Do Ketones Boost 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. Meaghan Maddigan and colleagues from Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada found that muscle activation patterns were similar during squats and sled pushing.The results are predictable because the breakdown of ketones releases energy more slowly than carbohydrates. (Sports Medicine, published online July 16, 2016)

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