Exogenous Ketones and Bodybuilding - The Muscle PhD
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Exogenous Ketones and Bodybuilding

Don’t you just wish you had some sort of fuel that can help you stay lean when you want to, build muscle when you need to, stay full, have better focus for longer periods, and make you insulin sensitive at the same time? If you think we’re talking about some sort of miracle substance then you’re missing out on exogenous ketones!

While a ketogenic diet has existed for decades, and low carb diets even longer, the term “exogenous ketones” is a relatively novel term for the bodybuilding sphere. With everyone talking about how effective ketones are for your workouts, it’s time to answer one of your burning questions!

No, it’s not “what are ketones?” Though, we’ll get into that soon. We’re sure that the real reason you’re here is because you’re wondering if exogenous ketones are worth it for bodybuilding, especially if you’re not on a ketogenic diet! Without beating around the bush, yes they definitely are, and here’s why.

The Superior Fuel Source

Ketones are actually a superior fuel source that are only formed when you’re on a very low carb diet or when you’re starving. Back in the day when nobody had access to convenience stores or fast food restaurants, we’d either hunt or farm to get our food. Needless to say, your meals weren’t guaranteed back then, and what would happen when there’s a famine and you’re starving? Well, your body needs a super fuel.

It would create a fuel from fat called ketones. Ketones are four-carbon molecules that actually produce 26% to 30% more energy than carbohydrates! A higher tier fuel source indeed.

A Bodybuilders Dream

Not only do ketones excel from a fueling perspective, they actually make you insulin sensitive! Imagine getting a low carb fuel that increases your energy and strength, WHILE making you insulin sensitive. Well, ketones will do that for you.

In our laboratories, we found that taking ketones gives you energy, strength, and even a huge cognitive boost. Not only were ketones found to give increased focus, they actually increased the duration of focus as well! But, how does that help you during your workouts? It leads to increased acute strength and a greater training volume! In the long-term, these benefits will almost certainly boost gains.

This is why we recommend taking ketones as a pre workout for the best results.

Stay Full & Get Lean

One of the other benefits of ketones is that they’ll help control your hunger because they’re super satiating. This is a huge help when you’re trying to stick to a diet. Ketones are also known as a signaling molecule. Usually when training, our body sends a signal to our muscles to adapt which tells your muscles to build more mitochondria. And when you’re doing cardio, you’re depleting your muscles of their carbohydrate stores –  that’s one way your body knows that it needs to build more mitochondria.

However, we also found that ketones rise up when your carbs are depleted. Ultimately, they help stimulate an increase in mitochondria! Not the last of the benefits of ketones is the ability to make you less efficient at storing calories.

You’ve probably found yourself gaining fat just from looking at a delicious cake after a contest, that means you’re super efficient at storing calories. And ketones are your key to making your body less efficient at storing calories, since they trigger something called brown fat. Brown fat makes it increasingly harder to store calories because it increases something called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the creation of heat, and this production of heat comes from burning calories!

Our Recommendations

We recommend taking 5 to 10 grams of ketones with your pre workout. Not only can ketones boost focus throughout your workout, they also might directly help gains since they stimulate muscle protein synthesis. While we do recommend taking 5-10g of ketones pre workout, if you need an energy boost take another 2 or 3 servings.

When you’re dieting, this miracle fuel source will help prevent you from losing muscle, and when you’re trying to trigger muscle growth, they’ll help support the building process of muscle. Imagine combining ketones with amino acids, no need to let your imagination run wild on this one. We found that if ketones are high when you drink a protein shake, amino acid levels rise more quickly because ketones actually prevent them from being burned.

To summarize, ketones:

  1. Are a superior energy source
  2. Are a signaling molecule that stimulates muscle growth
  3. Decrease inflammation
  4. Decrease the ability to store calories (Makes you less efficient at storing calories)
  5. Have powerful cognitive effects
  6. Prevent you from losing muscle

We hope this article helped provide you with information about the usefulness of exogenous ketones in bodybuilding. We’ll see you next time you have any questions!

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