March 12, 2022
[00:00:52] Podcast Sponsors
[00:04:06] About this Podcast and Guest Introduction
[00:11:00] “Exogenous Ketones” Defined And How They Work
[00:15:11] Limiting factors in the body's ability to utilize ketones
[00:20:10] What is Ketone IQ?
[00:27:40] How HVMN has dramatically cut costs of producing ketone esters
[00:29:53] Podcast Sponsors
[00:35:02] The average length of time of peak productivity after a Ketone IQ serving
[00:42:44] The Impact Of Elevated Ketone Levels On Sleepy
[00:47:38] Effects Of Ketone Esters On Recovery
[00:49:42] Compounds That Stack Well With Ketones
[00:57:08] Effects Of Ketones On Alzheimer's Progression
[01:06:05] Ben's Tips On Introducing Ketones Into Your Lifestyle
[01:08:42] Legal Disclaimer
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Michael: It goes back to that ketones per dollar. Make ketones as available and accessible as possible so that all the good researchers can create new science.
Ben: It kind of seems similar to ketones. It's like if you can't have protein and can't eat a lot of calories or want to fast and not lose a lot of muscle, then ketones seem to actually allow for a little bit of that effect.
Michael: For a healthy human adult, you might be able to get a surplus of cognitive ability if you're taking a ketone.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
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While the whole health and fitness world is talking about glucose these days and for good reason. Poor glucose control is tied to weight gain and fatigue and sexual dysfunction, diabetes, Alzheimer's, heart disease and stroke, and a whole lot more. But, how do we track our glucose? We can find out how our lifestyle affects our health. Well, that's where this company called Levels comes in. So, what levels does is they provide access to continuous blood glucose monitoring at-home blood testing, and expert coaching to help you improve your health. I've been using Levels and I slapped this little blood glucose monitor onto my arm. You can also wear on your waist. There's a few different places you can put these patches, but it tracks your blood glucose 24/7. I get a ton of super-valuable information about how a cold bath or a sauna or green beans, or crackers, or a banana, or anything affects my blood sugar. Levels also has these really cool built-in features within the app that let you test 12-hour fast versus 16-hour fast, cold shower versus cryotherapy chamber, you name it. And honestly, the number two, I think, most valuable things that I found about my own blood glucose is cold thermogenesis, cold showers, anything like that just plummets it for the entire day. And then, I've also found that if I wake up in the wee hours of the morning like around 1:00 or 2:00 and I don't know why and I check my blood glucose, it's usually because my blood glucose is low. And so, then I know, oh, I need to have just a few more carbs with dinner, for example.
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Alright, folks. Well, I've talked about ketosis before on my show because I have been kind of messing around with it for a long time, I guess, since I was 17 years old, which would have been 23 years ago. I was toying around with ketosis for bodybuilding, and later got into ketosis, and even drinking MCT oil from a hot water bottle that was totally nasty and eventually consuming ketone esters for Ironman Triathlon and for endurance sports. And, I even remember one particularly riveting Tough Mudder I competed in where I took a giant shot of these things called exogenous ketones. In this case, these ketone esters that one of my friends who work for this company H.V.M.N. sent to me. His name was Geoffrey Woo. And, Geoffrey sent me some of these H.V.M.N. ketones, which frankly were similar to it to a lot of the other ketone esters that I consumed aside from the fact that they were liquid and taste a little bit better. And, I drank them but I also consumed a bunch of sugar. I had a bunch of fructose and maltodextrin from a carbohydrate-containing sports gel, which I theorized would amplify both my blood glucose levels and my blood ketone levels and serve as a sort of rocket fuel to make me feel really amazing. And, it actually did because I had a huge amount of fuel for my liver and my heart, my diaphragm in the form of ketones going through my body. And then, I also had a mass amounts of blood glucose for glycolysis and fueling skeletal muscle contractions and kind of crushed that race. It was pretty good.
But, ever since all my experimentation with all this ketone stuff, things have gotten a little bit more trendy. I've witnessed a whole rise, a whole empire of ketone-based cupcakes, and muffins, and smoothies, and goodies, and supplements and things have become also more cutting edge. There's great researchers, guys, like my friend Dominic D'Agostino doing research on ketone esters. And, even the folks that at H.V.M.N. themselves, my friend Geoffrey Woo works in close conjunction with Michael Brandt, his co-founder and CEO down there at H.V.M.N., which stands for Health Via Modern Nutrition. They're pushing out a lot of really cool research on ketones. And, anybody who hasn't messed around with these things for their appetite satiation, or their performance-enhancing, or their inflammation quelling effects should be looking into them. And so, H.V.M.N is one of those companies that launched the world's first ketone ester probably that one I tried back when I raced that Tough Mudder in 2017, they secured a pretty hefty contract with U.S. Special Operations and have worked with a lot of first responders, and elite athletes, and military performers since to use ketone esters for performance, and recovery, and metabolic health, and longevity. And, in my opinion, one of the coolest aspects of them is you take a shot and you just don't feel eating for good six to eight hours afterwards, which is kind of a handy little productivity hack.
So, anyways the reason that I wanted to record this podcast for you today is A, I have Michael Brandt, the co-founder and CEO of H.V.M.N. on the call with me. And B, H.V.M.N. just launched a kind of unique form of ketone ester, the science of which we'll get into on the podcast today because it's pretty cool. It's called Ketone IQ. So, everything Michael and I talk about, if you go to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Ketonepodcast. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Ketonepodcast. I'll put links not only to this new Ketone IQ stuff that H.V.M.N. is churning out, but also all the other podcasts and articles I've done about ketosis, et cetera. That was kind of a long introduction, so I'll shut up.
Welcome to the show, Michael.
Michael: Hey, Ben. Thanks so much for having me. And, it's great to connect with a fellow endurance athlete. Besides running H.V.M.N., I'm also a 242 marathoner, I've run in the Boston marathon, ran the Burning Man Ultramarathon, so definitely get after it. So, good to connect on a few different levels here.
Ben: Wow, that's amazing, 242. Dude, all you got to cut is 40 minutes, and then soon you'll be competing with the best of them. No, seriously that's pretty respectable, anything under three hours is obviously a respectable marathon time. So, good job. Although, I wouldn't classify myself as an endurance athlete much anymore, man. My form of endurance is walking out of my mailbox and back these days.
Michael: Yeah, yeah. There's levels to the game and it's hard to maintain that peak Ironman level fitness.
Ben: I know.
Michael: Arguably not even a good idea if we're talking longevity to maintain that level of dialed in-ess.
Ben: Yeah, there's some potential issues with arterial stiffness and endocrine function, and some other problems that seem to pop up with ultra-endurance sports. Although, I think painting with a broad brush. You're still going to be healthier if you've done 50 Ironman triathlons when you're 90 years old versus if you hadn't. But, I feel for me personally, I just wanted to move on into other things in life, though a lot of people still think I'm super-duper hardcore into endurance sports like I had, I think it was a Navy Seal, Armed Forces special operations kind of guy speaking of ketones and special forces. He emailed me a couple of weeks ago asking me if I want to do this big swim-bike-run competition with him and his homies from around the world traveling to all these global hot spots and getting dumped out of planes and trekking through the wilderness with backpacks on and stuff. And, I was like, yeah, probably not a hell yes for me these days. If you guys are going golfing, I might join in, but yeah.
