Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
EPO level increase by ketones similar to altitude training
If cyclists take ketones after an intensive training session, their muscle recovery is faster. We wrote that 5 years ago. According to a more recent human study, there are even more benefits associated with post-workout supplementation with ketones. Ketone supplementation also increases EPO production.
After the session, the cyclists received shakes for 2-3 hours to recover. One time the shakes only contained carbohydrates and proteins [CONTROL], the other time they also contained ketones [KETONE].
The ketone doses were hefty. A 70 kilo rider received 20 grams of ketones.
In the first 4 hours after the session, the researchers took small amounts of blood from the riders and determined the concentration of EPO, among other things.
You can see the test setup in the figure below.
Incidentally, this research was not funded by the industry. A co-author is an ex-employee of TdeltaS, the company behind ketone monoester. TdeltaS made the ketones available to the researchers.
In addition, ketone supplementation increased the concentration of EPO in the blood. There have been studies in which administration of ketones via an IV increased the amount of EPO, but this is the first time that ketones via oral administration have had such an effect.
The increase is quite significant. The researchers would have seen the same increase if they had had their cyclists cycle at an altitude of 2 kilometers.
Whether this is really the case cannot be deduced from this study. This requires a trial that lasts longer. And a sponsor who is willing to put an unusual amount of money on the table. Ketones are damn expensive...