What is Cyclical Keto?

If you are going through the keto diet and do high-intensity activities at the same time, cyclical keto is a good eating plan to start with.

cyclical keto

We all know the benefits of doing a ketogenic diet. Of course, the main attractive part of it is the burning of fats at a faster rate. Others are good stuff like lower inflammation and boost energy, especially in the case of professional athletes, bodybuilders, and CrossFit enthusiasts who always have to be at top performance. They perform a lot of high-intensity workouts, anaerobic exercises, that uses bursts of strength and great muscle usage that demands so much energy from the body.

If you are going through the keto diet and do high-intensity activities at the same time, cyclical keto is a good eating plan to start with. You can combine the ketogenic diet with a high-carbohydrate diet to improve athletic performance and body composition. This allows your body to burn ketones and have enough glycogen to push for improved muscle gain, strength, and performance.

This is an advance keto diet. We have to look into this thoroughly to know how this will benefit us. In this article, know what cyclical keto is, how it works, who benefits it the most, including a comparison between the targeted ketogenic diet and the cyclical ketogenic diet.

What is Cyclical Keto Diet?

This is a ketogenic diet with carbohydrates. It is where one follows a standard keto diet and has a one to two-day higher carb intake once a week or once in two weeks. This eating strategy is primarily designed to use carbohydrates as a tool to maximize growth and provide better exercise performance while under ketosis. It puts you in a metabolic state of burning fat instead of glucose for energy. This process helps you to reduce weight faster and decreases inflammation in the body. It also boosts stamina and increases energy for the brain. Here are some of the great benefits cyclical keto can do to your body:

  1. Improved Immune Function: increased immune system through cell growth. It decreases the production of inflammatory cytokines that prevents and slows the development of cancer tumors.
  2. Healthy Gut: this allows the body to heal gut tissues. It balances gut bacteria that creates a disparity inside your stomach
  3. Increased Energy: glucose won’t be the primary source of energy. I will be replaced by ketones which take longer to consume.
  4. Promotes Muscle Growth: through the intake of carbohydrates, it allows the muscles to gain size which requires glycogen.

How Cyclical Keto Diet Works

The Cyclical Keto Diet follows the fundamentals of Standard Keto Diet which is to maintain a percentage of macronutrients; high fats seventy (70) percent, moderate protein twenty (20) percent, and low on carbohydrates ten (10) percent. CKD is an advanced method of keto. The standard format is five to six days for SKD and one to two full days of high carbohydrate consumption per week. This allows to stack up liver glycogen stores and to refill the muscles. This is due to the high intensive activities that you do and depletes the glycogen stores that brings you back to ketosis.

Having a schedule for cyclical ketogenic diet will make your life organized and better. Following the standard format is our main base. The eating plan is a good start. But, we must also include the workout or training schedule as this will empty your stored glycogen before another refeeding happens again. Here are some key tips to follow:

  • For lifting weights: Two to Three sets for the heavy weights with low repetitions. Five to Six sets for the moderate weights with high repetitions.
  • For High-intensity exercises: short sprints, cycling, jump variations, and many more

Always remember that the amount of intense training depends on the amount of carbs you took when refeeding. It is best to execute great loads of workout to bring you back to ketosis. That is why before going in advance methods of keto, it is recommended to stay long and let your body adapt to the keto diet. The longer your body has been on it, the faster it gets back into ketosis.

People Who Can Do CKD

Ideally, everyone supposedly can do keto diet. But, realistically speaking, this is not suggested to people with medical issues like kidney failure, pregnancy, and genetic defects have in metabolism, those who have impaired liver function and fat digestion. On the other hand, keto diet is being used to help people who have chronic diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, epilepsy and other more. But most importantly, CKD is being used by seasoned keto dieters, trainers, bodybuilders, professional athletes, and crossfitters.

Targeted Keto Diet and Cyclical Keto Diet

These keto diets are primarily designed for high intensive activities and are made to serve different objectives. Targeted Keto is more time specific. Tough there are carbs intakes, the time for this is very limited. It happens thirty (30) minutes before an intense workout. This is done to support muscle growth and recovery. While in Cyclical Keto Diet, you are actually tanking. It is more of a long term program where you refeed for one to two days. And then you go back to keto diet for the next five or six days while doing high intensity exercises, or workouts.

This process allows your muscle to further recover and develop. This is because you burn the glycogen stored from the refeeding through extreme workouts and brings you back to ketosis. Both are good ways to do. But if you are doing and planning to do high energy activities, it is best to stick to the cyclical keto diet for far better results.


We have seen how cyclical keto works and importantly identified its fundamental attributes. It is important to take note that ketosis and being in ketosis is the main objective of this program. This process provides energy for the body. Going back in ketosis from CKD depends on how keto adapted the body is, how much high intensity exercise have done, the consistency of the keto diet, and the foods that you eat during the re-feeds.

Basically, this process will put you out of ketosis because you are loading up carbs, as your body needs it for growth, and needs to deplete it as an added source of energy while going back to ketosis. Therefore, you can combine the ketogenic diet with a high-carbohydrate diet to improve athletic performance and body composition.

cyclical keto

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