Do Ketones Improve Performance?
During the Olympics, the media reported that some cyclists were supplementing ketones to improve performance. Ketones produced naturally during metabolism cause euphoria. Cyclists consume ketones supplements to delay fatigue. The brain uses mainly glucose (sugar) for fuel but it can also use ketones— such as acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. During low-calorie dieting, the body produces ketones to supply fuels to the brain. A literature review by researchers from Maastricht University led by Philippe Pinckaers concluded that supplementing ketones has no effect on physical performance. The results are predictable because the breakdown of ketones releases energy more slowly than carbohydrates. (Sports Medicine, published online July 16, 2016)