Getting started with Exogenous Ketones: What are they and how can you use them?

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So, what are exogenous ketones? If you’re absolutely new to the ketogenic diet and exogenous ketones, then this post will be useful for you.

What are Exogenous Ketones?

Exogenous simply means ‘out of body’. We can all produce endogenous (in the body) ketones when following a ketogenic diet or while fasting. This occurs when we have depleted our glycogen stores and our bodies need another fuel source and so the liver starts converting fat—nutritional or body fat—into ketones which are then transported to cells and used as energy.

A helpful analogy could be diabetics using insulin. People with type one diabetes cannot produce endogenous insulin. So they take must take exogenous insulin to survive. Whereas, most people produce their own endogenous insulin and do not need to administer exogenous insulin.

Exogenous ketones (BHB Salts) are synthetic ketones and come in the form of salts as the Beta-hydroxybutyrate chemical binds with salt—hence the salty taste of exogenous ketone supplements. There is a benefit to this extra salt as when you are in ketosis, you lose a lot of body fluids which simultaneously depletes your electrolytes and that includes sodium.

What are the benefits of ketosis?

The majority of people use exogenous ketones to catalyse fat burning, to increase their cognitive focus, and to improve their physical and athletic performance.

Exogenous ketones also support the transition to the ketogenic diet so that you do not have to suffer through ‘keto flu’ as you retrain your metabolism.

Exogenous Ketones put your body into ketosis within 15-60 minutes from consumption.

Ketosis is beneficial for a myriad of reasons. It is first and foremost the most therapeutic metabolic state to be in and our Palaeolithic ancestors would have been in ketosis most of the time.

  • Ketosis reduces inflammation in the brain and body. It has been linked to helping cure cancer.
  • The ketogenic diet was invented in the 1920s as a cure for epilepsy in children
  • Ketosis increases cognitive focus as ketones are the preferred fuel for the brain
  • Increases physical energy and endurance
  • Stabilises blood sugar levels
  • Balances hormones
  • Ketosis is a fat-burning metabolic state and therefore can reduce body fat, particularly if combined with a calorie restrictive diet.

The benefits of ketosis come from its anti-inflammatory properties as the majority of chronic and autoimmune diseases are caused by inflammation. This includes epilepsy, chronic fatigue, migraines, cancer, PCOS, endometriosis, Alzheimer’s and ADHD.

The list just goes on!

Ketosis also helps with joint pain, clearing up acne and recent studies show that it has an anti-aging effect. This is because when you starve ‘bad, sick or old’ cells of glucose, they then get recycled back into the system in a process called apoptosis. This means that through fasting or a ketogenic diet, you are literally cleansing your body of potentially malignant cells. Pretty amazing, don’t you think!?

So the ketogenic diet really is a therapeutic and ancestral diet.

How can you use Exogenous Ketones?

The BHB Salt powder form of exogenous ketones can be consumed with hot or cold drinks and even added into food recipes. We always recommend starting with a half-portion heavily diluted with iced water or iced unsweetened almond milk.

For boosting physical or mental performance: Just take the exogenous ketone salts 30 minutes before you plan to begin. If you are having KetoBlitz or KetoForce, these are so fast acting that you can take them as you are starting your workout and even during exercise.

For catalysing fat loss: They can be taken as a meal or snack replacement. Exogenous Ketones really boost your energy levels and suppress appetite. So, you will not feel hungry and they also tend to curb carb cravings. Because they suppress appetite, they make fasting and eating at a caloric deficit far easier too.

Find out how exogenous ketones could help you burn fat here.

If you also combine them with MCT Powder, you will achieve an even longer lasting effect with further elevated blood ketone levels. Some products, such as Kegenix Prime and Pruvit Orange Dream already include added MCT powder. And you can add MCT powder or oil into Fat or Bulletproof Coffee too. 

In general, when choosing an exogenous ketone supplement, go for your preferred flavours and also take into account the added ingredients. For example, Pruvit Keto//OS MAX includes added BCAAs and taurine, some brands include caffeine, and Perfect Keto base is high in magnesium. Real Ketones has very pure in ingredients and Kegenix Prime has added MCT Powder for further elevated Ketone Levels.

