Kinesiologists have discovered that ketone supplements which are used by some athletes to help boost their performance could actually worsen performance.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
The study considered contradictory study results associated with the efficacy of ketone supplements that have become popular among athletes looking for a competitive advantage.
There are some studies that have demonstrated that ketone supplements help to improve performance, while other studies have found they have no effect or performance even worsened.
Natural ketones can function as muscle and brain fuel. A ketogenic diet, characterized by very low carb and typically high-fat consumption, will cause the body to generate more organic ketone compounds to be used for energy. That process is accelerated with ketone supplements, without the stringent diet.
One of the primary believed benefits is that ketones could function as an alternative source of fuel while exercising or potentially change the utilization of other primary fuel sources which include carbs and fats, and as a consequence enhance endurance capacity. But the study results indicate that isn’t the case.
Well-trained endurance athletes were recruited for the study who cycled 5 or more hours each week. They were selected because of their consistent day-to-day athletic performance.
The experiment was carried out in a laboratory but race conditions were simulated and the individuals prepared as they typically would for a cycling event.
Each individual completed 2 trials that differed only in the beverage given before completing a 20-minute cycling trial closely predicting the performance of a 40 km race. The beverages contained either a ketone supplement or a placebo that tasted similar.
It was a double-blind study, which means neither the athletes nor the researchers knew whether the placebo or the ketone supplement was given.
The study’s primary observation was that the speed that could be sustained by the cyclists throughout the test was lower after consuming the ketone supplement in comparison to the placebo.
The researchers say the results align with their earlier work which found that cardiorespiratory stress while exercising increased when taking ketone supplements.