scrimping on the flavor. Any of those recipes will give you energy and help you power through your cardio or weight-lifting.
#3 Eat Protein
Another pre-workout option that you can eat on keto is pure protein.
Grab a keto-friendly protein bar or snack on some low-carb jerky right before working out. This can really help your muscles since protein has amino acids.
Some people like to drink a protein shake before working out too. Just make sure you choose one that is keto-friendly. Some protein shakes have tons of sugars or carbs in them too.
#4 Drink A Keto Shake With MCTs
Finally, a really fantastic pre-workout food you can eat on keto is a shake with MCTs.
What are MCTs? It stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides and they are normally extracted from coconut oil. These are a type of healthy fat that is essential for keto dieters. They are easily digestible fats that are proven to raise ketone levels and give you quick and clean sources of energy.
Lots of keto dieters will make a low carb protein shake with MCT-fortified protein powder before they work out. Doing so helps them get the protein boost their muscles need to recover, plus extra energy (good fats) from the MCTs, which in turn improves their endurance.
Perfect Keto Pre-Workout Mix
One of the best MCT supplements is the Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder. It comes in both vanilla and chocolate. Most people add a scoop of it to their favorite keto protein shake. Or they add a scoop to their coffee, giving them a caffeine boost before they work out too.
They also have a supplement called Perfect Keto Perform that has the perfect combination of MCTs, caffeine, and protein to give your body the energy and stamina it needs before you work out.
It comes in a lemon flavor, so add it to your favorite keto smoothies right before your routine.
Perfect Keto Coupon Code
Can You Eat Carbs Before You Workout on Keto?
There are some people that might need a little more carbs than others. You see, ketosis isn’t the absence of carbs, it is eating so few of them that your body doesn’t use them for energy.
Some athletes and Cross-Fit aficionados might actually need more carbs. If you exert an astounding amount of energy when you exercise – such as a 9 out of 10 – then you might want to add a few more carbs to your pre-workout routine.
This is because carbs give your muscles glucose that it needs as they break down and repair. Carbs deliver this glucose efficiently.
But if you only do about a 5 or 6 intensity when you exercise, then don’t add more carbs.
Eat carbs after a workout could help your muscles repair themselves. You should always pair the carbs with protein so your muscles will grow faster. Again, if your workouts are not that intense, don’t add more carbs.
What To Avoid on Keto Pre-Workout
If you are hoping to stay in ketosis, these are the things you should avoid consuming before you work out.
- Carb-loading – This could cause your body to go out of ketosis and begin looking for carbs for energy instead of burning fat.
- Artificial Sweeteners – Always try to use natural sweeteners like monk fruit sweeteners or stevia. Some artificial sweeteners were linked to blood sugar spikes and even cancer.
- Alcohol – It’s always a good idea to avoid alcohol before working out because it will cause you to get dehydrated faster.
Best Keto Pre-Workout Routine
There are ways to keep your body in ketosis and have stamina and energy. This routine will give you that long-lasting and fat-burning fuel.
Before you do any type of exercise, always try to stay hydrated and make sure your body will have enough energy to make it through. This is why most people enjoy making shakes. Always drink lots of water too.
#2 Eat Small Amounts First
If you aren’t sure how much you will need, it’s ok to experiment. Work out without eating anything and see how you feel. Then, make minor adjustments.
Maybe eat a small amount of a protein bar or try a small shake with MCTs. If you start wearing out too fast, add a bit more food next time.
#3 Talk To Your Doctor
As always, ask your doctor if you have any medical questions of any sort. Are you experiencing any muscle weakness or feeling dizzy? Talk to your doctor and tell them what you eat and how hard you are exercising. You might need to adjust your macros considerably.
What is your keto-compliant pre-workout routine? Share them in the comments!
More Keto Tips and Inspiration
Keep focusing on your health. Here are some more keto resources that you’ll enjoy reading next.
- How to Break a Keto Plateau and Lose More Weight
- Intermittent Fasting on Keto
- How to Plan Meals on Keto
- What Happens to Your Body When You Go Into Ketosis?
- Keto Diet and Alcohol: What Can You Drink?