You are irritable and worn out. You feel dizzy all day, and your body craves for pasta, bread, and lots and lots of sugar.
You have just started a ketogenic diet, and instead of experiencing all the amazing effects it offers, you end up just feeling crappy and wanting to quit. But don’t worry, you are not alone.
What’s the culprit of these side effects? The infamous keto flu. But with exogenous keto supplements, it is going to be okay. Keep reading to know what’s in store for you as you rev up your body with exogenous ketones.
Do exogenous ketones help with keto flu? Yes. The keto flu represents a transition of your body’s main fuel supply from carbohydrates to ketones. Since switching to an alternate energy source takes time, your body ends up feeling all the discomforting symptoms of the keto flu. Taking exogenous ketones help in this regard by getting you into ketosis much quicker.
Why do you suffer from keto flu? What are its symptoms? How do exogenous ketones help to ease it? Keep reading and find out!
How do Exogenous Ketones Help Treat Keto Flu?
As with every new product, there are always misconceptions. We’ll try to remove to clear up those misconceptions and give you reasons why taking exogenous ketones may be a good option to help you combat the keto flu.
If you have been looking into the science behind the ketogenic diet, you likely know about the benefits related to this diet. There is generally a transitory period, starting from when somebody goes on a ketogenic diet and alter their eating habits to when they really get into ketosis and can produce and consume ketones for calories.
This period is frequently referred to as the Keto Flu period which can make you feel rundown, dormant, foggy, throbbing, and generally unwell. Keto flu is nasty and is an indication that your body isn’t yet productively in ketosis. Your tissues are searching for glucose, and at the same time, you are not able to produce enough ketones.
In such circumstances, including an exogenous ketone supplement is useful for 3 reasons:
- Firstly, these additional ketones can give you the much-required vitality to get past your day. Exogenous ketones help your body get energy during the transitory time when there is not enough glucose or ketones to extract energy. You’ll have the capacity to deal with assignments that require focus, you’ll appreciate an enhanced state of mind, and you can even make it to the gym.
- Secondly, it kick starts and boosts your body into ketosis, so that creating and using your own ketones can happen quicker and get less demanding. This enhancement basically acts like a trigger, alarming your cells to use ketones as the fuel of choice.
- Thirdly, exogenous ketones always come in the form of salts, the very reason they are known as BHB Salts. BHB ketones are bound to regular salts, for example, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium which enhance your ingestion rate. Also, these salts are the core electrolytes your body needs to maintain good health during the keto flu period.
How to Use Exogenous Ketones during a Keto Flu
Try to find a supplement that not only contains beta Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB), but also Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). Studies have proven that taking BHB and MCT together helps in raising blood ketone level for longer periods. Because the combination of BHB and MCT has high manufacturing costs, most of the ketone supplements only have one of them at a time.
To determine the appropriate dosage of ketone supplements, a little experimentation is required. Most of the people would be comfortable with two servings per day but it may vary for other people.
Exogenous ketones can be taken anytime during the day. However, it is generally advised to avoid taking them with meals since your body would already be supplanted with energy coming from food. In other words, taking exogenous ketones with meals would be a waste.
You can add ketone supplements to your meal plan the following ways:
- As soon as you wake up. You can also take them in place of breakfast to keep your ketones levels up
- Between meals to stop cravings and low energy crashes
- Before or after exercising to supplement the drained energy.
Why Does the Keto Flu Occur?
What precisely causes the keto flu? When you limit your carb intake, your body must figure out alternate ways to turn on its backup energy generator. To switch to a different energy source, which in this case are the ketones, certain changes occur from cellular to hormonal level.
In particular, there are three changes that happen when you cut out carbs:
Flushing out water and sodium
When your carbohydrate intake is low, your insulin levels drop, signaling to your kidneys to discharge sodium from the body. As the sodium gets excreted, it takes water along with it causing your water weight to drop by 10 pounds. The majority of this process generally happens during the initial five days of the ketogenic diet. The loss of sodium and water together with lower insulin levels cause dizziness, queasiness, muscle cramping, migraines, and gastrointestinal issues, similar to diarrhea and constipation. Make sure you drink a lot of liquids and electrolytes now to mitigate a few of these symptoms.
Diminishing of T3 thyroid hormone levels
Your thyroid organ is responsible for delivering T3 and T4 hormones to the body. The two T’s manage your body’s temperature, digestion, and pulse. A close association has been observed between the dietary sugars and thyroid functions. So when you cut carbs, T3 levels can fall. A low level of thyroid hormones consequently leads to mind haze and weakness.
Boosting Cortisol Levels
A ketogenic diet tells your body that you’re in starvation mode. With an end goal to increase energy levels on a carb-limited eating regimen, your body triggers the release of stress hormones, i.e. cortisol. If you start encountering irritability and a sleeping disorder a few days into the ketogenic diet, this means that your cortisol levels have bounced.
Remember that while an increased cortisol level may cause irritability, there is nothing to worry about. As your body gets into the state of ketosis and starts using ketones as the alternate fuel source, your cortisol levels get back to their old levels.
Most beginners experience the keto flu within the first few days. Following are some of the most commonly reported signs and symptoms:
- Dizziness or confusion
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Muscle cramping or soreness
- Stomach aches or pains
- Brain fog
- Sugar cravings
- Heart palpitations
- Lack of concentration or focus
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
What Can You Do about it?
Get some rest
A night of sound sleep is important in order to conquer the keto flu. It holds your cortisol levels in line, which will most likely decrease the side effects. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and reach better zzz’s.
Mild exercise and meditation
Did you take note of the first word – mild? The objective here is to decrease cortisol levels, so anything that eases stress will aid you in relieving keto flu. Yoga or strolls can work like magic. If the gentle activity isn’t your thing, try meditation. Don’t run for the gym unless you have fully overcome keto flu as it strenuous activity will only worsen the symptoms.
What if nothing works out for me?
If you have tested your limits by taking in more fats and are still facing keto flu, you should increase the intake of carbohydrates just a bit. This refeeding can go a long way and can ensure your well-being. The extra carbs would give your body time to adjust to fat burning while burning small amounts of carbohydrates in the meantime.
How long does the keto flu last?
It depends. Your metabolic flexibility will determine how much time your body takes to adjust to the new fuel. Most of the people get over it within a week. Others continue dealing with the symptoms for upto two weeks. For some people, the keto flu does not go away for as long as five weeks. So basically it’s up to your body’s metabolism.
Can I Keep taking exogenous ketones even after the keto flu is gone?
Taking exogenous ketones is something not related to the keto flu only. Yes, exogenous ketones help get rid of keto flu, but it’s not their one and only use. These supplements can be used for dozens of other benefits and if you are aiming for those benefits, you can continue taking exogenous ketones for as long as you like.
Keto flu, a painful stepping stone in the way to ketosis, is a reaction of your body to carbohydrate restriction. While it does roughen your transition, there are ways to get rid of this problem as quickly as possible. Taking exogenous ketones has been proven to be a remarkable remedy against the gruesome symptoms of the keto flu.
So if you are someone who is just beginning a ketogenic diet, take a trip to your nearest grocery store and pile up on these magical supplements now.