Originally created in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder as a treatment for epilepsy, the ketogenic (Keto) diet uses an extremely low carb in order to change the way that your body uses nutrients for fuel.
Instead of relying as heavily on carbohydrates are it normally does, a body on the keto diet will depend almost entirely on fat. The low carb intake also, as the diet's name suggests, stimulates the creation of substances called ketones.
These chemicals show up when your body does not have enough carbohydrates to burn and instead turns on your reserves of stored fat – a state called ketosis. In order to achieve this, your daily carbohydrate intake must drop below 50g.
As mentioned, though, you'll be needing fat as a fuel source at this point. So, what should you fat-to-protein ratio look like? Is it possible to use a keto protein powder to meet your nutritional needs?
Generally, the macronutrient recommendations for a ketogenic diet are:
Fat - 60-75% of calories
Protein - 15-30% of calories
Carbs - 5-10% of calories
As you can see, protein intake on a keto diet can vary pretty widely, depending on your exact goals and needs. If you're looking to build or maintain a large amount of muscle mass, for example, you're going to want to keep your protein intake relatively high – in the 25 to 30 percent range.
Keep in mind, however, that this will adjust how much of other nutrients you have room for. If protein accounts for 30 percent of all your calories, for example, your fat will be 70 percent and your carbs will have to very low at about 5 percent.
In general, the idea is to give fat and protein top priority in deciding on your macronutrient distribution – filling in the rest of carbs.
Endurance athletes and others who would traditionally depend on carbohydrates for fuel will need to get higher levels of fats in order to provide their body with adequate fuel.
Keto Protein Powder
With that in mind, what do you have to consider when looking for a usable protein supplement?
People are often surprised by the amount of carbohydrates found in protein powders. A keto protein powder, though, will need have very, very few.
Of course, your goal in taking protein powder is to... well, get protein. So high levels of that nutrient are vital.
Naked Whey, for example, provides a solid 25g of complete protein with just 3g of carbohydrates – accounting for just about 6 percent of your daily carbohydrate intake while in ketosis.