Ketone ester for athletes supposedly for extra energy and increased metabolism.
Creator is credible and qualified
The company is accountable
Does give some form of energy boost (placebo, at least)
It tastes horrible
Research behind it is inconclusive and contradictory
Owner misrepresents what ketosis really means
HVMN Ketone is one of the most interesting keto products I’ve come across. And I’m not impressed. In fact, you should not bother spending your money on this product as I see it as nothing more than a gimmick designed by Silicon Valley moneybags to cash in on the trending keto craze that engulfed the internet back in 2017. In this review you are going to find out about this product, who created it, the science behind it, and the reasons why you shouldn’t buy it for your weight loss or sports energy efforts.
HVMN Ketone is a product that will allegedly put your body in a fat burning mode (ketosis) without having to fast for days or resort to doing the ketogenic diet. It’s website domain was registered in September 2001. But the website itself with the ketone product was launched somewhere around November 2017 with a bunch of media hype behind it. HVMN’s CEO Geoff Woo even went on a media tour of sorts, handing out bottles of HVMN Ketone to mainstream journalists of Business Insider, BuzzFeed News, GQ Magazine and Daily Mail to test on themselves. And while the journalists did their best to be factual in their assessment, they still clearly had a soft spot for the CEO and so didn’t go too hard on his product … at least in their article titles. This is understandable, as HVMN may have paid these media outlets a fortune to feature their product on their websites so he should get a good return for his money.
However, Contra Health Scam isn’t going to go soft on this product. This review is going to be highly critical and since I have no conflict of interest, rest assured that you are getting unbiased information about HVMN Ketone in this review. But before we begin, let’s talk about this company, shall we?
HVMN, the Company
HVMN (the Silicon Valley short form of ‘Human’ – how cute) is a San Francisco based company whose mission is ‘to enable everyone to be the best version of him or herself.’ Now how do they plan on fulfilling this mission? By researching and developing ‘evidence-based products to improve humans across cognitive, physical, and metabolic endpoints.’ Its CEO, Geoff Woo, is a computer science graduate who cofounded the company with Michael Brandt, a fellow computer science graduate and endurance runner.
HVMN was formally known as Nootrobox, a company that manufactures supplements that supposedly helps improve memory. But apparently as soon as the keto craze hit the internet, a business decision to rebrand to HVMN had to happen in order for them to market their latest product, HVMN Ketone. My guess, anyway.
From what I can see from their About page, HVMN boasts of a dedicated team of scientists, marketers, social media influencers and even athlete ambassadors. There’s even an MD/PHD doctor in there. Impressive. But does that mean that HVMN Ketone is the best and can deliver on its promises? We’ll find out, won’t we?
Now to the product itself. How does it work?
What is HVMN Ketone?
Like I mentioned earlier, HVMN Ketone is a keto product that is touted to put your body in a state of ketosis – a state where your body burns fat instead of carbs for energy. All you have to do is to take a shot of the ketone liquid before and after workout or other physical activity you may be doing … and your blood will be awash with ketones which, in turn, will give you much energy, suppress your appetite and improve your concentration.
According to their website, HVMN Ketone is the product of ’10 years of research’ that swallowed ‘$60 million’ in funding. This research was done by Dr. Kieran Clarke, a professor of physiological biochemistry at Oxford. According to Daily Mail, she was the one who created the elixir and licensed it to HVMN.
How HVMN Ketone Works
In a nutshell, HVMN Ketone works by supplying your body with a type of ketone called D-betahydroxybutyric acid (D-βHB). This ketone is the main byproduct of fat metabolism for energy. HVMN believes that by flooding your bloodstream with this ketone, your body instantly enters the state of ketosis, which will then give you the extra energy crucial for endurance athletes like long distance runners and cyclists.
