How can ketones boost your overall health and well-being? University of Oxford Professor of Physiological Biochemistry, Dr. Kieran Clarke, returns to the podcast to share how your body interacts with ketones differently from other fuel sources. Listen in as Dr. Clarke shares how this novel and exciting fuel source can be used for improving body composition, increasing mental clarity, maintaining a balanced mood, decreasing anxiety, and boosting the immune system. She also answers listener questions about when NOT to use ketones, how to combine them with other fuel sources, and the origin of the deltaG ester.


Intro: This is the TriDot podcast. TriDot uses your training data and genetic profile, combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize your training, giving you better results in less time with fewer injuries. Our podcast is here to educate, inspire, and entertain. We’ll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and special guests. Join the conversation and let’s improve together.

Andrew Harley: Welcome to an exciting new episode of the TriDot podcast. Our nutrition based episodes are always some of our most popular and rightly so. Getting nutrition and energy intake right can pay huge dividends in our training and day-to-day health. So we greatly value the partnerships we have with experts in the field of health and nutrition. One of those wonderful partnerships is with our deltaG friends who have been teaching us about ketones. Back on episode 104 we thoroughly covered the performance benefits of deltaG Ketone Esters to boost endurance, resilience, and recovery for us as triathletes, but we barely scratched the surface of what ketones can do for our overall health and wellbeing. So we are thrilled to be joined once more by Professor Kieran Clarke. Professor Clarke is the professor of physiological biochemistry at the University of Oxford. She has around 30 years research experience extensively studying the effects of diet on energy metabolism in the heart, skeletal, muscle, and brain and thereby on physical performance and cognitive function. It was her groups ketone research that led to the creation of the deltaG ester drink. Professor Clarke, welcome back to the TriDot podcast!

Professor Kieran Clarke: Hello. Great to see you and to do another TriDot podcast.

Andrew: Also joining us is pro triathlete and coach Elizabeth James. Elizabeth is a USAT Level II and IRONMAN U certified coach, who quickly rose through the triathlon ranks using TriDot. From a beginner, to top age grouper, to a professional triathlete, she’s a Kona and Boston Marathon qualifier who has coached triathletes with TriDot since 2014. Elizabeth, are you ready to talk about ketone esters today?

Elizabeth James: Yes very much so. Looking forward to this episode.

Andrew: Well, I’m Andrew, the Average Triathlete, Voice of the People and Captain of the Middle of the Pack. As always we'll roll through our warm up question, settle in for our main set topic, and then wind things down with our cool down.

Before we get to all the ketone goodness I want to give a quick podcast mention to the upcoming Remote Racing Preseason Race Series. Last year hundreds of triathletes took part in the inaugural Remote Race hosted by USA Triathlon and we had a blast competing in a real race against real people all while taking part from our own locations. To help triathletes kick off this season and test their fitness before those in person races begin, Remote  Racing is hosting a three race series with one race in February, one in March, and one in April. Athletes can pick one or race and even two or three of these. The medals you receive look great by themselves or they will fit together if you do the entire three race series. The team at Remote Racing has picked three super unique locations for these races and the very first one starting on February 24th is set on the iconic Las Vegas Strip. You can of course do the bike leg outside on your favorite close to home route or on your indoor training platform of choice. If you use Rouvy you can race with Las Vegas Boulevard lit up in front of you. It’s a really cool venue. How many triathletes can say that they’ve time trialed down that stretch of road basking in the glow of all the casino lights? Our podcast episode coming up on February 21st will give you all the tips you need to know to rock a remote race. So head to to check out all the details for the preseason race series and to get registered for the Vegas Remote Triathlon.

Warm up theme: Time to warm up! Let’s get moving.

Andrew: Triathlon is a growing sport for sure, but the number of people that have never done a triathlon are far greater than those of us who have. Many triathletes are the only triathlete in their family or friend group. It’s a sport that either appeals to you or it just plain doesn’t. So for today’s warm up question, what non-triathlete in your life would you most want to see try a triathlon? Elizabeth, let’s start with you.

Elizabeth: Okay, so for me this would have to be my brother Ben and I would love to see him try a triathlon and I don’t think that that’s too far out of the question which is the reason that he immediately came to mind. He picked up running a couple years ago and he just recently borrowed our dad’s old bike. I think that he was truly inspired watching the athletes compete in Kona. All of my family came to support me when I raced there in 2018 and he’s mentioned a couple times since then just how intrigued he is by the sport.

Andrew: Okay.

Elizabeth: I think that initial hook is there and now we just need a little more encouragement and it might happen. But I mean, I’ve shared so many neat experiences with my brother, particularly involved around sport and I think that this would just be another really cool thing for he and I to share together.

Andrew: And once you have that hook– once that idea is kind of just planted in the back of your brain somewhere it’s hard to shake it. It’s really just a matter of time, right, until you cave and try one of these ridiculous things. I wonder, Elizabeth, if you tell him, “Hey go listen to the first five minutes of this episode of the TriDot podcast.” I wonder if just hearing this public callout will be enough to spur him into, “Okay, fine, fine. You talked about this on a podcast. I’ll go sign up for one.”

