There is always a new diet trend in the health space, and ketogenic diet is one of them. It began a few years back, and now almost everyone seems to know about it.
No doubt that the keto diet has worked for many people, and it also boasts a whole lot of transformation stories. So much so, even celebs like Vanessa Hudgens, Al Roker, and Jenna Jameson have tried it and posted their transformation journeys.
Though I wouldn’t say, keto doesn’t require any hard work…But, keeping yourself from the cravings of cheesy pizza, saucy pasta, and many of your other favorite carb sources, to get into ketosis, can be a serious challenge for anyone.
So, is an easy way to get into ketosis? Perhaps, keto supplements might be your way to go? But do they work? Let us try to find out!
How Do Keto Supplements Work?
Nowadays, there are several best keto supplements you will come across on the internet and your local supplement shop. Choosing the one that works, especially when you have so many options available, can be pretty confusing and overwhelming.
So, before we jump to conclusions, let me give you a quick overview of what the ketosis diet is, what are the benefits of ketosis, and how to use keto supplements for maximum results.
Ketosis & The Keto Diet
In the simplest terms, ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, and extremely low carb diet.
When you eat a high-carb routine, your body produces glucose, which is used as the primary source of energy to fuel your body. This means, your body never gets a chance to tap into the stored fat reserves to burn it for energy.
However, when you follow keto diet, you are cutting down almost all major sources of carbs and barely eating up to 25g per day. Since the primary source of energy (carbs) have been cut off, your body will then look for another source, which is your stored fat. When this happens, your body enters into a state called ketosis.
What Happens to The Body in Ketosis?
As above mentioned, when your body enters the state of ketosis, it uses stored fat to fuel your body. Ketosis is a natural metabolic process, during which your body turns to fat for energy when there is a lack of carbohydrates.
Firstly, fats are converted into ketones, just the way carbs are converted into glucose, and from there, your body uses it as a source of energy.
What’s the Purpose of Keto Supplements?
Keto supplements come in two forms: Powdered and Capsules. These powdered or capsule-based supplements contain two specific ingredients:
- Exogenous Ketones: These are also called ketone salts and are made outside of the body in a laboratory
- Medium Chain Triglycerides of MCTs: These are saturated fats that are broken down in the liver
When consumed together via keto supplements, they aid in increasing the amount of fat in your body and thus helping you get into ketosis faster. These supplements also allegedly block carbohydrates from being metabolized for energy, which ensures that your body is only using fat reserves as fuel.
Types of Ketone Supplements
Ideally, ketone supplements can be broken into four main categories:
- Ketone Salts
These are commonly used by people who go on and off on a ketogenic diet. These individuals are usually suffering from conditions like low energy, inflammation, memory fog, and sleep loss.
Keto salts contain BHB bound to calcium, sodium, and magnesium or potassium, and it helps to increase the levels of ketones in your body. Ketone salts are often referred to as ketone mineral salts. Majority of the keto supplements on the market contain ketone salts.
- Ketone Ester
As opposed to ketone salts, ketone esters provide your body with raw form BHB ketone. This means, there is no bonding of salts or other compounds with any other material. As compared to ketone salts, the ketone esters help your body to quickly and efficiently use the ketones, thus burning more fat.
However, ketone esters aren’t used commercially and are used in research only. They are also notorious for both their taste and the effort it requires to swallow them. Stomach problems are a common side-effect of taking esters.
- Ketone Oil Supplements
Ketone oils also help a lot in increasing ketone levels in your body, but they take longer than ketone salts and ester supplements. Similarly, MCTs or medium-chain triglyceride oil power, combined with coconut oil, contains medium-chain fatty acids that help in boosting the levels of ketones within your body before they are used for energy.
MCTs are also slower than ketone salts and esters, but they work faster than foods.
When using oil-based keto supplements, make sure you are taking them in moderation as they are caloric dense, and you may end up ingesting too many calories.
Important: When buying keto supplements, beware of the false ketones, which claim to be keto, but they don’t help in raising ketone levels and are not true ketone supplements. A good example of false ketones includes raspberry ketones, which is a natural substance used to give red raspberries a powerful aroma. These are found in fruits like cranberries, blackberries, and kiwis. Raspberry ketone supplements are synthetically made with no evidence that they help in ketosis.
Are There Any Side-Effects of Keto Supplements?
Most of the keto supplements are lab tested and have clear instructions on the daily recommended dosage. In case you exceed the recommended dosage or have other health conditions, you may experience the following side-effects:
- Stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea are common with ketone salts
- Ketone salts contain up to 680 mg of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day and 1500mg per day for most adults. Be careful of how much sodium you are taking. Most keto supplements would want you to take three doses per day, which can quickly put you off your daily sodium intake limit and result in high blood pressure
Ideally, you should be using keto supplements with the guidance of a medical professional. In case you experience these side-effects too often, experts recommend sticking to keto diet instead.
Do Keto Supplements Really Work?
Keto supplements do work, but you must know that there is limited peer-reviewed research regarding their use. Only short-term studies have shown than exogenous before bed or consumed during the day can help enter into ketosis quicker.
Surely the exogenous ketones elevate the levels of ketones in the blood, but the overall impact on your body is not the same as getting there via the keto diet.
How to Pick A Good Keto Supplement?
Keto supplements can be a great way to boost your results with a good keto diet plan in place. If you are ready to buy them, make sure you choose the best ones by considering these points:
- Quality Matters: Go for grass-fed animal protein as it contains more minerals, healthy fats, and vitamins. Always read the ingredients on the back and ensure you are getting a high-quality and reliable product
- Great Ingredients: Always do your research about the ingredients mentioned on the label of your keto supplements to ensure they are beneficial and have been sourced from good places. A few supplements have added sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose, which aren’t keto-friendly. Prefer choosing unflavored or unsweetened ketogenic supplements
- Digestive Enzymes: As above-mentioned, one of the side-effects of using keto supplements is indigestion and stomach problems. So, we recommend looking for keto supplements that come with digestive enzymes, which help to breakdown protein and aids in overall digestion
- Vegan Protein: If you are vegan, there are vegan-friendly keto proteins available on the market. Make sure it includes seed proteins form sunflower seed, hemp, pumpkin seed, chia, flax, and sesame seeds. Protein from these sources are suitable for individuals who are allergic to animal-based proteins
Keto Supplement FAQ
Ketone supplements work only if you are following a proper keto diet plant. If you are consuming too many carbohydrates and using supplements, it would be a waste of your time and money. The purpose of these supplements is to artificially increase the amount ketones in your body, which helps your body to stop relying on carbohydrates for fuel.
On average, it takes somewhere between 2-4 days for your body to enter ketosis, provided that you are consuming less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. For some individuals, it can take longer, depending on factors like physical activity, age, metabolism, carb, fat and protein intake.
The best way to make keto work for you is to make sure your macros are on point. If you are consuming too much protein or carbs, it can kick you out of ketosis or prevent you from entering it. Make sure you are eating 20-50 g of carbs per day and 20-25% protein of your daily caloric intake. The majority of your calories should come from fat sources
It varies from person to person. If you are consuming 20-50 grams of carbs per day, it would usually take 2-4 days, but for some people, it can take up to a week to reach the state of ketosis. Similarly, your macros, physical activity, age, and metabolism will also affect the time it takes to enter ketosis.