HOW TO INCREASE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE WITH EXOGENOUS KETONES
Traditional sports nutrition wisdom tells endurance athletes that loading up on carbohydrates prior to long-distance training/events is ideal for optimal performance. However, as sports nutrition research grows, we are learning that there may be more efficacious ways to fuel your endurance training goals.
Enter exogenous ketones (Ketone Supplements). The unique nutritional benefits of exogenous ketones, particularly beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) salts, are extensive, ranging from nootropic (brain enhancing) properties, enhanced glucose utilisation, physical performance improvements, and reduced inflammation. For endurance athletes, exogenous ketones present a superior nutritional supplement adjunct to pre-training carbohydrate ingestion.
If you’re not familiar with what exactly exogenous ketones are and how they work, be sure to check out our free Exogenous Ketone eBook that teaches you everything you’ll need to know before moving forward.
Why Endurance Athletes Should Use Exogenous Ketones
Before we jump into the data behind exogenous ketones and endurance training, let’s get a better grasp of what exactly exogenous ketones do in the human body.
In short, ketones are an alternative energy source for your body, specifically mitochondria – the ‘engine’ of cells. While endurance athletes typically think of carb-based sports beverages as the ideal energy source for aerobic exercise, recent studies suggest that exogenous ketones, like BHB salts, bolster the benefits of carbohydrates. In other words, combining ketones with carbohydrates results in better performance and recovery than carbohydrates alone. In fact, adding Essential Amino Acids (EAA’s) like that found in AMINO SWITCH™ may prove to be even more effective as previous studies support the combination of Carbohydrates and Amino Acids for improved recovery over either one alone.
Ketones are natural metabolite of fatty acid metabolism when carbohydrate intake is exceptionally low; naturally, endurance athletes who consume a large amount of carbohydrates produce very few ketones endogenously (within the body). This is precisely why KETO SWITCH™ is the perfect way for endurance athletes to reap the performance-enhancing benefits of exogenous ketones without having to eliminate carbs from the diet.
In short, using a BHB salt supplement like KETO SWITCH™ provides your body with an instant supply of ketones to utilise and amplify the performance-enhancing effects of carbohydrates. Hence, consuming KETO SWITCH™ will help mimic the effects of your body being in a state of nutritional ketosis very rapidly (typically within 30 minutes or less after ingestion).
Since KETO SWITCH™ essentially ‘switches on’ ketosis and provides a multitude of benefits, including enhancing aerobic capacity, boosting cognitive function, reducing inflammation, improving carbohydrate utilization, decreasing food cravings, and increasing energy levels. On that note, let’s look at the research and science behind the many benefits of exogenous ketone use for endurance athletes.
Human Research Behind Exogenous Ketones as an Adjunct Supplement for Endurance Athletes
A pioneer study conducted at the University of Oxford analysed 12 cyclists compared the effects of a non-nutritive beverage and a BHB beverage after depleting their glycogen stores through training. Each group was given glucose along with their respective beverages.
The findings of the study were that cyclists given the BHB beverage experienced more rapid refilling of muscle glycogen than the placebo group. The authors of the study suggest that this was the result of the BHB beverage enhancing insulin sensitivity. This assumption is very likely true based on other literature showing that exogenous ketone supplementation can drastically improve insulin sensitivity, resulting in better shuttling of blood glucose into cells.
Insulin is a peptide hormone manufactured by the pancreas that primarily works to lower blood sugar levels by increasing activity of glucose transport proteins (GLUTs). It is a potent anabolic (storage) hormone that induces protein synthesis throughout the whole body when dietary amino acids are available.
Being highly insulin sensitive means your cells respond efficiently to insulin’s signalling. Essentially, your body becomes more efficient at utilizing carbohydrates and you’re less likely to store them as adipose tissue (body fat). As such, supplementing with ketones and carbohydrates helps endurance athletes recover and replenish themselves rapidly.
Even for everyday gym goers and fitness enthusiasts who don’t train for endurance events, using KETO SWITCH™ for its insulin sensitizing benefits is prudent as it puts your body in a better position for partitioning nutrients/carbohydrates to energetically demanding tissues, such as skeletal muscle.
 Holdsworth, D. A., Cox, P. J., Kirk, T., Stradling, H., Impey, S. G., & Clarke, K. (2017). A ketone ester drink increases postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis in humans. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 49(9), 1789.
 Balasse, E. O., & Neef, M. A. (1975). Inhibition of ketogenesis by ketone bodies in fasting humans. Metabolism, 24(9), 999-1007.
 Sakurai, Y., Aarsland, A., Herndon, D. N., Chinkes, D. L., Pierre, E., Nguyen, T. T., … & Wolfe, R. R. (1995). Stimulation of muscle protein synthesis by long-term insulin infusion in severely burned patients. Annals of surgery, 222(3), 283.