Ketones and Bicarbonate with Dr. Chiel Poffé - Science of Getting Faster Podcast Episode 3


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Exogenous ketones are lauded by many for their endurance performance enhancing properties, but their impact on blood acidity is detrimental to performance and can even counteract their otherwise positive effects. Dr. Chiel Poffe and his partners conducted a study to learn if Bicarbonate Unlocks the Ergogenic Action of Ketone Monoester Intake in Endurance Exercise, and what they learned was surprising. Tune into this episode to learn the science behind ketones and bicarbonate, and how to introduce them into your training regimen to get faster.



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The Science of getting Faster Podcast cuts through the noise and talks directly to the scientists doing the latest research into how to become a faster cyclist, stronger athlete, and healthier person.

Join Coach Chad Timmerman and CEO Nate Pearson of TrainerRoad as they interview a new researcher every month about their latest studies, what question they were hoping to answer, how they structured the study, what they observed and what they are still hoping to learn.

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00:00:41 - Dr. Poffe’s background and the story of his research on Ketones

00:01:35 - His research with Dr. Peter Hespel of Deceuninck Quick Step

00:01:53 - What are ketones and ketone esters?

00:03:27 - Why would someone want ketones in their blood while exercising?

00:04:26 - The difference between ketone salts and ketone esters

00:05:35 - Dr. Poffe’s study and why he decided to combine ketone and bicarbonate

00:07:38 - Performance of Ketone vs. placebo in the studies

00:08:37 - What does he think happened in the first study?

00:09:21 - The new study: introducing bicarbonate and what the purpose is.

00:09:55 - Why Chad finds the study methodology to be valuable

00:10:19 - Why his research always seeks to mimic real-world conditions

00:11:15 - What is Bicarbonate?

00:11:59 - Buffering systems in skeletal muscle

00:12:38 - How do you get/ ingest bicarbonate?

00:13:22 - The study method: How big was it?

00:14:10 - The study methodology and controls

00:16:07 - Nate summarizes the study’s efforts, cost of dosage, and amount of dose

00:18:11 - Timeframe of the test: dinner, morning, and timing of exercise

00:18:36 - Why was it important to control the amount of carbs ingested?

00:20:15- What was the dinner given to the subjects?

00:20:58 - What were the study’s results?

00:22:02 - Conclusions about how this might apply to a race (and timing limitations)

00:23:35 - Avoiding gastrointestinal issues with sodium bicarbonate

00:24:38 - Perception of hunger and appetite in the study groups

00:26:50 - Asking the subjects to identify what they’d taken (placebo vs. esters, etc)

00:27:53 - The purpose of blinding power and HR data

00:29:18 - What the study does and doesn’t suggest about ingesting ketones

00:30:19 - Blood ketone levels and perception of fatigue

00:30:46 - Should you always supplement ketones with bicarbonate?

00:31:34 - Thank you, and teasing the next episode



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