A targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) is a modified version of the standard or classic ketogenic diet. In a standard or classic ketogenic diet, your calories are 15-20 percent from protein, 5 percent from carbs, and the rest is from fats. It’s a great diet for body composition (fat loss), insulin sensitivity, appetite control, mental clarity, energy, and more. With a TKD carbs, from specific sources, are ingested around workouts.
Recently I decided to try a TKD, out of curiosity mostly, but also to see if I could increase workout intensity and results. The protocol for a TKD is to ingest 15-30 grams of carbs pre-workout (could be more depending on lean mass and workout intensity). The point of a TKD is to increase muscle glycogen immediately pre-workout, which can increase endurance, intensity, and strength during workouts. A TKD is also set up to affect ketosis as little as possible. So the carbs you’re having pre-workout should be fast digesting carbs, like dextrose or glucose. Fructose is not a good choice as it will replenish liver glycogen which doesn’t affect performance and will have much more impact on ketosis. You can buy dextrose or maltodextrin powder or use gummy candies (bears, worms, etc.) to get your dose of carbs. Some people ingest carbs pre and post workout, which can be beneficial, I prefer to have them pre-workout, to have as little effect on ketosis as possible.
So far, my results have been promising. I feel stronger for longer during workouts, and have been able to get back into ketosis in the same time frame post-workout as on a standard ketogenic diet. If you’ve been living the keto lifestyle for a while and are fat adapted, but want to see if you can boost your training sessions, give a targeted ketogenic diet a try.