In the past, athletes seeking to improve their performance would follow a strict diet and training regimen. In recent years, many athletes have turned to sports supplements in order to gain an edge over their competitors. This article takes from published dietary research on ketones and ketone esters.
We’ll delve into:
- The Meaning of Ketones?
- Types of Ketones
- Exogenous Ketones
- Benefits of Ketone Esters
- Disadvantages of Ketone Esters
Sports supplements are designed to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to perform at its best. Common ingredients in sports supplements include protein, amino acids, and creatine. When used properly, these supplements can help athletes to build muscle, increase strength, and improve stamina. Nowadays, many athletes have turned to ketone esters to supplement their workout routine.
In addition, many sports supplements contain ingredients that can help reduce inflammation and speed up recovery. As a result, these products have become increasingly popular among amateur and professional athletes across the globe. There is a wide range of ketone supplements, including a list of green powder supplements and liquids.
What are Ketones?
First of all, let’s learn about ketones. Ketones, or ketone bodies, are compounds that your liver makes when glucose (sugar) and glycogen (carb stores in the body) are unavailable for energy. Then your body begins to use fat as a source of energy.
When your body produces ketones steadily is when your body enters a state of ketosis. By using fat for energy rather than glucose, ketosis can help individuals to lose weight, increase their endurance, and reduce inflammation.
Ketones are produced for different reasons. Your liver produces them if you are diabetic and don’t have enough insulin to get energy out of the glucose in your blood. When there is a high production of ketones, diabetics go into ketoacidosis, which can be life-threatening.
Your body also produces ketones when you fast, when you exercise and have gone through your glucose and glycogen stores, and when you significantly lower your consumption of sugar and carbs.
Types of Ketones
Your body makes three types of ketones, acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate:
- Acetoacetate (AcAc): When your body is low on carbs and needs to break down fat for energy, acetoacetate is the first type of ketone body your body releases. It gets sent to fuel cells, reacts and breaks down into acetone, and gets converted into beta-hydroxybutyrate.
- Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB): This one packs the highest energy potential and gets produced extensively during long fasts or after the first few weeks of being on a ketogenic diet.
- Acetone: This is the byproduct of BHB or AcAc breakdown – the same product that goes into nail polish remover. The body uses it for energy if there’s an immediate energy need. It gives a metallic taste, “keto breath,” that some people experience after being on keto for the first couple of weeks. This is your body releasing ketones through sweat, urine, and exhalation.
There are several ways to improve your workout. One of them is by incorporating exogenous ketones. These are ketones from outside sources – those not produced by the body. Exogenous ketones are supplements that can help your body produce more ketones.
Exogenous ketones are helpful for people following a carbohydrate-restricted diet. People following a ketogenic diet can increase ketones in their bodies by incorporating these useful dietary supplements.
Exogenous ketones help your body to use fat as a source of energy, which results in lower blood sugar levels and reduced insulin levels. They also help to increase energy levels. Brain Octane Oil is one of the safest and most effective exogenous ketones you’ll find.
- Ketone Salts: Ketone salts are ketones bound to a mineral: calcium, sodium, or magnesium. They are generally made of BHB, being that it’s more stable than AcAc. BHB is also the most available ketone in the bloodstream. Ketone salts raise your blood ketones, but they don’t raise your ketones as efficiently as ketone esters do.
- Ketone Esters: Ketone esters are ketones usually made of BHB, which is bound to 1,3 butanediol – an alcohol molecule. They are chemically identical to the ketones your body makes. Ketone esters are designed to be metabolized quickly and can be used at any time. And because they are water-soluble, they can be easily removed from your body after they’ve served their purpose.
Ketone Esters vs. Ketone Salts
Ketone esters and ketone salts are relatively similar. Both of these products contain a compound called beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which can help the body transition to a state of ketosis. Ketone salts and ketone esters have a similar texture.
However, there are also some key differences between ketone salts and ketone esters. For example, ketone esters raise your blood ketones far more efficiently than ketone salts do. Ketone esters are more expensive than BHB salts. Ketone salts are tastier than ketone esters. In addition, those who consume ketone esters will experience a more rapid rise in their blood ketone levels than those who consume ketone salts.
Benefits of Using Ketone Esters
Since ketone esters are ketone supplements more efficient at raising blood ketones and allow you to experience all the benefits of ketosis without having to follow a carb-restrictive diet, let’s look further into some of their benefits:
- Increased Endurance and Stamina: Endurance athletes and fitness buffs like to use ketone esters before important events because they can be very helpful in improving stamina. By increasing the level of ketones in their bodies, these individuals can go for longer without feeling fatigued.
- Increased Focus and Concentration: Studies have shown that ketone esters can improve cognitive function in people with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). First-hand experience confirms that they help them focus on important tasks.
- Reduced Inflammation: Inflammation is a normal way the body responds to injury or illness. However, it can be very harmful if the inflammatory response becomes chronic. Dietary studies reveal that ketone esters have anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing inflammation, these compounds can help to treat various metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
Disadvantages of Using Ketone Esters
Notwithstanding their many advantages, it is crucial to understand the disadvantages associated with using these supplements. So here we’ll take a closer look at whether the benefits outweigh their disadvantages.
- Cost and Expenses: One of the most significant disadvantages is that they are costly. Depending on the brand, a bottle of ketone esters can cost you approximately $100.
- Short-Term Effects: Another disadvantage is their short-term effect. Although they can be used to improve performance for short periods, it is not recommended to use them for more than two weeks.
- Inadequate Dietary Research: Although ketone esters have many health benefits, there has not been enough scientific research to determine whether they are entirely safe.
- Overdependence on supplements: Athletes are tempted to increase their ketone esters intake because they believe that they may not need natural sources of ketones. However, it is essential to note that ketone esters are only meant to boost the number of ketones instead of completely replacing organic food.
The Bottom Line
Ketone esters are one type of ketone supplement that can help athletes improve their performance by increasing their endurance and stamina and decreasing their risk of injury. They can also help athletes achieve weight loss, increase their focus, and reduce their risk of inflammation.
Unfortunately, these supplements are very expensive and may not be completely safe in high amounts. Athletes who want to use these supplements should consult with a doctor before doing so. In order to get the most out of your workout, it is essential that you use high-quality dietary supplements since there are many types of ketone esters available on the market.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor