MDS 003: Dr. Dominic D’Agostino – Ketogenic Diets, Sports Performance, & More!

MDS 003: Dr. Dominic D’Agostino – Ketogenic Diets, Sports Performance, & More!

Today I sat down with Dr. Dominic D’Agostino (Dom D’Agostino) to discuss a variety of questions I had related to the ketogenic diet. Dr. D’Agostino is a researcher operating out of the University of South Florida who develops nutrition-based therapies for the metabolic management of neurological diseases and cancer. The intention of this podcast was to ask questions which Dom had not answered on previous shows which he was featured on, such as, “The Tim Ferris Show,” “Bulletproof Radio,” and “Found My Fitness.” Dom D’Agostino’s episodes have been downloaded millions of times; his knowledge of nutrition and exercise are incredible, and this episode is nothing less than amazing in regard to answering questions about nutrition and sports performance, proper use of ketone supplements, and so much more. If you have no idea what the ketogenic diet is, I suggest reading my keto start guide before listening to this episode.

What You Will Learn by Listening:
*How to Formulate a Proper Ketogenic Diet
*The Truths of Adaptation to Ketogenic Diets in Regards to Sports Performance
*Timing When to Eat Before and After Exercise
*The Safety and Efficacy of Ketone Supplements
*The Importance of Training Your Body for Metabolic Flexibility and how to do so
*Current research Dom is working on using metabolic therapies for cancer treatment

Key Takeaways from the Episode

*Traveling & fasting to maintain nutritional ketosis
Put MCT powder in coffee or drink a ketone shake half way to destination for long flights – don’t eat other food.
*Eating for Exercise
Pre-workout: Overeat the day before if you’ve got a brutal workout the next day, and fast or undereat before the workout. Go into workout a little hungry. This is for HIT (10-15 min) workouts.
Post-workout: Give body an hour or so of recovery before eating. Use FitBit to ensure heart rate back to resting. Ensures proper digestion.
For longer workouts, using MCTs or BCAAs before or intra-workout can be helpful.

*For elite-level athletes, can take six months for performance to reach benchmark levels and then surpass benchmark
*May be harder for ultra-athletes that are extremely carb dependent to adapt bc they are so fine-tuned to using carbs
*Probably easiest for very athletic, non ultra-athletes
*Using ketone supplements, MCT oils/powders can be helpful in assisting with keto-adaptation – typically individuals experience some dysphoria due to mild glucose withdrawals in the brain

Ketone Esters
*Studies (1) have shown that their use can enhance fat oxidation, improve athletic performance, and reduce lactate levels by 50%
*Ketone salts (which are commercially available) are being developed to approach the potency of ketone esters

Ketone Safety
*Appears safe, FDA GRAS approved, high dose long-term testing not complete
Fasting Safety (2)
*Studies have proven the safety of prolonged fasting
*Glucose utilization by brain is 100% in carb-fed state. Within 7-10 days, 2/3 of energy shown to be derived from ketone bodies, betahydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate. Brain can use ketone bodies as fuel source.
*Mineral supplementation during fast may help avoid pitfalls of fasting such as dips in energy
*Typically a healthy person can be in a fasted state for a week and not be in a state of starvation (severe depletion of essential nutrients that puts body in a compromised state)

Dom’s 7-Day Fast
*One bowl of soup/day consisting of bouillon cube, magnesium supplement, and sea some salt in water to drink the magnesium supplement
*Cut back on caffeine, but maintained 1-2 cups/day + some green tea
*Was able to perform deadlifts at a “moderately-high” weight after 7 days of fasting, although wouldn’t recommend doing it to others
*Felt empowered!

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