Michael: Sounds fun though, to be honest. From where I'm at in life, that sounds like a great day out.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. So, these exogenous ketones, I mean, honestly the average intelligent person walking around nowadays knows that if you restrict carbohydrates, your body starts to make ketones to burn instead of the glucose that you'd normally get from the carbohydrates. Most people can wrap their heads around that concept. And, I think a lot of other people are also aware that if you kind of shift too much into that state and your blood sugar levels are all willy-nilly such as would occur in the case of say like a diabetic who hadn't been able to administer insulin, they might shift into a super dangerous state called ketoacidosis where your body's just bringing all troops out into the bloodstream to try and get you some energy. And so, you have massive amounts of ketones and massive amounts of blood glucose. And, that's kind of a deleterious state to be in, but that's an extremely rare case that would only occur with say a diabetic mismanaging insulin. And so, those are probably the two forms of some element of ketosis that a lot of people are familiar with.
But, in terms of these exogenous ketones, the ability to actually be able to shift yourself into a state that normally you'd have to attain through fasting or an incredibly large amount of say MC2 oil consumption or something like that, can you explain to my audience just basically what an exogenous ketone is and the basic mechanism of action via which they're actually working? What are these things and how are they working in the body?
Michael: Yeah. So, you said it just right. The human body has always made ketones for 300,000 years, always has, always will. Your body makes ketones when you're in a carb-deprived state. And, you can induce that with different dietary things. You can eat less carbs, you can eat more healthy fats. The real innovation that we have on our hands here is directly drinkable ketone. So, to give a sense of the frame of reference on it, you can do the keto diet or you can fast. I think a lot of your listeners have done multi-day fast. I've done a seven-day fast. I know you dabble around a lot in there. By directly drinking an exogenous ketone, you can get your ketone levels to the equivalent of what you would be at on day three or four of your fast.
Ben: In units. Just so people know, that's something if you were to get a breath ketone monitor, or a blood ketone monitor, something like that, it'll typically measure your levels of ketones is something called millimolars per liter. And, if you fasted the entire day and your body's somewhat used to fasting and used to burning fats, you might be at, maybe, 2 to 3 millimolar possibly a little bit higher. About the highest I've seen myself is in a fasted state with a whole bunch of ketones onboard well-engaged in hefty exercise. I approached about six-and-a-half for millimolars per liter of ketones. But generally, it takes a long time, a lot of fat adaptation, a lot of carbohydrate restriction, and a lot of supplementation to shift yourself into that state. And so, what you're saying is basically the use of exogenous ketones shift you into that state pretty readily even if you're not say a well-versed high-fat fasting type of person.
Michael: Yeah. Say how fast does a cup of coffee hit you? It's immediate, it's 15 minutes. Your ketones are start to rise, it'll peak in an hour or two. And then, with what we have with our H.V.M.N. Ketone IQ, it will keep you there for five, six hours.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And, by the way, something I wanted to ask you is let's say that you're somebody who actually is used to fasting, you've modulated your carbohydrate consumption for a certain period of time, maybe a few years, you're in relatively good shape, you exercise, et cetera, and perhaps you've even messed around with MCT oil or some form of ketone esters or ketosis in the past. When you consume a ketone ester like this new Ketone IQ stuff or any other form of ketone ester, do you know if someone who falls into that category would actually see a more appreciable rise in their blood ketones compared to someone who wasn't really used to messing with any of this stuff? Or, is it kind of the same no matter who you are?
Michael: You'll see the same pharmacokinetics. So, you'll see the same thing happen. However, your subjective response might be different and a factor that will change more is your body's ability to utilize and mobilize those ketones. So, people who are more keto-adapted tend to feel it more. You think about it this way, you've been around on the planet for 30, 40 years and you've always eaten a ton of carbs, you've spent very little time in ketosis since you were a baby and you all of a sudden one day drink a ketone ester, your body's not going to know what to do with it. It'll figure it out, but it's not going to have the enzymes ready to go and mobilize those.
Ben: Got you. So, to clarify real quick, basically, the evidence that you have a lot of ketones in your bloodstream, a high millimolar per liter value of ketones is not indicative of your ability to be able to utilize those ketones for energy.
Michael: Because 50 grams of ketones is 50 grams of ketones, is 50 grams of ketones. It'll up your blood ketone level and then the question is, how good is your body knowing what to do with it?
Ben: Now, in terms of the actual utilization of ketones, the biochemistry of being able to take your high blood levels after you've consumed something, let's say this Ketone IQ and you have elevated levels of ketone bodies, what would be the limiting factors in terms of your ability to be able to utilize them? If someone is fat-adapted or used to being in a state of physiologic ketosis, what is it that allows that person to be able to utilize ketones more readily than somebody who might not be used to higher levels of trace ketones in the blood?
Michael: Yeah. There's this general concept of metabolic flexibility where if you're doing endurance training, if you're eating lower carb and you habitually have elevated ketone levels, your body builds up more enzymes that are able to utilize those, turning it into cellular ATP. So, you just have more of the necessary gearing to put that fuel to use.
Ben: So basically, these ketone bodies that are produced is it's more of an enzyme issue. I mean, obviously, we know, for example, as we're going through the Krebs cycle and we take acetyl-CoA and push it through the Krebs cycle, that kind of midway through that Krebs cycle, there is some beta-hydroxybutyrate formed. And, in the formation of beta-hydroxybutyrate and its subsequent breakdown, there's also a utilization of NAD and the formation of NADH, which is also why NAD is so fantastic, I think, especially when paired with the use of ketones or ketonic based diet. But, that aside, is there a certain enzyme that might be a limiting factor or a certain factor aside from ketones that you see upregulated in someone who might be a little bit more keto-adapted so to speak?
Michael: Yeah. There's a few different things. I'm hesitant to point to one specific one because metabolism is complicated. And, what we've seen more at the ecological level is just that people clear out the ketones more quickly when they more often have ketones around in their system. The exact mechanism of action like why exactly those are clearing out faster. Not entirely no, but we do see people use those ketones more quickly.
Ben: Okay. So basically, what you're saying then is if someone were to supplement with a ketone ester and they were to actually be testing and their levels were to fall more quickly, it could actually indicate not their inability to be able to be in a state of ketosis but rather it could indicate that they are using ketones more efficiently because they're disappearing from the bloodstream more rapidly, therefore being used as energy more readily?
Michael: Yeah, exactly.
Ben: Well, I suppose that's probably a good business model for you guys because it means that the more you use the stuff, the faster your body's going to be able to burn through it.
Michael: Yeah, yeah. And look, it's a really interesting context because ancient humans had more elevated ketone levels. There was no Reese's Peanut Butter cups on the savannah. People were moving around 5, 6, 7 miles and clearing excess carbohydrates that they had. So, open question were people doing full-blown ketogenic diet zero carbs, I don't think so either because there were berries, and fruits, and grains, and people had some access to carbohydrates but it was not the same nutritional context that you see today. So, safe to say that ancient humans had more elevated ketone levels than modern humans and their bodies were better at making ketones endogenously as well as better at what we were just discussing, processing those ketones and putting them to use. And, our whole mission is to do all of those things like eat lower carb, exercise more. And, also the way I think about it, the way that we think about it at H.V.M.N. is having access to a drinkable ketone is just another tool in a toolkit for metabolic health. Another way to elevate your ketone levels, get in touch with that really subjectively good feeling and get more in line with how ancient humans used to, how their metabolic profile used to be.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Okay, that makes sense. And, of course, back to the state of natural ketosis, these ketone bodies, they're three little water-soluble compounds that are produced by your liver. Typically, in response to reduced fuel availability or reduced glucose availability really. So, you have these ketone bodies that would be–Now, I got to think back to my biochemistry days, we got beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate. And, what's the last one?
