Super fuel

The super-fuel de­signed for the US mil­i­tary that al­lows you to eat carbs, burn fat and su­per­charges your brain

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - INTERNATIONAL - By Clau­dia Tan­ner

Sci­en­tists have de­signed a drink that al­lows you to get the fat-melt­ing ben­e­fits of ke­to­sis with­out hav­ing to cut back on car­bo­hy­drates. The sup­ple­ment, de­signed to turn the US Mil­i­tary into 'super-sol­diers' on the bat­tle­field, is also said to boost phys­i­cal and men­tal per­for­mance.

Ox­ford Univer­sity ex­perts cre­ated the sup­ple­ment based on a decade of $60mn-worth of sci­en­tific re­search. Now, a San Fran­cisco-based start-up has launched the first com­mer­cial ver­sion of the drink – dubbed ' keto in a bot­tle' – made of pure ke­tone es­ter.

Fol­low­ers of the ke­to­genic diet – which puts the body into an 'op­ti­mal' fat burn­ing state – in­clude celebri­ties such as Kim Kar­dashian. But ex­perts say the con­tro­ver­sial low-carb diet bring heart and can­cer risks from eat­ing too much fat and pro­tein.

Ac­cord­ing to Ge­off Woo, co­founder and CEO of man­u­fac­turer HVMN (pro­nounced 'hu­man'), the drink can be classed as 'the fourth macronu­tri­ent.' It is said to su­per­charge the body in a way un­like carbs, fat and pro­tein does.

Ac­cord­ing to Busi­ness In­sider, it gives you the abil­ity to per­form bet­ter but doesn't give you the same rush a stim­u­lant such as caf­feine would.

How does it work?

A 2.2-oz shot of Ke­tone con­tains 120 calo­ries – roughly the same as a large banana – yet it has no fat, no pro­tein, and no car­bo­hy­drates. Ke­tones are the tiny, but pow­er­ful sources of en­ergy our bod­ies make nat­u­rally when we start us­ing up our fat stores for en­ergy be­cause there are no carbs around.

If your diet is low in car­bo­hy­drates your body is shifted into 'ke­to­sis', which is when fat stores in the body are bro­ken down into ke­tones, which fuel the mus­cles and the brain. This then re­sults in en­hanced fat burn­ing and rel­a­tively quick weight loss.

Ke­tone es­ters are syn­thet­i­cally-made com­pounds can have the same ef­fect with­out cut­ting back on carbs.

Kieran Clarke, Univer­sity of Ox­ford pro­fes­sor of phys­i­o­log­i­cal bio­chem­istry, sug­gests that drink­ing ke­tones along­side a carb-rich meal like a piece of pizza pro­vides a per­for­mance boost that's 'un­like any­thing we've ever seen be­fore'.

Why was it cre­ated?

Just over a decade ago, the De­fense Ad­vanced Re­search Projects Agency (DARPA) asked the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity to de­vise a food that could boost sol­diers' per­for­mance, re­ports Busi­ness In­sider in an ear­lier ar­ti­cle. Re­searchers at Univer­sity of Ox­ford and Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health came for­ward.

With $10mn in fund­ing from DARPA, their team of bio­chemists in­vented the ke­tone es­ter. They have con­ducted nu­mer­ous tri­als to test the drink, which has proven ef­fec­tive on ath­letes.

In a study pub­lished in 2016 in the jour­nal Cell Me­tab­o­lism, Pro­fes­sor Clarke gave an early ver­sion of HVMN's ke­tone drink to a group of elite cy­clists, some of whom were for­mer Olympians.

They com­pared how they performed on a 30-minute cy­cling ex­er­cise to two other groups who were ei­ther given a carb-rich drink or a fat-rich drink.

The high- per­form­ing cy­clists on the ke­tone drink went an av­er­age of 400m fur­ther than the best per­form­ers who'd had the carb or fat drink. HVMN's drink is be­ing re­viewed by the US medical watch­dog, the Food and Drugs Ad­min­is­tra­tion. The com­pany will ini­tially mar­ket the prod­uct to com­pet­i­tive ath­letes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.