Our recommendations

Remember that exogenous ketones support the transition to the ketogenic diet as well as boosting physical and mental energy. It can also wonderfully support fat loss when combined with a calorie restrictive diet.

It is absolutely essential that you keep your electrolytes up, so do add extra mineral (volcanic, himalayan or celtic) salt to your food and extra magnesium too. Keeping your electrolytes up is the most important thing to remember when you start transitioning to the ketogenic diet. Find out how to replenish your electrolytes here.

To get started we, recommend the following:

Mineral Salt

Ensure that you have mineral salt at home. Mineral salt can be pink Himalayan salt, Celtic Sea salt or Volcanic salt. Table salt is not sufficient as it has been stripped of the minerals that you need.


Quinton Cellnutrition is incredible, as are Prizmag Magnesium Bisglycinate, Lifestream Magnesium Powder and BetterYou Magnesium gel. Have a look at our Recovery & Repair page.

Magnesium is essential for muscle recovery and repair as well as optimum neurological function. With a magnesium deficiency, you will suffer low energy, headaches, cramps and muscle ache. As you will be losing electrolytes on keto, you will need extra magnesium.

MCT Powder

Try KetoSports MCT Powder or the Perfect Keto MCT Powder if you require a dairy-free version. Perfect Keto do a delicious Keto Chocolate Collagen that includes MCT Powder; also available in Salted Caramel and Vanilla. MCT Oil powder includes medium chain triglycerides that are easily converted into ketones and used as fuel for the body. MCT Powders are normally from coconut or palm oil and support your body in producing endogenous ketones.

And if you have decided that exogenous ketones will benefit you, choose your preferred flavour and ingredients. We have written a separate blog post that goes into more detail on each product.

Ensure that you start with a half portion, keep hydrated, replenish your electrolytes and let us know how you’re getting on!

Need more information on getting into Ketosis? Here’s our 5 Keys to Ketosis guide. Check out our Free 7 Day Ketogenic Recipe Ideas too  as well as our full range of keto recipe guides. keto supplements keto meal plan

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16 thoughts on “Getting started with Exogenous Ketones: What are they and how can you use them?

    • Sara says:

      Hi Helen, Thanks so much for your message!
      Of course! Exogenous ketones can support weight loss when combined with a calorie restrictive diet. Especially if you have them as a breakfast replacement as they give you loads of energy, suppress your appetite and get you into fat burning mode. Do have a look at this page on Losing Weight on the Ketogenic Diet
      Any other questions, give us a shout! Sara 🙂

      • Sara says:

        Hi Helen, Not sure which products you are referring to as we don’t have a ketone cleanse or ketone complete product on the site.

  1. Ivan Mc clean says:

    Hello I am new to keto diet I have been following it this last week I have been fasting for anthing from 12/18hours
    Working off
    Carbs 20/50g per day
    Fats anything from 50/70+
    Protein is up to 28/33

    Can you please tell me is this is right. I have been using Apple cider vinegar and hemmalian rock salt in a little water thru the day. I have been reading up on endogenous keystone supplements can you tell me are the beneficial wile on keto and what I have showing you I’m I doing this right.

    • Sara says:

      Hi Ivan,

      That looks good! Just check that the carbs aren’t too high by testing your ketone levels.

      I’d also recommend supplementing with magnesium and potassium too. The exogenous ketones and MCT oil will ease your transition into ketosis, curb carb cravings, increase your energy levels and sharpen your focus.

  2. Willem Naude says:

    I discovered the ketogenic diet by following a hero of mine: Prof Tim Noakes – an excellent sportsman, medically trained research scientist in the field of optimising health and fitness. I now also follow the work of other leading medical scientists who advocate the ketogenic lifestyle as well because it makes scientific sense and the results speak for themselves. My daughter in Miami introduced me to exogenous ketone supplements initially, which was the key to successful ketoconversion. I then to my delight discovered the local supplier in the UK:

    The first statement I want to make is that the ketogenic diet, with the ease of using the amazing products containing BHB and MCT oils, transformed my health in a way where I have so much more energy with no more sugar cravings and have a more toned physique with the disappearance of my middle age belly – I am 67 years old with a very active lifestyle.