Ben: Okay, I get a C on the test, acetone. So, basically, these are the ones your body would produce and burn for fuel in a state of ketosis, a relatively efficient pace, again, back to O chem and biochem. Essentially, the delta in terms of the energy trade-off for producing energy from ketones is relatively low, which is why the body would shift to preferring those as a state or as a form of fuel in a state of starvation, or in a state of caloric deficiency, or in a state of carbohydrate deprivation, or something like that.
Now, when we look at the ability to be able to get the same cognitive benefits or get the same longevity benefits or anti-inflammatory benefits that these ketones produce, which is one of the reasons why fasting can be so good for you. When you're looking at these three forms of ketones; acetone and acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate, this Ketone IQ stuff, what is it? Is it a blend of all of those? Is it some different form of ketone that the body also recognizes? Or, when we look at this from a biochemical standpoint what exactly is it?
Michael: All these ketones are interrelated. They're always swapping. There's flux between these as your body is doing metabolism on an ongoing basis. Our Ketone IQ is in the BHB family. So, Dom D'Agostino, you mentioned at the top, he has done a lot of research around ACAC. Our product is in the BHB family. It's very specifically a butanediol. So, BDO, butanediol that quickly first pass, converts into BHB in your liver. So, that's where you see the instantaneous rise in blood BHB level. And, that's what's generally tracked when people are doing blood prick, if you have your Abbott Precision Xtra or Keto-Mojo, these kinds of blood pricks, or you're doing the breath test, or the urine test. The main one that you're measuring on the blood test is the BHB.
Ben: Is the beta-hydroxybutyrate versus a urine test in which case you'd be measuring acetone or acetoacetate metabolites. If you're getting a blood test, usually it's telling you your BHB versus a breath or urine.
Michael: The urine measures that one while the blood measures the BHB. And, that's why I prefer the blood because what are you trying to measure is your blood ketone levels, so urine and breath are kind of an indirect measure. You're trying to measure your blood BHB content. And so, the most direct way to do that is just do a blood drop that measures your BHB
Ben: Right. And, BHB particularly, and this is based on the research of Dominic D'Agostino and many others, even compared to a very high fat ketogenic diet oral BHB seems to be really rapidly absorbed and metabolized and increased blood ketones at that millimolar level to a very appreciable extent and appears to be one of the more ketogenic ways to get into ketosis if that's not too redundant a way to phrase things compared to say MCT oil or a high-fat diet or something like that, some form of BHB appears to be superior.
Now, what you're saying is that you guys are using a form of BHB, but it's in a specific configuration that is different than others that may have been used in the past?
Michael: Yeah, yeah. So, we could talk about that a little bit here. So, BHB free acid, it's literally acidic. If you have a cup, I got to drink straight BHB free acid, it is acidic, it's like a cup of lemon juice or citric acid, is very acidic. If you want to drink straight BHB, you're going to have GI issues. You can drink a little bit of it, but then you just cannot drink enough to meaningfully elevate your blood ketone levels. So, there's this cousin, the straight good stuff that's called BDO, butanediol, that your body it's one step away from a ketone, it's a very trivial step that your liver just first passed, gets converted into your bloodstream, into that BHB, and that BDO is much more palatable. So, on our ketone version one, what we did was we esterized the two, we esterized the BHB free acid with this butanediol. So, is this one to one and you had a double bond between these, sorry, single bond, monoester, keto monoester that bonded this BHB free acid with the butanediol. And then, your body would cleave that bond, the BHB would enter your bloodstream, the BDO would go to your liver and enter your bloodstream.
What we did for the second generation that we just launched here was we just simplified it. That estuarization, one way I think about it is everything's obvious in hindsight but we kind of over-Ferrari engined it. We built the eight-track player the most novel cool way of like, “Hey, let's bind these two things together. Let's make this super thing.” And, it was expensive. I don't know if you remember. I'm sure a lot of your listeners remember. Our version one cost $30 a shot. It was not cheap.
Ben: Well, yeah. I mean, I've gone to Sigma-Aldrich website, for example, to purchase laboratory chemicals and any racemic configuration of 1, 3-butanediol is not inexpensive because I thought about hacking this before and just kind of doing it myself. And honestly, you and some of the other folks in the ketone ester community have figured out how to make it taste better than you get off the shelf from Sigma-Aldrich. So, I'd rather go to the people who are actually adjusting the flavor profile a little bit better. But ultimately, the R13 butanediol is the actual chemical that you guys are using in this new Ketone IQ. And, that one appears to pretty remarkably be able to convert into beta-hydroxybutyrate for elevated ketone levels, even compared to some of its precursors.
Michael: It was always half of what was in our version 1 because it was half that ester bond. And, for our version 2, it just isolated that. And, we've pushed a lot on the manufacturing innovation. So, there's a few different ways to make this. There's biosynthesis route where you take genetically modified bacteria, you feed it sugar, it poops out ketones, it poops out the R13 butanediol, and then you clean up the bacteria and other waste products. You end up with your target molecule. That's one way to do it. Totally plant-based, renewable. There's another way to do it that's an enzyme process where, without going too technical on it, you put A and B in a VAT with an enzyme, you stir it up, and that turns into your target molecule, your R13 butanediol. You clean up all of the A and B and side reaction products and you're left with your target molecule. Oftentimes, not all the time but sometimes this enzyme process uses petrochemical petroleum as an input. You can also use other things like sugar. So, there's a lot of innovation on the manufacturing stack between the biosynthesis, which is more new, and renewable, and in the enzyme process. So, that's a lot of where we–
Ben: Is it proprietary? Are you able to share in terms of what manufacturing process you guys are using?
Michael: We're straddling both. We're so early right now. Part of the reason that we've been able to move quickly and bring down the price is we're just looking under every stone. I would say we're preferential towards the biosynthesis product. Look, very candidly, if you pick up our product right now, what is inside of it is maybe a biosynthesis. We like it for a few different reasons. I think the renewable point is very interesting. It can be entirely plant-based, carbon neutral. That's very nice. The enzyme process. Also interesting, maybe there's cost implications, other things going on at play there. Right now, our stance is let's turn over every stone on how best to deliver ketones and explore all the routes. Right now, the biosynthesis kind of renewable route is our favorite. Honestly, I do think that that is preferred. I don't want to overly commit because, look, we're looking under every stone. Things can change every six months, but it's a super interesting area for us that we're looking at.
Ben: Well, it seems to be remarkably cost-effective. Like I mentioned, if I were to go to Sigma-Aldrich and get 1, 3-butanediol, I'd probably pay for 10 grams around 70 to 80 bucks last I checked. It looks based on your label because I've got a few bottles of your Ketone IQ that you guys sent me. And, by the way, it works fantastically as advertised. I mean you take a shot and you just don't think about eating for quite some time although I usually dabble more in the two to three servings type of range just because I like to do a little bit more of everything. But regardless, 10 grams is a serving. And so, you've got $120 for a whole bottle of this stuff, which would come out to 12 bucks for 10 grams.
