What Type of Exercise Helps You Create Ketones Faster?

Published: September 28, 2019

What Type of Exercise Helps You Create Ketones Faster?

So, what’s going to help you create ketones faster? Doing some low intensity aerobic work, or going to the gym and leaving it all on the gym floor? You know, quite honestly, the jury is still out. There’s a lot of ambiguity between what’s going to actually allow you to create ketones faster. But if we actually look at what mobilizes fat, and what gets fats into the bloodstream, we start getting a little bit of a clearer picture. I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo. And we’re going to break down how you can start creating ketones faster, by doing the right kinds of exercise.

Taking a Look at Maximum Fatty Acid Oxidation

See, the first thing we have to look at is we get maximum fatty acid oxidation at relatively low intensities. Between 25% and 60% of our maximum heart rate is where we’re going to see sort of the sweet spot of our body utilizing fats as a fuel source. Now this is whether you’re in ketosis or not to be completely honest. As exercise intensity increases, up to about 60%, we stop pulling fat from the bloodstream, we start pulling it from intramyocellular triglyceride content. So basically, little fat droplets that are stored inside the muscle cell, all right. So, these get released. Now, once we go over 60% and start increasing to about 70% of our maximum heart rate, that’s when things change. So when you’re working really hard at the gym and you’re pushing it really hard, and you’re lifting heavy weights, and you’re sprinting, that’s a lot more of an anaerobic activity which actually utilizes carbohydrates for fuel. So that means you’re mobilizing less in the way of fat when you’re working harder.

The Role of Glycogen

It’s kind of wild right? You would think you’d be burning more fat. Now, on the contrary, there could be a good thing that comes from this because when you workout at a high intensity, you drain your glycogen stores. Glycogen is the stored carbohydrate that’s in your muscles. So if you start to drain your glycogen stores, then in theory, you can start to create ketones cause you have less stored carbohydrates in your body. But, it begs the question, do we really have to have our glycogen stores low in order for our liver to produce ketones? Because, once you’re already in ketosis, your glycogen levels are somewhat full most of the time and you’re still producing ketones. So, it’s not for certain that our glycogen levels need to be low in order to just produce ketones. So that’s where things get a little bit confusing. So when it comes down to just trying to capitalize on the liver creating more ketones, you’re better off to do a little bit more aerobic work. You’re going to mobilize the fats a little bit more, you’re going to stay a nice easy low intensity, and those fats are going to have an opportunity to be in the blood and go to the liver and get turned into ketones a little bit faster, and hopefully more efficiently.

The Role of Adipose Tissue

Now the other thing we have to look at is, as we increase intensity, fat gets kind of locked into the adipose tissue, okay. So normally we have blood that is flowing through the adipose tissue and it’s bringing in the fatty acids into the bloodstream. As exercise intensity increases, more blood flow is going to the muscle, which means less blood flow in the fat tissue, which means that the fat, for lack of a better term, is getting trapped in the capillary beds of the adipose tissue, so it’s not actually getting mobilized. So, if we’re focusing all our efforts on high intensity work, it makes it so the fat never really gets a chance to break free. Now additionally, as we increase intensity, and we start having more in the way of carbohydrate metabolism occurring for energy, we also have a block of what’s called carnitine palmitoytransferase 1 or CPT1. CPT1 is what allows fat to go from the bloodstream into the cell, okay. It’s the carnitine shuttle pathway. Without that CPT1, the fat can’t go into the cell. So even if there is fat that’s floating around, it’s getting blocked, okay. Now, additionally, there’s also an increase in what’s called Malonyl Coenzyme A, which further blocks this from happening.

Balance and Bio-Individuality

So, the long story short is the higher the intensity, the more that you’re actually blocking fat from going into the cell. Does that mean that you shouldn’t do any high intensity work? Absolutely not. I think it’s a balance. A little bit of high intensity work, maybe about 20 to 30% of your workout being high intensity to drain your glycogen as much as you can, and another 70 to 80% of it being aerobic, at least until you’re creating a good amount of ketones. And honestly, it all comes down to bio-individuality. What’s going to work for you might not work for me. The only way that you’ll know for sure is if you’re testing. And of course, that’s where you insert the Keto-Mojo meter. You always want to be testing. See where you’re at. Maybe you’re someone that going to get more of an effect by doing more anaerobic workout type stuff in the gym, then someone that’s doing more of an aerobic work, right. It all depends on the person. That’s why it’s up to you to test. So you leave the guess work out of the equation and leave the measuring to the meter. As always, I’m Thomas DeLauer and I’ll see you soon.

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