Exogenous Ketosis and Exercise
‘Endogenous ketosis’ is characterised by natural hepatic ketone body synthesis, primarily triggered by a chronically low insulin-to-glucagon ratio, as occurs during caloric-deprivation or a very low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet.
ΔG, a ketone monoester drink developed at the University of Oxford, acts to bypass the impracticalities and laborious time commitments of dietary interventions via which ketosis can otherwise be achieved. After consumption, it rapidly and safely elevates blood ketone body levels, providing prolonged ‘exogenous ketosis’ - a novel physiological state of elevated circulating ketones concurrent with replete tissue glycogen stores.
Adaptively, ketones provide a glucose-surrogate fuel source for vital tissues - e.g. the brain, heart, and skeletal muscle, directly contributing to maintaining optimal ATP-turnover as an oxidisable substrate. They also act as regulatory signalling molecules, alter oxidative fuel selection, and reduce protein catabolism.
Exogenous ketosis has potential utility for enhancing physical activity capacities, as well as conferring additional metabolic benefits, in a breadth of populations spanning the entire spectrum from elite athletes to clinical patients. My research looks to investigate these potential ergogenic effects on exercise performance - exploring who might benefit, in which situations, and what underlying metabolic changes are being induced.