September 20, 2021

Triathlon Rocket Fuel: Understanding Ketone Esters

“Ketone esters are on the very short list of athletic supplements that actually work and are backed by science.” – Dr. Krista Austin

What is a Ketone? How can using Ketone Esters benefit your athletic performance? How do they relate to ketosis or the “keto diet”? Are they different from ketone salts? On today’s episode, Professor Kieran Clarke, creator of the Oxford Ketone Ester, is joined by nutritional expert, Dr. Krista Austin, to answer these questions and many more. Through an engaging conversation about sports performance and fueling strategies, Professor Clarke and Dr. Austin explain how to leverage Ketones in your training and racing. Listen in to see how ketones may be the “key” to unlocking your best performance.

TriDot Podcast .104 Triathlon Rocket Fuel: Understanding Ketone Esters Intro: This is the TriDot podcast. TriDot uses your training data and genetic profile, combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize your training, giving you better results in less time with fewer injuries. Our podcast is here to educate, inspire, and entertain. We’ll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and special guests. Join the conversation and let’s improve together. Andrew Harley: Welcome to the show everyone! Now I’ve been wanting to do this episode for a while and I say a while, but a while is a very vague amount of time so I’ll be more specific. Ever since we did podcast episode 38, Nutritional Supplements for Performance with Dr. Krista Austin in June of the year 2020 and she touted the benefits of ketone supplements for athletic performance. Ever since then I’ve wanted to learn more about ketone esters and what a treat to have the expert panel we have here today teaching us all about it. Our first guest joining us is Professor Kieran Clarke. Now Professor Kieran Clarke is the professor of physiological biochemistry at the University of Oxford. She has over 25 years research experience on cardiac function and energy metabolism and has extensively studied the effects of diet on energy metabolism in the heart, skeletal muscle, and brain and thereby on physical performance and cognitive function. Her research led to the creation of the deltaG ketone drink which we will be unpacking the performance benefits of on today’s show. Professor Clarke, welcome to the podcast. Professor Kieran Clarke: Well, thank you very much for having me. I’m delighted to be here. Andrew: Also joining us today is Dr. Krista Austin. Krista is an exercise physiologist and nutritionist who consulted with the U.S. Olympic Committee and the English Institute of Sport. She has a PhD in exercise physiology and sports nutrition, a Masters Degree in exercise physiology and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Dr. Austin, are you ready to talk about ketone esters with us today? Dr. Krista Austin: I sure am for performance and health. Andrew: Well, I’m Andrew the Average Triathlete, Voice of the People, and Captain of the Middle of the Pack. As always we'll roll through our warm up question, settle in for our main set topic, and then wind things down with our cool down. Lots of good stuff, let's get to it! Warm up theme: Time to warm up! Let’s get moving. Andrew: A typical TriDot podcast episode has a fun triathlon themed warm up question, but this is not a typical TriDot podcast episode and so I will not be asking a typical triathlon warm up question. With two well studied and well respected scientists on the show today, I’ve got a science themed warm up question for us today. Professor Clarke, Dr. Austin, when you think back to the earliest days of your science education whether it was in grade school or high school or university, what is the very first science experiment that you remember conducting? Professor Clarke, what was it for you? Professor Clarke: Well, the one I really loved was the ice block experiment. This is when you take blocks of ice and put them out in a field and cover them with material, either white material or black material and then you watch and see how fast they melt. In that experiment you’re converting light into heat and because black absorbs all light it heats up much faster than the white material. So the black ice block melted much, much faster than the white ice block. So that was my experiment. I thought it was fantastic. Andrew: So Professor Clarke, what age were you when you were conducting that experiment? Do you remember what grade you were when you were kind of working on that? Professor Clarke: Oh, I can’t remember. Probably about 13 or 14 I would say. Andrew: Okay, very cool. Dr. Austin, do you remember what that very first science experiment was for you? Dr. Austin: Well, my grandfather bought like one of these science kits that you buy for kids with like the test tubes and the little things they teach you to mix so you can do like cool little experiments. So that’s what I actually first remember in terms of diving into science. So, now whether or not I can remember the exact experiments you were supposed to run, I don’t, but it was kind of a cool little kit. I had it in the basement, could make a mess which is where every parent wants their kids to go and make the mess, and it really was probably my first step into any form of science. Now did I know at that point I was going to have this big science background? No, absolutely not, but at the end of the day it was probably the spring board whether I realize it or not. So that’s where I got my start probably until I really got into college and started doing scientific experiments. I don’t remember everything we actually did in classes. There was a lot of test tubes and chemicals and things like that that we worked with, but to be honest you kind of have the kid memory and you have the adult memory where it got very, very real in terms of what you were responsible for. Andrew: Well, being the non-scientist in the bunch today, I somehow very clearly remember my first science experiment. I believe I was in third or fourth grade here in my elementary school in Florida and it was the first year that we had a science fair and we were taught all about the Scientific Method and forming a hypothesis and testing out that hypothesis and reaching a conclusion. We were told by our teachers to come up with our own experiment. We would have to present it to the rest of the class and I thought– little third grade Andrew Harley thought it would be a lot of fun to get on the roof of our house in Florida and test gravity by throwing different sized pens and pencils off of the roof of our house. My parents, for some reason, thought that was an okay thing to let a third grader do and so that’s what I did. Thankfully no injuries were sustained while doing this, but I went up there and that’s what I did. Because of gravity they all hit the ground at about the same rate. I do wish that my parents had pointed me in the right direction and said, “Hey, you know. Really cool idea, but maybe let's throw some different objects off the roof. Like maybe a bowling ball and a couch cushion as opposed to just pencils.” I don’t know why I decided to go with pencils and pens, but that’s what I did and it was a great time to a third grade boy to get on the roof of his house and throw things