Ever in the pursuit of finding supplements that could increase performance of the CrossFit athlete, I have recently come across supplemental ketones.
Actually, supplemental ketones found me. A great guy named Brady from Pruvit hooked me up with what they call an “experience”.
But, before I get specifically into Prüvit’s supplemental ketones, and what they do, let me first talk about ketosis, and what that is.
What is ketosis
Ketosis is commonly known to people as a diet where you don’t eat carbs. Now, on one level this is true, but there’s much more to it.
When I talk about Ketosis I’m commonly asked (or told)… “That’s Atkins right? I know about that Atkins stuff”. And although the Atkins diet did attempt to put you into Ketosis that’s not what we are talking about here.
Ketosis is a process that occurs within our bodies when we eat a lower amount of carbohydrates. The exact number of carbs that someone needs to eat to shift into ketosis is different based on that individual, but is commonly thought of as less than 50 carbs a day. That being said, the more that I research the topic of Ketosis, I’m learning that number can be much higher for athletes, or people that workout at lot.
Once your body has shifted into ketosis, your body will start producing ketones in the liver. Ketones are an energy source used by your body that is produced by fat. And as you should know, you have enough fat to run on for months (and some people for years).
Essentially, when in ketosis you are using ketones from fat as energy instead of carbs from food.
Here are some fun facts that I learned about Ketosis during my research:
- Ketones spare the bodies proteins from oxidation.
- The structure of ketones is similar to amino acids, and therefor can be burned as a substitute.
- The Branch chain amino acid leucine can fill the role of insulin.
- When in Ketosis, muscle protein synthesis is promoted just as high or higher than diets that are high in carbs.
- The lack of insulin that is produced while in Ketosis allows testosterone and HGH to be at an all time high.
Energy available during a carb diet vs. a Ketosis diet
- Ketosis allows an almost endless supply of fuel from fat. Even in extremely lean individuals.
- Glycogen stores (which can be found in muscles and liver) can store up to 400-500 grams (on average). This is 1600-2000 calories of energy.
- Energy available from fat (even in a lean person) is somewhere around 40,000 calories.
Production and regulation of lactate during exercise
- This is something that I found to be incredibly interesting for the CrossFit athlete. As exertion increases, so does lactate and CO2 in the blood. You feel this as the burning sensation in your muscles. And, in turn, you will increase respiratory rate to get rid of CO2.
- When burning fat as energy, you will produce less CO2 in the blood, and with less burning of carbs as fuel, you will have far less lactate in the bloodstream. This will make it easier to breathe during hard workouts. How cool is that..?!
- If you don’t think this is all super cool then I’m not sure that I can impress you with this article…;-)
What are supplemental ketones?
Without getting too deep into the science of what I’ve found during my research, supplemental ketones usually come in the form of ketone salts. And although there are many other forms, ketone salts seem to be the most widely used.
How are supplemental ketones different from ketosis?
Here’s where things get interesting!
As we talked about above, to get into ketosis you need to usually drop your carb intake to less than 50 grams a day, and it can take weeks to months to get your body to start producing ketones as an energy source.
Because of this delay, people tend to be very grumpy, or foggy while their body is figuring out that it needs to produce ketones.
BUT with supplemental ketones, you body is put into a state of ketosis shortly after you take he supplement. And you get all of the effects of being in ketosis.
Prüvit Supplements that I reviewed
During my review of the Prüvit supplements, which all include supplemental ketones, I tried the KETO Kreme coffee creamer, KETO//OS, and the KETO//OS Max products.
How I took the ketones each day
I started my day by putting the Kreme coffee creamer into my coffee. If you like cream in your coffee, you will think this tastes great. The Kreme contains not only the supplemental ketones, but also MCT and coconut oil.
If I had a workout that day, I would continue with another serving of the KETO//OS or KETO//OS Max. As I’m told, the difference is the Max products contain Pruvit’s new patented ketone technology that is supposed to be more bioavailable to the body. And as a side note, the Max product formula was produced by Dr. Dom D’Agostino, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and a senior research scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC).
All of the Prüvit products tasted good, with my favorite being the Kreme and Max raspberry lemonade.
The personal benefits that I experienced
First and foremost, I consistently experienced mental clarity, and an overall better mood when taking Pruvit ketones. Even above and beyond the caffein that is included in some of the products. There was just a feeling of being in a good mood.
You can always say that this is just a subjective measure, but here it is…
When I’m in the middle of a tough burner of a workout (say 30 calories on an Assault Bike) the point when things would usually get really bad (the wheels coming off the bus), I’ve noticed my body can keep going. All without the pain that usually comes in.
While taking the Prüvit ketones, I also noticed that I was not as tired as usual at the end of a workout. So, if I push to my limits of intensity at the end of a workout, I am tired, but I’m not needing to flop on the floor afterward. It’s actually strange, and I keep asking myself if I’m pushing myself as hard as I can. And I am, but I almost immediately feel better than I usually would.
Other positive effects
There are many, many other positive effects that studies have shown ketones to produce. This includes sleep improvement, less muscle soreness, and actually increases in strength.
I’ve learned that although you are putting your body into a state of ketosis when you take supplemental ketones, it can still take a few weeks or months to become fat adapted as you would be when a ketosis diet starts to really kick in.
What this means is… you should continue to see benefits of taking the supplemental ketones for months to come, and when talking to people who have been taking them for 1+ years, they say it’s just keeps getting better.
Is this for CrossFit
At this point I do believe that taking ketones can be beneficial for the
CrossFit athlete. That being said, in the first 20-30 days of taking supplemental ketones there were definitely cool benefits (as I talked about above), but at this point there weren’t any major, mind blowing effects.
In CrossFit we do tend to produce a whole lot of lactic acid and CO2 when we burn glycogen (carbs) while performing workouts. And if supplemental ketones can provide energy to the body in a way that doesn’t produce the byproducts of lactic acid and CO2, then it only makes sense to me that we should all be taking supplemental ketones to perform better.
Another interesting thing that I’ve heard of people trying is duel energy sources. This is the idea that if you take carbs and supplemental ketones before your workout, you will get the benefits of both fuel sources. I’m told that the research on this is in the early stages, and not conclusive, but talked to athletes that think it works.
Where can you get supplemental ketones?
If you would like to pick up some Prüvit supplemental ketones or just learn more, click here
If you have any questions about ketosis or supplemental ketones let me know in the comments section below. I’m learning more everyday, and will update this post as I find more useful information!
Thanks for reading!