Elizabeth: Oh yeah. Now we’ve got the public peer pressure here.

Andrew: Yeah. I absolutely love it. Now Professor Clarke, you are not a triathlete yourself. We do know from our last conversations your husband is an enthusiastic cyclist. So for you, if someone in your life was to try a triathlon, who would you want it to be?

Professor Clarke: Well triathlon is such a good sport. To tell the truth I wish I could do one myself, but there doesn’t seem to be a little ancient granny class as far as I can tell. So I would really like to see one of or all four of my wonderful nephews at least to attempt it if they didn’t even get there.

Andrew: Sure and in attempting one they could definitely pick a sprint or an Olympic distance triathlon. It wouldn’t have to be a full blown IRONMAN. They could go out and those are relatively friendly to beginners. It’s a much shorter swim, much shorter bike, and then a 5K run at the end. So if you tell your nephews, “Hey go listen to this podcast. I said something about you.” maybe that will be the spark to have them go find a local sprint triathlon because it’s just a great distance to start with. It’s what a lot of us, Elizabeth and myself included, started with. So you’ll have to tell them. Look up a sprint triathlon and see if it might plant some sort of nugget there.

Professor Clarke: I will indeed.

Andrew: Well, we can’t wait to hear an update on that that’s for sure. On TriDot’s staff most of us either are triathletes or have done a triathlon, but there is one key member of the TriDot team who has never done a triathlon. His name is Joey English.

Elizabeth: I knew exactly where you were going with that. I was like, “Oh yes. This is great.”

Andrew: And Joey, he’s great. He’s a lot of fun. When you’re on TriDot you fire up the app, you logon on your computer. Everything you see in front of you– the way the layout is designed, the way the app functions, everything– Joey is our front end UX designer. If you know what that is then you know what that means. I was not familiar with the term UX designer until I was on staff at TriDot, but Joey basically designs our app. He shapes the app. He decides what everything on the app is going to look like and how it’s going to function and actually at the time this podcast is being recorded and edited, Joey has been making some really exciting updates to the app. The whole app is about to get an overhaul and it’s going to look amazing when it launches in just a few weeks. But I would love to see Joey. I mean here’s all of us that talk shop. He’s probably the most well educated non-triathlete out there just from hearing us talk. So Joey English is my pick, TriDot’s UX designer and I can’t wait for him to fire up this episode and be totally shocked by his inclusion here.

Hey y’all! We want to hear from you and see what you have to say here. Who in your life of everybody you can think of who is not a triathlete, who would you get most excited to see attempt a triathlon. We’re going to throw this question out like we always do on the I AM TriDot Facebook group. So make sure you’re a member of that group. Find the post asking this question and start a little positive peer pressure with some of the non-triathletes in your life.

Main set theme: On to the main set. Going in 3…2…1…

DELTAG KETONES:  Ketones are nature’s super fuel and deltaG in all four strengths rapidly induces deep ketosis in just 20 minutes. Oxford University Professor Kieran Clarke, founder and CEO of TdeltaS Global led the effort to develop deltaG and she has been teaching us about the performance and health benefits of drinking the revolutionary Oxford Ketone Ester.  Many of us on the TriDot team are already using deltaG Performance and Tactical for our training and racing and now we are adding deltaG Coffee Booster to our morning routine. Ketones and caffeine work incredibly well together and I love the energy boost and mental clarity the combo provides. If you want to experience the feeling of a ketone fueled training session or a ketone boosted cup of morning coffee head to and try deltaG for yourself. At they even offer free 15 minute one-on-one consultations where you can learn more about their products including deltaH and the brand new delta Gold Coffee Booster. So again, that’s to learn more and remember to use the code TRIDOT20 to get 20% off your super fueled deltaG ketone drinks.

Andrew: Professor Clarke, what we here at TriDot love about the work your team is doing is just how much research stands behind the ester. We talked back on episode 104 about how the research at the University of Oxford and NIH led to the creation of deltaG as a drink for soldiers and then we talked about how you found enormous benefits for endurance athletes in your studies. As you keep working on what deltaG can do, what are you seeing in your research that led to having deltaH for day-to-day health applications?

Professor Clarke: Well working on it showed that about 30 grams of deltaG really works for endurance performance, but it wasn’t until– It wasn’t actually our own research that lead to the idea of smaller amounts of deltaG every day. So there are many, quite a lot, of ketogenic diet studies that have shown the positive effects of just slightly elevating beta hydroxybutyrate levels, going from 0 to about 1 millimolar, and these levels decrease hunger, they control blood glucose levels, they prevent muscle loss, and they lower chronic inflammation. So for example chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, people with that or COPD, people with that often use ketogenic diet or exogenous ketones to decrease inflammation. So ketogenic diet has been shown to prevent free radical damage for example in aging. So it wasn’t our research that led to the idea of having a smaller amount daily. But now there are research groups around the world who had run or are running studies of deltaG and they look at these particular types of beneficial effects. The studies show that increasing just BHB levels daily, not to high levels not to where you need 30 grams or anything. It’s probably not necessary to take 30 grams. Just small amounts, 5 to 10 grams a day, enough to mimic a ketogenic diet.