off of it. So anyway. Hey, we want to hear from our audience on this question. Again, not a triathlon question, but still a fun one to answer none the less. I’m excited to see for our audience what your very first science experiment was. So make sure you are a member of the I AM TriDot Facebook group. We have thousands of triathletes just talking swim, bike, and run every single day of the week. So go today. Find the post on the Facebook page that asks you this question: What was the very first science experiment you remember taking part in? Main set theme: On to the main set. Going in 3…2…1… DELTAG KETONES: The whole team here a TriDot has been learning from Oxford University Professor Kieran Clarke, founder and CEO of TdeltaS Global about the performance and health benefits of drinking the revolutionary Oxford Ketone Ester called deltaG. Professor Clarke led the effort to develop deltaG which is now available in three strengths; 10 grams for health, 25 grams for performance, and 32 grams of raw ester for that extra mile. deltaG is a powerful fuel that augments physical performance, sharpens mental acuity, and supports your metabolic health. I recently tried the deltaG 25 gram ketone performance drink for a 20 minute bike power test. With deltaG in my system I averaged 4 watts higher than I was expecting with a lower heart rate than I typically have during an FTP session. I'm excited to continue using deltaG in my own race prep. So instead of worrying about running out of fuel at the most crucial time of your next event, try deltaG for yourself and gain the confidence that your deltaG drink can give you that wind at your back feeling all the way to the finish line. At deltagketones.com they even offer free 15 minute one-on-one consultations where you can learn more, ask questions, and receive a free bottle of deltaG with your order. So again, that’s deltagketones.com and use the code TRIDOT20 to get 20% off your super fueled deltaG ketone drinks. Andrew: There are numerous products marketed to we, the people of triathlon that promise some form of a performance boost just by purchasing and using this revolutionary, one of a kind product. Many products can’t exactly back up that claim, so the products that can definitely deserve our attention. Ketone esters are an exciting fuel source that are scientifically proven to enhance both physical and cognitive performance in athletes of all abilities. So it’s an honor to be joined today by the creator of the deltaG Oxford Ketone Ester, Dr. Kieran Clarke and our nutrition guide, Dr. Krista Austin to learn how to leverage ketones in our training and racing. Professor Clarke, we’ve already heard about your very first science experiment in our warm up question today, but let’s talk a little bit more specifically about your background in academia. What steps along the way led to your appointment as Professor of Physiological Biochemistry at the University of Oxford? Professor Clarke: Well, I studied biochemistry in my undergraduate degree and in that I just loved metabolism so I thought, “well, I’ll become a dietician.” But, in fact, I was a terrible dietician. I was a total disaster. So I then became a hospital biochemist and after a couple of years I thought, “I just don’t want to do this for the rest of my life.” So I went back to university and did a PhD in energy metabolism. And at that time we were using MR spectroscopy. So this is the 1980’s would you believe, and MRI hadn’t been invented then. So this was before MRI and we were using spectroscopy to measure energy levels in the heart. Because MR spectroscopy was really expensive there were only a couple of places in the world where I could do a post-doc and they were either Oxford or Harvard. So I went to Harvard to carry on more experiments. Then I went to Canada where I worked for the National Research Council. And finally in 1991 I went to Oxford and I’ve been here ever since. Andrew: So you started working with ketones in the year 1993. What sparked the interest in ketones and what did your early research in this field look like? Professor Clarke: Well I was using MR spectroscopy to measure energy levels in the heart and this person from the NIH called Richard Veech visited the lab and he wanted some experiments done and we were one of the few places that could do these experiments with ketones. And I thought, oh, you know, I really didn’t want to do it, but I thought, “Well, I’ll just get rid of him and I’ll just do the experiment and he’ll be gone.” And so we did the experiment and there was no looking back because it was just amazing. When you profuse the heart with the ketones, the energy levels went sky high and so I realized that there was really something in these ketones. Andrew: So, Professor Clarke, I mean just how cool to think to your own scientific career from starting with the experiment you told us about in our warm up question to now where you’re literally studying the effects of ketones on a human heart. I mean, just such cool science. As you’re describing, I mean, Dr. Austin is our video chat right now just nodding her head and you can tell she’s just totally taking in everything you’re saying and super interested in the science here behind all this. So it sounds like from your early research on ketones, you weren’t expecting ketones to make a big difference at all. Is that correct? Professor Clarke: I wasn’t expecting any difference. I thought that there would be no difference at all and then I could just get rid of this old man. Andrew: Well, all of us that are about to benefit from using deltaG and using ketone esters in our training and racing are very, very glad that you latched onto this science and that you fully fleshed out the research that you have. So in the year 2003 the American Military reached out to you and they were interested in creating a fuel source for soldiers using ketones. Tell us about that process and how it led to the deltaG drink that we know today. Professor Clarke: Well, this was the start of the Iraq War and what was happening was that the US Army was sending their soldiers out onto the battlefield for about five days and by day three they’d thrown away all the things out of the MRE’s that they didn’t like to eat. So they didn’t have any food so they were more or less starving. So then they lost their ability; you know physical ability and they also lost cognitive function and the worst part of that was that they started shooting anything that moved and usually it was each other and the Army was not pleased with this. So they wanted a way to keep their soldiers going, sort of a really high energy source for their soldiers to keep them going in a battlefield. And that’s what we were asked to do. Andrew: So we hear that story about the American Military needing ketones as a fuel source and we talk about ketones as being a form of instant energy and we know as athletes we can consume it and it gives us energy in our training and racing. But I have this question and I think a lot of our listeners will also have this question. What exactly is a ketone? Just scientifically, what makes it different and useful as a fuel source for athletes? Professor Clarke: Well, the ketone is actually made from fat which is a really big molecule and takes ages to break down. However, when you haven’t eaten