Are you considering ketone supplements to improve performance? Read this before you spend a dime.
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
"....As ketone levels go up, ketones themselves inhibit their own production. When you drink an exogenous ketone and you elevate the ketones in the blood, you're going to be in the short term, blunting that fat release, that lipolysis component." Dr. Brianna Stubbs
Going on a ketogenic diet and taking ketone supplements are not the same thing. If you're buying a $25 ketone supplement or a $2500 ketone supplement, those are not the same product, don't be fooled by marketing. We have some myth busting to do.
If you're an endurance athlete on the internet, there's little doubt you've stumbled across a conversation about ketogenic diets and ketone supplements, and you may have left more confused then when you arrived. That's because there are a lot of myths floating around and recommendations not based on sound evidence. I wanted to bring clarity about the differences between supplements, the data behind supplements for both performance and brain health, the required dosing to see any effect, if there is one to be found, and whether or not this is a sound investment for someone who's curiosity is peaked. To bring you reliable information, I reached out to Dr. Brianna Stubbs.
Dr. Brianna Stubbs: Lead Translational Scientist at the
Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Dr. Stubbs is a world expert in exogenous ketone metabolism and its implications for performance, resilience and health-span. She completed her PhD in Metabolic Physiology at the University of Oxford, and while completing her studies, she competed on the British International Rowing Team, and was a two-time World Champion lightweight athlete. Dr. Stubbs spent two years as Research Lead at a San Francisco start-up, where she helped to launch the world's first commercially available ketone ester drink, and set up a collaboration with the US Special Operations Command to investigate the effects of ketone drinks on physical and cognitive performance in extreme environments. Brianna is currently Lead Translational Scientist at The Buck Institute for Research on Aging, where she's part of a team focused on developing our understanding of ketone biology, the metabolic effects of novel supplemental ketones, and their role in healthy aging.
Today we dive into a lot of topics related to ketones and ketogenic diets included but not limited to:
What's the difference between nutritional ketosis from a ketogenic diet and ketosis from consuming supplements.
How does the body make ketones and how do ketone supplements impact that process?
What dose of supplements is required to see an effect, if there is one?
Why ketone supplements don't lead to increased fat burning in the way that a ketogenic diet does.
The different types of ketones ($25 vs $2500!), how they differ and what the data say about each.
Ketone supplements and performance in endurance sports.
Ketone supplements and cognitive aspects of performance.
Do ketones spare glycogen (stored carbohydrate in the muscle/liver)?
Ketones, the brain, Alzheimer's and healthy aging. What are we learning?
Can ketone supplements help with hypoxic exposure (altitude)?
Can you consume too many ketone supplements?
Imperfect Progress: How Dr. Stubbs navigates through adversity and keeps her eye on the ball when things get difficult.
Dr. Stubbs is so passionate about her work, you can feel it during our conversation. Ketone research is in the early days. If you're seeing bold statements about its ability to help you do A or B, you will want to listen to Dr. Stubbs. Although she's dedicated her life to studying ketones, she is extremely unbiased during our conversation and the first to admit that there's a lot to learn still and it's early days for ketone research.
To learn more about some of the studies and products Dr. Stubbs mentioned during our conversation, see the links below. If you enjoy this podcast, please share it on social media and post a comment about what you learned and tag me! I will definitely share it with my community and give you a shout out on a future episode!
I would really appreciate it if you could take 1 minute right now (that's all it will take!) and head over to Imperfect Progress with Anne Guzman at Apple here, scroll down to the bottom where the comments are and give the podcast a rating out of 5 stars. This really helps me get the podcast to more people and to share this quality information with people who may be listening to everything they read on social media. I would love if you would leave a quick comment about the episode or podcast! I love sharing comments on social media and truly appreciate the feedback every time. Thank you for being a part of this learning community. I do this in order to share quality information in an accessible way, so that this amazing science reaches the masses and can cut through the noise that is pseudoscience.