Michael: Sorry to interrupt. No, it's 40 bucks. It's $100, 220 for three bottles. Forty bucks a bottle. And, a bottle has 10 servings in it.
Ben: Oh, geez. So, yeah, basically I'm paying $4 for 10 grams serving of butanediol that I'd normally pay 70 to $80 for from a lab chemical website. It seems you guys have figured out some way to actually very cost-effectively get this stuff bottled up and chipped out. So, correct me if I'm wrong, but this is one of the least expensive ketone esters I've ever seen.
Michael: Yes. Okay. So, our key metric is elevation of blood ketones per dollar. That is what we care the most about. That is our promise as a brand is to get you as much area under the curve of ketones for as cheap as possible without GI or any side effects that you would have from ketone salts, et cetera. So, we're not trying to make the most novel ketone, the most fancy. None of that. My background is I studied product design, and computer science, and got into biohacking. And, from there, got into nutrition and started looking a lot at ketones. I come, in a sense, from a layman's perspective just like, I want the best product value. I want the thing that can deliver the best ketones, the best area under the curve per unit dollar. I'm not trying to win a Nobel Prize or get published everywhere in the white papers, I want to deliver the best product experience.
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Now, here's the deal. Here's how it works. Your brain controls how you sleep and your brain is run by neurotransmitters. There's two primary neurotransmitters that play the biggest role: serotonin and GABA. GABA stands for, sounds smart here, gamma-aminobutyric acid. It's an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps you feel sleepy. So, what Kion Sleep does is we directly target those two neurotransmitters, serotonin and GABA, to help you not only fall asleep fast but stay asleep and wake super refreshed, like not groggy or anything like that. What we did was we sifted through the last 40 years of research on sleep and sleep formulas. We used only clinically proven ingredients and clinically proven dosages, so nothing that has not actually been studied in human clinical research. The highest quality raw ingredient standards in the industry we have at Kion Sleep. All of our Kion products is produced in a certified good manufacturing practice facility under the strictest supplement manufacturing guidelines. This thing went through the wringer comprehensive third-party testing for toxins about the raw ingredients and the finished product to ensure that it met all of Kion's industry-leading standards. So, not only is this super healthy, so you can take it every night. It's all-natural ingredients with long clinical research history behind each and every ingredient. There's no grogginess. You wake up totally refreshed unlike taking a whole bunch of melatonin, or CBD, or something like that.
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It seems to deliver as promised in terms of the affordability in the ROI cost match up to other existing ketone options. In terms of the length of time, do you have or have you guys experimented much with average length of time? Because for me, it seems to be somewhere in, well really, the four-to-six-hour range for peak even though I, typically about eight hours down from taking it, still seem to experience some of the–for me really, Michael, it's mostly like the I'm-not-hungry type of effect, which can be dangerous because sometimes if I'm not hungry and I go to do something extremely glycolytic in the gym like weight training, that can come back to bite you. Let's face it. Even though many studies show that mass gains that glycolytic power strength type of activities are certainly doable on ketones, they tend to be somewhat inferior if we paint with a very broad brush. So, not being hungry at all can come back to bite you pun-intended I suppose in this case, if you head off to the gym and you haven't eaten in eight hours.
But regardless, in terms of the amount of time that something like this might last, how are you guys kind of using it? Because obviously it's kind of new, but let's say internally H.V.M.N., is it kind of a couple of shots a day, three shots a day, a whole bolus in the morning? What have you guys found to be best in terms of the effects and the longevity?
Michael: The best way to do it for performance, the benchmark is 500 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. I mean, you can do the math on it, your kilogram body weight. It depends on what you weigh like 30 to 50 grams. That's what you would have if you are going to really dial in for performance. That's what we target towards with our U.S. SOCOM, Special Operations Command, That's why I would say if you're going to go run a marathon.
Ben: Right. So, for a guy like me, it'd technically be four servings if a serving contains 10 grams because I'm around 80 kilograms. So, I knocked back four of those at 500 mgs per kg, then that'd get me pretty close to about 40 grams of ketone. So, that would be gold standard if I really wanted to crush the day.
Michael: Yeah, yeah. And then, we made the dose size smaller. We made the dose size 10 grams so that you can just have one serving. Look, if you're not going to go run an Ironman, if you're not going to go beast mode on it, you just want to sip it at work. But, that's the big thing we're seeing is people will have, what, 10 grams of ketones and mix it in with their diet soda and sip on that at work or they'll have it as a shooter in the afternoon because I'm hearing a lot of people are setting a hard rule like, “I don't drink caffeine afternoon. Disrupts my sleep patterns too much, my Oura ring barks at me. I don't touch caffeine after noon, 2:00, 3:00 pm rolls around. I also know sugar is bad for me. I don't want to be drinking soda or spiking my blood glucose, my blood insulin,” in walks ketones as this way to elevate your energy level and not spike your glucose, not contain caffeine. But, do you need to have the Navy Seal super dose for that context? No. There's some modulation to it. You can have a smaller amount. You can kind of adjust the dimmer switch, if you will, on how much that you want for the context that you're going for.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Michael: So, we're seeing a lot of people that are having two, three shots throughout the day and just drinking it. That kind of keep zippy, stay in flow state throughout the day, stay in that flow state appetite suppression, which is actually something we could talk about too. It's that perception that you're having of, “Hey, my appetite is suppressed.” I mean, that's real. We've seen ketones mediate ghrelin, so the hunger hormone. When you compare ketones to the same amount of calories, so you take 80 calories of ketones versus 80 calories of glucose, the ketone will make you objectively less hungry. It's important clarification. Ketone is not this magic thing that has no calories in it. There are calories in ketones, it's a source of energy but it is a more satiating form of energy that lets you stay in that flow state, crank through work, and not need to interrupt yourself with a meal.
Ben: Right, exactly because if you look at a serving of your ketone esters, obviously you've got 70 calories, it's right there on the label for 10 grams of R3 butanediol, which I would say you're getting the mental ghrelin suppressing equivalent of perhaps a 700-calorie meal, so it's definitely a speed bump in terms of calories. But, if you look at the suppression of ghrelin, most of the studies I've seen you're looking at anywhere from 1.5 to 2 kilocalories per kilogram. And so, again, like a guy like me, let's say I'm at 80 kilograms and would need 160 calories for the significant ghrelin suppressing effect seen in literature, I'd still be at around one and a half to three servings around in there, so maybe a little bit more than what's on the label to get the potent appetite-suppressing effect that literally is go all day long without eating. But, it's still pretty darn impressive in terms of the appetite suppression. And, I think there's some other things going on in terms of ketone bodies when it comes to kind of not only not eating but probably more importantly, and I don't know if you agree with me here Michael, not eating but not being in a catabolic state when not eating for people who are concerned about protein synthesis or mTOR activation. From everything I've seen, ketones may actually increase mTOR activation and basically cause a little bit of an upregulated muscle protein synthesis and basically serve as an anti-catabolic agent on the skeletal muscle-specific level even if you weren't consuming a lot of fuels along with them. Kind of in the similar way, I guess I could draw a parallel between say if you can't exercise and you do hyperthermia and amplify heat shock proteins via something like a sauna practice, you appear to be able to maintain or hold on to muscle. It kind of seems similar to ketones. If you can't have protein and can't eat a lot of calories or want to fast and not lose a lot of muscle, then ketones seem to actually allow for a little bit of that effect.