or when you’re on a keto diet, the fat goes to the liver and the liver breaks it down into ketones; into very small molecules, even smaller than glucose. So only four carbon molecules and it’s because it’s so tiny that it can be used really, really quickly by the body and it can be used in just about every organ of the body. So normally it’s just produced for the brain. So when the fat levels in the body are high, then the ketones are used for cognitive function in the brain because the brain can’t use fat. Andrew: So you have the grant from the American Military and you’re working on turning ketones into a fuel source for soldiers and as you’re doing that you developed a drink; you developed a consumable version of a ketone and you started to realize its potential for athletes. So what testing did you do with athletes to kind of fully vet deltaG as a proven instant energy source for athletes? Professor Clarke: Well by the time we had sort of developed this and gone first into humans, we tried it in humans at a special center, because we didn’t know whether it would kill people. So we had no idea and all the way through this we kept thinking, “This is going to fail.This has to fail. It has to fail. This can’t be real.” And all the way through it was working. So we eventually, UK Sport which was the body that looks after the Olympics for the UK, approached us. This was about 2010 and they wanted to talk to us about the ketone and we said, “Well we haven’t tried it.” And I showed them this protocol that we had written that was really complicated and would have taken years. And they said, “Well that’s silly. Don’t do that one. We’ll send you the best rowers in the country and just put them on a rowing machine and see how they go in 30 minutes.” So that’s what we did. The rowers are fantastic. They’re really competitive. Andrew: Yeah. Professor Clarke: So they compete against each other and against themselves as well and so they go plan out and we ran a blind study where they didn’t know which was the worst tasting drink; either the placebo or the ketone. And most of them did a lot better so that there was a 15 meter difference in their 30 minute rowing. So there was no doubt that it was really working in humans. Andrew: Now just so everybody’s clear on this. Before you started testing this in humans, before you started testing ketone esters with the military, with soldiers, and with athletes in the lab you started using it with rats. Professor Clarke: Oh yes. Of course. Andrew: I watched a talk you gave and it was just absolutely fascinating to hear you talk about the lab rat testing of the ketone esters because there was an antidote in there where you talked about how much rats hate to run and in the testing you did with rats involved rats having to run. I got a huge chuckle out of it because there’s a lot of triathletes out there who don’t exactly like to run and yet they’ve chosen to be triathletes. So I think everybody will enjoy hearing a little bit about what that testing was like. How did the testing work with the lab rats using the ketone ester? Professor Clarke: So well, we had rats on three different diets; on a carbohydrate diet, on a fat diet, and on a ketone diet. This was blinded so that the students who were running it didn’t know which diet they were on. So they were put on the diets and then they had to run on a treadmill to exhaustion and they had to run three times a day. So this was because that is what the Army wanted. They had to run to exhaustion. So we did this, but you could tell which ones were on the ketones because they kept going. They were going much longer than the other rats on the other diet. So they went further. They didn’t go faster, but they went a lot further on the ketone diet. So it immediately became unblinded so we knew which rat was which. But the rats had to run to exhaustion. At the very beginning you know which rats are going to run, because the rats that don’t run would rather have a very small electric shock come off that controls the sensory controls in them. Some rats just hate running and that’s just what it is. Andrew: So I feel much more caught up to speed on what a ketone is, what your research at the University of Oxford was like, and how the deltaG Ketone Ester came to be. So let’s start moving on to the application for athletes. This is the stuff that I think is really going to be of the highest use to our audience today. Who is this for? Is this for any triathlete? Is the deltaG Ketone Ester for athletes on keto? Is it for athletes that aren’t on keto and thus need the ketones? Is it for long distance athletes? Is it for short course athletes? Who is a candidate to benefit in their training and racing by using the deltaG Ketone Ester? Professor Clarke: Well, the ketone is especially good for endurance exercise. So any exercise that goes for longer than 18 minutes or 20 minutes will benefit. The beauty of it, it can go with any diet. It doesn’t matter whether people are on a keto diet or on a high carb diet. It still works. So you know, it doesn’t have to be added onto anything and it really is for an endurance performance, but then we’ve never actually studied it after say 100 meter sprint. You know, you wouldn’t have it before then because it needs oxygen to burn it. So it’s like any paper or anything that you burn, you need oxygen. So things don’t burn without oxygen. So you need oxygen which is why it’s good for endurance and a sprint is too anaerobic so the ketones won’t help and may hurt. We don’t know. But you would certainly use it afterwards if there’s any glycogen depletion because it helps build glycogen as well. Andrew: Yeah, so even a super sprint or a sprint triathlon, the effort an athlete is putting in on the race course for those events is longer than the 18 minutes you’re talking about. We’re not out there doing 100 meter sprints or anything short bursts like that. So the answer is any triathlete it sounds like can benefit from leveraging ketone esters into their race day fueling strategy. So, Dr. Austin you mentioned back on podcast episode 36 that ketone esters were one of the few scientifically vetted supplements that proved to boost athletic performance. When did you become aware of ketone esters and when did you start using them with your own athletes? Dr. Austin: If I remember correctly it was about the same time I found out the military had made them for a special operations unit that I was aware of and I had some athletes who were offered a trial around the same point in time and I hadn’t really studied them. In these athletes we were trying to fuel them for Ironman and I’m always big on how much energy can you take on during the bike, right? And how much can you pre load. You guys have heard me talk. So ketone esters came around. One of my athletes said, “What do you think about these?” And I said, “Well, it’s not a banned substance. It’s a supplement.” and I said you know, it’s worth a try. We tried it in training, tough training sessions, and he came off and he just said, “I felt amazing!” So I said, “Okay, great. Let’s try it at a 70.3.” Recovered phenomenally well by using it. So we said, “Okay we think we have something here.” Then went into Kona that year and used them; used them very successfully. I mean the recovery off of Kona especially