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Can you Gain Muscle on a Ketogenic Diet?

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  Published on March 30th, 2021
  Reading time: 2 minutes
  Last modified December 30th, 2021

What a lot of people don’t realize is that what started ketogenic.com was one simple question.

And it’s a question that still, to this day, we receive all of the time.

“Can I gain muscle on a ketogenic diet?”

This one simple question sparked our interest in the diet back in 2010, and we came across some interesting results.

This article aims to answer all points under the umbrella of “muscle”, because your muscle mass is determined by a lot of factors, including different exercises.


Keto and Endurance Athletes

Yes, keto does wonders for endurance athletes.

That’s because it helps them tap into a better energy source—fat.

Back when we first started studying keto, almost all the research we found was on endurance athletes.

Nobody was looking at, say, resistance training on keto and its effect on body composition.

We decided to be the first ones to begin this study.


Ketogenic Diets and Muscle Gain

We took a group of people and had them get adapted to keto for two weeks.

Afterwards, we started training them on resistance exercises for eight weeks.

When looking at changes in their body compositions, we found something very fascinating.

Individuals who were on a ketogenic diet were able to gain just as much muscle as those on a high-carb diet, yet lose significantly more fat mass.

This was still the case, despite their calories being the same and taking equal portions of protein.

Since then, this sparked many similar studies that have been done on CrossFit athletes and other resistance training individuals—these additional studies exhibited similar results.

On a ketogenic diet, you can lose a significant amount of body fat and still maintain or gain muscle.

If you’re planning on putting on a lot of weight and then bulking with muscle mass, you need to monitor your calories.

This means you have to eat a little bit more and monitor how you’re adjusting from week to week.


What’s the Catch?

Why do you see a lot of people who achieve a thin physique on keto if they can gain muscle just as well as those on high-carb diets?

The key here is to make sure that they’re on a well-formulated ketogenic diet.

They need to be getting good quality sources of fat and making sure that they’re not restricting their protein intake.

Did this article help answer your question? Let us know!

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