Michael: Yeah, that's exactly right. I appreciate the nuance there on when we're talking about fasting and like, are ketones good to have on a fast? It really depends on what your goals are from fasting. Are your goals from fasting to stay away from any glucose or insulin spikes and improve your metabolic health and spend time with elevated ketones? In which case, yeah, sipping a ketone and being able to preserve muscle protein is a great idea. At the same time, you said it before, ketones are caloric. If your goal of a fast is to be in a calorie deficit, then it's more of a question of, oh, dude, is ketones going to help me? Maybe. If ketones is a kind of crutch that prevents you from having more calories or worser quality of calories, and maybe ketones are still helpful there, but I think there's a debate to be had. Are ketones fasting friendly or not?
Michael: If you're strict and constitutionalist about it, fasting means no calories.
Ben: I mean, if you're like Dr. Satchin Panda kind of guy fasting means no coffee or anything that enters thy lips is breaking the fast. So yeah, it kind of depends. But, I agree as far as kind of ranking on the totem pole of the things that you could consume that would be most friendly to the purposes that people would be fasting in the first place. It seems a pretty good idea.
There's also the impact on sleep because a lot of people like, well, you guys are describing it, is almost like a nootropic, is almost something like caffeine. What's it going to do to my sleep if I have elevated levels of ketone bodies before I go to bed? And, I think this is a really interesting one to think about for a few reasons. A, you look at folks like, I think, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, the last time she was interviewed on the Joe Rogan podcast talked about using ketones as almost an anxiolytic to decrease anxiety prior to her being on a podcast or something like that. And, I know that there have been some studies that have looked into the effects of ketones on increasing HRV, which may back that up. They may actually have an impact on bagel nerve tone. Maybe that's because they taste like ass, I don't know, because sometimes bitter things help to tone the vagus nerve or maybe it's an actual ketone effect. And, I know that a lot of rodent models have shown cognition sparing and anxiolytic properties. But, I think what's most interesting, and I know this is a little bit controversial. But, if you look at, for example, the old gamma hydroxybutyrate, GHB aka the date-rape drug, that seemed to be one of the best ways to induce like knock me out right now sleep that didn't deleteriously impact sleep architecture until the Feds made it illegal for obvious reasons. That was basically one for butanediol or something very, very close to 1, 4-butanediol. So, when we're looking at that 1, 3-butanediol, well, there's a couple things to think about here. A, pretty potent GABAergic effect, which would dictate that at least for me it seems to impact sleep favorably. And B, the fact that you don't want to mix 1,4-butanediol, GHB with alcohol because it can tend to have an extremely sedating effect.
I've actually, when using any form of ketone, found that it has a comparable effect to having a cocktail at night. And also, that if I have it with alcohol, I get excessively sleepy, which you could use to work for or against you depending however you want to use it. But, what's been your own experience with ketone esters and sleep?
Michael: That's a great question. It's definitely an area of more investigation. I think you tapped on a lot of the interesting areas around elevated HRV. One really interesting study that came out was around recovery. There's a researcher named Peter Hespel who did a three-week study, two workouts per day. This is designed to emulate elevated training blocks. So, two workouts per day for three weeks. And, there are two ways. One included ketones and kept calories the same compared to the placebo.
Okay. The important thing is people were having ketones three times a day including half an hour before bedtime. So, half an hour before sleep, they're taking a ketone. At the end of these three weeks, they were seeing the participants in the ketone wing were experiencing a 15% increase in training volume and a 5% increase in performance on the last day of the time trial. And so, there is really compelling evidence around ketones for recovery. And again, people are having it half an hour before sleep. And so, this is where the Tour de France that we've sold to 60% of the teams on the Tour de France. This recovery area is massive and possibly even more interesting, more impactful than the performance aspect.
Ben: Do you think that's because it's promoting mTOR signaling?
Michael: Yes. It's accelerating that muscle glycogen uptake, accelerating protein synthesis. There's a lot more to uncover around brain network stabilization. All of the good things that happen when you sleep, our ketones also helping to amplify the recovery that takes place when you're sleeping.
Ben: Yeah. That's fascinating. I wasn't aware of that in terms of the magnitude of recovery implications. When it comes to protein synthesis, I believe it's leucine-mediated. But, I suspect that's probably why and I don't want this to sound a shameless plug but it may. I really notice quite an amplified effect when I combine ketone esters with essential amino acids which do have some leucine in them. And, that might be due to the leucine-mediated protein synthesis effect of the exogenous ketones amplifying the effect of the essential amino acids even more. It could also be due to the fact that the essential amino acids might also be modulating the GABAergic effect just by providing more amino acids as neurotransmitter precursors for ketone bodies to interact with the nervous system. That seems to be a pretty favorable stack for the recovery is ketone esters combined with essential amino acids. Have you mixed those two at all?
Michael: Yeah. I think that's a great point that when you are going for recovery, you have ketones with your gold standard recovery drink and it will help your body to uptake that stuff better. That's I think a really important point. It's not just ketones alone. If you don't have the amino acids present, you have all these micro tears and abrasions that happen when you're exercising or your body needs to recover from that. You can think of them as a multiplying force on the gold standard nutrition for that recovery context.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Michael: It's super interesting by the way. We're talking about fasting, we're talking about recovery. There's all these different ways that ketones can be applied. And, I think just zooming all the way out, the way I really think about ketones and why I'm so excited about it is that think about it as a nutritional primitive like a Tour de France cyclist is going to use it differently from someone who's doing intermittent fasting, is going to use a different from Alzheimer's patient. Everyone is doing metabolism all the time. All seven billion of us, we're doing metabolism all the time, and we all have these different objective functions that we're trying to optimize for. And so, it's not this one way to go and use ketones for, it's a tool in the toolkit for metabolic health and performance that anyone can use for their given objective function. And, there's a lot of nuance in what exactly you're applying it for. And, folks way smarter than me. Senior PIs at UCSD who have been looking at cancer research their entire career and are looking at ketogenic diet and exogenous ketones to see the application there, there's a lot of knowledge being created there. So, really, my mission, our mission, it goes back to that ketones per dollar; make ketones as available and accessible as possible so that all the good researchers can create new science, can create new knowledge around with macronutrient.
Ben: Yeah. I'll leave the “Are you even metabolizing bro” T-shirt design up to you. But, the essential amino acids would, of course, be one thing.
And, we talked about carbohydrates and gave a head nod to the idea that for performance implications, having elevated blood glucose levels and elevated ketone bodies is actually pretty remarkable when it comes to performance. I mentioned I've done that. I think the gal who set the world record in the hour in cycling, Vittoria Bussi used ketone ester carb combination for that record-setting performance. And anecdotally, I've talked to many others, particularly for performance, don't do this all sitting around your desk at work because you're basically mimicking a very, very mild form of ketoacidosis. So, you don't want to do this when sedentary. But, if you're outperforming and you combine carbohydrates whether it's Vitargo or a GlycoFuse type of highly digestive or digestible starch with a ketone ester, whether it's essential aminos plus carbohydrates, plus electrolytes, plus ketones which is generally what I tell all my Ironman triathletes to do when they're training is it's basically serving ketones per hour about 100 grams of carbs per hour, about 10 grams of essential amino acids per hour, and then a couple scoops of some type of electrolytes like Thorne Catalytes, or Element, or Protect or something like that in their water bottle. You just go for hours and hours on that blend of salts, amino acids, ketones and trace amounts of carbs.
