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Exogenous Ketone Dosing Guide
Major ketone alert! You no doubt have heard of the ketogenic diet and variations of low carbohydrate living. You may also have heard of exogenous ketone supplements. These supplements consist of exogenous ketone salts that introduce ketones into the bloodstream regardless of diet strategy. This is key because not every human being needs to be on a ketogenic diet all the time. Although we believe that everyone should spend some time with their metabolism in some spectrum of ketosis, we fully acknowledge that carbohydrates have their seat at the dinner table, too. Because of the new nature of these nutritional supplements, it’s imperative to identify the who, what, where, when, and why of exogenous ketones to see how it fits into your lifestyle or training program. Let this serve as a guide for both athlete and human athlete alike on how to best harness the power of ketones!
- Human Athlete/Everyday Fitness
Dose: Morning, Pre-Training Session, As Needed
Exogenous ketones can be used for everyday fitness needs and to help program optimal health. We recommend a morning dose to enhance energy and cognitive fitness right away by flooding the body with an ideal state of ketones. Done pre-training, we can harness the power of ketones to provide ideal energetic support to enhance performance and focus. Lastly, we can also reach for exogenous ketones in case of energy lulls-the best part is enhanced energy without excess adrenal taxation.
- Corporate Warrior
Dose: Morning, Post-Lunch, On-The-Go
Start the day with a potent dose of ketones to get yourself in the zone for a productive day of work. The energy substrates potentially combined with intermittent fasting (or a protein & fat dominant breakfast) ignite a potent high energy state for the workday. Post-lunch to curb any mid-afternoon energy dips is another ideal time for dosage. Last, but not least, executive fitness can mean unpredictable schedules and meetings. Exogenous ketones can fill in any gaps if meals have to be delayed or rearranged-this is not to say that these substitute for actual food but more to help your energy reserves in the midst of potential chaos.
- Health Optimization/Restoration
This is not a substitute for medical advice nor are we saying that exogenous ketones are a treatment. That said, certain types of exogenous ketones are being studied in clinical research settings to support certain health conditions. The rationale for this is multi-factorial, but a few key areas that exogenous ketones support are neurological health & neurosensory conditions, metabolic disorders (e.g. type-2 diabetes), cancer presentations, and autoimmune conditions. The main consideration is that exogenous ketones can be supplemented to support overall cellular energetics (mitochondrial support), which underpins everything we do from muscle firing to thought.
- Endurance Athletes
Dosage: Pre-Race, Intra-Race
While morning and ‘routine’ doses (e.g. pre-training) are doses that anyone can benefit from, endurance athletes, in particular, can benefit from pre-competition dosing. Endurance sports are oxidative, lipolytic, slow twitch dominant activities. This means that metabolically-speaking, exogenous ketones are perfect for the requisite energy system utilized in the sport and training conditions. The takeaway here is that ketones are the perfect fuel system for endurance performance. Done intra-race, ketones can provide a high octane second wind.
- Combat Sports Athletes
Dosage: Pre-Training, Post-Weight Cut (Refeed), Pre-Fight
Special consideration is given for combat sports because of the unique neuroprotective abilities of ketones. Their aforementioned support of brain & neurological health is truly unique. Furthermore, in a weight cutting setting, ketones can be used to provide extra energy in the absence of needed calories. Following weigh-ins, ketones can be used to support CNS (central nervous system) stressors from overtraining and weight-cutting. Lastly, combat sports present with a rubrics cube of energy system demands, making additional ketones ideal to fuel the fight.
- Team Sports Athletes
Dosage: Pre-Training, Pre-Game, In-Season/Travel
Exogenous ketones should be looked at not only for their health benefits but as a natural, more potent option than traditional stimulant-dominant pre-workout drinks. The reality is that most athletes spend enough time in fight/flight/freeze states of the nervous system that they don’t benefit from high stimulant pre-workout. Let’s not forget that hairline trigger physiology that’s required to support higher order explosive movements-this starts with the mitochondria. Additionally, athletes are much more prone to fatigue via overtraining in-season. The introduction of ketones can serve as a support mechanism during this time.
- CrossFit & Ironsports
Dosage: Pre-Training, Competition
While CrossFit, powerlifting, and other iron sports share many of the same benefits from dosing at typical times (e.g. morning) we’ve covered, many athletes in these sports also are faced with higher-than-ideal training volumes, as well as multi-event competitions. Ketones have been shown to not only support the recovery process but also can provide a way to deliver energy to the athlete in a way that offers less stress on the adrenal system/HPA Axis. Furthermore, some of these iron sports may require multiple lifts or competitions in one day. Sipping on ketones or doing a couple of doses (depending on even frequency) can provide a way to re-energize between rounds without introducing excess stimulant.
- Anxiety, Stress & Mind-Body Restoration
Dosage: As Needed/Consistently
Exogenous ketones have been demonstrated to have a GABAergic effect-inviting calmness and relaxation states as opposed to ones of high arousal. This is part of why they are an ideal source of clean energy. That said, another benefit to be had is that of soothing, anti-stress, and anti-anxiety. While reaching for ketones in these times may be of benefit, we recommend committing to a consistent dosing schedule that works best for you. This may mean every morning and early afternoon or perhaps morning and late afternoon/evening. Many athletes who drink ketones following training for the recovery benefits also report an easier time changing gears from the sympathetic branch of their nervous system (fight/flight/freeze) to parasympathetic (rest & restore). Because the biology of anxiety is something that can be built up, we recommend routine dosing schedules.