Keto diet claims vs reality: What the science says


The three-day event is set to investigate some of the biggest trends in the industry and answer burning questions on how different diets influence sports performance and how industry players can best meet the needs of these athletes.

Dr Mark Evans, postdoctoral researcher at University College Dublin, will explain how the keto diet has been touted as a way to take of advantage of the body’s large fat stores to fuel exercise for longer and improve exercise performance, however, it’s important to consider how intense that exercise is going to be.

What’s the keto diet?

In a sneak preview of his take at the summit in Amsterdam, Dr Evans explains that for a person to follow a ketogenic diet they must get 80-85% of their calories from fat, consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day and the remaining 15% of their calories from protein.

“So it’s a very restrictive diet compared to the typical Western diet which is around 45-60% carbs and 20% fat.”

Dr Evans explains that the ketogenic diet is often falsely confused with a high fat diet which involves getting about 70% of your calories per day from fat but that diet is still not extreme enough to raise the levels of ketones in the body.

Why go keto?

Dr Evans explains that some people choose to follow the ketogenic diet as it has been claimed that the body can only store a certain amount of carbs which means we have a limited amount of energy stores.

Whereas if a person can reach a ‘ketogenic state’ then they will be able to take advantage of their fat stores and the argument is that they will have access to more energy.


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