But then, there's some other things too. Caffeine seems to amplify the effects of ketones quite a bit. Sodium bicarb, which is basically just like baking soda which we know is kind of one of the cheapest most studied most effective ways to help reduce lactic acidosis and performance burnout and decreased rating of perceived exertion in the gym. Sodium bicarb levels seem to be slightly decreased after ketone ester ingestion. And so, adding a little bit of sodium bicarb in with your ketones could be another way to stack. So, you've got caffeine as one option to consume with them, or in my opinion, pretty much any other nootropic like caffeine or smart drugs, or kratom, or anything seems to blend really, really well with ketones. Sodium bicarb would be another.
And then, I actually had a dinner with MAPS researcher a couple of years ago, and we were sitting at a dinner down in San Francisco. And, I actually remember this. It was at China Live, a restaurant down there. And, he started telling me about the amplification in plant medicine journeys and experiences particularly regarding visualization and what people could see in their heads and the so-called third eye, the ability to tap into the third eye when in a state of ketosis, particularly very elevated ketosis by using ketone esters prior to plant medicine experiences. And, I can say just anecdotally, I might do an experience like that one to two times a year. And, these days, of course, I'm always fasted on some sort of dieta going in. Even though one is encouraged not to eat anything at all prior to using plant medicines, I will do a shot of ketones now before I drop in, so to speak. And, I think that it definitely amplifies the experience at least subjectively.
So, I'll shut up now. But, how about you, dude? Have you found anything aside from what I've talked about to stack well with ketones?
Michael: There's a couple of things in there to really highlight. So, the bicarb, sodium bicarbonate as a buffering mechanism is super interesting. And, actually major study done around that with a Belgian group around cyclists. And, I know it's something that last time you chat with my co-founder, Geoff, and you kind of hypothesized around this is uncanny, the study. Not done by us, done by a third-party Belgian researcher. They found literally exactly this that if you dose bicarb slowly–Again, emphasis on slowly, you don't want to have a giant bolus of bicarb all at once, you'll have a bad time, GI issues. But, if you dose it slowly three times, in their study, they did three times over an hour and 40 minutes for a total of 150 milligrams up until the performance period, the blood was less acidic. So, they're taking bicarb and ketones because there was this whole issue. We're like, “Okay, ketones work, so let me have more ketones.” But, there's a limit to it. If you have too much ketones and your blood goes too acidic, you actually start to diminish and blunt the effects, the good effects of ketones. So, there's this special synergy with if you take bicarb, buffer that, then you get the benefits of the ketones but you're not going overly acidic.
And, that's actually one thing too that led to our evolution from v1 of our product to v2 of our product, which is that v1 of our product launched in 2017 super expensive. It spiked your ketones too much, too quick, and looked at the science were like, “Hey, look, there's kind of this magic sweet spot on 2 to 3 millimole.” And, once you start going too far north of that too quickly, it starts to backfire and be counterproductive. So, with our v2 here, our Ketone IQ, it's a slower gentler ramp. So, it gets you into that ideal zone and keeps you there for longer without overly spiking your blood ketone level, making you go overly acidic. I personally still have small dose of bicarb just to completely smooth that out, so you're not going acidic at all.
Ben: And, when you say small dose, just so people know because I know some people don't quite understand the gram levels, we're talking if you were to throw back a shot of this Ketone IQ and take about half a teaspoon or so of sodium bicarb, at least for me personally, that's right around the range that we're talking. Is that ballpark in your opinion, Michael?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. So, you don't need much.
Michael: Yeah. And then, the ayahuasca is super interesting too. It's always been part of the ceremony. You do this extended fast, purge. And, it's always been couched in spiritual language. This is the voyage. You march out to the hut in the middle of the rainforest and don't eat for a while. Part of what is going on there is when you're doing this extended fast and purge is your body is going to a calorie deficit and producing ketones. So, it totally matches up. You could compound onto that effect by having an exogenous ketone. Ketones do interesting things in your brain. They are able to activate your brain in a way beyond what just glucose alone can do. We have a lot of interesting research going on with Alzheimer's and TBI. Some of the findings there and some of the new hypotheses there can also extend into healthy adults. Sometimes you can see the more pronounced effect when someone has TBI. You can see sometimes in the science, you can see more of impact of the ketone when you're applying it to people who are at a deficit due to a TBI or Alzheimer's. You're able to recover cognitive function. And, the same effect can carry over to a healthy adult as well. Basically, instead of going from a below baseline up towards baseline in a healthy person, you're seeing you're going basically above baseline.
Michael: Your brain is able to have more metabolite available, it's able to create more ATP with less oxygen. It can dive into that a little bit on like the Alzheimer's, TBIs. I said some really exciting stuff there too if you want to go there.
Ben: Yeah. And, this is based off of research that I know Dom's been doing since 2015. When you combine the elevated ketone bodies with increased pressure and availability of oxygen, there appears to be a cytotoxic effect on cancer. Meaning, the cancer growth seems to be slowed. And, I know that similar studies have been done on Alzheimer's and dementia. And, I want to hear what you guys have found regarding Alzheimer's and dementia here briefly. But then, regarding what you're talking about with plant medicines, I would also be curious. And, it really wouldn't surprise me if this were the case if ketone bodies may lend themselves to the formation of a tryptamine like 5-MeO-DMT or something like that via interaction with the pineal gland and therefore allow for greater DMT production. And, I haven't seen any studies in that regard, but it'd be very interesting.
What were you saying about Alzheimer's?
Michael: It's super interesting what you just said there. Okay. We know Alzheimer's is an issue of metabolic deficiency in the brain, ATP deficiency in the brain. It has to do with insulin resistance that accelerates its progression of cognitive impairment as you age. Neuroimaging has shown that this is linked to brain glucose hypometabolism. Not enough metabolism is going on in your brain because the glucose ain't working. And, also studies have shown a correlation between diabetes and Alzheimer's. so, there's this link between Alzheimer's and insulin sensitivity that's pretty hard to ignore at this point. And, there's also a dot to connect over to other broad neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.
So, TBI, traumatic brain injury, concussion, when you have a blunt trauma to your head that causes some damage upon impact, and it also causes ongoing damage because you have the swelling, this inflammation that causes hypometabolism. You are not able to get enough glucose in there, you're not able to produce enough ATP, and that causes further neurological damage. So, we actually just submitted a $1.25 million research proposal with the Naval Health Research Center to look at ketones for people with chronic TBI. There's two hypotheses there that are related but a little bit different. One is around anti-inflammation. Ketones can reduce oxidative stress. If there's metabolic dysfunction and the neurons cannot clear the oxidative stress, they cannot clear the raws, the reactive oxygen species, then that causes oxidative damage, causes inflammation. If ketones can reduce that, that's super interesting. And then, the second is around just glucose metabolism. If glucose metabolism just is not working, then what about going around that? The glucose goes through the PDH pyruvate dehydrogenase as a gating factor. What if you can go around PDH glucose pathway and you're not PDH limited, ketones are not PDH limited, ketones do not require insulin, it's a fresh metabolite that your brain can potentially use. And, ketones are more efficient per mole of oxygen. So, it's not this magic cure-all necessarily. This is all kind of cutting edge of research, but there's some interesting hypotheses that ketones can recover this deficit for Alzheimer's, for TBI. And then, yeah, it stands to reason for a healthy human adult that you might be able to get a surplus of cognitive ability if you're taking a ketone.
