The new study, released in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism’s most recent print edition, examines conflicting research results about the effectiveness of ketone supplements, which have grown in popularity among athletes looking for a competitive edge.
Sports nutrition scientists have been trying to find or develop a compound that dramatically increases strength and fitness for a long time. There are many suggested supplements, but very few of them are effective. Ketones are a recent supplement that is getting a lot of attention. They come in little bottles, and they taste awful. Many campaigned for their ban due to their exorbitant cost and promised improvements. Do they, however, actually boost performance?
We obtain the necessary energy by breaking down carbohydrates and lipids during exercise and rest. The brain requires glucose, a carbohydrate type, but most tissues can use fats. When the body’s carbohydrate reserves are depleted, the body begins to create glucose in small amounts from other sources, such as skeletal muscle protein and the byproducts of fat breakdown. However, this falls short of the daily requirement of more than 100 grams of glucose for the brain.
Ketone bodies, as ketones are technically referred to, are created by the liver when carbohydrate availability is low and serve as an alternative energy source for the brain. Ketone bodies may eventually be used as fuel during activity and can also be utilized in other tissues, such as muscle.
Scientists became interested in supplements that might raise ketone body concentrations in the blood without lowering carbohydrate availability since ketone bodies, like carbs and fats, can be a source of energy. In this method, at least theoretically, athletes could gain from using ketone bodies in addition to carbohydrates and lipids, saving valuable carbohydrates that are only preserved in tiny amounts.
A ketone supplement has been developed after numerous efforts. Most ketone supplements first upset the stomach and do not significantly boost the availability of ketone bodies. It has been demonstrated that a more recent ketone monoester drink doesn’t produce gastrointestinal distress and sufficiently raises ketone body concentrations in the blood. Even so, there was no noticeable rise in performance.
These findings’ underlying processes are still unclear. The most likely explanation for this decline in exercise performance is that ketone supplements increase blood acidity, which is known to hurt performance. There is some preliminary evidence that this might be prevented by taking sodium bicarbonate supplements and ketones. But not all research supports this, so the verdict is still out.
Ketones For Rehabilitation
Taking ketones before or during exercise has no positive effect on how well the exercise is performed. It can impede it, in fact. However, there is some evidence from KU Leuven, a research university in Belgium, that using ketone supplements after an endurance workout can help lessen the symptoms of overtraining.
Furthermore, there is little research on the effects of long-term intake, and additional research is required to determine whether using ketone supplements long-term is safe. The usefulness of ketone supplementation for athletes has not yet been sufficiently demonstrated.
In addition, the adaptation to ketosis led on by ketogenic diets is linked, particularly during the first week, to several symptoms collectively described as “keto flu,” such as headache, weariness, nausea, dizziness, gastrointestinal pain, and decreased energy. The possibility that repeated ketone supplement administration before workouts can cause some of these symptoms should be investigated in further research.
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