in an elite Ironman athlete, I mean he just recovered incredibly well, did incredibly well in the race. So I felt like we had truly found something that was working for him. Then for me it started to kind of seep out into the more recreational athletes once they were really, I guess available here in the US and easily accessible. I started doing things like, “Hey, you need more energy…” And you’re dealing with business executives sometimes or people who just live like really busy lifestyles and so they said, “Give me a sustainable fuel source.” So I’ve actually partnered it over the years, the ketone esters, with some UCAN because they’ll want a nice low glycemic diet and they said you know, “I’m trying to work on certain goals.” They want to stay very cognitively sound and so we will actually use the ketone esters with the UCAN throughout the day to help give them stable blood glucose and then the extra fuel that the ketone esters and the effects cognitively that the ketone esters can provide. So I’ve used them in a bunch of different ways I feel like. With military personnel they have used them just to feel great. It gives them a boost of energy. So it’s one of those things where they take it out for a ruck and they go, “What happened?” looking at their heart rate. They were able to sustain this very high heart rate for a ruck that was in sand. It wasn’t supposed to really feel good. I didn’t anticipate anything like what we saw, and the operator came off the ruck and he said, “Krista, those were a great recommendation.” He goes, “They’re magical.” Then I said, “Okay, so we’ve got magical ketone esters. Fantastic!” So it’s one of those things where they’ve always just kind of like seeped into different situations. I mean, I’ve really found that in athletes or military personnel or just even the more business executive type individuals, you know you find a responder to them and it just does wonders for them. I don’t think it’s just the energy source. I think it’s also just the impact on the brain and I’m sure we’ll learn more about that. I think there’s a good bit on the physiological side that the ketone esters are doing, but there’s also the ability to help on the psychological side as well. So definitely something else to consider. Andrew: Yeah, so Professor Clarke, let’s actually talk about that for a second. Because I think I have a question a little bit further down my question sheet here to ask you about just what are the specific mental cognitive benefits of using a ketone ester? I know that’s something that is known about deltaG and ketone esters is that it can not only raise our physical performance, but our cognitive performance as well. Can you share a little bit about the research behind that? Professor Clarke: Well, we’ll start with rats. Because they were exercising to exhaustion we then tested them on a maze to see how well they did afterwards and they always did better when they had the ketone ester diet. So first of all it works in rats and secondly people do claim– I mean we’ve never actually studied it because I think you would really see it when you are exercising to exhaustion more than just running around the block or something like that. So I think when people are really pushing themselves that’s when they really notice it.So if you’re sedentary and just sitting down and not doing anything, I’m not sure that you’re really going to notice any effects on cognitive function. You may on the anxiety, but not necessarily on the way you’re thinking. Dr. Austin: I think just to kind of jump in there, if you’re talking to like a business executive it may be the state of the brain. Like the actual cognitive tests, like I think if you tested them I don’t know if they’re going to perform better, but in terms of their stability I think that’s what they’re getting out of it. Or they’ll say, “It gave me a good boost of energy.” And it’s not a bad type of a boost like they would get maybe if you gave them a whole bunch of high glycemic carbs; you’d get a boost then too. But they said it really sustains them. That’s what I’m learning I guess over time. Professor Clarke: Yes. Yes, but it’s very hard to test. People do report that they just feel better when they’re having the ketones regularly. So we’ll find out eventually, but I think that they do… They certainly work in rats, but it’s very hard to find out objectively in humans. Dr. Austin: Would you use something like an FMRI to study that in humans? Professor Clarke: That’s a good idea. I wouldn’t mind. So yes. They’ve certainly used MR to look at anti-aging effects. So that’s being done in normal people and nothing to do with exercise or anything like that. Just looking at stability in the brain. So as you age the stability of the neurons changes and they find that with ketones it actually alters that stability and makes people look younger. Andrew: Now, I was going to say that maybe we should take some humans and drop them into a maze just like you did with the rats and see how quickly the humans on the ketone ester can solve the maze versus humans that are not on the ketone ester, but I think Dr. Austin’s scientific suggestion is probably more sound than mine although mine sounds a little bit more fun. So Dr. Austin, you’ve referenced that you’ve worked with ketone esters in a couple different ways into the nutrition regimen of many of your athletes. What have you found to be just the most effective way of using ketone esters to boost athletic performance? Dr. Austin: Most of the individuals I’ve worked with over the years on the sports side are Ironman athletes, right? They’re the long course athletes. I’ve had some sprinters for sure and I’ll just tell you I haven’t used them yet with the sprinters. Andrew: Okay. Dr. Austin: But in terms of long course athletes what we’ve been doing is to take a dose of the ketone esters before they race, take one while they’re on the bike, and then again take it after they race. It just really seems to do wonders for them. I looked at it as an additional fuel source for the bike and the swim because I’m kind of big on not taking a whole lot on while they’re running and I was like, “Well if we can give them the ketone esters we can maybe spare some of the carbs we’re utilizing. Give them a different fuel source.” So that’s really where I’ve gone with it on the endurance side. I’ve had some military guys who have taken it before these strong rucks and it seems to work well for them if they’re a responder in those type situations. So that’s where I’ve gone with it. I think oftentimes the athletes I’ve worked with they do what we call test sets and the test sets are really designed to understand where they’re at in training before they go out and do a race. Or if I’m just looking at some of their sessions I’m like well that’s probably really going to hurt pretty bad, so why don’t we try putting the ketone esters at least in before you do it and if it’s applicable during then putting it in there as well. So that’s been my approach thus far. Andrew: I know, Dr. Austin, that you have your athletes use a ketone ester and not a ketone salt. So if athletes are out there and they’re looking into different ketone products they can buy, there’s esters– there’s the deltaG Ester and then there’s salts. Why is a ketone ester the superior