Many Facets of Keto-Adaptation: Health, Performance & Beyond

Integrative Chi Kung

The Many Facets of Keto-Adaptation: Health, Performance, and Beyond
by Jeff Volek

Dr. Jeff Volek is a Full Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut

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Obesity is a condition of excess fat accumulation in adipocytes where the person is literally stuck in storage mode diverting a disproportionate amount of calories into fat cells as opposed to oxidation. Thus it is more productive to think of obesity as a problem in 'energy flow' rather than energy expenditure (i.e., calories in, calories out). The most efficient approach to accelerate the body's ability to access and burn body fat is to restrict dietary carbohydrate while increasing fat intake for a period of several weeks, after which fatty acids and ketones become the primary fuel at rest and during submaximal exercise. The coordinated set of metabolic adaptations that ensure proper inter-organ fuel supply in the face of low carbohydrate availability is referred to as keto-adaptation. This unique metabolic state has recently been shown to have widespread and profound therapeutic and performance-enhancing effects ranging from reversing type 2 diabetes to shrinking tumors to allowing ultra-endurance runners to set course records. This presentation will discuss the physiologic effects of very low carbohydrate diets with an emphasis on their unique effects on both features of metabolic syndrome and human performance.

Dr. Jeff Volek is a Full Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut where he teaches and leads a research team that explores the physiologic impact of various dietary and exercise regimens and nutritional supplements. Dr. Volek's most significant line of work has been a series of studies aimed at better understanding what constitutes a well formulated low carbohydrate diet and the physiological impact on obesity, body composition, fatty acid composition and lipoprotein metabolism, gut micro-biome, adaptations to training and overall metabolic health. This line of work has shown profound effects of ketogenic diets on overall health and well-being, as well as peak performance. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts, many of which were longitudinal interventions of carbohydrate restricted diets. Specific to low carbohydrate diets, Dr. Volek has authored/co-authored 4 books, 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and reviews, and delivered over 100 invited presentations on low carbohydrate diets in half a dozen countries at scientific and industry meetings. Through more than a decade of research dedicated to better understanding low carbohydrate diets, Dr. Volek has accumulated an enormous amount of laboratory and clinical data on how carbohydrate restricted diets affects human physiology, and acquired a unique knowledge pertaining to the individualization and formulation of safe, effective and sustainable low carbohydrate diets.

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable – Stephen D. Phinney & Jeff S. Volek

In diabetes, if a diabetic person's blood sugars become too high or too low, the body sends very obvious signs of the problem- behavior changes, confusion, seizures, etc. In Alzheimer's disease, however, rather than those acute signals of a problem, the brain's function and structure decline gradually over time.

When a group of researchers reviewed the collections of studies available on Alzheimer's disease and brain function, they noted that a common finding in Alzheimer's disease was the deterioration of the brain's ability to use and metabolize glucose. They compared that decline with cognitive ability, and noted that the decline in glucose processing coincided with, or even preceded, the cognitive declines of memory impairment, word-finding difficulty, behavior changes and more.

Furthermore, scientists determined that as insulin functioning in the brain worsens, not only does the brain's cognitive ability decline, the size and structure of the brain also deteriorate- all things that occur as Alzheimer's disease progresses.

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance – Jeff S. Volek, Stephen D. Phinney

A Revolutionary Program to Extend Your Physical and Mental Performance Envelope.

Our recent book 'The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living' was written for health care professionals, championing the benefits of carbohydrate restriction to manage insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type-2 diabetes.

In response, our athlete friends asked "What about us?"
This companion book is our answer, and it could be titled: 'The Art and Science of Avoiding the BONK'.

But actually, it is much much more than that. The keto-adapted athlete benefits from superior fuel flow not only when nearing glycogen depletion, but also during training, recovery, and in response to resistance exercise as well.

"On a well designed ketogenic diet as recommended by Jeff and Steve, I consume up to 4200 Calories per day while maintaining 6-7% body fat. This transformation has increased my power to mass ratio and allows a high level of performance in a range of activities. Equally if not more important is the efficiency with which I operate in every facet of my life. My energy level in the keto-adapted state is constant and nver undulates." Tony Ricci, MS, CSCS, LDN, CISSN, CNS. High Performance Coach/Sports Nutritionist.