Perceptions of Appetite Do Not Match Hormonal Measures of Appetite In Trained Competitive Cyclists and Triathletes Following a Ketogenic Diet Compared To a High-Carbohydrate or Habitual Diet: A Randomized Crossover Trial

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Kinesiology and Nutrition


Endurance athletes may implement rigid dietary strategies, such as the ketogenic diet (KD), to improve performance. The effect of the KD on appetite remains unclear in endurance athletes. This study analyzed the effects of a KD, a high-carbohydrate diet (HCD), and habitual diet (HD) on objective and subjective measures of appetite in trained cyclists and triathletes, and hypothesized that the KD would result in greater objective and subjective appetite suppression. Six participants consumed the KD and HCD for 2-weeks each, in a random order, following their HD. Fasting appetite measures were collected after 2-weeks on each diet. Postprandial appetite measures were collected following consumption of a ketogenic meal after the KD, high-carbohydrate meal after the HCD, and standard American/Western meal after the HD. Fasting total ghrelin (GHR) was lower and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and hunger were higher following the KD versus HD and HCD. Fasting insulin was not different. Mixed-effects model repeated measures analysis and effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals showed that postprandial GHR and insulin were lower and GLP-1 was higher following the ketogenic versus the standard and high-carbohydrate meals. Postprandial appetite ratings were not different across test meals. In conclusion, both fasting and postprandial concentrations of GHR were lower and GLP-1 were higher following the KD than the HC and HD, and postprandial insulin was lower on the KD. Subjective ratings of appetite did not correspond with the objective measures of appetite in trained competitive endurance athlete. More research is needed to confirm our findings.

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Nutrition Research



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