option? Dr. Austin: So my understanding is that it raises the blood ketones faster and it’s more like a sharp rise. The difference being in a ketone salt is that there’s a more prolonged rise in the ketones, but it’s not as sharp. I really have gone based on how well do they respond. You have to remember I was introduced first and foremost to a ketone ester and then someone asked me about the salts and I said, “Well, here’s the answer. Test them both out.” I said, “See what works. See what doesn’t work.” And they just got that much more of a benefit from the ester itself. So that’s why I’ve gone with the esters over time is the feedback from actual human beings. Andrew: So I got my hands on a three pack of deltaG Performance because I wanted to try it and just see what impact it made on my training as I prepare for my first Ironman, Ironman Waco. Our athletes listening to the podcast, you guys have all heard about how long I’ve been training for an Ironman. Many of you for years now have been training for an Ironman and they keep getting pushed back and pushed back, but they’re going to happen. Super excited to tow the line for my first Ironman. One of the benefits, one of the silver linings to these races getting postponed is that it’s given me kind of some more time to play with my nutrition strategy. It’s given me more time to play with different products I can use on race day on the course. So I just wanted to see what a ketone ester supplement could do for me just as fuel in a race scenario. So I got my hands on a three pack. I used it for the very first time before a bike FTP test. I used two more bottles for a stamina ride and I’ve enjoyed getting to use the drink in a couple different ways. And Professor Clarke, I just wanted to say kudos to the team at deltaG for just having excellent resources at deltaketones.com. There I was able to read articles on the best way to use the drink in different training sessions. When to drink it. What to expect from it. So Professor Clarke, just for our triathlete audience listening today who might want to do the same thing. They might want to try the deltaG Ketone Ester drink in their training to see if it’s a good fit for them to use on race day. What are the usage recommendations that you have for our athletes to use this in their training and then again on race day? Professor Clarke: I think that Krista may be better at answering this one than I am. I mean, I think it also depends on people’s budget. So these ketone esters are very expensive. So if people can’t afford a lot of this then probably on light training days they should probably just have it for recovery. On heavy training days they should have a drink beforehand and a drink afterwards for recovery. And on race day– Well first of all, if the race is important I don’t think they should try ketones for the first time there. Andrew: Absolutely. Professor Clarke: Because they need to know how they feel on them. So let’s say that they have tried them and they want to use them. Then they have a drink say 20 minutes to half an hour before the start of the race and then another drink half way through and then one at the end for recovery. So that’s how I would recommend it. But I’d actually like to add a bit about the ketone salts. Now the salts don’t raise the ketones levels to nearly the extent that the ketone ester does. So they just get higher ketones level with the ester and that’s because half of the salt is a resumate and it’s not metabolized. So you’re drinking an awful lot of salt for very little ketone that you can use. So that’s one difference and to match the ketone levels you would have to drink sort of 25 grams of salt– Andrew: Wow! Professor Clarke: –which is an awful lot of salt. Andrew: So it’s not just that it works faster. It’s actually more effective than a ketone salt. Professor Clarke: Yes. It’s just you can get higher levels that are more effective. So at levels less than 1 millimolar beta hydroxybutyrate it doesn’t work at all. Andrew: One bottle or one serving of deltaG is 140 calories. Dr. Austin, if I’m adding deltaG to my race nutrition regimen, do those 140 calories replace my need for some of the other calorie sources I would have consumed otherwise, or do you simply take it alongside of your typical fueling strategy? Dr. Austin: So I’ve always had athletes take it alongside their other fueling products as I feel like it serves a different purpose. I think, you know, everyone’s different, right? So if they’re looking to economize and they feel like they can use the ketone esters and reduce the amount of other products they take in, by all means. I think they could use that approach. So I think it’s something that you need to work with to see always what’s best for you. It depends on your approach and I would just say if you’re going to work with the ketone esters make sure you practice, practice makes perfect, and make sure you know your other products really, really well. So some people may be able to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they take in if that’s something they want to do by using the ketone esters. Really I think it depends on how hard you have to work, how many calories you’re going to burn through, and how much just caloric need in and of itself is going to impact you with regard to performance. At the end of the day I would just say evaluate it, see what’s best for you, and then go from there. Take a look at your goals and make sure everything fits around that. Andrew: So Professor Clarke, when an athlete tries deltaG like I have, and our whole team here at TriDot, just for the record we’ve all been learning from Professor Clarke about just the benefit of ketone esters and we’ve all kind of in training been working it into our routine. We actually had Coach John Mayfield try a bottle of deltaG in one of his long bike rides. So he, at the time we are recording this podcast, he’s racing Ironman Maryland this weekend and once this episode releases he will just have finished Ironman Maryland hopefully if everything goes well according to plan. I have nothing but full confidence and faith in him that he will reach that finish line and that deltaG can help him out. So I’m excited to hear about his experience using it on race day. Several of the rest of our staff are using it in their training right now for their upcoming events. So when somebody gets their hands on deltaG, they order a three pack, they order the deltaG Performance or the deltaG Tactical, and they try it in their training like we have, how should they feel when they drink their first bottle of deltaG and what results should they expect in that first training session? Professor Clarke: Well, again it comes back to it depends. It depends on how hard the session is. I mean one thing you do have to remember is that you need other energy sources as well. So you need a glucose drink or some form of carbs when you have it because you need it to metabolize it. That’s the first thing you have to remember. Andrew: Okay. Professor Clarke: I shouldn’t plug another product, but UCAN is really good I must say. Andrew: I agree with you. Professor Clarke: Because it goes up and the levels of glucose don’t go too high and they’re perfectly stable. I think it’s really a breakthrough. But anyway, I shouldn’t be plugging that one, but