Many people quit keto within the first few days, before even entering in ketosis. And even if they make it through those first few bad days, long-term success is difficult with a strict diet like keto.
To help increase your chances for success, there are supplements you can take that make your life on keto a lot easier. But with supplements comes many questions, and one question I see get asked is:
Can you take keto supplements before bed? The most benefit you get from exogenous ketones is if you take them in the morning on an empty stomach, although there is no harm in taking them right before bed. Magnesium and other single supplements can be taken before bed.
The science behind Ketosis is a complex one, and therefore the use of supplements is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. Let’s take a look at what the supplements are good for and what is the best time to take them.
What Is The Best Time To Take Exogenous Ketones?
Let’s start with the exogenous ketones since they are unique supplements to the keto diet. Keto is based on getting your body and metabolism into ketosis.
This means that your body uses ketones for energy instead of glucose. Ketones are created in your body from fats, which leads to weight loss. Exogenous ketones are ketones in the form of a supplement.
Knowing why you are taking the supplements helps you decide on the most effective time to take them. Click here for a more detailed guide on when to take exogenous Ketones
Mental Clarity: On an empty stomach
The brain uses a lot of energy every day and on a non-keto diet, we often experience something called brain fog.
If you are looking for that extra brain boost, take the exogenous ketones on an empty stomach. You will get the benefit of 4 to 6 hours of extra mental clarity.
Even if you do not experience brain fog, it will help you get extra brain power when you need it.
Avoid the Keto Flu: Smaller doses during the day
When you are just starting or restarting keto, the side effects that can happen are referred to as Keto Flu. It makes it very difficult to keep on track with your diet if you already feel bad and know that a slice of bread will make you feel instantly better, even if it is just for a little while.
Exogenous ketones will get your body in a state of ketosis immediately. This means that staying on the diet and feeling better sooner is much easier. Use a few smaller dose during the day for the first 3 to 5 days of the diet.
Endurance Exercise: Before the workout
When you eat carbs for the glucose to get enough energy to make it through the entire exercise, the exogenous ketones taken after the meal can help you not fall out of ketosis. It also helps you with some extra energy right at the moment when you need it.
You can take the supplement before a workout that lasts 45 minutes or more.
Fat burning: On an empty stomach
When you take exogenous ketones it tells your body that it should use ketones for energy instead of glucose. When the ketones from the external source are finished, your body will look to make more ketones, possibly from stored fat reserves.
This does not negate the concept of calories in vs calories out equals weight loss or gain. You still have to do the keto diet as normal and not overeat.
Just add the supplement with your first meal in the morning on an empty stomach and the benefits of your diet will increase.
Get Into Ketosis Quicker: After a meal containing carbs
Especially around the holidays, it can happen that you fall off the wagon and start eating off your diet. In that case, you can use Keto Supplements to get quickly and without too much effort back into ketosis. Use the supplements after a low carb meal to get back to where you want to be, diet wise.
Other Type Of Supplements For The Keto Diet
Besides the exogenous ketones, there are other supplements that you can take to help you in your journey to a successful Keto diet.
Some of these are great to take at night, such as Magnesium. A magnesium supplement can help you sleep better at night, by calming your thoughts, help regulate melanin production and reduce stress. It is also the recommended supplement for restless leg syndrome and cramps.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids is a good supplement for anyone to take, but especially for those on a Keto Diet. Not only does it help combat inflammation and decreases mental health issues, but it also increases the overall benefit of the Keto Diet.
This is another supplement that can be taken in the evening or at night. Especially because it can lead to a bit of a fishy smell on your breath, nighttime might be a better time to take it.
Vitamin D is another vitamin that most people have a shortage of. People on the Keto diet are no exception, although they are also not more at risk than the general population.
To make sure you take the right dose a doctor can run a blood test to see if, and how much, you are deficient and prescribe you the right dose of Vitamin D. Taking magnesium helps with the absorption level of vitamin D. In turn, sufficient vitamin D helps with the absorption level of calcium.
Since a keto diet can lead to water loss, it can also lead to loss of important minerals and salts. Adding some sodium, or for example, drinking a broth made of bouillon cubes can counteract this.
If you prefer to take a supplement, you can add some electrolyte supplements as well. This is in addition to making sure that your water intake during the day is the right amount for your activity level.
What Supplements Do You Need On A Keto Diet?
Since there is no hard and fast rule about supplements, and what works for one person may not work for someone else, some trial and error is involved until you find the perfect combination for yourself.
This is, of course, a very vague answer and not very helpful.
The first step to finding out what supplements you need is to get your bloodwork done by a doctor. Ask to be tested for vitamin and mineral levels.
While this is going on, start keeping a food and mood journal. On one page your write down what you ate (and the times) and on the page next to it you write down how you feel.
This includes mental health (well-being and happiness), mental energy (brain fog and clarity), physical energy, physical feeling, possible bloating, sleepiness, sleep quality etc.
These first entries are your baseline. This is how you are doing right now.
When you get the results back from your doctor, first you should supplement according to the results of your bloodwork. Make sure to keep track of everything. Within a week or so you should be able to see some differences.
After about a month of following the doctor recommended supplements, you can start tinkering with the best time to take them, or adding some others. Be sure to always keep your doctor involved because some supplements can interact with medicines or other supplements.
In any type of testing, it is always recommended trying a certain combination or timing for at least a few days before jumping to any conclusions on the effectiveness or lack thereof.
After collecting data for a few weeks you should be able to tell with more certainty what works for you and what doesn’t.
Do You Need Supplements On Keto?
It is possible to get all your needed micro and macronutrients from your normal daily food intake. There is something to be said for being a puritan and only eating whole foods, preferably organic as well.
The keto flu and side effects when we start or restart the keto diet are all survivable without any supplements. It is just a bad few days which we can suffer through if we want.
On the other hand, we can also live in this reality and realize that sometimes a little pill or a bit of powder in our morning milk can make our lives infinitely easier.
The easier we make our diets, the more likely the chance that we stick with the keto diet. And that, in turn, increases our health, weight loss, and overall well-being.
If you are not sure if you should take a supplement or not and you generally feel good, you can ask your doctor to draw blood and do some tests for vitamin and mineral levels. Especially Vitamin D is often not present enough and it makes a big difference in feeling healthy and happy.
Can Keto Cause Insomnia?
In the short term, yes. However, using supplements and sticking to the diet can lead to deeper and higher quality sleep, although you may need less of it.
Does Keto Cause Diarrhea?
Digestive problems are a common side effect and should go away within 3-4 weeks on their own. If not, try adding more high fiber vegetables in your diet.
Do Exogenous Ketones Lead To Immediate Weight Loss?
No. Taking only supplements without following a diet where your caloric input is lower than your output will not lead to weight loss. However, if you do follow a strict keto diet and mind your calorie input, exogenous ketones can increase the rate of your weight loss.