The Scary Effect Ketone Supplements Can Have on Your Workouts

cycling workout
Image via iStock

The ketogenic diet might be the new trendy way to eat, thanks to research that has proven it can help you shed fat and even fight migraines, but a new study suggests that ketone supplements, on the other hand, might not have the same incredible benefits.
The diet has been praised for its ability to improve fitness performance and boost your workout, in and out of the studio.
“There is growing scientific evidence that a ketogenic diet is not only safe, but can also boost athletic performance, particularly in endurance athletes, that it can improve one’s metabolic profile, having beneficial effects on HDL (good cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, as well as result in weight loss,” Eric P. Wilson, a doctor of sports medicine at Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Clara Medical Center, told the Mercury News. “The high-fat, low carbohydrate foods of the ketogenic diet suppress over production of insulin that typically leads to obesity and diabetes as occurs in diets high in starchy carbohydrates. The body is able to utilize the ketones for energy, which are a more efficient energy source for the body.”
But a new study, published just last month in Frontiers in Physiology, is giving athletes a stern warning on how they adapt to the diet.
A group of 11 male volunteers at the Australian Institute of Sport were given a drink that either had ketones, or were given a placebo drink, right before an intense (19-mile) cycling trek.
And their results, the New York Times notes, were unanimous. Every single rider had a worse ride after consuming the ketone supplement. They were much slower, and if they were competing in an actual race, would not have medaled, the study determined.
But that wasn’t all. The study also showed that every rider reported gastrointestinal problems after the ketone supplement, and one even said he experienced “prolonged vomiting and dizziness,” and could not start the race.
But before you go ahead and ditch your keto plans, not so fast. For one, the short-term study didn’t follow the cyclists as they continued on their ketone plan. Doctors did note that it was possible they needed more time to adjust to the supplement, or that they mentally interpreted the ketones as a problem.
And instead, they noted, it might be easier to gradually ease into the keto diet, and instead of supplements, try the good ol’ fashioned way instead: through foods in your diet. So time to embrace, keto smoothie recipes, breakfasts, or desserts when it comes to taking on the diet. It could be the better, and more natural, way to do it!

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