With doping an ever-present subject of sports news headlines, a study has shown that an energy supplement drink can improve athletes performance, and is completely legal, after the World Anti-Doping Agency ruled against it being banned after the initial study in 2011.
The drink is known as ∆G, and works by releasing a ketone chemical that muscles can use to produce energy. The initial study of the supplement was conducted on 22 elite rowers and those who were drinking the supplement achieved ten season best performances, six personal bests and even a world record. The most recent study by Kieran Clark at Oxford University has bolstered these results. The team gave the drink to elite cyclists completing a 30-minute time trial and found they were able to cycle an average of 411 metres further during the trial than those drinking glucose drinks.
The supplement works by providing another source of energy for athletes. Ketones are naturally produced by the body when fat is broken down, and normally only occurs when energy reserves are running low (for example when starving, or on a low-carb, high fat diet). The supplement provides ketones in the form of beta-hydrozybutyrate, allowing athletes access to this source of energy that they would only normally have when their energy reserves are depleted. Thus, their muscles are able to draw energy from ketones, fat, and glucose at the same time. This also lowers the athlete’s likelihood of ‘hitting the wall’, as the glucose reserves can be preserved. This theory is supported by the observation that the cyclists who consumed the glucose drink produced significantly less lactic acid, which is a product of burning glucose.
There is some scepticism about the findings, which may prompt further studies into the supplement. However, the athletes who have used it so far (more than 300) have reported positive results. The World Anti-Doping Agency made the decision not to ban the supplement because ketones can be increased naturally through the diet.
Biology and Medicine applicants should investigate in more depth the bodily reactions that take place during exercise and how the supplement works to improve performance. Law students should look into the laws and recent legal battles surrounding doping in sport, and should, along with Anthropology and HSPS students considering the ethical implications of using any performance enhancer in competitive sport.
- Choosing The Right A-Levels Picking subjects at A level can be a difficult decision... Read more >
- PAT mini mock paper & answers The Physics Aptitude Test or PAT is required by Oxford... Read more >
- Oxford and Cambridge International Grade Requirements If you’re applying to Cambridge or Oxford but you’ve not... Read more >
- Science Puzzle: experimenting with mice… We asked our Medicine graduate Jennifer to tell us a... Read more >
- Oxbridge Open Day Guide With open days drawing ever nearer, applicants and parents alike... Read more >
- English: answer like a pro We have a lot of questions year on year from... Read more >
- Statistics: 2015 Annual Survey Want to find out what your chances are of getting... Read more >
- Personal Statement Action Plan: Section 1 of 2 The UCAS personal statement will be a key part of... Read more >
- LNAT overview If you’re applying for Law at Oxford you will need to sit... Read more >
- July’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- History Reading Lists The main challenge in the step up from school to... Read more >
- UKCAT mini mock paper & answers If you are applying for Medicine or Dentistry, many of... Read more >
- Is a “Religious Morality” rational? One of our Oxbridge graduate tutors, Emma, looks into the... Read more >
- PPE: answer like a pro If you’re applying for Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) or... Read more >
- Choosing a course From Arch and Anth to Veterinary Medicine, the range of... Read more >
- ELAT overview If you’re applying for English, or its joint schools, you... Read more >
- Personal Statement Solution: Brainstorm Sheet Writing your personal statement may just be the grimmest part... Read more >
- International Application Calendar Keeping on top of the various deadlines and decisions when... Read more >
- Download a Medicine Personal Statement 2 “Further work experience has highlighted some of the demands and challenges... Read more >
- Biological Sciences & Medicine: answer like a pro What kind of questions can you expect in an Oxford... Read more >
- Download an Economics Personal Statement 2 “Beyond this essential interest in the subject, I find that... Read more >
- Stats report: our annual survey Every year, we survey hundreds of applicants who applied the... Read more >
- Oxbridge: the global impact Concerning UK university admissions, UCAS have released some interesting stats.... Read more >
- Medical & Biological Sciences Reading Lists Medicine and the whole range of Biological Sciences are highly... Read more >