A low-carbohydrate, high-fat ketogenic diet (KD) is a nutritional approach ensuring that the body utilizes lipids. In our previous study, we found that an eight-week ketogenic high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet increased the capacity of endurance exercise in mice without aggravated muscle injury, despite the decrease of absolute muscle volume. The potential mechanism is most possibly to be enhanced capacity to mobilize and utilize fat. In the present study, we investigated whether a ketogenic diet influences post-exercise recovery by measuring blood biomarkers, muscle and liver oxidative state as well as fatigue recovery 24 h post exercise by employing an open-field locomotion test. Several biochemistry markers indicating exercise-induced injury after exhaustive exercise were improved by KD, followed by a 24-h rest with free feed access, including lactate. No aggravated hepatic oxidative damage was observed, whereas muscular oxidative stress was increased by KD. Accelerated recovery induced by exhaustive exercise was also observed from blood biomarkers of injury. For fatigue recovery, lactate concentration, a marker often employed as exhaustion index was lowered by KD, whereas an open field test showed that KD application contributed to increased locomotion after exhaustive exercise, followed by a 24-h rest. These results suggest that KD has the potential to be used as a fatigue-preventing and/or recovery-promoting diet approach in endurance athletes.
Keywords: fatigue recovery; keto-adaptation; ketogenic diet; oxidative stress.