Ketone supplements used at Jumbo-Visma

Jumbo-Visma are the latest team linked to the use of the dietary supplement ketones that are thought to improve recovery for endurance athletes. Team manager Richard Plugge confirmed that his riders use the supplement in a report published in De Telegraaf on Monday.

“Ketones are a dietary supplement. You can use them just like vitamins. The substance is not on the prohibited list, and it’s also known that other teams use ketones,” Plugge told the Dutch news outlet.

The Dutch team have had 38 victories this year, with their most recent string of success at the Tour de France, where Mike Teunissen won stage 1. They then won the stage 2 team time trial, sprinter Dylan Groenewegen won stage 7, and Wout van Aert won stage 10 on Monday.

Ketones are produced by the liver once there are no carbohydrates to burn, and fat stores begin to burn. Synthetic ketone supplements, used in conjunction with a low-carb diet, are thought to provide an added energy source that helps preserve glycogen storage, reduce lactic acid and aid in recovery.

A recent study out of the University of Leuven in Belgium links ketone supplements to a 15 per cent increase in performance for endurance athletes. According to De Telegraaf, Professor Peter Hespel had 16 subjects ride a mini Tour de France while ingesting ketones, and later said that the substance had an “unprecedented effect on recovery”, but the “performance capacity also increases considerably”.

The use of ketones among the professional peloton has been linked to several WorldTour teams in recent years, dating back to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. It has also been suggested that ketone supplements have been used at the Team Sky and QuickStep teams in previous years.

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