Interestingly, HVMN goes further to claim that HVMN Ketone can keep you in this state of ketosis even when you still have carbs in your bloodstream. ‘HVMN Ketone and carbs work together,’ they claim on their website. ‘Drinking HVMN Ketones allows you to be both carb- and ketone-loaded, a scenario that’s been proven to improve athletic endurance.’
Hmm, interesting indeed.
Meanwhile, they provided scientific studies by Clarke to back up their claims. The supposed landmark study by Clark found that athletes given a shot of HVMN Ketone together with pre-workout carbs biked 400 meters longer than the athletes given just carbs. This 400 meters translates to a mere 2% difference between the two groups, but CEO Woo claims it’s ‘massive’ difference, telling Buzzfeed News that 400 meters ‘would account for the difference between 1st and 8th place’ and that the slim margin matters in situations where ‘winning and losing, life or death, is a matter of inches.’
OK. More on that later.
Who is HVMN Ketone For?
HVMN Ketone is clearly targeted primarily at endurance athletes and gym enthusiasts. The company didn’t say that you can use their product for weight loss, but Woo said that they will explore the appetite suppressing ability of ketones in future researches.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the pros and cons. Why should you try HVMN and why you shouldn’t?
Pros of HVMN Ketone
- Does Give Energy Boost. Judging from the experiences of the mainstream journalists and the little evidence presented in the research report, I think it’s fair to say that HVMN Ketone does provide the energy boost it claims. So it is not an entirely useless product. But is it what you should pay big bucks for? Read on to find out.
- Creator is Credible and Qualified. The creator of HVMN Ketone, Dr Clarke, is a credible scientist who should be credited for her research. Even though I may have my reservations and skepticism as a medical professional, it still doesn’t diminish the effort put by Clarke and her team into developing this product. So props to them and I wish them the absolute best.
- Company is Accountable. From the look of things, HVMN is a company that isn’t hiding anything, unlike the shady companies exposed regularly on this website. So should anything go wrong, they will be held accountable for it, even though I believe they’ll use their powerful backers to make the experience not too pleasant for those who’ll sue them over their product.
That said, the cons far outweigh the benefits of this product. Let’s talk about them.
Cons of HVMN Ketone
1. Horrible Taste
For a product that costs $33 a bottle, you would have thought that the manufacturers will make consuming the product a pleasant experience in taste. But with HVMN Ketone, that’s not the case.
Here’s what the mainstream reporters had to say after tasting the product:
BuzzFeed News reporter:
When I gulped it down during a demo, my heart raced a little faster. I suddenly felt jolted awake, though that may have been because the taste was so unsavory. “It’s funky,” Woo admitted, watching me gag and frantically swallow water.
Business Insider reporters:
The drink comes in a bottle about the size of a 5-Hour Energy shot. It’s clear and has no smell. The taste, however, burns like rubbing alcohol. It caused our eyes to tear. We gagged, loudly.
After a few minutes, our stomachs began to toss with nausea. A flavor like nail polish remover lingered on our lips long after drinking and was only extinguished with ice water.
Melia Robinson: I thought I would puke.
Erin Brodwin: Yeah, that’s … bad.
Daily Mail reporter:
In preparation for the test I have been told not to have a heavy meal beforehand, and to keep a glass of water nearby.
‘Why do I need a second drink?’ I ask. Geoff grimaces. ‘You’ll probably want to wash away the taste,’ he warns.
I glug down the Ketone bottle. Yes, the taste is nasty — like drinking nail varnish remover. I gag and feel slightly nauseous. ‘We’re working on making it more palatable, but you do get used to it,’ Geoff reassures me.
GQ Magazine reporter:
Ketone smells like fruit juice and tastes very, very, extremely bad. It tastes like a mixture of vodka, tequila, vegetable oil, and battery acid. It tastes like 2017 felt, with a garnish of 2016 and a dash of ballsweat. HVMN founder Woo told me, very casually, to down the whole thing before starting my day – instead, I sipped it over the course of an hour and tried not to vomit.
