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J Sci Med Sport. 2018 Dec 6. pii: S1440-2440(18)30553-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2018.11.027. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of 1,3-butanediol and carbohydrate supplementation on running performance.

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School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, UK. Electronic address:
Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, UK.



Ingested ketogenic agents offer the potential to enhance endurance performance via the provision of an alternative exogenous, metabolically efficient, glycogen-sparing fuel (i.e. ketone bodies). This study aimed to assess the impact of combined carbohydrate and 1,3-butanediol (CHO-BD) supplementation on endurance performance, blood beta-hydroxybutyrate (βHB) concentration and glycolytic activity, in comparison to carbohydrate supplementation alone (CHO).


Eleven male runners (age 38±12years, mass 67.3±6.5kg, height 174.5±5.0cm, [Formula: see text] 64.2±5.0ml⋅kg-1⋅min-1) performed two experimental trials in a randomised crossover design.


Each trial consisted of 60min of submaximal running, followed by a 5km running time-trial (TT), and was performed following the ingestion of an energy matched ∼650ml drink (CHO-BD or CHO).


There was no difference in TT completion time between the trials (CHO: 1265±93, CHO-BD: 1261±96s; p=0.723). However, blood βHB concentration in the CHO-BD trial was at least double that of the CHO trial at all time points following supplementation (p<0.05). While blood lactate concentration was lower in the CHO-BD versus CHO trial after 30min submaximal exercise (CHO-BD: 1.46±0.67mmol⋅L-1, CHO: 1.77±0.46mmol⋅L-1, p=0.040), it was similar at other time points. Blood glucose concentrations were higher post-TT in the CHO-BD trial (CHO-BD: 5.83±1.02mmol⋅L-1, CHO: 5.26±0.95mmol⋅L-1, p=0.015).


An energy matched CHO-BD supplementation drink raised βHB concentration and acutely lowered blood lactate concentration, without enhancing 5km TT running performance.


Dietary supplements; Exercise performance; Ketone bodies; Sports nutrition; Substrate

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