Skiing on Ketones

Jeff Gerber, MD and Rod Tayler, MD

It was fun spending the weekend with Rod Tayler, MD, and family while on their skiing holiday in Vail, Colorado. Rod is a physician and Anesthesiologist from Melbourne who is leading the low carb down under movement throughout Australia. Listen to Dr. Tayler’s Sweet Poison Lecture from the Low Carb Down Under & Nourishing Australia conference series that he created.

Rod attended the Low Carb Cruise last year where he met Jimmy Moore and invited Jimmy to speak down under on the topic of Nutritional Ketosis. Jimmy recommended that Rod contact me and that we get together when he came out to Colorado. Thanks Jimmy, for making this connection, what a small world indeed.

Along with skiing and some great company, including his sister Georgia and her significant other Greg, Rod and I spent hours discussing nutrition, prevention, low carb high fat diets and how to incorporate nutritional programs in the doctor’s office. Rod and I hope to collaborate in the future.

Rod is a superstar in many ways. In addition to being a great doctor who is focused on prevention, he is also in amazing shape. It was all I could do to keep up with Rod, chasing him around the ski slopes. I figured that I would have a bit of an Jeffry Gerber, MD and Rod Tayler, MD advantage, being a little younger and an avid skier who is used to the thin mountain air of the Colorado Rockies, but this was hardly the case. We spent two days skiing in the bumps and powder at the Blue Sky Basin.

Rod’s only explanation for his great conditioning is that he is “Skiing on Ketones”! I must admit that I know where he is coming from. Both of us have personally appreciated how ketogenic diets improve athletic performance, especially stamina, making us feel like kids on the slopes!

I wonder how many of you ski or participate in other sports and can share your own experience with nutritional ketosis and exercise performance?

  • Eric CO

    Hi Dr. Gerber-

    I used to fill-up on carbs and coffee in preparation for a day of riding and even used raw bee pollen to supplement my energy needs while sitting on the lift (had to get in as many runs as I could of course). Now I can hike the Ridge at Loveland all day and ride everything the mountain can throw at a person and finally eat my “breakfast” on the way down the mountain. I have more energy, better performance and notice that my ability to stay alert and track my line is far better on ketones vs. glucose.

  • My partner Ken and I are avid cyclists. We did several multi-day rides last summer, including the 7-day Bike Ride Across Nebraska on our ketogenic lifestyles. Ken was a biker for decades, but the last few years he was beginning to “bonk” more often as well as carrying around 40 extra pounds. He decided to try my diet after observing my success for 13 years on LCHF. (I have a major family history of Type II while Ken always felt he could eat anything he wanted as long as he exercised; he is also a retired physician who had become convinced from his practice that “diets don’t work” until he saw what low-carb did for me) On ketones, he is constantly amazed at how much better he feels and rides. He went out yesterday (still too cold for me) and came back marveling at how, even after several months of not training much, he could pump up our “favorite” hill with no problem. I did a century ride the end of last season on no breakfast and one stop after 75 miles for some steak and eggs, mostly because my backside needed a rest. OK – the punchline is: I turn 60 tomorrow and Ken is 71. We call ourselves “The Ketone Biking Geezers.” We can’t wait to train for this June’s BRAN and another ride two weeks later called, appropriately “NUMB.”

    • Peggy – What an inspirational story. Here’s to all the Ketogenic Geezers!

  • Deborah Gordon

    I like to “Row on Ketones”! When I switched to a ketogenic diet – about two years ago – I remember the first time I tried to row on a meat and eggs breakfast: I was a wreck! Early into the diet, I had no stamina for any kind of physical exertion.

    Now it’s a different story. Last fall I participated in the Head of the American, rowing two 5K races (each requiring a 5K row upstream to the start line, for a total of 2 solid hours of rowing) in which I performed better than in any previous year, and wasn’t even hungry when I got off the water. No longer NEED TO EAT after a workout, and have great energy for the rest of the day, no matter how hard I work.

    Ketogenic diets are the way to go for athletes… in my humble opinion!