Andrew: For people that have some of those health concerns that a ketogenic diet will benefit that supplementing with deltaG will benefit, just out of curiosity is the effect of taking an ester supplement like deltaG does that have the same effect or similar effect to a keto diet? Does it mimic a keto diet or is it more powerful even than a keto diet?

Professor Clarke: Well the 30 grams, or around about 30 grams, is the only thing on the market for athletes. It’s the only thing that really does help performance, but you don’t need that every day.

Andrew: Okay.

Professor Clarke: The ketogenic diet doesn’t get you up to those levels unless you’re really, really strict and you build them up for some weeks. But the ketogenic people do report all these effects from the ketogenic diet and usually the levels are only around 1 to 2 millimolar of beta hydroxybutyrate or even less and it still has an effect. So this is why we went with the lower amounts as well, but more regularly, sort of daily intake rather than just when you’re performing.

Andrew: No, very interesting. That’s probably good context for our listeners. On our last episode we talked a lot about deltaG Tactical. We talked a lot about deltaG Performance. Those have those higher amounts for athletes and today Elizabeth and I have a lot of questions locked and loaded about deltaH and deltaGold which have lower amounts. So that’s great context right there kind of at the start of our conversation.

So Professor Clarke, when we just talk about metabolic function what happens in our body to even turn consumed fuel into energy?

Professor Clarke: Well, the human body burns carbs and fats that we get in our food and it burns them as fuels .So it uses oxygen to burn them just like fires need oxygen. Our food is first broken down in the gut and it goes to smaller molecules and they are transported across the gut more and into the blood so the bloodstream delivers all of the nutrients to all of the organs in the body. By this time carbohydrates have been broken down to glucose and fat into fatty acids. These go into the cell and into the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. It’s where the food is actually burned, where the glucose and the fat is actually burned and it’s burned in the mitochondria using oxygen to make ATP. It’s the ATP which is used as the energy source. So it’s a way of getting your food into ATP so that you can actually use the ATP in muscles to contract.

Elizabeth: I think that’s just a helpful background as we start to look at this with what happens internally in our body with what we’re consuming and how that gets turned into energy. So from that background, what is it that’s unique about the deltaG Ketone Ester that allows it to be such an effective source of fuel for our bodies? How does our body interact with ketones differently than it does from other fuel sources?

Professor Clarke: Well first of all you have to think about why do we have ketones? So when you think throughout history and I mean thousands of years, humans have had times of feast and times of famine. So when there’s plenty of food you store food as fat and you put on weight. When food is scarce you use the stored fat to survive. So the only thing is that the brain can’t burn fat. So it needs glucose from carbohydrate. However, when you’re starving and there’s no carbohydrate in the diet you’ve got low glucose levels and low insulin levels so the brain would start to starve and not function at all. In fact, you’d die. So what happens is that the body uses fat to make ketones. Fat is a really large molecule and ketones are really tiny, really only four carbons and so they go into the brain and keep the brain alive when you have no glucose to keep the brain alive. So that’s why we have ketones. So they’re made from fat by the liver and these ketones that are made from fat are called endogenous ketones. These ketones are vital. There’s no human body that can survive without them and they provide instant energy to the brain in times when there’s no carbohydrate. They’re also partially oxygenated which means you don’t need so much processing by the body so they are quickly metabolized by the mitochondria. So they’re instant energy and that’s what makes them so special.

Andrew: In calling them instant energy, is there anything else that an athlete or just a person talking day-to-day health, is there anything we can consume that gets energy to our brains faster than a ketone or is a ketone it?

Professor Clarke: Oh, glucose. So if you have a glucose drink that certainly goes to the brain too. So yes, and there’s no doubt that if you’re sprinting you need glucose. There’s no doubt about it. But basically the body has ketones to protect the brain. The ester is a source of instant energy and it complements the glucose that we have in our diet because there’s a limit to how fast glucose can be taken up from the gut, but the body really needs ketones as well. So it’s sort of like a jewel fuel.

Andrew: So in our first podcast episode with you we heard you and Dr. Krista Austin both discuss deltaG’s ability to increase endurance and improve recovery, but the things that you just outlined– deltaG’s ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, insatiate hunger– those are some of the qualities that can help us with diets and our caloric intake goals. Talk to us about how deltaG is used for weight loss or to maintain an already healthy body composition.

Professor Clarke: Again going back to the ketogenic diet, deltaG can decrease hunger so it’s not working on energy then, it’s not providing energy, it’s working through a signaling mechanism to tell your body that it doesn’t really need to eat so much.

Andrew: Okay.

Professor Clarke: But to lose weight you can’t just drink deltaG and have it fall off. You actually have to reduce your calorie intake as well. So it’s certainly not magic and it needs to be used with a healthy balanced diet that you just have less of. So for example in intermittent fasting if you have a drink of deltaH in the morning that will help you get through to say the first meal of the day which would be at lunch time. It just keeps those hunger pangs at bay and it also helps with hunger if you’re about to go to sleep. It’s very difficult to get to sleep if you–

Andrew: Yeah absolutely.

Professor Clarke: So the ketone ester just helps maintain a healthy body composition by decreasing glucose oscillations and it prevents muscle breakdown as well. So all of these things, it’s not an energy source then. It’s a signaling molecule at that time.

Andrew: No, that’s very interesting. So for folks that practice intermittent fasting or are interested in intermittent fasting, deltaH is probably the perfect companion for that. In that case is deltaH best used as a daily supplement at that point to essentially enable that intermittent fasting diet?

Professor Clarke: Oh I think so. I think it really helps just one drink a day I think it’s 50 calories or something which is nothing and it really does stave off hunger.

Andrew: So in our last conversation I’m pretty sure you picked up on my deep, deep love and appreciation for my morning coffee and you recommended that I try putting a teaspoon of deltaG Tactical into a cup of coffee just to experience the multiplying affects deltaG has on caffeine. Now I tried this a couple times; a few week mornings, I did it once before a Saturday morning workout and just wow, Professor Clarke, was I a fan of doing this. It’s become such a popular way to use deltaG actually that you created the deltaGold Coffee Booster. It’s literally called the the deltaGold Coffee Booster. It’s like this was tailor made for me. Never before has there been a product so custom created for my personal interests. Talk to us just about developing deltaGold and how we should all be using it.

Professor Clarke: Well, I mean the coffee booster actually started as one of those rare, sort of eureka water cooler chat moments. It just came out of the blue. So one morning Sid Pritchard who is our company president mentioned that he had added a teaspoon of deltaG to his coffee that morning and he noticed an immediate effect on mental clarity and we just went, “Oh yeah.” We were quite skeptical really. So then we thought, well we’ll just follow it up. We’ll ask lots of people, or several people anyway, to try the ester in their coffee and they all reported that same thing. Then we thought, well you know, and they all wanted it for their coffee. We then decided it was worthwhile trying to sell it as a coffee booster so the people could have it daily and just have small amounts in their coffee and it really does raise your ketone levels. So that’s how it’s working. Instead of– well, yeah. It’s working on the brain. It definitely is.

Andrew: Yeah, I love that in that story that when that was first reported to you, I mean you were skeptical at first. You weren’t even immediately like, “Oh, of course it would do that.” Like as a scientist you approached it, you had other people try it before reaching the conclusion that it was doing something there. Now Professor Clarke, I have had conversations with TriDot athletes who have tried deltaG with their morning coffee in the same way that I did and they’ve all reported the exact same experience. There’s just such a noticeable difference in mental clarity that you get from the ketone ester in the morning with your coffee. I’ve even heard athletes try deltaG Performance mid workout and they report back that they just felt so laser focused on the workout after downing their deltaG. So clearly we’ve got solid anecdotal evidence to support deltaG’s brain health boost. So Professor Clarke, what is the science behind this? What is the ketone ester doing that gives us such a jolt to our cognitive function?

Professor Clarke: Well as I said when we first heard this from Sid we thought this is just impossible. He’s making this up. But then we realized that caffeine, the way caffeine works it’s a stimulant. All these energy drinks what they are is they use energy, they don’t produce energy. So caffeine is a stimulant and it requires mitochondria to make more energy. So the body just needs more energy when you have caffeine. So the body has to make ATP quickly and so a teaspoon full of ketone ester provides an instant fuel for the mitochondria to burn to make the ATP that a caffeinated body needs. So the body doesn’t have to wait around for glucose or fat to be metabolized for fuel. The ketone just instantaneously provides a really efficient fuel for a caffeinated body.

Andrew: Elizabeth, have you used it in your morning coffee yet at all or just during training.

Elizabeth: Just during training.

Professor Clarke: Oh you should try it in your coffee. The coffee makes it taste much better as well.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s very true.

Elizabeth: Yeah, I mean after all of this I’m definitely going to have to put it in my coffee.

Andrew: And Professor Clarke, just to kind of clarify for our athletes, when we say a teaspoon it’s literally– you buy the bottle and now it’s deltaGold. People can also do this with deltaG Tactical obviously as well, but you just pour a teaspoon from the bottle. And that bottle doing it that way lasts several mornings. So you buy the three pack and that’s not three days’ worth of ester for your coffee, that is multiple, multiple, multiple days per bottle of ester in your coffee. Is that correct?

Professor Clarke: Oh, yes. That’s right. So it’s at least 18 days’ worth or 18 coffees worth let’s say. If you find that you’re putting too much in you can use less and you can also use more. You can have two coffees. It leaves it quite flexible really.

Andrew: Ok. No great. That’s great context. I’ve actually placed an order for my first three pack of the coffee booster. So just when you’re placing that order and you see the price tag, just know that is 18 days’ worth of morning coffee boost. That, at that point, becomes a very great price point. So excited for our folks to hear that.

Elizabeth: And those are talking about some of the mental benefits here of ketone esters. I think I kind of want to also take this into the mental health space. I mean mental health is something that’s taken an enormous step into the public as of late and rightly so. It certainly did not escape my eye when I read from your research that ketones can help maintain a balanced mood and decrease some occasional anxiety as well. I think that sometimes we forget that what we put our bodies through doesn’t just affect us physically, but it can mentally as well. So I was hoping you could just expand a little bit on how ketones can support balanced mental health.

Professor Clarke: Well, again, anecdotally people do report that the ketogenic diet helps to decrease anxiety and increase mental clarity and sort of even helps with children with epilepsy, but studies have shown that deltaG has the same effect as the ketogenic diet probably because it’s topping up the brain’s fuel supply. This would happen especially in conditions when the brain has low glucose levels or can only use small amounts of glucose, for example, in diabetes. So while there have only been a few studies done for mental health they are all looking positive even for various sort of mental diseases as well.

Elizabeth: That’s really cool. That’s so interesting. There’s just so many benefits here of what these ketone esters can do and another one that stuck out to me was the benefit to our immune system. I think typically there’s very few of us that pay attention to our immune system until we notice that we’re feeling under the weather. We don’t think about it too much until oh, now we’re sick. We want it to do its job and just keep us healthy. So how can ketones help our body in that endeavor of boosting our immune system and keeping us healthy?

Professor Clarke: Well again you have to go back to the ketogenic diet and that has been used for example in COPD which is a chronic inflammatory disease. Now studies are reporting that daily small intakes of deltaG have the same beneficial effects on various markers of the immune system. So I think there’s more to come on this…

Andrew: Okay.

Professor Clarke: …but it seems to work.

Andrew: Yeah, so we just kind of one by one just went through so many different benefits that deltaG has. It’s funny with athletes we lead with the performance benefits, right? We did a whole hour long episode just talking about how to mix the deltaG ketone ester into your triathlon training and racing and you lead with that because that’s what we as triathletes want to hear about first and now we’ve circled back and there’s just all these awesome things. Just knowing not only is it boosting your performance when you take a larger dose, but when you take a smaller dose with deltaH or the coffee booster it’s helping your immune system, it’s helping your cognitive function, it’s just helping you be laser focused on your tasks for the day, it’s giving your body steady fuel. So with just a wide range of health benefits in adding deltaG to our nutrition regimen, how are people using these products? What are the stories you’re hearing of people mixing the different products into their lifestyles?

Professor Clarke: Well, some people love drinking deltaH in the mornings to help them with the weight loss. Others drink a teaspoon of deltaGold in the morning or a teaspoon of Tactical in their morning coffee because it helps their mental clarity and the effects are quite dramatic. Then we hear about others drinking small amounts daily to help with chronic inflammation for example in lung disease, sort of to decrease asthma attacks and some people say it helps stop migraines. So they have a drink just before they feel a migraine coming on and it seems to go away.

Andrew: Oh, that’s awesome.

Professor Clarke: So there’s all these different effects but we have to remember that it comes from the body itself. It’s based on ketone metabolism that we’ve always had. It’s not some sort of snake oil or anything. It’s based on something that the body already does.

Andrew: Yep. So using deltaG it’s pretty straightforward for athletes that are wanting that benefit to their performance during those key training sessions. We talked about that back on episode 104. But what are the usage recommendations when we talk about deltaH and deltaGold for these health benefits? Is this a daily thing? Is it best reserved for the days we feel like we need an energy boost or days where maybe we’re trying to fast or consume less calories? What do we need to know to get the most out of our deltaG orders?

Professor Clarke: I think that the beneficial effects of deltaG on health are just being noticed and are being noticed with daily intakes. Small daily intakes, not just with coffee or when fasting, but just routinely every day. Unfortunately it’s very expensive to make the beta hydroxybutyrate that is exactly the same as that found in the body which is what we’re doing. So we’re trying to make identical BHB to the body’s and so this is why deltaG seems to cost more than other ketogenic products on the market such as the ketone source. But even small amounts of deltaG can raise the BHB to much higher levels and are much more effective than other exogenous ketone products. So we’ve tried recently, really tried to lower the cost as much as possible so that the coffee booster would cost less than 5 dollars a day for example.

Andrew: Just week to week Professor Clarke, we have TriDot Ambassadors who have reached out to me asking about the product and they buy it and they use it on race day or they use it in a training session and I always ask them, “what did you think of the taste?” And they always report back about the taste. Then I asked them how they felt while they were training on deltaG and every single athlete when I ask them how they feel, they report the same thing. “I had great energy on that workout.” “That workout went really, really well.” But even beyond that they always talk about the mental clarity they get after taking it and they notice it immediately. Elizabeth, when you tried deltaG for the first time on a training ride we all asked you about the taste and you said that we were being babies about it, because you didn’t think it was all that bad. Do you want to tell us about your first initial deltaG. It was in Waco, right, that you used it for the first time?

Elizabeth: Well, I had used it two weeks prior, but then I brought it to Waco as well and I really think that just everyone on our staff had kind of built up like, “Oh be ready for it. It’s going to be so bad.” and because they had built it up so much I think I was expecting much worse. I drank it and I was like, “Oh this is fine.” So then of course, yes, I had to give them all a hard time of like, “You guys, this is not bad at all. This is just fine.”

Andrew: And it’s not bad, it’s just potent. Just to clarify. I never said it was bad. It’s just very potent. Your mouth knows it’s there right away.

Elizabeth: I mean it’s strong, yes. But I guess I was expecting like, ugh. Like ugh I don’t want this.” No, it was just fine. So yeah. Maybe you did everybody a favor by saying “Aww get ready for it.” because then they’re expecting a little more punch and yeah. It’s great. But I would echo what a lot of our athletes have said too that yeah the performance is there, but the biggest thing for me was that mental clarity. I mean, I was using it on long bike rides. So going out for five hours normally at the end of that I am just mentally done that it’s like, “Ugh, how many more turns to I have to make? Do I have to shift? Oh did I miss my turn getting back to my car?” And it was like my mind still feels sharp and that was huge for me. That was fantastic. I mean I distinctly remember some IRONMAN races where I was like mentally I just needed to get off the bike because I felt like I couldn’t make more decisions and couldn’t wait to just be back on my feet and I can’t wait to use this again in racing for this next season and just have that better mental clarity and be able to feel more confident in the decision making at the end of the bike leg. So I’m pumped about that.

Andrew: Yeah, 112 mile bike ride at IRONMAN Waco and I came off, just like you said, with mental clarity late into that ride. My legs were ready to be done spinning and my butt was ready to get off the saddle, but my head was there. My brain was certainly there. Elizabeth, have you kind of played with how you’re going to work it into race day nutrition pattern yet as you– because you’re going to race on it for the first time here in 2022, is that correct?

Elizabeth: Uh-huh. Yep, yeah. I used it quite a bit in training at the end of the season and then unfortunately was not able to race IRONMAN Cozumel due to injury. So I was hoping to have that experience end of 2021, but I’ll get to put it in for this season. And yeah, the podcast episodes that we have previously done were such a great roadmap for me for how I was going to incorporate it in and I’m literally just mixing amounts of the ketone ester in with my UCAN drink. So right into my fuel I have it there and a little bit as I’m getting started with breakfast and then kind of spreading it throughout the bottles of hydration and nutrition that I have on the bike. That’s how I’ve been able to kind of practice with it and hope to implement it for this upcoming season.

Andrew: So Professor Clarke, we joked just a little bit about the taste and our staff experiencing that, Elizabeth experiencing that. So all of us have had deltaG Performance and deltaG Tactical. Does deltaG health and the Coffee Booster, do they have that same similar kind of potency to them that Tactical and Performance do?

Professor Clarke: Well, Tactical is impossible. I mean I can’t drink Performance at all because it’s like a terrible, terrible Eastern European alcohol. It’s horrible. Like a terrible cough medicine or something. I can drink deltaH because it’s more dilute, but again, I don’t drink coffee so I've not actually tried it in coffee because I don’t drink coffee. So yeah, it’s horses for courses.

Elizabeth: We’ve talked there about the Tactical, Performance, the Health, the Gold. I mean we have these four different forms in which we can consume. I guess I’d just kind of like to run down a little bit and maybe recap what makes each product different and how would we know which one to try based on the health and fitness goals that we have. So Professor Clarke, the Tactical, why would someone choose to use the Tactical product?

Professor Clarke: Well, I think some people just don’t like the taste of the Performance so you would first use either ketone Performance or Tactical. Either one or the other, but they’re the only ketone products on the market that actually work for endurance performance. Now the Performance has 27 grams of deltaG plus sweeteners and the blueberry flavor and we also put it in a glass bottle because we’re trying to be eco-friendly. So Tactical is more or less the opposite of that. It’s got 32 grams of undiluted, straight ester. So again it’s for performance and again you have to be really tough to be able to drink it. You have to be able to put it in to other say glucose containing drinks such as you do with the UCAN for example. So I think, you know, either of those two depending on how tough you are and what you prefer. Some people prefer the Tactical because it’s in a bottle that they can stick in their pockets, but you wouldn’t stick a glass bottle in your pocket. So it’s sort of choosing more or less the same thing depending on how you want to use it and where you want to use it. I think really, only really valiant people can drink it straight, but people do. They do.

Andrew: They absolutely do.

Professor Clarke: But then the deltaH ketone, Health, which is the one I can drink and it’s only got 11 grams of ester and that’s really for daily use. It’s diluted with flavoring and a sweetener. You can also use it for recovery after exercise because you don’t need to raise your ketone levels so high and you know to help with sleep as well. You’ve got a range of things that you could use it for. Then finally the deltaGold is again the pure ketone ester, again in a glass bottle, but you only need a teaspoon of that for daily use. So it’s really meant for people who drink coffee and coffee in the mornings. But all of them are around– we’ve tried to price them all right around the same price which is around a dollar a gram so this makes them more affordable and then people could just choose not on price but on what they want them for really.

Elizabeth: Uh-huh. Yeah. That makes sense.

Andrew: Yep, just thinking to as you’re sharing about people taking the Tactical straight two things came to mind for me, one in my training I’ve used the deltaPerformance which like you said is a little bit more diluted. It has some flavoring in there. On race day for IRONMAN Waco, I decided to use kind of what Elizabeth was talking about. I mixed the Tactical into my bottles of UCAN and Precision Hydration electrolyte and so I had all of that in the same bottle on the bike. But before the race you had told us Professor Clarke, before exercise, before a race, you take a serving 20-30 minutes out before that effort. So I’m down at the swim start of IRONMAN Waco putting on my wetsuit and I had a UCAN gel as my pre-race fuel and I had a bottle of Tactical. I had not tried Tactical straight at that point. So the mistake I made Professor Clarke, I should have taken a Tactical first and then my UCAN gel. It does have a lovely, bright kind of tart blood orange flavor. But I took my UCAN gel and then I took a sip of the Tactical and it was a lot like you said. People that can take that– it was tough. I got it down. I sipped on it a couple times. It was like four or five sips. I was standing with my wife and she had a good time laughing at the facial contortions I was making, but I was able to get it down. I was like, “Come on. It’s race day. You’ve got to do this.” But then fast forward a couple months. We’re in Tempe Arizona for IRONMAN Arizona and we’re at the swim start. I was not racing, but I was cheering on several TriDot Athletes and TriDot coach Jeff Raines and a couple of his athletes were there. Chad Rolffs being one and a few others and they all had– they had heard me talking about my experience and they all had their deltaG Tactical ready to go and all three of those guys that were sitting there with their deltaG Tactical they just took it like a shot and they were unphased. It just blew my mind how unphased they were, but maybe that’s the strategy. You’ve just got to down it and move on, but I’m excited to try deltaH and like I said, I’ve got the Coffee Booster on the way. So I’m excited to mix that into my coffee coming up sometime shortly.

Professor Clarke: Great. It’s really a good idea to mix it with the UCAN because it stops any glucose oscillation so you don’t get really high glucose levels which are terrible and then you don’t get the whole glucose dips that you have that make you feel just ghastly because you’ve over produced insulin. So basically you know during a race that’s the best way to take it.

Cool down theme: Great set everyone! Let’s cool down.

Andrew: For our cool down here we’ve heard Professor Clarke share just some great insight on two full podcast episodes now about using ketone esters in our training and racing and using it for daily health. So I just wanted to give you our audience a chance to ask her the questions that you have at this point about incorporating ketone esters into your diet, into your nutrition regimen. So we, Elizabeth and I, have procured from those questions– we got 20-30 something questions from you guys that were all great questions. Now perhaps we’ll have to have Professor Clark back on just to do an audience answer episode. But we’ve got four solid questions here to close out our show today from you, our audience. So Professor Clarke, I’ll start with this first one. This comes from TriDot athlete Shannon Rogers and he says– this is a bit of a softball question, but maybe a good one to start with. “Explain the name. What is the G referring to in deltaG?”

Professor Clarke: Oh, this is the first law of thermodynamics. So deltaG really stands for energy and it stands for the change in free energy or the change in ATP for example that you get with ketone. So it’s– yes. I won’t tell you what my brother called me when I told him that’s what we were going to have, but we called it deltaG because it means energy and we are always calculating deltaG.

Elizabeth: Awesome. Good background there. I would have never kind of put that together. Our next question comes from Diego and he says “We’re always told what a performance product does and when to use it. I think knowing when to not use it would be equally beneficial.” So Professor Clarke, any recommendations on when to not use ketone esters?

Professor Clarke: That’s a really, really good question. First of all don’t use it if you’re about to sprint because you need all the glucose you can get and you can inhibit glycolysis. For anaerobic exercise don’t use deltaG. Don’t use fat either. Just use glucose. So you don’t use it for sprinting, but you can use it after a sprint of course, but not during sprinting. Also don’t ever, ever drink too much. So don’t think that two is better than one because it’s not because what happens is it inhibits glycolysis again. So if you have too much you completely inhibit glycolysis so you’ll completely inhibit glucose metabolism and you need glucose metabolism to be able to use the ketone. So if you go above 3.5 millimolar BHB concentration then it’s just not going to work. Two bottles is definitely not better than one.

Andrew: Just for clarification, that’s two bottles essentially at the same time in the same serving. Because we’ve talked about for longer efforts, for those four or five hour stamina bike sessions or for an athlete on IRONMAN race day, half IRONMAN race day, we’re taking two or three bottles because the recommendation is you take a serving every two hours.

Professor Clarke: Sure. Right.

Andrew: So you’re talking about at the same time in the same moment.

Professor Clarke: At the same time. Yes. You will feel just terrible. You would feel like you’ve bonked already if you do that.

Andrew: Very interesting.

Professor Clarke: Yeah. So yes. That was a good question.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Good clarification too of throughout the day you might have some Tactical or Performance earlier and then you might have a little bit of a serving of the deltaH as recovery later. But you don’t want to just compound and have two to three bottles in one serving.

Professor Clarke: No, no you’ll feel just terrible.

Andrew: It sounds like a funny YouTube video would be to have our staff just pop off two bottles of deltaTactical and then run a 5K and see how everybody does.

Professor Clarke: They wouldn’t be able to start.

Elizabeth: Oh my gosh. That sounds terrible.

Andrew: Our third question comes from Jeff Moses. He says, “Does it act as a road map for our body to be comfortable with more ketones or does it create a barrier to natural production of ketones as your body senses too much high glucose producing carbs that it reduces the natural processes of ketone creation?” Or more or less, could you become reliant on deltaG like you could other supplements?

Professor Clarke: Well, it never gets to that point. So with the ketone, let’s say a ketogenic diet, you definitely do adjust to the fat and can’t use glucose after about four weeks. Your glucose use goes way down and you’ve adjusted to the fats. So all the enzymes of fat metabolism are upregulated, but that’s an extreme diet. A ketogenic diet you’re not allowed to have any carbohydrate and so your body just adjusts to it. With the ketone you’ve still got fat there and you’ve still got carbohydrate there and in fact it’s much better to have the deltaG on a balanced diet, with a balanced diet. You want a completely balanced diet with deltaG. The contribution to the number of calories in that diet is quite low compared with the number– I mean especially when you work out what a triathlete actually takes. There are thousands of calories a day and so the ketone contribution is tiny compared with that. It’s just a top up. So it’s not going to change any enzymes, but then again athletes will have more transporters for the ketone so they’ll be more adjusted to be able to use it faster because they’ve got the monocarboxylate transporters. So it goes in much faster in the athletes which is great. That’s the benefit of the ketone, but it’s not caused by ketones, it’s caused by lactate. Constant production of lactate. So athletes have more lactate transporters which means that the ketones get in a lot faster.

Elizabeth: This is just awesome. I mean, I’m learning so much from these too. This is great. Our final question that we had from our audience comes from Chad Rolffs and we’ve touched on parts of this before and so I think this might be a good recap and just some very concrete advice. He asked, “How can we use it to maximize performance?” And what he really wanted to clarify is what does deltaG work well with? So the examples that he gave are caffeine, UCAN, other sports drinks. So what would you recommend people kind of pair each of these ketones with in terms of the products?

Professor Clarke: Well, most athletes do start out the day with coffee. I think I’ve spoken to one elite athlete who doesn’t start with coffee. He starts with a strong cup of tea and I don’t suggest that he tries the ketone in his tea. It’ll ruin it. But with the coffee the coffee masks the taste and it sets you off on the right path. Then about a half an hour before competing have a drink of deltaH or the Tactical if you can bear it plus again a gel or something with glucose in it. And I like the slow release carbs. I think that they’re wonderful. They’re so much better than a straight drink of dextrose or something and that’s because of the way that it works in the body and because of the insulin release and everything. I think it’s not good. But don’t drink it for sprints and only drink it for some form of exercise that takes more than around 20 minutes. So then have top ups throughout that time depending on how exhausted you are during that exercise. But I think that what happens is that athletes do start really to feel their body and they know when they need another drink of ketone and another drink of carbs. They just feel, “Oh yes, I need something now.” So eventually when you sort of do it often enough you learn. You just automatically learn when you need it and then you have it for recovery afterwards. So basically it’s a learning experience for everybody, but don’t have too much. That’s all.

Andrew: Professor Clarke, we promised four questions, but I was scanning the questions one more time and I decided this one is just too good to pass on. So I’m going to add a curveball fifth. Final question. Athlete Jake Philips wanted to know– and I want to highlight when given the opportunity to ask an Oxford University professor about ketone esters this is what Jake wanted to know. “How many beers per hour would you need to take to replicate the effect of a ketone ester?”

Professor Clarke: It’s how much deltaG per hour would he have to replicate a beer? He’s got–

Andrew: It sounds like two.

Professor Clarke: Yeah. Well I mean, if the amount of ketone ester is kept low then there is no effect of alcohol whatsoever.

Andrew: Interesting.

Professor Clarke: If you drink too much, I have known people to try and drink too much and they end up throwing it back up again which is an awful waste of ester and they had gone to a 15 millimolar BHB levels at that point. So they didn’t say they felt drunk at all, but there’s no way that you even feel that you’ve had a beer with a drink of ester. So I’ve not heard any reports of any effects of alcohol with our deltaG, but then we always say don’t go more than 3 millimolar or 3.5 millimolar BHB levels. So your butanediol levels would be much, much lower.

Andrew: Well that’s it for today folks. I want to thank Professor Kieran Clarke and pro triathlete Elizabeth James for helping us understand the health benefits of the deltaG Ketone Ester. Head to to learn more about boosting your performance with deltaG Ketones and to order some for yourself. Use code TRIDOT20 at checkout for 20% off your order. Enjoying the podcast? Have any triathlon questions or topics you want to hear us talk about? Head to and click on leave us a voicemail to get your voice asking your question on the show. We’ll have a new show coming your way soon. Until then, Happy Training!

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