More than a decade ago, researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Oxford received a $10 million funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop food that soldiers may take with them into the battlefield to improve their physical and mental performance.
Fourth Type Of Fuel For The Human Body
The researchers eventually invented ketone ester, a drink that can generate energy from ketones, the molecules produced by the breakdown of fat. Ketones are considered the fourth type of fuel for humans. Unlike the other three macronutrients that humans use - protein, fat, and carbohydrates - ketone is produced when there is no food.
The Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss
Our body digs into our fat stores to survive when we starve and then release ketone molecules in the process. The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet is a way of achieving this. A person on this diet can trick the body that it is starving by removing carbohydrates, the body's primary source of fuel.
Cutting carbohydrates releases ketones, which in turn transform the body into a fat-melting machine. The ketogenic diet can help the body release ketones but many find it difficult to rely on high-fat, no-carb meals.
Now, it may be easier to increase the level of ketones in the body less the hassle of a strict diet. A San Francisco-based startup developed a drink made of pure ketone ester.
The drink called Ketone comes in a shot-sized bottle of clear liquid containing 120 calories, and is available for preorder at $33 per bottle. The startup, HVMN, claims that the drink can improve energy and focus, and allows direct ingestion of ketones without tricking the body into starvation mode.
Based on two small studies that were published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, within just an hour of consuming the drink, the ketone level of the body can increase to about the same as the amount of ketone produced after at least a week of fasting. The FDA recognizes the drink as a generally safe food, not a supplement.
Tastes Like A Liquor Shot With Nail Polish Remover
People are supposed to take ketones at least one hour before working out to boost performance or 30 minutes after exercise for recovery. As for the taste, here's how Geoff Woo, the company's CEO described it.
"If there's a downside, it is kind of crazy tasting," Woo said. "I compare it to a combination of a liquor shot with nail polish remover."