What's next from Strate Fuel?

March 24, 2022 3 min read

What's next from Strate Fuel?

As we wait for product to ship for our Superfuel formula, we've already been working on our next custom product to help cyclists perform at maximum potential.

With an excellent fueling system in place, we are shifting our focus to recovery.

Ketones

We first heard rumors of cyclists finding amazing results with ketones in 2018, but none of the pro teams would openly discuss the use or affects of the supplement. Riders like Chris Froome were showing up to the Tour leaner than ever and putting out incredible efforts through all three weeks.

In 2019 the cat was out of the bag with Jumbo-Visma managing director Richard Plugge's interview with De Telegraaf halfway through the Tour, where he confirmed that ketone use is widespread among Tour riders.

"Ketones are a dietary supplement – you can use them just like vitamins. The substance is not on the prohibited list, and it's also known that other teams use ketones," he said.

It was reported that seven teams used them at the 2019 race.

Performance Debate

There has been much debate about the effectiveness of using ketones to enhance performance in endurance sports. There seems to be an advantage for endurance efforts, but a slower response to deliver the required energy for a burst of power or a Vo2 effort. So if you are a crit racer, they could be damaging to your performance, but if you are a triathlete you might see improvement.

Brendan Egan is an associate professor of sport and exercise physiology at Dublin City University. Egan has undertaken numerous studies around ketones and exercise. One of Egan's ketone studies saw no difference in performance in well-trained middle- to long-distance runners, while shuttle-run performance actually deteriorated in footballers. 

"It's why I think that the major applications of exogenous ketones will be in supporting training and recovery, not performance," says Egan.

Recovery Advantage

Peter Hespel, a professor in exercise physiology and sports nutrition at Leuven University works with Deceuninck–QuickStep.

"Our studies show that ketones increase anabolic signaling," he explains. Essentially, when a muscle is under strain, it cries out for protein to repair and rebuild. Ketones amplify this call to arms.

Hespel says those improvements stretch to improved sleep quantity and quality, too, via reducing night-time levels of adrenaline. Ketone-using riders at the 2012 Tour reported feeling fresher, both in the legs and in the mind.

For recovery purposes, taking ketones with carbohydrates after a hard session can improve recovery for a second session occurring the next day or two.

Taking ketones with protein can increase protein synthesis, changing muscle architecture more rapidly than exercise alone.

Matt's Take

I have been experimenting with ketones for a few years in my training routine. I've seen the benefits when competing in 6hr events and the shortfalls during a race open where everybody is fighting for the front of the peloton in a gravel race.

I gave up on ketones for a few years until recently and found the benefits of using them for recovery in late 2021.

I now use ketones specifically for recovery. I focus on eating primarily protein for dinner to rebuild muscle and use our custom ketone formula to rapidly repair the damage done in training.

Since starting this protocol, I've become leaner and I am able to perform at a higher level in my next workout. It's a win / win solution.

 

Sources

1. Vandoorne, T. et al. Intake of a Ketone Ester Drink during Recovery from Exercise Promotes mTORC1 Signaling but Not Glycogen Resynthesis in Human Muscle. Front Physiol 8, (2017).

2. Holdsworth, D. A. et al. A Ketone Ester Drink Increases Postexercise Muscle Glycogen Synthesis in Humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc 49, 1789–1795 (2017).

3. O’Malley, T., Myette-Cote, E., Durrer, C. & Little, J. P. Nutritional ketone salts increase fat oxidation but impair high-intensity exercise performance in healthy adult males. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 42, 1031–1035 (2017).

4. Cox, P. J. et al. Nutritional Ketosis Alters Fuel Preference and Thereby Endurance Performance in Athletes. Cell Metab. 24, 256–268 (2016).

5. Sansone, M. et al. Effects of Ketone Bodies on Endurance Exercise. Current Sports Medicine Reports 17, 444–453 (2018).


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