    The second statement I want to make is that Sara’s company Ketosupplements UK is very efficient and professional in providing top quality Ketogenic products with excellent client support.

    I can strongly recommend the ketogenic lifestyle and the use of BHB and MCT as diet supplements to make life so much easier.

  3. Neil Cappleman says:

    Hi Sara, I’ve been strictly Keto for 6 months now and feeling great. I’ve been getting my C8 MCT oil from you guys which has been really great but I do get some stomach irritation even on half doses although not always. Am looking at Exogenous Ketones and was wondering if the stomach is likely to react in the same way? Also same query regarding your meal supplements that you recently advertised. Great and helpful website and blog by the way. Thanks Neil

    • Sara says:

      Hi Neil,
      Thanks so much for the positive feedback and it’s great to hear you’re doing so well on Keto! Liquid MCT and C8 oil can often cause GI distress or ‘disaster pants’, paricuarly if consumed on an empty stomach – it can take quite a while for the digestive system to get used to it. Have you tried MCT powder? This is much easier to digest and less likely to cause GI distress. Some people do experience initial GI distress on taking exogenous ketones but it should not last for long and it’s often actually due to the MCT powder (if it’s included). The most important thing is always to keep hydrated and replenish your electrolytes. The meal replacements contain MCT, protein and multi vitamins. You can easily make up your own with MCT powder and collagen or a low carb/no carb whey protein. Hope that helps! And thanks for following our blog! 🙂

    • Sara says:

      Hi there! Trying a low carb diet can be great for balanacing and resetting the hormones. When the supplements are taken as well as food, then weight should be maintained. I hope that helps. Do you currently have a functional doctor to speak with?

  4. Patience says:

    I started Keto a week ago but finding it extremely challenging to do the appropriate measures. I think I have managed to bring my carbs down to about 50g. I am finding it hard to pull back on protein because of what I find easy to have, meats, fish, cheese etc. I work long hours as a nurse so I find it easy to prep foods as above.

    A week into Keto I feel aweful. Lots of mindfog and restlessness. I feel as though I have put on weight, bloated and just tired. I know these are side effects. I am actually more concerned about getting my measurements right.

    It would be great if some could help me with examples of meals they have with the correct measurements. It would help me a lot to focus on what a meal or snack can look like. I am happy to leave my email address as I feel I could benefit from the wealth of knowledge here.

    Thank you

    • Sara says:

      Hi Patience, Thanks so much for your message and feedback on the site!

      If you’re feeling, tired, bloated and suffering from brain fog then you need to increase your electrolytes and water intake immediately. You can also take activated charcoal to deal with the brain fog. Read this post as it has a lot of information on replenishing electrolytes and alleviating brain fog.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about going over your protein intake as if you are still in a caloric deficit you’re body will still start using your own fat stores for energy (fat cell oxidation). This is what you want to do if you are doing a ketogenic diet for weight loss. You may want to go a little lower on carbs. It’s very much trial and error in figuring out your personal carb tolerance. For me, I need to be under 30g carbs per day from 1800 calories to be in ketosis and maintain my weight.

      So, I’d recommend that you focus on meals that revolve around:

      a protein source + low carb leafy greens + heathy fat dressing

      Do check your caloric intake on myfitnesspal or ketodietapp. They have a ton of delicious and easy keto recipes to keep you on track and you can also check out our 7 day meal plan.

      A common mistake on keto for weight loss is to eat too much fat and then you’ll be in ketosis but from nutritional fat, rather than body fat. You’ll still put on weight as you’re consuming too many calories from fat. Maria Emmerich’s 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse is a fantastic book on starting keto for weight loss, as well as Martina Slajerova’s Keto All Day.

      I really hope that helps. Any other questions, let us know.


    • Sara says:

      Hi Ash, Thanks so much for your message! I’m afraid there isn’t one supplement that will help you lose weight by itself. You would need to combine low carb eating with a calorie deficit, ensure that you sleep enough, aren’t stressed and exercise when possible. The supplements can help by suppressing your appetite, giving you energy and reducing inflammation but they won’t make you lose weight by themselves. Read this guide to losing weight on keto. Good luck!

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