Ketone variability throughout the day

(Karim Wassef) #1

I started out my keto journey with high (120) fasted glucose and near zero ketones. This was 18 months ago.

In the process of getting ketone adapted, I’ve gone through many stages but this latest one seems different.

I used to start my day with high glucose and low ketones (liver “morning” glucose spike), and my ketones would slowly climb until I ate something. Then they’d drop and slowly go back up again… and repeat. Exercising (in moderation) used to reduce my glucose and have little effect on ketones.

After IF, EF 4 days, then 5, then 7, and finally 12 days - I’m now upside down:

I wake up at my highest ketone level and it gradually decreases if I’m active. If I exercise, it drops a lot. If I rest, my ketones rebound back up. If I exercise or exert myself, they drop again… sleeping or just resting brings them back up again. If I eat fatty foods, they climb much higher very quickly… and I feel great. If I exercise, they drop again.

So now:
Sleeping, resting, eating fat - increases ketones

Exercising, beings active or eating higher protein - reduces ketones.

Has anyone seen this in any study or research? Has anyone experienced this reversal?

My theory is that I’m adapted to where the normal energy cycles where glucose was dominant have flipped to ketones… I wake up high with ketones to give me morning energy… then I consume ketones with activity and resting gives my liver a chance to replenish glycogen and generate more ketones. When I eat fat, my ketones rise quickly - this is akin to eating carbs = glucose rises rapidly… it’s better because ketones are not dangerous like glucose, but it mimics the (usual) “eat carb - make glucose” cycle.

I read a lot of the literature on this but I haven’t seen this.

(Allie) #3

Ketones are a fuel source so exercise uses them up and when resting they’re not being used so build up.

(Karim Wassef) #4

Exercise is a stressor but the change in my response is interesting…

It used to reduce glucose and not change ketones if the exercise was short or moderate. If I pushed long and hard, then my glucose would increase - and ketones would drop slightly.

Now, even moderate activity reduces my ketones and has little effect on glucose (say 1.5 to 1.0). Moderate exercise rapidly reduces ketones a lot (say 1.5 to 0.6) and little glucose effect. Heavy exercise depletes ketones hard (1.5 to 0.4) and glucose starts to rise.

That change is peculiar to me.

(Carl Keller) #5

Peter Attia has an interesting article about his experimentation with ketone, glucose and lactate levels. In it he theorizes that ketones might be high upon waking due to fasting and/or high intensity activity the previous day as well as his wife’s famous zero sugar, high fat coffee ice cream.

In these graphs you can see somewhat of a pattern in how his post workout glucose tends to be higher when ketone levels are lower and lactate is higher and vice versa when glucose is decreased after workout. His taking MCT in 2 of the workouts might complicate things a bit but it generally seems to imply that the amount of lactate generated influences what happens to his ketone levels.

Basically this validates the belief that the more intense your activity, the less ketones are preferred so the lower those levels go. It’s all pretty fascinating to me.

This is strange.

(Karim Wassef) #6

Thank you. His high intensity response mostly agrees with my response prior to the change. I wasn’t looking at lactate because I can’t measure it but it is a relevant recycling of glucose energy extraction. I’m still at 17% bodyfat (or 18.5% depending on the flawed tool I use to measure it), so it’s not that I’m lean.

My wife is worried that I’ve “broken” my metabolism and that’s actually what got me to join these forums to begin with.

Frankly, the one person I think could help me understand this is Dr Ben Bikman. I sent him a message on facebook but I’m sure he gets thousands of questions. My case seems different so I wanted to connect. If anyone has a way to connect with him, please help :slight_smile:

(Karim Wassef) #7

If anyone doesn’t know Dr Bikman’s lectures, here are some of my faves:

also a shout out to Mike Mutzel at High Intensity Health - always good stuff there.

(Karim Wassef) #8

Ok. The latest in the evolution of my unexplained ketone and glucose response is even stranger…

Sleeping, eating, extended fasting and resting (sitting) now all raise my ketones…

Activity, exercise, sauna, tanning and work all reduce my ketone…

I am genuinely perplexed, especially by the latest development in my response to food… usually, I get a glucose increase and ketone reduction. Now, I get a small glucose increase and a ketone increase too… they’ve almost always been inverse to each other…

I know that my body is adapting to optimize energy to suit my lifestyle… and I feel fine. I just don’t understand it… or why it has changed so much from the norm I experienced while losing the weight.

The simplest answer is the “battery” model where the body replenishes ketones while I rest or when I eat and then allows it to drop due to consumption while I work or exercise. But why the cycle of ups and downs? Why not just maintain it?

Maybe it’s figured I don’t need to maintain such high ketones and is compensating by allowing them to run lower before the new low threshold triggers a replenishment?

I genuinely feel better when my ketones are higher - more mentally alert. I used to start around 1 and have it climb to 2.5 during the day while IF… it was great. Now I start around 1 and it drops to 0.6 during the day while IF. Backwards and unexplained.

I’m going to beef up a bit in February and see if that helps. Also going for a dexa scan and RMR on March 4th… then my longest EF until the end of April with a few refeeds in the middle. I’ll share what I find out.