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Updated: Mar 15

What is Ketone?

Ketones are molecules produced by the liver when the body breaks down fats for energy in the absence of sufficient carbohydrates. Ketones may appear in the urine during periods of prolonged exercise.

How can the levels be affected?

In the context of physical activity, the presence of ketone bodies in the urine can be linked to the following factors:

  1. Low carbohydrate availability: During prolonged exercise, particularly endurance activities or low-intensity exercise, the body may rely more on fat as a fuel source when glycogen stores are depleted. This can lead to increased ketone production and excretion in urine.

  2. High-fat diets: Some athletes may follow high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets (such as ketogenic diets) to promote fat adaptation and improve endurance performance. These diets can increase ketone production and result in the presence of ketones in urine.

  3. Intermittent fasting: Athletes practicing intermittent fasting or dietary restriction may experience periods of ketosis, particularly during fasting periods. This can lead to the appearance of ketone bodies in urine.

  4. Energy demand: During high-intensity exercise or activities requiring rapid energy production, such as sprinting or resistance training, the body relies primarily on carbohydrates (glycogen) for fuel, rather than fat. In these situations, the production and excretion of ketones in the urine may be lower than during low-intensity or endurance exercise.

  5. Dehydration : The presence of ketone bodies in the urine can also be influenced by the state of hydration. Dehydration can concentrate urine and lead to higher levels of ketones in urine.

Although the presence of ketones in the urine during exercise is generally considered normal and may reflect an increase in fat utilization, it is essential for athletes to monitor the evolution of fat utilization to avoid loss of performance in the event of a lack of carbohydrate reserves.

How can I maintain an optimal rate?

To maintain optimal levels of sport-related ketone bodies in the urine, follow these tips:

  • Stay well hydrated: Maintain good hydration during exercise to support energy production. Dehydration can concentrate urine and distort the urine ketone reading. Drink water or electrolyte-containing beverages as needed to stay hydrated, especially during prolonged or intense workouts.

  • Monitor your nutritional status: Make sure you're meeting your nutritional needs, including an adequate intake of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and protein, to support your overall fitness and sports performance. Good nutrition can help optimize energy production processes during exercise.

  • Track ketone levels: Monitor your ketone levels and adjust your dietary and exercise strategies accordingly. Monitoring ketone levels can help you understand how your body responds to different dietary and exercise interventions, and adjust your diet to carbohydrate intake to maintain glycogen stores, the primary source of muscle energy.

  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels and behaves during exercise. While ketosis may have certain benefits for some athletes, it's essential to prioritize overall health, performance and well-being. Adjust your diet and exercise strategies as necessary, based on your individual needs and goals.

It's essential to consider your health status, athletic needs and performance goals when implementing strategies to maintain optimal ketone levels during sport.

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