Can Ketones Help You Run Faster? Dr. Latt Mansor on Ketone Supplements

If you are familiar with ketones, you know that they are commonly associated with a long term, low carbohydrate diet that can be challenging for runners to sustain. But what if you could get the benefits of ketones as a supplement, rather than a dietary change? 

Ketones are a fuel source naturally produced by the liver when there is low carbohydrate availability, typically achieved through an extremely low carbohydrate diet. Usually, using ketones for running doesn’t help your performance because of low carbohydrate availability. These ketones are endogenous, meaning they are produced within the body. In a state of ketosis, the body’s ketone levels are significantly elevated compared to when carbohydrates are readily available.

Ketosis allows the body to create ATP (the body’s primary energy currency) from fat rather than carbohydrates. In a state of ketosis, the body fuels more efficiently from its abundant fat stores, requiring less caloric supplementation. 

Running and low carbohydrate diets rarely play well together, however, and while there are endurance benefits to ketosis, they can come with a range of side effects including fatigue and light-headedness. But an effective ketone supplement could possibly provide the same benefits without a commitment to a super low-carb lifestyle.

Dr. Latt Mansor on Ketones for Running

This week’s guest on the podcast is Dr. Latt Mansor. He is the lead researcher at HVMN, holds a PhD from Oxford in physiology, anatomy, and genetics, and also earned his Master’s degree from Columbia in biotechnology. Latt is a renowned expert in metabolic health and cardiovascular disease, and regularly consults with elite sport, military, clinical and research organizations.

Latt’s most recent research has focused on the benefits of exogenous ketones for running. Rather than practicing severe carb restriction to put yourself into ketosis, exogenous ketones can be taken as a supplement to provide similar benefits without the dramatic dietary changes. Latt’s studies have demonstrated that ketone supplementation has physical and cognitive benefits, especially for endurance athletes.

Since this is far from my area of expertise, Latt explains the role of ketones in the body before we discuss their benefits for athletes. Some of the topics we focus on include:

  • How he got interested in the topic of ketones
  • The differences between endogenous and exogenous ketones
  • How ketone supplementation has evolved over time
  • Why ketones are a fuel source, not a stimulant
  • How endurance athletes benefit from ketone supplementation
  • A protocol for endurance athletes interested in supplementation

Ketones are a fascinating area of research with a lot of potential benefits. I know you’ll enjoy our conversation!

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