Laurens De Plus says ketones ‘taste like gin and tonic’

The Belgian pro reveals he has been taking the dietary supplement

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Laurens De Plus says ketones taste like gin and tonic ‘with a lot of imagination.’

The Jumbo-Visma rider has revealed he is taking the performance boosting supplement, which one study found increases performance by two to three per cent.

Ketone drinks are completely legal in sport with a number of WorldTour level athletes believed to be using the substance, with De Plus the latest to speak about the benefits.

The 24-year-old told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: “I am satisfied with it.

“Everyone can buy it. It’s only the way it is used that can make a difference.

“If you indicate you want to use it, the team will arrange everything and include it in your supplement plan. It tastes a bit like gin and tonic with a lot of imagination, but nobody really likes it in the team.

“Not everyone in the team uses it, but I feel good about it.”

Ketone drinks were initially developed by researchers at the University of Oxford to be used as an efficient fuel for the US army.

In very simple terms, adopting a ketogenic diet means training the body to burn fat for fuel, as opposed to carbohydrates.

It’s not a quick fix. The body needs to adapt to the process and the approach divides opinions amongst sports nutritionists quite dramatically.

A study published in Cell Metabolism in 2016 showed that British Cyclists went two to three per cent further in a 30 minute time trial, with consistent improvements present without the need for athletes to adapt to a ketogenic diet to yield results.

>>> Ketone drinks used among WorldTour teams to boost performance 

However, the results have been questioned. A 2017 study carried out by an Australian research group showed that performance was impaired in trained athletes completing a time trial.

In July, Jumbo-Visma team boss Richard Plugge confirmed his squad used the drink during the Tour de France.

The supplement is not on WADA’s (World Anti-Doping Agency) list of banned substances and is allowed to be used, with riders ingesting it by mixing it into their drinks.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.