Ketogenic versus glucogenic. If you follow any type of weight loss plan or work out regularly, you’ve more than likely heard of those terms. Both are amino acids that are produced by your body, although they do very different things. Let’s go into some depth on them.
What’s An Amino Acid?
Before we dive into the difference between ketogenic versus glucogenic, it’s important to define exactly what an amino acid is. To put it simply, an amino acid is an organic compound, as well as what’s known as a fundamental molecule. These are produced by the body in response to different things, depending on what the body needs. Every amino acid is composed of four different elements: oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen. Overall, there are 500 known amino acids, all of which occur naturally.
Ketogenic Amino Acids
There is more than one ketogenic amino acid. In fact, there are seven major ones, and they make up the ketogenic amino acid class. You’ve probably heard of a few of them, such as leucine and lysine. Together, all of these amino acids produce the lipids that your organs need in order to function properly. They also play a role in ketogenesis or the production of ketone bodies. This is where ketogenic versus glucogenic gets interesting. Ketones are what people following the keto diet want. Going into ketosis (a related condition) means that the body’s fat stores are being burned off for energy. It’s how people lose weight successfully on the keto diet.
Glucogenic Amino Acids
Next up in the ketogenic versus glucogenic “contest,” we have glucogenic amino acids. There are around a dozen different glucogenic amino acids found in the body, including glutamine, valine, and alanine. In fact, almost all of the amino acids that occur naturally in your body are glucogenic, with the main exception of the ketogenic two – lysine and leucine. These glucogenic amino acids play a very important role in how food is processed and digested by the body because they are in charge of creating glucose. Glucose is sugar. When someone has diabetes, their blood glucose levels are off. They need help processing this substance.
In summary, the sole role of these glucogenic amino acids is to handle how sugar is processed in the body. Ketogenic amino acids, on the other hand, produce lipids. That’s the main difference between the two.