you need the carbs with the deltaG, with the ketone ester to metabolize it. You also need to know what levels you’re going. So if you go too high then it won’t work. So if you have too much, if you go much above 3 millimolar it’s not going to work because it stops you being able to use glucose. Andrew: Okay. Professor Clarke: So there’s always an interaction between your nutrients. So they’re always fighting to be the one that’s being used. So it’s sort of like yin and yang with the glucose and the ketone. So the ketone is there, it’s sort of like the top up fuel more than the basic fuel. So you still need glucose and you can have too much ketone and you can have too little ketone. So you sort of really have to play around with it and really try and understand what is happening and how you feel. And it basically comes back to how you feel. Andrew: Yeah, that’s super interesting. I know when someone goes to the website you have three different products. There’s three different concentrations of the ketone ester in these drinks. There’s the deltaG Health, the deltaG Performance, and the deltaG Tactical. In the deltaG Performance I believe has 25 grams of the ketone ester in that one bottle. Professor Clarke: Yes. Andrew: And that’s the one marketed for athletes. Is that 25 grams, is that kind of the perfect amount for an athlete to take in their training and racing? Professor Clarke: Yes. So the deltaG was made for performance and you wouldn’t use the 10 gram one for performance because it’s just not enough. It’s fine if you’re using it to lose weight for intermittent fasting to stop feeling hungry, but it’s definitely– the deltaH isn’t for performance at all. The Tactical is for larger people and people who don’t mind drinking jet fuel. Andrew: Okay. Professor Clarke: It’s a pure ester and so it hasn’t been diluted or hasn’t got any sweetener. It hasn’t got anything else in it. Andrew: Wow. Professor Clarke: Some people prefer it and some people actually drink a teaspoon full which is about 5 grams in their coffee in the morning and it just makes them feel good and it doesn’t cost that much. So that’s how some people use Tactical. Other people, larger people really do need the Tactical and eventually they can learn how to drink it. Personally I cannot. It’s just too much for me. Andrew: Yeah, let’s talk about the taste of deltaG because it’s kind of fun to talk about. It’s kind of fun to kick around.I know I was the first one on TriDot staff to drink deltaG so I was very excited to hear the rest of the team’s experience with their first drink of deltaG. The first time I had deltaG Performance it was about 20 or 30 minutes before a bike FTP test. I was doing a 20 minute FTP test and I was excited. It was a great workout to do, to see from one month to the next I didn’t expect a big jump in power. I didn’t expect a huge change in the amount of power I was able to produce in 20 minutes, so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to see with a ketone ester in my system how much it helped tangibly my performance from just one month to the next. So about 20 or 30 minutes before that FTP test I was in the kitchen with my bottle of deltaG, about to take my first bottle of it and my wife was working in our study just a few rooms away. And my wife heard the moment that I took my first sip of deltaG. It went down fine. I got it down just fine, but I did make a noise and she heard it and she knew exactly what had gone down. But anyway. So what it reminded me of was, have you heard– In the UK I don’t know if you have it, but have you heard of the drink Pom? Professor Clarke: Oh yes. Yes of course. Andrew: So Pom is a pomegranate juice drink and I know that the deltaG Performance it kind of has a berry flavor to it. So it reminded me of a very concentrated version of drinking Pom. And it went down just fine and I actually took my first bottle of deltaG Performance before that FTP test. I drank my second and third bottles in a stamina session and I actually liked having it in the middle of a stamina session because you’re on the bike for hours and you’re doing nothing but just taking sweet gels and sweet electrolyte beverages and it’s all fruity flavors. In the middle of that workout when I took that bottle of deltaG Performance, that punch to the mouth that you get it really just kind of woke up my senses and it just kind of woke up my brain there for a second and I actually liked that. It was a very kind of waking up kind of feeling. So when you were first developing the drink and you were trying to make it as flavorful and as pleasurable for somebody to drink as possible, you try to make it palatable to an athlete, you yourself were drinking it, you were drinking different flavor combinations with it. What was that process like and how did you land on the drink version we know today that is deltaG Performance? Professor Clarke: Well we weren’t trying to drink it straight. We were making a citrus flavored drink at the time. I found it very hard. Andrew: Yeah. Professor Clarke: I really didn’t enjoy drinking it at all, but my husband loved it because he was one of these Strava Cyclists, you know. And he thought it was fantastic because he broke all his records and he actually looked better on the bike than people who were much younger than him. So he thought it was wonderful. Andrew: Yeah. Professor Clarke: So it’s horses for courses I think. Umm, so yes. We tried to mask the taste, but it’s actually the ester itself that tastes terrible and there’s just nothing you can do about it. It just tastes terrible. That’s what it tastes like. And if you’ve got to dye ester, it tastes twice as bad. Andrew: So if I know anything about triathletes as a people group, we will do anything it takes for an edge on race day. So if a drink that just doesn’t taste great is the ticket, I think a lot of athletes out there will still be interested in using deltaG. And you know what, just as a people group, we almost revel in the challenge of something. So I found that it went down just fine and honestly each bottle that I did drink in my training, it got easier and easier as I was more used to kind of the punch to the mouth that it gives you. And like I said, I really felt like it just kind of woke my senses up a little bit when I drank it mid workout. I did, Professor Clarke, exactly what you told us to do with the Tactical. I got a bottle of the deltaG Tactical which is unflavored, it’s just the raw ester, and you talked about how ketone esters and caffeine have a great relationship where the ketone ester kind of magnifies the effects of caffeine in your system. So you know, we talked about morning coffee. I love morning coffee and you told us on a call, you were like, “Take just a teaspoon of the deltaG Tactical and pour it into your cup of morning coffee and just see what it does.” And I tried that on a Friday morning at work and oh my goodness. Our longtime athletes that listen to the podcast will know I am historically not a morning person and I was just killing it that morning. I was focused. I was awake. I was perky. I was probably talking a little too much for my wife that particular morning. But I enjoyed it. I enjoyed that little pick me up in my cup of coffee. So caffeine is a legal thing that we can take on race day and a lot of athletes