Confused about Ketosis, the Ketogenic Diet and Supplementing with Exogenous Ketones?

common keto diet questions

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?

What are Exogenous Ketones?
Exogenous ketones (Beta hydroxybyutyrate or BHB Salts) are synthetic ketones and come in the form of salts as the Beta-hydroxybutyrate compound binds with salt.

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.

How do I take exogenous ketones?
The BHB Salt powder form of exogenous ketones can be consumed with hot or cold drinks and even added into food, such as heavy cream and keto pancakes. We always recommend starting with a half-portion heavily diluted with iced water or iced unsweetened almond milk.

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:

How and When to Take Your Exogenous Ketones?

Ensure to Keep Hydrated and Replenish your Electrolytes.

How long will it take me to get into ketosis?
After consumption, it normally takes 15-60 minutes for the ketones to appear in your blood, breath or urine.
How do I get started using exogenous ketones?
For boosting physical or mental performance:  Just take the exogenous ketone salts 30 minutes before you plan to begin working out and you can even drink them during longer endurance workouts.

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.

Ensure to Keep Hydrated and Replenish your Electrolytes.

Check out our Beginners Guide to Exogenous Ketones.

How often do I have to take exogenous ketones?
As often as you feel the need for the extra energy. Some people take them once a day and others just a few times a month.

We recommend always starting on a quarter or half dosage, heavily diluted with water or unsweetened almond milk.

What are the benefits of using exogenous ketones?
The majority of people use exogenous ketones to catalyse fat burning, increase their cognitive focus, and improve their physical and athletic performance. Exogenous Ketones put your body into ketosis within 15-60 minutes from consumption.

 

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 best products on Keto Supplements.co.uk?
We only stock what we believe are the best, most efficacious, purest and cleanest ketogenic supplements available. You’ll find no nasties, trans fats or artificial sweeteners in any of our products. All of the brands are efficacious products that we would—and do—use ourselves.
Why are exogenous ketones so expensive?
Exogenous ketones are an extremely new innovation in the health sphere—literally a cutting edge supplement.

What are the side effects?

Will exogenous ketones give me GI distress?

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.

Are Ketones healthy?

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.

Are exogenous ketones dangerous for me?
Some people may experience adverse effects which are usually to do with GI distress. It is not advised to have a high sugar diet and take exogenous ketones at the same time as this is a very unnatural state to be in.

 

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.

What are the side effects of exogenous ketones?
As you transition to ketosis you are likely to get thirsty and you may get GI distress. You may also get ‘Ketu Flu’ which is actually an electrolyte deficiency, rather than carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms.

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.

I’m pregnant. Can I use exogenous ketones?
Yes. There is no research that demonstrates any danger to babies in utero. However, if you are pregnant, do choose the caffeine free exogenous ketones.

 

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.

Does anyone actually need exogenous ketones?
Not necessarily. You can get into ketosis without using exogenous ketones. Exogenous ketones provide additional physical and mental energy, suppress your appetite and boost your cognitive focus, as well as reducing inflammation in your body.

 

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?

What is ketosis?
Did you know that there are two sources of fuel for the body? They are Ketones & Glucose.

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.

Is Ketosis good for you?
Therapeutic ketosis offers benefits in the following areas:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Longevity and disease prevention: Ketosis has been shown to decrease inflammation, alzheimers, and benefit cancer, epilepsy patients and people with type 2 diabetes.
  5. Increased physical performance: Ketosis uses oxygen more efficiently and avoids physical crashes of low blood sugar.
How can I measure my ketone levels?
So, how do you know if you’re in ketosis? Once you become fat adapted, and are regularly in ketosis, you often feel a surge of energy, mental clarity, a nootropic effect or sense of balance.

 

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

What is the Ketogenic Diet?
On the ketogenic diet, you derive most of your calories, approximately 70-80% from fat. If you are consuming this much fat, it needs to be healthy, unprocessed and have a good balance between Omega 3s and Omega 6s. The remainder of your nutritional macros should consist of of 10-20% protein and 5-10% carbs. Learn more about healthy fats  and foods for a well formulated ketogenic diet here.

And you can get our free 7 Day Ketogenic Meal Plan here.

How do I get started on the ketogenic diet?
Firstly, remove sugars and carbohydrates from your diet, add in plenty of sources of healthy fat, an abundance of leafy green vegetables, eat moderate amounts of high quality protein and replenish your electrolytes. Here’s our Top Five Steps to get into Ketosis.

Don’t forget to check out our free 7 Day Ketogenic Meal Plan here.

Can women follow a ketogenic diet?
Absolutely! However, there is much anecdotal evidence to suggest that women actually do better on a less strict version of the ketogenic diet and need to transition more slowly than men.

 

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.

Is the Ketogenic Diet safe for children?
The strict Ketogenic Diet was originally developed in the 1920s to prevent epileptic seizures in children and it has shown to be more effective than the current prescribed epilepsy medication at preventing seizures.

Exogenous Ketones and Weight Loss

Can I lose weight with exogenous ketones?
Exogenous ketones make it easier to burn fat and lose weight as they teach your body to tap into your own fat stores —but ultimately—you have to do the work.

 

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.

Can I lose weight on Keto?
Essentially, the ketogenic diet puts you into ketosis, aka ‘fat burning’ mode.

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

How do I get through a fat loss plateau on the ketogenic diet?
Why, after a few months on any diet can your weight loss plateau? The principle reason is that our bodies are adept at adjusting to our environments, and this includes our caloric intake and output; we become more efficient.

Here are some top tips for kick-starting your fat loss on the ketogenic diet.

Keto Flu

What is keto flu?
As you transition to using fat for fuel—instead of glucose—you will flush out your glycogen stores and the associated water retention.  At the same time, you’ll also be losing your essential electrolytes in that water release. This electrolyte depletion is actually what causes Keto Flu and may leave you feeling dizzy, faint and low energy.

 

Therefore you must replenish your electrolytes! Find out how to replenish your electrolytes here or read below.

How do I alleviate keto flu?
Replenish your electrolytes! Include mineral sodium, magnesium and potassium rich foods into your diet.

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.

What supplements should I take on the Ketogenic Diet?
Replenish your electrolytes! These are Sodium, Magnesium and Potassium. Don’t underestimate how much extra sodium you will need on keto!

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

I am an athlete, how can exogenous ketones help me?
In comparison with sugar burning, ketosis minimises oxidative stress allowing your muscles to recover more quickly. This translates to improving your physical performance and speeding up your recovery times in between sets. 

 

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.

 

Find out more about ketosis and exercise here and how to fuel your workouts here.

 

Any other keto questions?

Is there anything we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments section below!

Sara & Francisco

 

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