Hey Keto Fam!
We have put together the most common keto questions with all the answers you need on ketosis, the ketogenic diet and how to supplement with exogenous ketones!
Exogenous Ketones: What are they and how do I use them?
Ketones are the alternative to glucose and they are the original energy source for the body. When the body is starved of glucose and carbohydrates, the liver converts stored body fat and nutritional fat into endogenous (in body) ketones which are then used to fuel the body.
If you also combine them with MCT Powder, you will increase the bioavailability of the exogenous ketones. This translates into sustained and further elevated blood ketone levels, giving you more energy, for longer.
Learn more and discover some delicious exogenous ketone drink recipes here:
For catalysing fat loss: They can be taken as a meal or snack replacement. Find out how you can use exogenous ketones to help catalyse fat loss here.
Check out our Beginners Guide to Exogenous Ketones.
We recommend always starting on a quarter or half dosage, heavily diluted with water or unsweetened almond milk.
Ketosis is beneficial for a myriad of reasons: namely that it reduces inflammation in the body. This can alleviate brain fog, headaches, chronic illnesses, seizures, joint pain and is even linked to curing cancer. Ketosis improves neurological function and physical energy, balances hormones and blood sugar levels and can catalyze fat loss if combined with calorie restricted diet.
The list just goes on! Read more here.
What are the side effects?
Always start on a quarter or a half portion as bhb salts and MCT powders and fats can cause GI distress, aka disaster pants! However, this is normal in the initial stages of transitioning to a ketogenic or high fat diet. The GI distress should subside after a week or two, if not discontinue use and consult with your doctor.
Ketones reduce inflammation in the body and are the preferred fuel source for the brain. The ketogenic diet is often renowned as a therapeutic diet because of how healing it is. So at small doses, there is no reason why they should be unhealthy for you.
The only exception would be people with type 1 diabetes, who could go into ketoacidosis–this is when both ketones and glucose are extremely high (18mmol and above) that they cause the blood to become acidic.
Read this post on how ketosis and hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help heal cancer.
Ben Greenfield recommends having sugar and ketones as ‘Rocket Fuel’ to power races! However, unless you are an athlete about to race then it is not ideal to simultaneously have sugar and ketones in the blood.
Read this blog on keeping hydrated and replenishing your electrolytes and find out how you can deal with any downsides on the ketogenic diet here.
Fun fact: Did you know that babies are born in ketosis? This is because breast milk is rich in MCTs. MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) are easily converted into ketones by the liver. MCT Oil, coconut oil, cream, butter and palm oil are also excellent sources of MCTs.
For example: Does anyone actually need coffee? No, but it’s a nice to have and boosts your performance.
Find out how to choose a product that is right for you here.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is the metabolic process of using fat (ketones) as the primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates (glucose).
This means your body is directly breaking down its fat stores as energy instead of slowly converting fat and muscle cells into glucose for energy. You enter ketosis when your body doesn’t have enough glucose (carbohydrates) available. The prime function of the ketogenic diet is to put the body in ketosis.
Ketones are by products of the body breaking down fat for energy that occurs when carbohydrate intake is low. This is when your liver converts fat (either consumed fat or body fat stores) into ketones which are then transported in the blood and used for energy.
Essentially, in ketosis you become a fat burner instead of a sugar burner.
- Fat loss: When your body is using fat directly as a source of energy, you lose weight more readily because your body taps into your own fat stores for energy instead of the sugar you eat.
- Blood sugar stability & improved energy levels: Without spikes in glucose, your body has more consistent energy levels because you can use your own body fat for energy (no sugar crashes or food comas).
- Increased cognitive focus and energy: Fat is a more consistent source of energy, and preferred by the brain, meaning you don’t have ups and downs in energy and focus.
- Longevity and disease prevention: Ketosis has been shown to decrease inflammation, alzheimers, and benefit cancer, epilepsy patients and people with type 2 diabetes.
- Increased physical performance: Ketosis uses oxygen more efficiently and avoids physical crashes of low blood sugar.
However, these are obviously subjective feelings and to get an accurate and scientific reading you will need to test your ketone levels.
We produce three different ketone bodies: acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate and you can measure them using one of the methods here.
