With the increasing popularity of the ketogenic diet, more keto-related products are flooding the markets. One of the products receiving a lot of positive attention is exogenous ketone supplements.
Exogenous keto supplements claim to provide the benefits of a keto diet without any carb restriction. But how do these ketone supplements work? This article will provide you with some clear explanations.
What do ketone supplements do?
Ketone supplements (also known as exogenous ketones) and a properly maintained ketone diet have at least one thing in common: they both increase the blood concentrations of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB.) Additionally, ketone supplements can help speed up ketosis, work against excessive carbs, control your appetite, aid in weight loss, act as a brain booster, and help with the keto flu.
Exogenous ketones are advertised as having helped countless people to lose weight and transform their lives. There are many reasons people should consider taking them. Are they as good as advertised? Let’s see what the experts are saying.
What Can Ketone Supplements Do for You?
Ketone supplements have the exact same chemical structure as the ketones formed by your liver. They can be found as pills, liquids, and powders. Research has proven that they put your body into nutritional ketosis by increasing the level of ketones in your blood.
Here are some of the benefits you can reap from ketone supplements:
It normally takes at least three days for ketosis to kick in and even longer for you to get keto-adapted. However, researchers believe that using ketone supplements can speed up this process and make this transition much easier for you.
By inducing ketosis in your body, these supplements can help:
- Boost your energy levels
- Aid in weight loss
- Improve focus and mental clarity
If you follow a ketogenic diet, you know that it is difficult to get back into ketosis once you get kicked out of it. If you have accidentally consumed a high amount of proteins and carbohydrates, it may take awhile before you get back into the state of ketosis.
However, ketone supplements can help by immediately boosting the level of blood ketones, controlling insulin spikes, and reducing blood glucose.
Using ketone supplements immediately after a carbohydrate-rich meal will signal to your body that you wish to use ketones to derive energy (instead of carbohydrates.) This helps prevents the dreadful keto flu and all of its side effects.
Managing Keto Flu
When your body is switching its energy source from carbs to ketones, a lot of unwanted side effects can occur from what is known as the “Keto Flu“. These include irritability, extremely low energy, body fatigue, bloating, and constant headaches.
Side effects occur because your body is stuck between burning ketones and carbohydrates. It has not completely adapted itself to producing ketones from body fat and using them for energy.
The good news is that using ketone supplements can bridge the gap and speed up the transition. While your body is learning how to make its own ketones, you can use exogenous supplements to help eliminate the unpleasant side effects of keto flu.
Enhancing Cognitive Function
Your brain naturally has a tight barrier which allows only selective agents to get through. This is called the blood-brain barrier. The human brain needs almost 25% of the energy that your body uses every day. It is important to ensure that it is fueled sufficiently.
Glucose is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier directly. Eating a carbohydrate-rich meal causes variations in energy that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier. At the same time, this can lead to mental fog.
Ketones, on the other hand, are able to directly cross the blood-brain barrier, particularly due to their smaller size.
This means that ketones can help provide a constant supply of energy to your brain without requiring any other processing. To provide a continuous, direct supply of energy to the brain, you need to have sufficient ketones in your body. This is when ketone supplements can help.
By providing constant energy to the brain, ketone supplements can help you achieve several benefits such as cognitive boosts, mental clarity, and memory improvement.
For this reason, ketone bodies are rightfully known as the natural nootropics of the human body. Furthermore, according to a study, exogenous ketone supplements have also been found to reduce anxiety and depression and improve overall mental health.
Do Ketone Supplements Cause Weight Loss?
One of the reasons people use ketone supplements is for their weight loss benefits. How do these supplements accelerate weight loss? By inducing a constant state of ketosis.
Ketosis, in turn, helps lose weight via the following four mechanisms:
1. Fat Burning
This is an extremely popular benefit that many people look for when they start using ketone supplements. However, it is important to remember that taking exogenous ketones will not magically increase fat burning.
Taking exogenous supplements will signal to your body that it is time to start using ketones. When you are done using these exogenous ketones for energy, your body will eventually start looking for other places to derive ketones such as the fat sources.
In short, the more ketone supplements induce ketosis, the faster your body burns fat.
2. Regulation of Hormones
Ketone supplements may indeed help you lose weight by burning fat, but how does it sustain this weight loss?
To make sure that you sustain whatever weight you have lost, ketone supplements help regulate certain hormones that control weight, such as cholecystokinin (CCK.)
CCK is released from your intestines in response to eating. This hormone actively participates in the digestion of protein and fat. CCK is also responsible for inhibiting the emptying of the stomach, making it an excellent regulator of your food intake.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proved that injecting CCK in people makes them stop eating their meals a lot sooner than usual. In other words, CCK was found to have a positive effect on satiety.
On the flip side, weight loss may cause your body to reduce the secretion of CCK, leading to a decreased satiety after meals. Using ketone supplements can prevent this effect by inducing ketosis. The same study found that the participants were able to raise their levels of CCK back to normal values after one week in ketosis.
Ketone supplements can help reduce food cravings that usually hit you after losing weight. This helps decrease the chance of gaining all the lost weight back.
3. Increased Satiety
Ketone supplements can help balance the concentrations of the hormones that regulate hunger. You are able to distinguish true hunger signals of your body from the false food cravings that only lead to weight gain.
4. Blood Glucose Regulation
Ketone supplements are gaining popularity for their ability to regulate blood sugar and help individuals lose weight. A study has found that consuming a ketone supplement can reduce blood glucose levels in only 30 minutes. By stabilizing the blood sugar levels, ketone supplements can accelerate weight loss.
Check Out These Popular Exogenous Ketone Products:
What is the right dose of ketone supplements to take?
Start off with smaller doses of ketone supplements in order to avoid unwanted side effects, and gradually increase your dose. Do not exceed the recommended daily limit printed on the back of the product.
What is the best time to take ketone supplements?
The best time to take ketone supplements varies depending on the purpose of use.
For Weight Loss: Take a scoop every morning or in-between meals
For Performance: Take a scoop before or during exercise
For Ketosis: Take a scoop after consuming a high-carb meal
For Focus: Take a scoop every morning on an empty stomach
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How will I know if I am in ketosis?
You can rely on breath tests, keto strips, or blood testing to check the levels of ketones. In most cases, a ketone concentration of 0.5 to 1.5 mmol indicates a state of mild ketosis.
Exogenous ketone supplements are a great way to support the ketogenic diet, lose weight, improve focus, and reach your health goals. However, these supplements are not a quick fix and may require time to produce results.
Make an action plan of how supplements will be used to help achieve your goals. Once you have figured this out, let these supplements work their magic for you.