“Our main mission with this product is to bring ketone supplementation into the mainstream,” Johnston told NutraIngredients-USA, adding that though there are several powder forms on the market, there is a gap when it comes to the ready to drink (RTD) format. “We are trying to make it the most convenient form with the most efficient cost/dose,” he said.
The crowdfunding campaign launched on October 10 with a $25,000 goal. At press time, the campaign has raised $13.091 from 80 backers, with 25 days left to raise the goal’s remaining balance. If it succeeds, the supplemental beverage Ketone 1 will become Limited Labs’ third product to hit the market after launching nootropic supplements this past summer. The start-up was founded in 2015 by Johnston together with Joey Savage, who formulated the pre-workout supplement Cellucor C4.
Sourcing funds from the public through Indiegogo is one way the company can get a pulse on market demand for such a product, though they have a hunch that it will succeed. “With the rising popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, paleo, and ketogenic diets, we know that people are looking for alternative fuel sources to sugar/carbs but still want to have high-performance results,” Johnston said. “We think that Ketone 1 could potentially be a convenient supplement for anyone that’s on any of these diets to help support their energy levels while restricting carbs.”
The plan is to start selling the beverage at Crossfit gyms, independent retailers, and online for a retail price of $4.49 - $4.99 for each 475ml bottle, or a case (12 bottles) at $44.99. Three flavors will launch first: Strawberry Lemonade, Cucumber Lime, and Orange Mango.
What are ketones?
Johnston explained that ‘ketosis’ is “a state that is achieved either during long states of fasting or through a low-carb/high-fat diet where the body begins to rely on its stored fat as a primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates.”
There have been increasing studies on how ketone esters, naturally produced by the liver as a back-up energy source, can be mimicked in supplement form and ingested for energy and endurance benefits. One such study, which looked at cyclists supplemented with ketone ester drinks published in Cell Metabolism, found positive results.
The big question is if there’s enough knowledge about ketones, and its benefits, in the mainstream market. “That’s actually part of the problem with the current state of ketone products,” Johnston said.
“It is our mission with Ketone 1 to create the first Ketone RTD as a means to bring ketone supplementation into the mainstream,” he added. “With a ketone drink readily available in the fridge at your local nutrition or health food store, we can finally get those people who are on the fence or who have heard about the research behind these products the opportunity to finally try a full serving and feel the effects for themselves.”
Formulating Ketone 1
An active ingredient in the beverage is Compound Solutions’ goBHB, a form of beta hydroxybutyrate salts, which Johnston said “is readily accepted by the mitochondria to create more ATP,” or adenosine triphosphate, often called a molecular unit of currency of intracellular energy transfer.
According to a supplements facts screenshot on the company’s campaign page, each bottle has 26 calories and no sugar.
Additionally, calcium, magnesium, and sodium salts of BHB up to 11 grams per serving are mixed with natural colors, sweeteners, and flavors. The breakdown is 5000 mg calcium BHB, 4500 mg sodium BHB, and 1500 mg magnesium BHB.
“We are really excited to be the first company to bring this ingredient to market in a ready-to-drink (RTD) format as a means to increase awareness of exogenous ketone supplementation and make it as mainstream as possible,” Johnston said.