ketone drink

Daily Wisdom: May 2

How to get the benefits of the ketogenic diet with a supplement.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, Matt Berenc, director of education at the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, addresses some of the latest fitness research and news stories.

Today’s Topic: Ketone supplements for boosting endurance

The Science: A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that athletes' glycogen stores increased when they took ketone supplements along with a carbohydrate drink.

EQX Expert Insight: The ketone drink is an artificial version of what our body naturally produces (ketones) after roughly three days of fasting or prolonged extreme carbohydrate restriction, explains Berenc. “Called a ketogenic diet, you can trigger your body to produce ketones through limiting carb intake to five percent (or less) of your total calories coupled with 10 to 20 percent from protein and the rest from fat,” he explains. Many ultrarunners, in particular, sing its praises, though some weight lifters do as well. (The benefits for building muscle or strength are likely much lower since ketogenic diets have a lower-than-normal protein intake, notes Berenc.) The result of more glycogen via ketones is, in theory, more fuel available for your muscles so you can exercise longer than you otherwise could or go further in the same amount of time. “However, since a ketogenic diet is so restrictive and challenging to stick with, carbohydrate drinks with artificial ketones have become increasingly popular,” says Berenc.

The Bottom Line: “If your goal is endurance-based, a ketone supplement may be helpful. But keep in mind that most of the evidence points to a small impact,” says Berenc.