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