So as you can see, forget about good taste if you insist on using HVMN Ketone.
2. Inconsistent Research Findings
As mentioned earlier, HVMN provided several scientific studies proving the efficacy of HVMN Ketone. But even their own research did not provide consistent results. For instance. the earlier mentioned ‘landmark’ study by Clarke, done in 2016, found that athletes given a shot of HVMN Ketone together with carbs biked a distance 2% longer than the athletes given only carbs. CEO Woo claims that this tiny difference is ‘massive’ when it comes to ‘extreme’ situations, referencing the 2016 Olympic cycling road race when the distance between the 1st and 8th place was supposedly 400 meters. But the reality is, extreme situations like that are very rare and unpredictable. And more importantly, a similar 2017 research by unaffiliated Australian scientists found that drinking a ketone beverage hampered the performance of endurance cyclists, forced them to be more aware of their increased efforts and gave them gastrointestinal discomfort [NIH].
Also, HVMN provided two research papers by Clarke to prove their claim that HVMN improved muscle recovery time. But the results of both studies contradict each other. One supported the claim, while the other did not. The study that got the positive result gave its subjects a dose of glucose, hence my thinking that the glucose, NOT the ketone, promoted muscle recovery (which makes sense considering how ketosis is achieved).
So as you can see, the research findings are inconclusive and so more research is needed. It’s still too early to promote keto drinks based just on these findings.
3. Misrepresents the True Meaning of Ketosis
As far as CEO Woo is concerned, ketosis is only achieved when your blood ketone level goes above the normal level of 0.1mmol/L regardless of how it happens. This is clearly evident from the claim on their website that HVMN allows your body to run on both ketones and carbs at the same time. To prove his point, he used a device to test the blood levels of his taster reporters before and after gulping down the awful-tasting drink.
Well sorry to break it to you, Woo, but that’s NOT what ketosis is. The body is only confirmed to be in ketosis when it is completely deprived of or inadequately supplied with carbs, forcing the body to resort to burning fat instead. Ketosis is an emergency plan of the body to sustain itself with energy during starvation. Basically this means that the body will NEVER resort to ketosis if adequate carbs are present. Also, the body will never burn ketones if there is still an adequate amount of carbs available.
I think that Woo is trying to say that HVMN Ketone will supply your body with ketones once the carbs in your body gets used up during endurance sports. But as we already saw from the research provided, that isn’t really something you can say at this moment.
So forget about HVMN Ketone if you think you can use it as a shortcut to ketogenic diet or weight loss. It’s a waste of time and money.
4. NOT Cheap
As mentioned earlier, HVMN Ketone costs $33 a bottle. But the problem is that you can’t just buy 1 bottle, as the least you can buy is a 3-bottle package that will relieve your wallet of $99.
There is also an optional subscription service, with the cheapest plan being $89.10 a month for a 3 bottle supply.
Adding to this problem is the fact that you are supposed to consume a whole bottle before any athletic activity. Imagine using this as a regular workout supplement. Your wallet will be bled dry. And from what we have discussed above, you’ll gain little or nothing in return.
So, not such a good investment if you ask me.
Final Conclusion: DON’T BUY HVMN Ketone. Not Worth it.
Even though HVMN Ketone isn’t a good product, I don’t think it’s as bad as the scams. And out of respect for the researchers who put in genuine efforts into making this product, I will not add it to my Blacklist. There is still room for improvement.
Alternative to HVMN Ketone
Eat Stop Eat.
This program by well known nutrition expert Brad Pilon has been tested over the years and passed with flying colors. It is a flagship program that teaches you all about intermittent fasting and how you can do it correctly to stay in shape, lose weight and gain lean muscle. It is also tailored towards athletes as Pilon himself is a fitness trainer. So get the program now or read my review for more details.
Please feel free to use the comments section if you have any contributions to make. Thanks for reading and sharing!