Insulin, glucose and beta-hydroxybutyrate responses to a medium-chain triglyceride-based sports supplement: A pilot study

Thomas R. Wood, Christopher Kelly


There is a current trend in endurance sports to move athletes towards a low-carbohydrate diet or use periods of low carbohydrate consumption to increase both health and performance. As a result, a market is developing for sports supplements to provide nutritional support during training and racing for athletes who follow a low-carbohydrate lifestyle. PHAT FIBRE (PF) is a powdered sports supplement that includes medium-chain triglycerides suspended in a digestion-resistant carbohydrate and is tailored to the needs of low-carb athletes. Eleven healthy participants were administered 25 g of PF after an overnight fast. After 30 minutes, median blood glucose increased by 6 mg/dl from 94 mg/dl to 100 mg/dl (p = 0.002). At the same time points, median blood beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) increased from 0.3 mmol/L to 0.5 mmol/L. The increase in BHB was significant (p = 0.02) after excluding one outlier who had elevated levels of fasting BHB. Insulin levels did not change significantly at any point during the study. In a single participant, a revised formulation of PF (PFv2) produced a 0.6 mmol/L increase in BHB with no effect on blood glucose. These data suggest that PF can provide a source of energy for the low-carb athlete by supporting ketone production without negatively impacting insulin or blood glucose levels.


sport nutrition; low carbohydrate; ketogenic

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Submitted: 14 November 2016
Published: 31 March 2017

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Journal of Insulin Resistance    |    ISSN: 2412-2785 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2519-7533 (ONLINE)