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Sport Climbing
  • Ketogenic Vs Glycolytic diets for maximum Sport Climbing performance.

    This is a totally different post from my usual stuff... This ones about Diet, and specifically, comparing the performance of the Keto (fat based) Diet vs the Glycolytic (Carb/Sugar based) diet for Sport climbing. After using both diets for some time recently, im keen to try and compare them - climbing perfomance wise - for me personally...

    To do this I would need some kind of quantative measure of performance - Helpfully, rock climbing has a number-based system reflecting the climbs difficulty, so this should be relatively simple. I would also need access to the same type of climbs over an extended period to make the comparision on different diets...

    Luckily, Im currently sport climbing full-time in northern Spain (Rodellar) and have been climbing here for about 2 weeks, with at least 3 more to go. Up to now ive been running on a relatively standard 'food pyramid' diet with at least 100g+ of Carbs, fruit and some meats - but no processed sugars (lollies, soft drinks, etc).

    Ive been climbing pretty well - close to my limit - and my energy levels have been good - but I feel constantly bloated and full, even when im hungry and ready to eat again. Im certainly heavier and fatter than when ive previously been on a stable Keto diet and its my feeling that being lighter and leaner could have a dramatic effect on my climbing performance - particularly here where climbs are long and sustained - assuming my energy levels stay the same...

    This is really the key question - previous studies show that the Keto diet is likely to be detrimental to your bodies ballistic power (less glucose immediately available for ATP-CP production, as i understand it), but benificial in slower burn endurance type activities. Articles in major climbing publications such as this one titled "Dont be a Carb hater" on climbing.com suggest that the keto diet should NOT be benificial for sport climbing - http://www.climbing.com/skill/climbing-nutrition-dont-be-a-carb-hater/

    So, the aim of this little personal experiment will be to find out if a Keto diet can sustain my current climbing performance, or even help improve it?

    From previous experience Ive found it takes several days for my body to get fat adapted - at least measuring with Ketosticks - so I will do the transition over a 4 day rest trip away from climbing, then come back and see how things go...

    To make this comparison slightly more meaningful I will try and do a full Intake comparison over the next week... but to start with Im going to post this to get my 'project' underway, and go shop for a week of Keto eating!

    Sections to add over the next few weeks:

    Glycolytic Diet - Typical daily meals and Macro intakes on my previous weeks + Climbing Performance - grades during the time

    Keto Diet - Typical daily meals and Macro intakes on my previous weeks + Climbing Performance - grades during the time