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Will Ketone supplements make you faster?

Understanding the Impact of Ketone Supplements on Exercise Performance

Ever wondered if those ketone supplements could boost your workout? A recent study explored this in trained cyclists, focusing on a 20-minute cycling time trial.

The study found that taking a ketone supplement before exercise led to a slightly lower power output during the time trial compared to a placebo. The difference was around 2.4%, which is considered meaningful in terms of performance.

This finding aligns with other studies showing that ketone supplements might impair high-intensity, short-duration exercise. Interestingly, the study contradicts the idea that achieving a certain level of ketones in the blood (1-3 mM) could enhance performance.

The lower heart rate during the time trial after taking the ketone supplement might be linked to its impact on perceived exertion or the lower power output. However, understanding these heart rate changes is tricky, and more research is needed to grasp the full picture.

The study also highlighted some changes in blood chemistry after ketone ingestion, including potential challenges to acid-base balance. The supplement caused minimal gastrointestinal distress, and blood glucose levels were lowered, suggesting complex effects on the body’s responses to exercise.

While this study provides insights into how ketone supplements can affect performance, it’s essential to note that the findings are specific to short, high-intensity exercises. If you’re considering using ketone supplements, it’s crucial to discuss it with your healthcare team, as individual responses can vary. Additionally, more research is needed to uncover the underlying mechanisms and effects on longer-duration endurance events.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your exercise or supplementation routine.

McCarthy DG, Bone J, Fong M, Pinckaers PJM, Bostad W, Richards DL, van Loon LJC, Gibala MJ. Acute Ketone Monoester Supplementation Impairs 20-min Time-Trial Performance in Trained Cyclists: A Randomized, Crossover Trial. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2023 Apr 25;33(4):181-188. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2022-0255. PMID: 37185454.