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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Know Brainer Hot Drinks > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes

KnowBrainer Keto Instants
Review by Coy Starnes
Initial Report:  September 6, 2017

Tester Coy Starnes
Gender Male
Age 55
Weight 250 lb (113 kg)
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)
Location Grant Alabama USA

Tester Biography
I live in Northeast Alabama.  I enjoy hiking, hunting, fishing, and kayaking.  I enjoy hiking with family and friends but also hike solo occasionally.  Most of my hiking has been in the Southeastern US. I hike throughout the year but actually enjoy late fall or early spring the most with some winter hiking mixed in. I don't like hot and humid weather of summer unless I can escape to the mountains where it is cooler.  My style is slow and steady and my gear is light.  I will sacrifice weight for comfort and durability to a degree. A typical 3-season load for me is around 20 lb (9 kg) not counting food and water.

Initial Report: September 6, 2017

Product Information
Item Keto Instants variety
Manufacture KnowBrainer
Year of Manufacture 2017
Manufacturer URL
Listed Weight varies but averages 1.1 oz (31 g)
MSRP $2.50 for Instant Coffee - $2.75 for Hot Chocolate and Teas

Product Description
The KnowBrainer Keto Instants are a new product and the company website says available soon. They are basically the same as the already available creamers except now coffee is included inside the packet.  In other words, the backpacking coffee lovers' dream come true in a convenient package that just needs hot water.  But instead of just an ordinary instant coffee and creamer mix it is a Keto friendly concoction.  In addition to coffee, there are tea and hot chocolate mixes.  I will be testing three ketogenic instant coffees (original, mocha and french vanilla), one keto instant chai tea, one  keto instant hot chocolate, and one original keto creamer.

KnowBrainer Keto Instants are made with pure MCT oil (imedium-chain triglycerides), organic grass fed clarified butter, has no added sugar and uses no artificial flavors. The Instants come individually packaged in foil packets that are about twice as wide and twice as tall as a typical condiment package.  
KnowBrainer Instants

The directions are printed on the back of the package and are; knead and squeeze before opening and adding to a cup of hot water.  The caloric content of the packets varies depending on the flavor, but average about 210 calories with 170 of those being from fat.  One advantage of a high fat food for backpacking is that fats pack more calories per ounce than carbs or proteins. I was surprised to learn that an ounce of fat packs 240 calories while an ounce of carbs or protein only have 100 calories per ounce.  

Additional Thoughts
I will report on how easy they are to use and how well I like the Keto Instants in my Long Term Report, but for now I thought I'd share why I wanted to test these products.  I'm also not here to convince anyone to try going keto. The ketogenic diet was originally discovered when dramatically limiting carbs and increasing fats was found to help lower seizures in Epilepsy patients.  Another proven benefit of a keto diet is that it decreases insulin resistance   Other claimed benefits of a ketogenic diet are less joint inflammation, improved memory, and weight loss.  The weight loss is partly attributed to the fact that fats satisfy hunger while carbs lead to cravings.

I just recently became aware of ketogenics.  As with most diets that deviate from the USDA or American Heart Association's recommendations, many will say this diet is unsafe or not good for long term use, but after some digging I was convinced that the science behind it was sound.  It is basically a diet that replaces a high percentage of carbs with fats, preferably healthy fats.  On a side note, a keto diet is not like the Atkins diet which is much higher in protein, they are similar in that both are low carb diets. The principle behind a keto diet is that fats are more readily available in the body so there is less need to refuel as often.  Fats are also a cleaner burning fuel source.  Ketosis is when the body is burning fats as the main fuel source but eating just a few too many grams of carbs throws the body out of ketosis.  I read an article about a successful Everest attempt without bottled oxygen in which the climber (climber 1) attributed his success to his Keto diet.  He basically bonked near the summit in a previous attempt and set out to fix the problem.  He wondered why his partner was able to complete the climb and discovered the difference in their diet.  His partner was following a keto diet.  He (climber 1) reported that after changing his diet he felt like he had boundless energy even when exercising on an empty stomach.  He did report that it took him several weeks to transition from a carb burner to a fat burner but once fat adapted he could go for long workouts and not bonk, wake up in the morning and go for hours without eating. His target macro profile was 60% fats, 30% protein and 10% carbs.  Some might say this is only anecdotal evidence but with one climber copying the other and both having positive results is pretty strong anecdotal evidence in my opinion.  One last note: since most doctors probably would not recommend this diet do your own research and proceed with caution if attempting it. 

I have been tracking my food intake using an app on my iPhone and it is not easy to keep carbs that low.  Here is what the macro profile of the French Vanilla coffee looks like.  I had to manually enter these into the app since they are completely new to the market.  What is obvious is that this is high in fat, but what is not shown is that coffee spiked with sugar or honey and a non dairy creamer is mostly carbs.

I am excited to incorporate the KnowBrainer Instants into my hiking routine. Please stay tuned for my Field Report to find out how they worked for me.  My thanks to KnowBrainer and for this testing opportunity.

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Read more gear reviews by Coy Ray Starnes

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Know Brainer Hot Drinks > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes

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