Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2020 Mar 31;72:115-127.
doi: 10.2478/hukin-2019-0114. eCollection 2020 Mar.

Effects of an Exogenous Ketone Supplement on Five-Kilometer Running Performance

Free PMC article

Effects of an Exogenous Ketone Supplement on Five-Kilometer Running Performance

Philip J Prins et al. J Hum Kinet. .
Free PMC article


Numerous oral ketone supplements are marketed with the claim that they will rapidly induce ketosis and improve exercise performance. The purpose of this study was to assess exercise performance time and related physiological, metabolic and perceptual responses of recreational endurance runners after ingestion of a commercially available oral ketone supplement. Recreational endurance runners (n = 10; age: 20.8 ± 1.0 years; body mass: 68.9 ± 5.6 kg; height: 175.6 ± 4.9 cm) participated in a double-blind, crossover, repeated-measures study where they were randomized to 300 body weight of an oral β-hydroxybutyrate-salt + Medium Chain Triglyceride (βHB-salt+MCT) ketone supplement or a flavor matched placebo (PLA) 60 min prior to performing a 5-km running time trial (5KTT) on a treadmill. Time, HR, RPE, affect, RER, VO2, VCO2, and VE were measured during the 5-km run. The Session RPE and affect (Feeling Scale) were obtained post-5KTT. Plasma glucose, lactate and ketones were measured at baseline, 60-min post-supplement, and immediately post-5KTT. Plasma R-βHB (endogenous isomer) was elevated from baseline and throughout the entire protocol under the βHB-salt+MCT condition (p < 0.05). No significant difference (58.3 ± 100.40 s; 95% CI: -130.12 - 13.52; p = 0.100) was observed between the βHB-salt+MCT supplement (1430.0 ± 187.7 s) and the PLA (1488.3 ± 243.8 s) in time to complete the 5KTT. No other differences (p > 0.05) were noted in any of the other physiological, metabolic or perceptual measures.

Keywords: beta-hydroxybutyrate; dietary supplements; ergogenic aid; ketosis.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of interest DD is an inventor on a patent entitled “Composition and Methods of Elevating and Sustaining Ketosis” USPTO# 20170266148. This invention was made with government support under Grant # N00014-13-1-0062 awarded by the Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research. AK and DD are inventors on provisional patents “Compositions and Methods for Weight Loss Maintenance” and “Prevention of Muscle Wasting with Ketone Supplementation” using technologies dissimilar to the ketones formulation used in this manuscript. At the time of this publication, provision patents were still under review. However, should provisional patents become accepted and royalties ever accrue, AK and DD will receive a share under the terms prescribed by the University of South Florida. DD is an owner of Ketone Technologies LLC and has served as a consultant and conference speaker.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Mean and individual 5-km performance time following exogenous ketone supplement and placebo ingestion.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Impact of exogenous ketone supplementation on blood R-β-hydroxybutyrate, glucose, and lactate. A) Blood R-β-hydroxybutyrate was higher 60 min post-supplement and remained elevated throughout exercise in the oral ketone condition. B) Blood glucose rose during exercise but was not affected by oral ketone supplementation. C) Blood lactate rose during exercise, but was not affected by oral ketone supplementation. Values are Mean ± SD. (N = 10). *Significant difference between Ketone and Placebo conditions (p < 0.05).

Similar articles

See all similar articles


    1. Astorino TA, Matera AJ, Basinger J, Evans M, Schurman T, Marquez R. Effects of red bull energy drink on repeated sprint performance in women athletes. Amino Acids. 2012;42:1803–1808. - PubMed
    1. Bach AC, Ingenbleek Y, Frey A. The usefulness of dietary medium-chain triglycerides in body weight control: fact or fancy? J Lipid Res. 1996;37:708–726. - PubMed
    1. Cahill GF Jr. Fuel metabolism in starvation. Annu Rev Nutr. 2006;26:1–22. - PubMed
    1. Cox PJ, Kirk T, Ashmore T, Willerton K, Evans R, Smith A, Murray AJ, Stubbs B, West J, McLure SW, King MT, Dodd MS, Holloway C, Neubauer S, Drawer S, Veech RL, Griffin JL, Clarke K. Nutritional Ketosis Alters Fuel Preference and Thereby Endurance Performance in Athletes. Cell Metab. 2016;24:256–268. - PubMed
    1. Dansinger ML, Gleason JA, Griffith JL, Selker HP, Schaefer EJ. Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2005;293:43–53. - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources