HVMN Ketone Ester: the Keto’ Juice

Posted on 26 July 2019

The HVMN Ketone Ester is one of the first commercial ketone esters developed as a nutritional drink to enable people to ‘obtain metabolic benefits of ketosis without a ketogenic diet’.

It was invented by Oxford and NIH scientists as part of the 2003 DARPA “Metabolic Dominance” program to develop foods to enhance US soldier physical and cognitive performance.

Ketones are a product of the breakdown of fat and are usually only made when glucose is not available (e.g. during starvation) or when glucose cannot be broken down (e.g. diabetes).

An Oxford-led study found that nutritional ketone bodies improved performance during cycling time trial and is a safe and effective way of elevating blood ketone levels to provide a means of investigating human ketone metabolism independent of caloric or CHO deficit.

Professor Kieran Clarke, who led the study, said that “ketone itself is inhibiting glycolysis, so that with the same exercise you’re preserving glycogen and producing much less lactic acid”

Lactic acid is a byproduct of incomplete breakdown of glucose and its accumulation is associated with the achy, tired feeling felt after a strenuous workout. This may explain why the high-performing cyclists on the ketone drink travelled an average of 400 meters further over a half hour than those consuming the carbohydrate or fat drink in the study.


  1. Pete J. Cox, Tom Kirk et al. Nutritional Ketosis Alters Fuel Preference and Thereby Endurance Performance in Athletes. Cell Metabolism, 24, 2, 8 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.07.010
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