How important is 2%?
On the face of it, not much, perhaps.
But for elite athletes, it can mean the difference between a gold medal and no medal. The difference between champions and also-rans.
Well, the creators of a new sports drink called Delta-G say its formula increases performance and endurance levels by up to 2%.
The secret? Specially flavored power-boosting compounds called ketones.
Developed at Oxford University, the lab-produced ketones mimic the naturally occurring ketones found in the human body, which are left over as acids after fat is burned.
It’s not some wacky sports science, either. Several top-level athletes were involved with the Delta-G development – and a world champion is backing the new drink…
The Power of Ketones
British rower, Brianna Stubbs, was part of the Delta-G team – and testifies to its effectiveness…
“In the study I did, the ketones people went 2% further. It doesn’t sound like much, but actually, in real-world terms, it’s a really, really big effort and if you’re at the top level of sport, then any change of that margin is going to be really significant.”
So how do ketones work?
Well, they’re basically a valuable energy source that’s rapidly absorbed by the body organs during exercise. When the body is starved, ketones are produced naturally. So providing them in drink form provides instant benefits.
Professor Kieran Clarke of Oxford University’s Physiological Biochemistry Department, explains, “Over time, when you haven’t eaten, you produce these ketones. But it takes about seven days to two weeks to bring the ketone levels up. We can get that same level within one drink.”
Sports dietician, Richard Miller, agrees that ketones can provide an energy boost. But he says their potential is limited to specific sports disciplines: “For endurance performance – like marathon running, or for triathletes, or anything that’s sustained endurance activity – ketones could be an interesting way of powering performance because it’s potentially a limitless energy supply. But for things like intermittent exercise – team sports like football, hockey, or netball, or high-threshold activity like sprinting, bodybuilding, or any sort of Olympic lifting that relies on glucose to power the exercise, I think it’s got limited potential.”
After 20 Years, Delta-G is Market-Ready
Clarke has spent 20 years developing and perfecting Delta-G for the market. One major obstacle involved the flavor. Because ketones taste pretty nasty, his team had to keep testing until they found a pleasant flavor.
They’ve come up with orange, berry, chocolate and coffee flavors and Delta-G will hit the market in the United States later this year.