Ben: Right. Interestingly both in terms of metabolites that can cross the blood-brain barrier and serve as stable sources of fuel, particularly for an inflamed brain as would be the state in something like Alzheimer's or dementia, ketone bodies, and interestingly lactate. If you actually have elevated levels of lactate, that also is a pretty stable fuel source for neural tissue and therefore, again when we step back and look at stacking either something like let's say blood flow restriction training to increase blood lactate levels, pretty appreciably compared to normal exercise in a state of nutritional ketosis as an exercise intervention for people with Alzheimer's, or dementia, or as a cognitive hack for the average biohacker listening in who just wants to crush the day and maybe take some ketones and do a bout of blood flow restriction training flood the brain with lactic acid, maybe toss some brain-derived neurotrophic factor stimulating substances like lion's mane or psilocybin on top of that. And, you're looking at a pretty good day most likely from a cognitive standpoint. So, the sky's the limit when it comes to the way that this stuff can be kind of expertly combined and stacked.
And, of course, I always tell people who are listening in definitely as you are listening, if you have your own ways that you like to use this stuff and you want to contribute them to the shownotes, please do. Go to the show notes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Ketonepodcast and leave your comments there.
Michael, anything else you want to add in about this new form of ketone, this 1, 3-butanediol in the form of the new Ketone IQ that you guys are now producing?
Michael: One thing I'll say I think is really exciting is kind of late-breaking news from last week at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show is I don't know if you've–
Ben: Which I really wanted to go to but I had to be vaccinated.
Michael: Yeah, yeah. I don't know how much you missed like in person, I think a lot of the show was wound down. But, one really exciting update to come out of that was Abbott announced this project Lingo where I think a lot of people at this point are familiar with continuous glucose monitor like the sticker that you wear on your arm.
Michael: That measure blood glucose level. Abbott Lingo is they're basically releasing a continuous ketone monitor.
Ben: Oh, no kidding.
Michael: Yeah. And, a continuous lactate monitor as well. So, it makes total sense. Glucose obviously super interesting to track, but it's only part of the picture. And, being able to have an ongoing read of your ketone and your lactate level is super interesting.
Ben: Well, Abbott produces the Freestyle Libre, don't they?
Michael: Correct. They produce Freestyle Libre. That's also the hardware that powers Levels, which friends with the folks at Levels they've made, I think, a sexy UI, UX rapper around the Abbott Freestyle Libre. But, yeah, Abbott's size, they're a $240 billion public company. They're the size of Toyota. They make a lot of medical hardware. This is big news.
Ben: Yeah. That is big news. And, whoever's working at Abbott listening in right now, please send me up that sensor once it's ready. Although, what would be really cool is if they're able to combine that with tracking other key signals in the body, obviously, they can do glucose already. But, if they could also do, for example, another molecule I just mentioned, lactate, and have a sensor be able to from a bio wearable standpoint do glucose, do ketones and do lactate, I don't know anybody who'd want to have three sensors slapped on their body all at once. That'd be pretty sick.
Michael: They are. Yes to all that. They're doing glucose, ketones, lactate, and they're actually doing alcohol. So, you can see your blood alcohol levels so you don't get pulled over.
Michael: Super interesting. And, funny enough that I saw the news and I started tweeting about it and posting about it. One of my old buddies from college is actually the product manager over at Abbott and we sent over our ketone version 1 over there. So, they're definitely ticking around with our products there because you think about you're inventing a ketone sensor, how are you going to elevate your ketone levels to make sure that your sensor is working? Well, okay, you can fast for four days, you can do eat no carbs for a week, or you can just immediately directly get into ketones by drinking H.V.M.N. ketone or there's other ones out there. But again, our claim is that we're the best elevating ketones per dollar.
So, I would say, I guess, on a wrap-up note here, there's a whole ecosystem going on right now. Innovations in hardware, innovations in nutrition, updated understanding on the market of what people are putting into their body, what they're getting out of it, it's all connected. And, yeah, it's a really exciting time. I think human body is a super exciting platform for innovation. Your body is the most advanced piece of hardware that you'll ever own. And we're just fine. I feel we're in the first inning of really even understanding what's going on inside your body. And, once you understand what's going on, okay, what are you going to go and do about it? And, obviously Ben, you've been trailblazing in this stuff for decade-plus. And, I think that the average person is going to be catching up in the forthcoming decade.
Well, one thing that I'd leave people with just from a practical standpoint is my recommendation at this point would be try skipping breakfast a few times and instead do anywhere from depending on your size and based on what you learned in this episode one to three shots. And, if you would like to combine it with coffee, a little bit of baking soda, or your nootropic of choice, and I should mention that both fish oil and CBD seem to be two other compounds that in a CBD in a 10- to 20-milligram dosage fish oil and a 4 to 6 gram-ish type of dosage seem to pair pretty well from a cognitive pick-me-up standpoint with the ketones. So, consider that, consider trying a workout with blood flow restriction training, and ketones, and preferably throw in a little bit of essential amino acids. And then, do that early in the day if you can. So, you're basically flooding your body, your brain particularly, with ketones and lactate. So, try that. I would recommend that if you are experimenting with this for sleep and recovery, try one to two servings before bed. Whether or not you combine those with a glass of wine or some type of alcohol to increase the GABAergic effect is up to you, but I would warn you, you can tend to get excessively sedated or sleepy by combining ketones with alcohol in many cases. So, proceed at your own risk with that and don't do it around a tractor or any other heavy machinery. And then, for those of you who are just productivity hackers, even consider perhaps getting a bottle of this stuff, skipping lunch on a few days. If you tend to need an extra hour during the day to catch up on some work, do a couple of shots of this instead of lunch and just come back. And, I dare you to tell me that you're thinking about food at all until dinner. It's pretty amazing in that respect.
So, there's a few ways, for those of you listening in, to get your wheels churning about how you might use this stuff. It's called Ketone IQ. I do know we have some special discounts for it. I don't remember what they are. I probably should have my ketones before this podcast. But anyways, I'll put them all in the shownotes. If you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Ketonepodcast. And, I'll also link to all the other work I've done on ketones, podcasts, articles, the H.V.M.N. website, et cetera, et cetera.
Michael, did I miss anything?
Michael: No, thanks. This is a lot of fun. Thank you, Ben. All the good work you do as a practitioner, student, teacher of the game, this is a lot of fun. Appreciate your time.
In compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume the following about links and posts on this site. Most of the links going to products are often affiliate links of which I receive a small commission from sales of certain items. But, the price is the same for you. And sometimes, I even get to share a unique and somewhat significant discount with you. In some cases, I might also be an investor in a company I mention. I'm the founder, for example, of Kion LLC, the makers of Kion-branded supplements and products, which I talked about quite a bit.
