Is The Ketogenic Approach Ok For CrossFit?

As a CrossFit athlete, you’ve probably considered experimenting with how food can alter your body composition while also allowing you to perform at your best while training. 

Then in steps the Ketogenic approach, which, I’m sure you’ve heard about by now, for it’s fat shredding, mental clarity giving, endurance adding, and performance-enhancing abilities. 

So I figured I’d take some time to break it down, just a little bit incase you may be interested.

I was on keto for about 2 years and I have to say, it wasn’t nearly as bad as some people make it out to be. If you are interested in trying this out just let us know at your next Nutrition Consultation and we will get you started on that path. But please know ahead of time, there is no half in and half out of ketosis, you’ve got to commit to it, and stick with it, for it to work.

The basics of the ketogenic approach are too load up on quality fats, then get a decent amount of protein, and limit the amount of carbohydrates to less than 20g per day. In affect the ketogenic diet alters your body from burning glycogen, which is energy from carbs to burning fat, in a process that is known as ketogenesis.

What we dont want is for you to hop on it and see the weight fall off for a couple weeks to a month then get discouraged. The first drastic drop in weight is mainly water weight, so we need your expectations to understand that. 

What a CrossFit Athletes Should Know About Going Keto

Be Mindful Of Your Electrolyte Intake

You sweat a lot as a CrossFitter. So, you need to stay hydrated. When you start with the keto you will lose a lot of water weight. To help prevent the dreaded KETO FLU (which doesn’t even have to happen) make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes. Salt is a good way to help you retain water but you will also notice that you may need to supplement magnesium as well to keep a good balance of electrolytes in you body to prevent things like cramps and fatigue. But be warned, oral magnesium supplements can be tricky to get the correct amount of because too much and you won’t be able to leave the bathroom. I use a magnesium spray and haven’t had that issue since.

Not All Fats Are Created Equal

The fats you choose are important. You have to realize that even though you’ll be using fats for fuel, you can’t just throw down on a few sticks of butter and call it a day. You want to choose fats that come from natural whole foods. But even then, not all fats are created equal because they differ in how they are structured. 

There are many types of fats and what I usually tried to look for was a ratio of 2:1 Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids: 

  1. Saturated fats which are the most stable structure (Higher in Omega 3)
    1. ghee, grass-fed butter, cream, coconut oil
  2. Monounsaturated fats
    1. olive oil, avocados, almonds, cashews
  3. Polyunsaturated fats, which are the least stable (Higher in Omega 6)
    1. fatty fish, grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, pine nuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, seeds, vegetable/seed oils, algae

Be Patient It’s Worth It

You don’t want to go keto just before a competition. You may see a bit of performance drop at the beginning, as your body begins to initiate the metabolic pathways responsible for fat metabolism. It can take a day, or it can take a month for your body to switch to burning fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel. 

Keep Your Calorie Intake Up

Crossfit WODs require a high level of energy, so don’t skimp on the calories. The good thing is that fats carry more than twice the energy (calories) as protein or carbs 9:4:4 respectively per gram. The not so good thing, fats are also great at satiating us. 

So The Big Question.

Is The Ketogenic Approach Ok For CrossFit?

Short answer is yes, but you have to be able to be flexible in the amount of carbs you intake on training days as opposed to non training day (which is called Cyclic Keto). And you should do it if you only plan to do it for a very short time. It takes work and dedication, but I know y’all already have that because you’re CrossFitters.

If you have any questions about this or anything else please feel free to reach out. We are always here to help anyway we can.


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I was born and raised here in Lafayette, where started CrossFit a little over three years ago. I participated in athletics throughout high school, and have continued to compete while in college pursuing a career as a Nurse Practitioner. CrossFit has changed my life. It has given me a competitive edge, provided me with another platform to test my fitness, increased my quality of life, and connected me with my second family here at P6 CrossFit. With the help and encouragement of our members and coaching staff, I have had the pleasure of becoming a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Through coaching, my goal is to impact and improve the quality of life of the athletes I meet, whether they are beginners, or elite.


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My name is T.J. Williams and am a husband and father. I am currently the Senior Assistant Golf Course Superintendent at the Farm Golf Club
where I have been working for the past 7 years. started CrossFit because I was getting bored with the same bland routine of a traditional gym. I
had a friend that had just started coaching and he talked me into trying it. I was hooked from the word go. I always enjoyed competing growing up as I played almost every ball sport you could. CrossFit brought back that competitive drive I was missing. After several years of doing CrossFit, I began wanting to help people on their CrossFit journey so I obtained my CrossFit Level 1 Certificate. I enjoy helping people achieve things they never thought they would be able to accomplish. Seeing people conquer fears and experiencing that “light bulb coming on moment” is rewarding to me. One piece of advice I would give to anyone whether they are new to CrossFit or have been doing it for years would be to enjoy the CHASE of mastering the movements.


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This is the short version: One September morning, the 9-11 tragedies happened. My best friend and decided that it was our duty to do our part to protect the freedoms that we barely knew anything about. The last time was blown up while deployed to Iraq, I was hit in the head with a piece of shrapnel.

I lost all memory from before that point, and I still have no visual memory to this day. I was discharged from the military and had to figure out how to move forward. I have now been out of the military since 2007 and have found ways to work around these things, to where most people meet, don’t even notice anything is different. Because of the traumatic brain injury suffered, have had an MAI on my brain, yearly since the incident. In June of 201S I received a call from a VA neuro surgeon telling me that my scar tissue had grown and that he believed it was a brain tumor. He requested that I come in immediately to have it removed. I honestly believed it was still just scar tissue and they were overreacting. Man was I wrong. After multiple types of MAI’s proving that it was a tumor, I went in to have it surgically removed. Turns out, it is an incurable type of brain cancer that is supposed to come back (but more on that later). So went through months of Chemo and daily radiation treatments. During that time I felt pretty terrible, so I ate A LOT. Not only did I eat a lot, but I ate a lot of pure junk food which lead to me weighting over 2SOlbs, knew it was time to stop feeling sorry for myself, and that I needed to get up, get back in shape. feel like everything learned about diet, fitness, and lifestyle will not only delay the return of the cancer, but I honestly don’t think it’s coming back at all (I’m an optimist though). had always (even before the military) wanted to get into buying houses, fixing them up, and selling/renting them. I figured there no time life the present, and pulled the trigger on that dream. The process of taking something that needs work, and making it the best it can be, is a passion of mine that now translates directly into being the Owner of PS CrossFit. know it sounds cheesy, but once you get told that you have cancer, everything in life suddenly has more purpose and you realize that tomorrow isn’t promised. You realize that you have a limited amount of time to fulfill your potential and do what makes you happy. Helping others live better lives is what makes me happy. P6 CrossFit has been my opportunity to help more people in a shorter amount of time than anything I have ever done. I am able to help others reach and exceed their goals on a daily basis. get to see people come into the gym intimidated, with low self-esteem, and watch them transform into extremely confident and proud individuals.


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