One question that consistently comes up when people embark on their Keto journey is “what the hell should I eat before and after the gym when I’m on the Ketogenic diet?”. It’s a harder question than it might initially seem due to the fact that so many popular workout snacks contain loads of sugar and carbohydrates. Our goal with this post is to help streamline some of that decision making for you and help you find the best ketogenic gym snacks on the market.
The Ketogenic Diet: An Overview
We’ll begin with a brief overview of the ketogenic diet, as well a short section discussing some helpful tips regarding preparing for exercise on the diet.
The ketogenic diet is a proven method for both weight loss and healthy living. When you constantly supply your body with sources of healthy fats, while limiting the total amount of carbs you consume to less than 5%, your body turns to fat as its primary source of fuel.
While the exact mechanism of carb restriction and fat consumption is more detailed, the benefits are both proven and easy to see:
- Weight loss
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Lowered insulin resistance
- Lowered appetite
- Positive neurological effects
If you’ve practiced a ketogenic diet or even a minimal carbohydrate diet for any duration of time, these benefits come quickly. Getting the hang of eating can be challenging at first but becomes quite easy once you get into the swing of things.
Can exercise on a ketogenic diet be as easy? If you take the appropriate preparatory measures and eat the right food before and after you exercise, working out on a ketogenic diet can indeed be incredibly rewarding.
Stay Hydrated and Mind Your Electrolytes
When you begin exercising on a ketogenic diet, it’s important to consider a crucial aspect of any form of exercise – hydration. We aren’t just talking about drinking plenty of water, however; we’re talking about making sure your body gets plenty of sodium, more than it normally gets.
Other electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium are also quite important to consume on a ketogenic diet while exercising, but sodium is probably the most important.
Here’s why: Insulin is the hormone that your body releases when your blood sugar gets too high. Insulin is also responsible, to an extent, for sodium retention. When you’re on a ketogenic diet, however, you aren’t eating anything that causes your blood sugar to increase and stimulate insulin release. Due to your body’s lack of insulin, you shed sodium at a much quicker pace. Increase your sodium intake or risk feeling much worse than you should while you’re working out on a ketogenic diet.
Now that we’ve talked about preparing your body through the means of hydration, let’s discuss the best form of exercise for those beginning the ketogenic diet or those beginning exercise on a ketogenic diet.
Beginning Exercise on a Ketogenic Diet
Starting slow is important when beginning or continuing exercise on a ketogenic diet. Your body may find it difficult to rely solely on fat for fuel, especially when partaking in high-intensity workouts such as weight training. If you already are involved in intense workouts but are starting the ketogenic diet, you might want to lessen the intensity slightly, to give your body time to adjust.
If you don’t want to adjust your workout intensity, try to consume all of your daily carbohydrates 1-2 hours before you exercise!
Or, you could try one of the tasty post/pre-workout ketogenic gym snacks we’ve got listed below.
Pre-Workout Ketogenic Gym Snacks
The re-occurring theme with the pre-workout ketogenic gym snack bars we’ve got listed below is that all of them have three grams or less of sugar, and a very negligible amount of carbohydrates. They taste great and shouldn’t kick you out of ketosis.
With two grams of sugar and only four grams of net carbohydrates, eating a couple of these an hour or two before your workout will keep your appetite and energy levels in check.
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 4g, Total Fat: 15g, Protein: 5g
Loaded with the right fats, the KETO BAR is an excellent choice for a pre-workout snack bar. Did we mention that, while it’s sweet, it doesn’t contain the carbs that will throw your ketogenic diet off balance?
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 2g, Total Fat: 18g, Protein: 7g
The Chicken Sriracha Bar has fifteen grams of protein, zero sugar, 1g carbs. This bar means business and is a great way to kick off or close out your workout.
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 1g, Total Fat: 4g , Protein: 15g
These homemade bars are easy to make, tasty, and full of chocolate! Did you think you couldn’t have chocolate on a ketogenic diet? Think again! Quick note, omitting the fruit from the recipe makes these bars 11 total carbs and 4 net carbs each.
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 4g, Total Fat: 17g , Protein: 6g
These ketogenic muffins will give your taste buds the delightful taste of warm bread, without insulin-producing side-effects. Please note while these are delicious they contain a higher number of net carbs than some of these other recipes. If you are meticulously counting your carb intake or just starting out proceed with caution as one serving of these can easily turn into five.
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 8.3g, Total Fat: 11.6g , Protein: 4.9g
These mind-blowing treats are perfect for before, after, or during a workout. We’d suggest having a couple before you put your running shoes on.
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 4.32g, Total Fat: 20.88g , Protein: 5.29g
Are you getting hungry yet? Let’s check out the post-workout ketogenic gym snacks that are making rounds in the ketogenic exercise community.
Post-Workout Ketogenic Gym Snacks
With all the protein you’ll ever need for your starving muscles to recover from a workout, all six of the following post-workout bars provide the perfect mix of taste, sweetness, and nutrition.
Coming in a variety of flavors, containing a considerable amount of protein, and home to only two net carbs, the Paleo InstaKetone Protein Bars are excellent post-workout ketogenic gym snacks.
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: g, Total Fat: 8g , Protein: 15g
These tasty post-workout ketogenic gym snacks are gluten free, and come with only one gram of sugar.
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 1g, Total Fat: 5g , Protein: 20g
These protein-dense snack bars are both gluten free and ketogenic. They also come in five different flavors.
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 4g, Total Fat: 8g , Protein: 20g
Highly delicious and highly nutritious, these homemade protein bars taste like the quest bars you love but are inevitably less refined and processed.
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 2g, Total Fat: 3g , Protein: 26g
These homemade post-workout concoctions are both ketogenic and customizable!
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: g, Total Fat: g , Protein: g
These bars, while on the somewhat sugary side, are an excellent, protein filled way to consume a snack after you work out. Just don’t eat too many of them!
Nutrition Highlights (per serving): Net Carbs: 2g, Total Fat: 22g , Protein: 2g
If you do plan to work out at any level of intensity on a ketogenic diet, getting the appropriate snack before and after your workout is critical to success and workout endurance. From a fat-heavy snack a couple hours before you exercise to a protein-enriched bar afterward, you’re now empowered to fuel your body for the best workout you can have.
Please note, while there may be information on this web site related to certain medical conditions or treatments, should a medical condition exist, promptly see your own physician or health provider. Only your doctor or other healthcare professional, as a learned intermediary, can determine if a product or lifestyle described in this web site is appropriate for you.