In recent years, a number of athletes have tried their hands at the ketogenic diet, believing the very low-carb keto diet for athletes will lead to metabolic changes that prompt prioritization of fat-burning for energy.

To suss out what the literature had to say on eating keto for better performance, researchers from Tufts University reviewed a handful of past studies involving endurance athletes from various disciplines (including running and cycling). The reviewers particularly examined changes in VO2max, a measure of peak oxygen uptake that correlates strongly with performance in aerobic exercise.

Overall, the research review—published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition—concluded that the current state of science does not clearly support using keto diets to improve VO2max and other performance outcomes during endurance sports. However, the study authors stated that research on the topic is currently too limited to make any firm conclusions. More studies are needed that involve the keto diet for athletes of both sexes and in other types of sports. For now, it seems there is no reason for athletes to step away from the pasta.

See also: Will You Get Faster on a Keto Diet?