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12 March 2022
Having been a consumer of a low-carb or some semblance of a somewhat ketogenic diet since I was a 19 year old bodybuilder — that's right, a couple decades of eating keto—I've admittedly covered the topics of ketosis and ketones plenty in past podcasts (see the resources section below for all previous episodes and articles).
However, quite recently, things have become a bit more exciting and cutting-edge in the ever-evolving realm of ketones, particularly when it comes to “exogenous ketones,” a supplemental form that one can consume to rapidly shift themselves into a state of safe, appetite-satiated, performance-dominating, inflammation-crushing ketosis, and so it's high time I gave you an update on these magical molecules.
My guest on this podcast, Michael Brandt, is the Co-founder and CEO of Health Via Modern Nutrition, or H.V.M.N. for short. Michael believes ketones are a nutritional primitive; a tool for everyone’s toolkit, akin to Omega-3, caffeine, or CBD. H.V.M.N. launched the world’s first ketone ester in 2017, secured a $6MM contract with U.S. Special Operations Command, and has since worked with elite athletes and researchers to determine the effects of its ketone formulas on everything from athletic performance to recovery to metabolic health and longevity.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-“Exogenous ketones” defined and how they work…11:00
- The body has always made ketones in a carb-deprived state
- Ketone IQ is a directly drinkable ketone (use code BENG to save 10%)
- Exogenous ketones allow you to get to the equivalent ketone levels of 3-4 days of fasting
- A high level of ketones in the bloodstream is not indicative of the body's ability to utilize ketones for energy
-Limiting factors in the body's ability to utilize ketones…15:11
- Metabolic flexibility
- Difficult to pinpoint specific enzyme
- Ancient humans had higher ketone levels than humans today
- Ketone bodies produced by the liver
-What is Ketone IQ?…20:11
- Ketone IQ is in the BHB family
- Butanediol converts to BHB in the liver
- Ketone version 1 was esterized BHB with butanediol; relatively expensive ($30 a shot)
- Ketone version 2 (Ketone IQ) is simplified and more affordable
- Measure ketone levels via blood vs. urine
- A form of BHB in a specific configuration from what's been used in the past
- R13 Butanediol
- ~$4 per 10g dose
- Key metric: elevation of blood ketones per dollar without unpleasant side effects
-The average length of time of peak productivity after a Ketone IQ serving…35:02
- Benchmark is 500mg per kg of body weight (30-50g per day)
- The ketone will make you objectively less hungry
- Ketones may increase mTor activation
- Are ketones fasting friendly?
-The impact of elevated ketone levels on sleep…42:45
- Rhonda Patrick on Joe Rogan's podcast
- Podcast with Dr. Rhonda Patrick:
- Combined with alcohol makes one very sleepy
-Effects of ketone esters on recovery…47:15
- Kion Aminos effect amplified with ketone esters
- Different uses of ketones for different lifestyles/activities
-Compounds that stack well with ketones…49:46
- Caffeine amplifies ketones
- Dosing Sodium bicarbonate slowly
- Kratom blends well (code BEN40 for a 40% discount automatically applied at checkout)
- Amplification of “third-eye” while in a state of ketosis
- Plant medicine journeys
- Ketones activate brain activity
-Effects of ketones on Alzheimer's progression…57:08
- Correlation between diabetes and Alzheimer's
- TBI causes hypometabolism
- Ketones with chronic TBI study being commissioned
- Elevated levels of lactate
- BFR training to increase blood lactate levels
- Abbot's Lingo device for continuous ketone tracking
-Ben's tips on introducing ketones into your lifestyle…1:06:04
- Skip breakfast a few times
- 1-3 shots of Ketone IQ combined with coffee, baking soda, and fish oil
- BFR training with amino acids
- A couple of shots of Ketone IQ in place of lunch (use code BENG to save 10%)
And much more!
- RUNGA – The Gathering (May 12-14, 2022). Register for the event now by clicking here
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar
Resources from this episode:
– Michael Brandt:
- HVMN Ketone IQ (use code BENG to save 10%)
– Podcasts And Articles:
- The Latest Research On Ketones & Ketosis For Performance & Recovery, Do Ketones Break A Fast, Using Ketones For 45 Days Of Crossfit Murph, Ketone Esters vs. Ketone Salts & More With Geoffrey Woo of H.V.M.N.
- A Deep Dive Into Ketosis: How Navy Seals, Extreme Athletes & Busy Executives Can Enhance Physical and Mental Performance With The Secret Weapon of Ketone Fuel
- How To Use Exogenous Ketones For Recovery, Cognition, Sleep & Beyond.
- Four New, Cutting-Edge Ways To Easily Shift Your Body Into Fat-Burning Mode & Ketosis.
- The Great Ketogenic Ironman Experiment – Can You Go Low-Carb And Be A Fast Endurance Athlete Without Destroying Your Body?
- Combining Low Carb And Extreme Exercise – The Official Results Of The Great Ketogenic Ironman Experiment
- The Official “Ask Me Anything About Ketosis & Ironman” Premium Podcast with Ben Greenfield
- Is It Possible To Be Extremely Active and Eat A Low Carbohydrate Diet?
- How To Turn Yourself Into A Fat Burning Machine By Fasting For 24 Hours Then Going Out And Do Monster Workouts Without Bonking.
- How To Customize Your Diet.
- Microdosing For Sports Performance, Microdosing Stacks With Psychedelics & Plant Medicines, The Best Microdosing Protocols & Much More With James Fadiman.
- Everything You Need To Know About How To Use Heat Exposure To Enhance Performance, Burn Fat, Gain Muscle And Think Better.
- Top 3 Ways To Test For Ketosis
– Other Resources:
- Kion Aminos
- Kion Coffee
- Kion Omega
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Feel Free (code BEN40 for a 40% discount automatically applied at checkout)
- BFR Bands
- Rhonda Patrick On The Joe Rogan Experience
- Metabolic Effects Of The Very Low Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood “Villains” Of Human Metabolism
- Metabolic Flexibility As An Adaptation To Energy Resources And Requirements In Health And Disease
- Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Or BHB – All You Need To Know
- Intake Of A Ketone Ester Drink During Recovery From Exercise Promotes mTORC1 Signaling But Not Glycogen Resynthesis In Human Muscle
- Link Between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease Due To The Shared Amyloid Aggregation And Deposition Involving Both Neurodegenerative Changes And Neurovascular Damages
- Loss Of Neuronal Integrity: A Cause Of Hypometabolism In Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury Without MRI Abnormality In The Chronic Stage
–Lucy Nicotine Gum: If you are looking for a cleaner and tastier alternative to other nicotine products, then this product is for you. The gum comes in three flavors – Wintergreen, Cinnamon, and Pomegranate – and the lozenges in cherry ice. To save 20% on any order, just use discount code BEN20.
–Kion Sleep: Contains only natural ingredients with long clinical research history behind them that are safe to take every night. There’s no grogginess: You’ll wake up feeling refreshed, recovered, and energized!
–Butcher Box: Delivers healthy 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork directly to your door on a monthly basis. All their products are humanely raised and NEVER given antibiotics or hormones.
–Endure: My new book, Endure, is now available for pre-order! I’ll gift you the first three chapters of Endure as an instantly downloadable e-book and I'll give you a sweet discount on the exact journal my family and I developed and use each day, The Spiritual Disciplines Journal.