Targeted keto and intermittent glucose use


hey all, I have been working out consistently for 1 year or so, mostly weight-lifting.
been on keto 3/4 of the time.
I am wondering how people here manage strength/muscle growth/fat loss while doing keto.
i’ve tried different dietary approaches. for the last 2 months I went off keto and followed more of a Saladino diet (mostly red meat/fruit/honey) while adding 15g of pure dextrose before workouts.
I definitely noticed increased strength a quicker progress at a gym…faster muscle growth at the expense of fat gains as well and appetite swings as well.
so thinking of going pure keto (carnivore mostly) again, but afraid a bit of a stall/muscle loss.
any suggestions? will increased protein intake help? how much? what other supplements do I consider? Already taking your typical stack Creatine/citruline/whey/acetyl l carnitine/HMB etc…which i am reading will prevent atrophy.
any advice appreciated!

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #2

Protein is necessary for muscle building, particularly the branched-chain amino acids, which are essential to the diet in any case (though we don’t need too much except when building muscle, and too much otherwise can cause fatty liver disease). Assembling amino acids into proteins takes energy, so you’ll need fat to fuel that, since on a carnivore diet you won’t be getting much in the way of glucose. (You don’t want to get all your energy from gluconeogenesis, since that is an inefficient process for this purpose.)

As for other supplements, you’ll have to decide what works best in your own case. As I understand it, a lot of the results from muscle-building depend on (a) genetics and (b) whether one is willing to use steroids. What are your goals, and how far are you willing to go in order to achieve them?


Losing fat while gaining any real amount of muscle is VERY hard, bordering on impossible minus newbie gains, Keto doesn’t change that. There needs to be a focus on one, and you can get a little bit of the other.

How were you quantifying fat gains? Because you shouldn’t have been. 15g is a completely ignorable amount, that’d burn off completely and very quickly during a workout, it’s not even close to what it takes to reload the liver, replenish muscle glycogen, and then start spilling over into fat storage. When you start refilling the glycogen tanks, you’ll absolutely see that on the scale, but it’s not fat. When I’m loaded vs depleted it’s around a 10lb difference.

It’s a valid concern, I lost a lot in 4yrs of strict keto, I mad it worse with fasting, but the strength hit was big and real.

If you’re lifting, you should at least be getting in 1g/lb of bodyweight. Unless you’re doing 2-a-days, you shouldn’t need more that that.

None, if your diet is formulated to where you’d catabolize muscle, don’t expect some over the counter supplement to save you. Only Anabolics can do that, and even then your diet still needs to be right to gain it. Creatine is proven to work, Whey is clearly good as it’s protein, Citruiline is good for pumps but that should be in your PWO anyways, the ALCAR and HMB, don’t bother.


thank you for the extensive replies. I am currently on 180mg/week Testosterone HRT. probably not extremely anabolic but I definitely have much more strength/faster recovery times (I had clinical low T)
so my understanding is that I can focus on fat reduction while maintaining my current muscle levels which is a good case scenario.


Different story, the test will be muscle protective without question, as long as you’re getting everything close, you should be good. 180mg/wk is a good dose! That should keep you high end of normal, maybe a little over. 200mg/wk will keep me around 1400-1600, which is a little out of range (where I like it). For anybody lifting, athletic, performance minded, we really want the 1500 area or better. The non-mainstream docs are calling it “Athletic HRT”, it’s starting to catch on!

Being on HRT changes stuff though, for the better. One thing I’ll say though, aside from having your diet dialed in, make the lifting the focus, let that and whatever cardio you do be your deficit and most important, LIFT like you’re on anabolics. Don’t let it being 180mg/wk screw with you, that’s plenty to lift more frequently. Hit everything at least 2x a week. You will absolutely notice the difference.

(Jake ) #6

It’s definitely harder to put on muscle and strength with keto but it’s possible. The ideal diet for muscle and strength is absolutely with carbs. But if you have medical issues or something like myself, that reigns first and it could be done. First you have to get fat adapted and get the calories in for your energy. Exogenous ketones pre workouts and electrolytes are your friend for energy throughout the day and pre workout. Calorie and amino free of course. Protein don’t overdo it’ll turn to glucose. Try to get in a gram per lb of lean body weight not overall. The autophagy process will recycle unused proteins anyway. Focus on high calorie fatty low carb foods like nuts guac creams oils red meats etc. good luck!


interesting!, yeah TRT is a game changer for lifting. I feel like I can do 2-3x more. i barely made it twice a week to the gym before that, I was such a low energy zombie.
your total T at 200mg is pretty high. not an T expert by any means but my T clinic focuses on good free T levels (25-35) and mine fluctuate between 30-40ng/dl or so. i definitely had to up my dose since started to lift. but only benefits so far. my IGF-1 is 200+. my total T is is only 500-700 however, but i think this has to do with very low SHBG levels, but my understanding is this is not an issue really as the free T matter. apologies for dragging this so much into hormones, but they do definitely matter. Keto does seem to lower T for many people, which is a problem, but with exogenous T this seems to be not an issue obviously

(Jake ) #8

Definitely free T matters more which used for sex drive and muscle gain and androgenic traits. Best suggestion in that area would be to get to your highest trt dose without needing an ai as they can wreak havoc on lipids and mess with your sex drive/energy as well.


My total T averages 1200-1500, 200mg is my weekly dose.

That’s a pretty normal “natural” level, nothing wrong with that, but low by TRT standards. The lower your SHBG, the higher your free T.