With the increasing popularity of the ketogenic diet, more and more keto-related products are flooding the markets. One of the extremely popular products receiving a lot of positive press 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 piece of information will provide you with some definite answers.
So, what do ketone supplements do? Ketone supplements (also known as exogenous ketones) and a properly maintained ketone diet share at least one thing in common- increasing the blood concentrations of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). Other than that, ketone supplements speed up ketosis, work against excessive carbs, control your appetite, aid in weight loss, act as brain booster and help with the keto flu.
Exogenous ketones are advertised as having helped countless people in losing weight and transforming their lives. There are many reasons people should take them. But are they as good as advertised? We see what experts have to say
What Can Ketone Supplements do for you?
Ketone supplements have the exact same chemical structure as that of those formed by your liver. They can be found as pills, liquids, and powders. Research has proven many times that they put your body into nutritional ketosis by increasing the level of ketones in your blood.
As they help dieters in more than one way, they are no gimmick. Following are some of the benefits you can reap from ketone supplements.
No matter how hard you are trying, it normally takes at least 3 days for ketosis to kick in and even longer for you to get keto-adapted. However, the 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 help you by:
- Boosting your energy levels
- Aiding in weight loss
- Improving 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. So, if you have accidentally consumed a high amount of proteins and carbohydrates, it may take a while before you get back into the state of ketosis.
However, ketone supplements can help save the day 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 your body that you wish to use ketones to derive energy (instead of carbohydrates). This prevents you from going through the dreadful phase of keto flu and all the side effects it accompanies.
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“. Some of them include irritability, extremely low energy, body fatigue, bloating, and constant headaches. These side effects occur because your body is stuck between burning ketones and carbohydrates and has not completely adapted itself to producing ketones from body fat and using them from energy.
The good news is that using ketone supplements can bridge the gap and speed up the transition so that you do not suffer from keto flu. While your body is still learning how to make its own ketones, you can use exogenous supplements to eliminate all the unpleasant side effects.
Enhancing Cognitive Function
Your brain naturally has a tight barrier which allows only selective agents to get through. This is what you call the blood-brain barrier. The human brain needs almost 25% of the energy that your body uses every day, so 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 makes you get swings in energy which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier but, at the same time, leads 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. But 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 come in handy.
By providing constant energy to the brain, ketone supplements can help you achieve several benefits such as a cognitive boost, mental clarity, and memory improvement. For this reason, ketone bodies are rightfully known as the natural nootropics of the human body. What’s more, the exogenous ketone supplements have also been found to reduce anxiety and depression and improve overall mental health, according to a study.
Do Ketone Supplements Cause Weight Loss?
One of the reasons people use ketone supplements is for its weight loss benefits. But 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.
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. In fact, it does so by helping you get into ketosis more quickly.
Taking exogenous supplements will signal 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.
Regulation of Hormones
Ketone supplements can indeed help 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 being one week in ketosis.
This means that ketone supplements can help reduce food cravings that usually hit you after losing weight. This eventually decreases the chance of gaining all the lost weight back.
As mentioned above, ketone supplements can help balance the concentrations of hormones that regulate hunger. This means that you are able to distinguish the true hunger signals of your body from the false food cravings that only lead to weight gain.
Blood Glucose Regulation
Ketone supplements are gaining popularity for their ability to regulate blood sugar and help an individual lose weight. A study has found that consuming a ketone supplement can reduce the blood glucose levels in 30 minutes only. By stabilizing the blood sugar levels, ketone supplements can accelerate weight loss.
Following are some of the most frequently asked questions about ketone supplements.
How much ketone supplements should I take?
Start off with smaller doses of ketone supplements in order to avoid unwanted side effects and gradually work your way up. Make sure not to exceed the recommended daily limit which is usually printed at the back of the product. A scoop full of these supplements is usually enough for the effects to kick in.
What is the best time to take ketone supplements?
The best time to take ketone supplements varies according to 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
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 of the 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, remember that these supplements are not a quick fix and may require time to produce results.
Start by making an action plan of what and how much of these supplements you wish to use to achieve your goals. Once you have figured this out, stay calm and let these supplements work magic for you.