Eating low-carb is so hard to sustain over time. Those who try it often become lethargic, feel sluggish, and act like wild animals around jars of nut butter. Some experience intense cravings and others can’t perform as well during their workouts — though some dubious cases find that the low-carb lifestyle fits seamlessly into their routines.
Regardless, it seems it’s not for everyone. And for pasta-loving, potato-munching consumers, the keto diet seems another unattainable “health goal” they’ll never reach.
According to one company, however, you don’t need to diet to go into ketosis at all. The San Francisco-based startup HVMN (pronounced “human”) recently released a wellness shot called HVMN Ketone, claiming that it does all the work of keto dieting for you, including inducing ketosis and boosting fat loss. The drink is “proven to improve athletic performance and recovery,” the company’s website claims.
Ketosis is a metabolic state caused by excess ketones in the body, and it often occurs when the body is so carb-deprived that it’s forced to resort to burning fat for energy. The keto diet, popular among weightlifters and macro counters, induces ketosis with an extremely low-carb diet plan that’s high in dietary fat and protein. Keto dieters are instructed to eat as little as 30 grams a day — just shy of two slices of whole-wheat sandwich bread.
The HVMN Ketone shots claim to induce ketosis by flushing your system with ketones. A three-bottle pack of the stuff retails for $99. A dozen costs $369. However, the claims of athletic performance boosts and fat burning are attracting skepticism from the experts.
“I have not yet found one ketone ester supplement that has been able to successfully put someone into the state of ketosis, no matter what dosage they take,” registered dietitian Ben Sit told Buzzfeed.
The supplement apparently tastes like “a blend of nail-polish remover and alcohol,” according to their tester.
Ben Sit, RDN told Buzzfeed that people want to enter ketosis because they think it’ll burn all their fat stores at once, but that’s not usually the case.
“The body wants to fight against ketosis,” he said. “Ketosis is a stage of starvation, basically.”
So infusing the body with ketones wouldn’t necessarily induce ketosis. If the body can get its energy from carbs instead, it likely will.
The studies cited by HVMN are inconclusive as to a ketone drink’s effectiveness. One study assessing the athletic performance of cyclists could only prove a 2 percent difference in performance between the two groups. Not the “massive” performance boost promised by the company.
HVMN also promises improved muscle recovery — but the studies were similarly inconclusive. One study supported their claim while another did not.
So should you try a keto diet instead? Dietitians advise that you don’t. Though many have made the switch to keto dieting with dreams of bigger muscles and boosted performance, the results have been pretty wimpy in comparison to these lofty expectations.
Registered dietitian Albert Matheny told Buzzfeed, “If you are trying to do a ketogenic diet with athletic performance in mind, you’re going to see a decrease in your performance.”
Clearly — because you are functioning on much lower accessible stores of energy. Haven’t these people heard of carb-loading before a marathon? There’s a reason people have been doing it for decades.
We guess keto drinks, and keto diets most likely, are just another nutrition myth waiting to be busted.