might be looking for that edge. They might have a caffeine product that they already take at certain points during their races, so just talk to us about that relationship between ketone esters and caffeine. Professor Clarke: Right. Well, caffeine is a stimulant so that takes energy out. The mitochondria make ATP which is energy and the stimulant makes the mitochondria make more and so what the ketone does is it feeds in the other side so it provides energy to the mitochondria for the caffeine to use. So it’s sort of like instant energy in and matching energy out and that’s why it’s good because it’s just so quickly metabolized and it provides instant energy for that caffeine to use. Andrew: Yeah, very cool. Professor Clarke: So they’re both very complimentary. Andrew: Yep. I am a big fan of anything that will heighten the effects and the impact that my morning cup of coffee has on my system. So yes. I will definitely be continuing to use the deltaG Tactical just as a morning pick me up from time to time. Now Professor Clarke, every triathlete is different in terms of how we consume our nutrition on the race course. Some folks they like to take their calories and their electrolytes and their water and just mix it all together in the same bottle. Some folks like to keep things separate and kind of graze throughout the day. So every athlete’s strategy is a little bit different. I myself, I’m an athlete that uses UCAN. You spoke very complimentary about UCAN a little earlier on the podcast. Dr. Austin is a fan of UCAN as well. Many of our coaches and athletes use UCAN. Many of our coaches and athletes use other products as well. So I want to just hear you speak to deltaG’s ability to mix with other products and kind of how it should fall in line with the other things we’re using on the race course. Something I actually did, we talked about how I took the deltaG Tactical per your recommendation and I poured one spoonful in my morning coffee. Well, the rest of that bottle was still pretty full of the remainder of the deltaG Tactical. So I waited for a long workout and I decided to do a little experiment of my own and I poured the rest of that deltaG Tactical in the serving of UCAN that I drink before a long workout. So before a long workout I have an 8 ounce bottle of water. I put one unflavored serving of UCAN SuperStarch powder in that 8 ounce bottle and then I mixed in one serving of my Precision Hydration electrolytes. So I was curious. Since my UCAN is unflavored and the deltaG Tactical is just the raw ester, no flavor involved there as well, just the raw ester, and my Precision Hydration has a nice some sort of tropical fruity flavor I would guess, but it has a nice sweet, pleasant flavor. I was curious to see between the raw ester flavor and the Precision Hydration flavor which one would win out. And I’ve got to tell you, deltaG flavor won out. Professor Clarke: Oh no! Andrew: It was plain as day. It was there. The Precision Hydration flavoring did not mask the raw ester’s presence at all, but I actually really enjoy drinking the Tactical in that way and I felt great during that bike session having had the Tactical in my system beforehand. I really felt like an effective way for me to mix in a ketone ester into my training and racing and maybe just using the Tactical. So just regardless of what an athlete’s nutrition strategy might be, since we are all a little bit different, can deltaG be mixed with other products in that way or is it best to keep it separate and just drink it straight out of its own bottle? Professor Clarke: Oh no. It should be mixed. The best thing is to mix it. It just depends on again, what you’re doing. You know what you did was perfectly correct. That is what you should have done and that’s what we actually do in experiments now in Oxford. We mix it with glucose sources and other things like that. Andrew: So for athletes out there who are interested in trying the deltaG Ketone Ester, so the recommendation really their options are, first of all buy a pack. Use it in your training. Make sure it agrees with your body. Make sure you like the impact it has on your body and your training. Then once you’ve decided to use it on race day you can either mix it in with your UCAN or whatever product you’re using as your carbohydrate source. You can mix it in with that and just consume it all at once or you can keep it in it’s own little bottle and you can have it before the race. You can leave those bottles in transition to take in transition. You can leave those bottles in your back pocket to drink on the bike. You can leave those bottles in your special needs bags on the bike course and the run course to visit. Wherever you plan on drinking it you can kind of strategically place the bottle along your race route to kind of get a serving of the ketone ester every two to three hours. Is that all correct Professor Clarke? Professor Clarke: Correct. That’s perfectly correct. Andrew: Something that’s come up a few times on the podcast today in our conversation is the recovery benefits of using a ketone ester as well. I know that’s a benefit of deltaG that you market. I know that it’s something that Dr. Austin you’ve referenced a couple times on the podcast today just how you and your own athletes just were amazed at how quickly they were recovering from their harder sessions when they were using a ketone ester. So just tangibly, Professor Clark, what is happening in our bodies on the ketone ester that’s helping us recover faster having used the ketone ester? Professor Clarke: So by providing an alternate fuel source it directs glucose into glycogen so you get an increase in glycogen stores much faster with the ketone ester.It also stops breakdown of muscle. So it prevents breakdown of muscle and it’s also an anti-inflammatory. So it stops inflammation as well. Andrew: Okay. Professor Clarke: So, all of those reasons. It’s not just a fuel. It’s also a signaling molecule that is sent there so it helps you recover faster. Andrew: Well at the time that we’re recording this podcast, I just had a four hour stamina bike ride just four days ago. I had a 20 minute run after that ride and I am still, four days later, I’m still sore and fatigued in my muscles from that session. So I’ve had deltaG Performance and Tactical during my workouts. I have not tried drinking it on the back end after a session to kind of help spark that recovery. So I need to place my second order myself of deltaG and that’s something that I’m going to factor in is, okay, I know I like the performance benefit it gives me during my sessions, but I’m very interested to take it during my next 5, 5-½ hour Ironman Waco training session and see how it kind of sparks my recovery. Professor Clarke: Try it. Try a half a bottle of Tactical and just see. Mix it with something else though. Mix it with some other source of glucose. You don’t have to drink a full 25 grams. So just drink half a bottle of Tactical. It’ll work. Andrew: I’ll just have to add the Tactical to my post workout recovery smoothy and just see how it goes. Professor Clarke: You’ll get the taste, but yeah. Andrew: Professor Clark, Dr. Austin, just to wrap us up today in the main set, what is your final word on this topic? Why are ketone esters and triathletes just such a good match? Dr. Austin: Well, bottom line, it has the potential to improve the recovery process. That is the biggest thing that I have seen and everyone needs that, right? Probably not just triathletes. There’s probably a lot of people that would say, “Hey, I’ll take anything that will help me recover.” But with what triathletes put their bodies through, especially the long course athletes, I think anything that’s going to enhance the recovery process is great for them to focus on. So think recovery when you think ketones. Professor Clarke: The ketone ester is perfect for triathletes simply because of the extent to which they exercise. So it’s really an endurance exercise and it goes a long– for hours sometimes and I think that that’s exactly what the ketone ester needs. So for short bursts of exercise it really doesn’t show up, but for long bursts of exercise it really can be seen to be effective. Cool down theme: Great set everyone! Let’s cool down. Andrew: Last week on the podcast we had what might be one of my favorite warm up questions we’ve ever done. The warm up question we asked was if you were in a triathlon themed band, what would the band name be and bonus points for the name of your first hit single. Now I went with the band name The Endorphins and our first hit single would be called the “Ironman Shuffle.” The responses from the TriDot family were just fantastic. I was laughing my head off. You know how like, when you text somebody LOL and usually when you text that you’re not actually laughing out loud, but you want them to know that you chuckled internally at what they said. A lot of your responses to this question I was actually laughing out loud at my desk watching them come through. So I just wanted to close this show today by reading some of your responses to that question; if you were in a triathlon themed band, what would the band name be and what would be the name of your first hit single? So here’s a few of our wonderful responses. Erni Quezada said, The TriDotters would be the band name and the first hit single would be “Unicorn.” So all for our TriDotters out there who have ever gotten that precious 100 score on a workout, you know how great of a feeling that is and Erni wants to capture that in a hit single and I am all for it. Gina Welc, she said this. She said, “I’ve been waiting for this question.” Gina if you were waiting for the question you could have recorded your voice asking this question and I would have asked it a long time ago. But she said she would be in an all girl group called the Tri Chicks and their first hit would be “Fit to be Tried.” So great stuff there from Gina. Matt Ireson said that his band name would be Off The Bike and their first release– I loved this. Their first release would be called “The Dark Place.”We’ve all been to a dark place on a race course and man, to capture that in a song would be fantastic. Alex McWhorter said that her band name would be The Crawlers and their first single would be “We’ve Almost Made It.”So that single would perfectly encapsulate what it means to be a crawler on the race course. A lot of people, Alex, heard that band name and song and it just took them back to that moment in their Ironman or half Ironman when they were just gutting it out to the finish line there at the end. Mike Loftis, this is one of my favorite ones. He said his band name would be The Porta Potties and their first release naturally would be “It’s Nice to be Needed.” So “Nice to be Needed” by The Porta Potties. You know, porta potties are very needed at every race venue.That's for sure. Then Lenora Taylor Branham she said this, “The band name would be The Fast Chix.” Chix with an X at the end not a -cks. And she gave a couple different singles that would be on The Fast Chix album. “She’s Glossy AF” which I love. A lot of good attitude there. “His Finish Line is Mine” which you know, I can just hear the Gospel Truck behind that one right now. And sure to win an Emmy with “WAT- Wet Ass Trisuit.” I lost my mind when I saw her song suggestion for WAT. If you get that joke, you get it. If you don’t, you don’t, but we can all agree that’s hilarious. TriDot Coach Louise Strydom, she said her band name would be called the 30-90’s. Everybody who’s done the 30-90 bike workout on TriDot will appreciate the humor there. Their first album would be “The Stamina Sessions.” And the first single release would be “Lost in Transition.” “Lost in Transition” from the Stamina Sessions. Keith Emmer said that his band name would be called The Chafers and their first hit single would be “Ice In My Shorts.” Joe Chew his band name would be the Saddle Sores with the hit song “Peeing While Cycling.” Vanessa Ronksley, band name The Foggy Goggles with her hit song, “Transition Time.” Between the first release “Lost in Transition” and the hit song “Transition Time” a couple good transition themed songs here from our triathlete lands. Ande Wegner, she said that her band name would be On Your Left with the hit song “Watts” which naturally would be a spinoff of LMFAO’s hit song “Shots.” So instead of “Shots” it would be “Watts” and their second hit song would be “DFL” which we all know what that means. And finally, I threw this out as a hypothetical saying man it would be so fun to be in a triathlon themed band. TriDot Ambassador Walter Cahall has actually been in a triathlon themed band. The band name was Junk Miles and their first hit single was “Everything New on Race Day.” So Walter we’re all kind of just saying what we would do if we were in a triathlon themed band, but Walter’s like, “Hey man! I’ve been there. I’ve done that and this is what we did.” Fantastic. You one-upped all of us there Walter. Good on you and Walter even included a picture of himself playing in his band, Junk Miles, which we can all agree is a fantastic name for a band and Walter wore his aero helmet on upside down and backwards while he played on the stage. So fantastic stuff there from my man, Walter Cahall. Well, that’s it for today folks.I want to thank Professor Clarke and Dr. Austin for teaching us all about training and racing with ketone esters. Huge thanks to deltaG for partnering with us on this episode. To learn more about the performance boosting benefits of deltaG Ketones, head to deltagketones.com and use code TRIDOT20 for 20% off your order. On their website you can learn more about fueling with deltaG Ketone products. You can make a standalone purchase, or you can even subscribe for ongoing deltaG Ketone deliveries. Or you can even book a free 15 minute video consultation with Brian an expert on exogenous ketones and deltaG in particular, to discuss your individual goals and best choice of deltaG drink to exceed those goals. Enjoying the podcast? Have any topics or questions you want to hear us talk about? Head to tridot.com/podcast to let us know what you’re thinking. We’ll do it all again soon. Until then, Happy Training! Outro: Thanks for joining us. Make sure to subscribe and share the TriDot podcast with your triathlon crew. For more great tri content and community, connect with us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Ready to optimize your training? Head to TriDot.com and start your free trial today! TriDot – the obvious and automatic choice for triathlon training.
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