The Ketogenic Diet
And you can get our free 7 Day Ketogenic Meal Plan here.
Don’t forget to check out our free 7 Day Ketogenic Meal Plan here.
It is really important for women, in particular, to start slowly on the ketogenic diet. Spend a few weeks adjusting your macros, decreasing carbs and increasing your fat intake gradually. This way you won’t shock your body too much and are less likely to increase your cortisol levels (stress) and you can figure out the right fat – carb-protein ratios for you. Don’t feel that you have to dive straight into a ketogenic diet in one day as this can negatively impact your hormones.
Learn more about ketogenic adaptations for women here.
Exogenous Ketones and Weight Loss
Exogenous ketones do put you into ketosis—the fat burning metabolic state—but it’s your job to restrict carbohydrates and/or exercise more to create a caloric deficit so that you keep in fat burning and weight loss mode.
Exogenous ketones support weight loss by:
- Helping you tap into your fat stores for energy
- Retraining your metabolism to use ketones (fats) for fuel
- Suppressing your appetite –meaning you’ll have fewer snacks and smaller meals
- Balancing blood sugar levels—you won’t get ‘hangry’ anymore!
- Suppressing cravings for sugar and carbohydrates—you’re so much more satiated and satisfied with ketones that your brain will stop screaming for sugar!
- Supporting intermittent and extended fasting periods
- Increasing physical energy- this means you can be more active on fewer calories
- Increasing mental focus and energy – it’s when you’re tired that you’re most likely to overeat or choose sugar laden foods
- Preserving Muscle Mass
Exogenous ketones can be incredibly effective at helping you lose weight if you use them as a meal replacement, especially at breakfast. Always drink a large glass of water before having your exogenous ketones, be they Pruvit, KetoSports or Perfect Keto. You’ll then enjoy 3-5 hours of appetite control, increased energy and mental focus/clarity. You will literally feel on fire!
Supplementing with exogenous ketones is really helpful for keeping sugar cravings at bay, helping you transition to becoming ‘fat adapted’ without catching keto flu! Exogenous ketones are also great for getting you back on track after that cheat meal, especially when you are striving to be in ketosis but also juggling family and social events!
Find out more on how to lose weight here.
The ketogenic diet helps you unlock your fat stores!
When you are running on sugar or carbohydrates your body won’t tap into your fat stores because it doesn’t need to–as it has an abundance of glycogen and glucose to use as fuel instead. This means that you are keeping the padlock locked on your fat stores. You can only effectively burn fat when you have first used up the glucose in your body.
Thus, sugar and carbohydrates prevent you from burning fat.
Find out how to lose weight on the ketogenic diet here
Here are some top tips for kick-starting your fat loss on the ketogenic diet.
Therefore you must replenish your electrolytes! Find out how to replenish your electrolytes here or read below.
So add himalayan, andean, celtic or volcanic salt and magnesium to your water; and top up on avocados, broccoli, pork and full fat yoghurt to increase your potassium levels.
Importantly, keep hydrated. Exogenous Ketones also help alleviate keto flu as they contain added electrolytes and get you straight into ketosis –which means that you’ll be able to derive energy from fats more quickly than just following a ketogenic diet—especially at the initial stages.
Read this blog on replenishing your electrolytes to learn more.
L-Carnitine helps you metabolise fats for energy, so it is perfect for a high fat, low carb diet.
MCT Powders and Oils further elevate blood ketone levels as they are easily converted into ketones by the liver. They also make exogenous ketones more bioavailable (easier for the body to use for energy) which sustains and maintains elevated blood ketone levels, giving you more energy for longer.
Amino Acids and Collagen are an easy way to repair muscle tissue without over-consuming protein or calories.
Find out more here.
Exogenous Ketones and Exercise
As exogenous ketones give you extra, long lasting energy that is healthy for the body—unlike sugary drinks and gels that are inflammatory. Exogenous ketones support endurance races incredibly well as they prevent you from ‘bonking’ once you run out of glycogen stores. Instead of running off nutritional sugar and glycogen, your body will use ketones that you drink and then switch burning your body fat for energy, unlocking an incredible amount of energy to keep you going for longer.
You really have to try them to experience the effects.
Any other keto questions?
Is there anything we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments section below!
Sara & Francisco