Can I Eat More Carbs if I Exercise on Keto?

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The ketogenic diet has exploded in popularity in the last decade. Many people following the keto diet often wonder how exercise impacts the low carb requires. “Can I Eat More Carbs if I Exercise on Keto?”, is a common question.

One of the most difficult parts of the keto diet is sticking to you daily carb limit. This can even cause many people to fail to follow the diet for a long period of time. The keto diet does require low carbs to keep the body in ketosis, but can exercise raise that daily carb limit?

In this post we will examine the impact of exercise on the daily carb limit of the keto diet.

How the Keto Diet Works

the keto diet

As you may already know, the keto diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet. The main factor being keeping the net carbohydrate count low. This helps the body to get into ketosis. This is a state where the body can convert fat into ketones that can be uses as energy when there are not enough carbohydrates to fuel the body.

Being in ketosis is basically putting your body into a fat burning mode. This is the main reason that the keto diet can cause so much weight loss. There are many studies on the keto diet’s impact on weight loss. In one study, women following the keto diet loss twice as much weight as the control group.

In addition to weight loss, the keto diet has several other benefits.

  • Weight loss: The keto diet is an effective way to lose weight as it encourages the body to burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrates.
  • Improved blood sugar control: The keto diet can help regulate blood sugar levels, making it an effective tool for managing diabetes.
  • Reduced inflammation: Cutting out sugar and processed foods can reduce inflammation in the body, leading to improved overall health.
  • Increased energy: The keto diet provides a steady supply of energy to the body, without the need for frequent snacking.
  • Improved mental clarity: Many people report improved mental clarity and focus when following the keto diet, particularly during periods of extended fasting.
  • Reduced risk of heart disease: The keto diet can improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Better digestive health: The high-fat, low-carb nature of the keto diet can improve digestive health and reduce symptoms of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Reduced risk of certain cancers: Preliminary research suggests that the keto diet may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
  • Improved skin health: Some people report improved skin health on the keto diet, with reductions in acne and other skin conditions.
  • Reduced risk of seizures: The keto diet has been used to treat epilepsy in children for decades, and may also be effective in reducing seizures in adults.

Overall, the keto diet is one of the most popular diets to follow for weight loss.

The Benefits of Exercise


It probably won’t take much to convince you of the benefits of exercise. Most people are fully aware that regular exercise is beneficial to the body and overall health. The hard part is sticking to a regular schedule, but if you do workout regularly, then you will experience some benefits such as:

  • Weight management: Regular exercise helps in burning calories and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Reduces the risk of chronic diseases: Exercise reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
  • Improves cardiovascular health: Exercise strengthens the heart, improves blood circulation, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Boosts immune system: Exercise helps to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of infections and illnesses.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety: Exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve mood, and promote mental wellbeing.
  • Enhances bone and muscle health: Regular exercise helps to strengthen bones and muscles, improve balance and coordination, and reduce the risk of falls and fractures.
  • Improves sleep quality: Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of sleep disorders.
  • Increases energy levels: Regular exercise helps to boost energy levels, reduce fatigue, and improve overall physical performance.
  • Improves brain function: Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, memory, and brain health.
  • Promotes longevity: Regular exercise is associated with increased life expectancy and a better quality of life.

In combination with the keto diet, regular exercise can increase the rapid weight loss that many people already experience on the keto diet. Adding exercise is always beneficial. However, you don’t necessarily need to work out while on the keto diet.

Can I Eat More Carbs if I Exercise on Keto?

can I eat more carbs if I exercise on keto

Since so many people struggler with the low carb limits of keto, many wonder if they can eat more carbs if they workout. First of all, the amount of carbohydrates that you eat per day on the keto diet can vary from person to person. While the most common daily net carb limit is 20g, some people will go as high as 50g of net carbs per day.

Determining your base line keto limit is the first step. If you choose a higher amount, you may not get into ketosis. It’s often easier to put the body into ketosis on lower amounts of carbohydrates. One way to determine if the body is in ketosis is to use keto test strips.

If you do workout on the keto diet, it is possible to slightly increase your carbohydrate limit. The ultimate goal of the keto diet is to stay in ketosis. Exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels, which can allow you to consume a few more carbs. In addition, exercise burns calories, which means you can consume a little bit more, even if it’s slightly counter productive.

One thing to understand is that exercising does mean that you can eat a sugar loaded meal or drink a full sugar drink like Coca-cola or Gatorade. Consuming a large does of sugar or carbs at once is a really easy way to kick your body out of ketosis. So stick to low carb foods, but you can allow yourself to have a few extra carbs if you’re working out. So have some extra carbs, but don’t reach for a piece of pie.

If you’re concerned about eating more carbs, you can always test your ketone levels using the keto strips that we mentioned above.


The main goal of the keto diet is to keep your daily net carbohydrates low to cause the body to go into ketosis. Exercise has many benefits to the body, including regulating blood sugar. The combination of exercise and keto is always preferred and can lead to much quicker weight loss and overall better health.

If you do exercise on the keto diet, it is possible to consume a few extra carbs. Since the carb limit can vary from person to person, the best way to ensure that you are in ketosis is to watch out for the signs of ketosis or measure your ketone levels using a ketone testing strip.

The Author

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John has been learning about and experimenting with low carbohydrate diets since the around 2006. He has successfully used the keto diet to lose over significant amounts of weight in the past and currently follows a low carb diet for a variety of reasons including general health, weight management, and managing mood levels.

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