Exogenous ketones for weight loss
Despite having great effects on your body and cognitive capacities, supplementation is a really important component of a keto regimen, since no diet is perfect on its own.
In this article, we’d like to talk about ketone supplementation. They are considered to be an incredibly effective way of entering ketosis quickly and partly alleviating the adverse effects of the keto flu. What is important to underline is that all people have ketones in their own systems.
Different regiments and diets do, in fact, affect these levels depending on your macronutrient ratios.
Below, we’ve laid out an intelligible guide towards what ketones are, how to correctly supplement with them, and most importantly, how they affect your health.
We have broken down the guide into subcategories, here they are:
- What are exogenous ketones?
- How are exogenous ketones formed in our bodies?
- How exogenous ketones work?
- Top 6 exogenous ketones benefits
- What else do I need to know about exogenous ketones?
- Ketone salts, ketone esters, and ketone oils.
- Exogenous ketones vs MCT oil
- Are exogenous ketones safe?
- Key takeaways for using exogenous Ketones
What are ketones?
Ketones are a chemical compound synthesized by your liver.
Your body produces them naturally when your insulin levels have significantly decreased, which is an impediment to converting carbs into energy.
When your carbohydrate levels are too low, your body needs to switch to another energy source.
Naturally, in such situations, our bodies tap into our fat reserves.
As a result, the fat that your body starts using as fuel will turn into ketones and release them into your bloodstream, which allows your muscles to use it as a source of nutrition.
There are three common types of ketones that human bodies have:
- BHB — its full name is Beta-hydroxybutyrate, and it is considered to be the most abundant of all three. It makes up over three-thirds of your total ketone count.
- AcAc — also known as Acetoacetate, is the second most abundant ketone in your body and it makes up nearly a fifth of your total ketone profile.
- Acetone is chemically the most basic and straightforward of them all and barely goes above two percent of the total ketone profile in a human body.
Considering that ketones are such a central figure to breaking down fats, there’s an obvious link between them and a ketogenic diet.
How are ketones formed in our bodies?
As we mentioned previously, our bodies break down fat and form ketones.
As a result, the first ketone levels that go up are AcAc’s.
Following that, BHB levels increase, once our body taps into our fat reserves.
When a person follows a ketogenic diet, their body goes through a very peculiar adaptation, which allows it to transform even more AcAc into BHB.
In case the acetone is no longer necessary for these processes, it will exit the body via breath or urine.
When a person’s breath smells of acetone, it is commonly an indicator of the body entering the state of ketosis.
Similarly, it may be associated with a phenomenon called ketoacidosis, which results from an excess of ketones in the bloodstream. This doesn’t often happen to people following simple keto diets, it’s most commonly the case in more extreme variations of a ketogenic regimen.
How exogenous ketones work?
Exogenous ketones have a broad spectrum of benefits, which range from weight loss acceleration to improving cholesterol levels in the system and even having beneficial effects with neurological conditions. However, there are also many false claims about them that need to be addressed, which we’ll do in the next section, where we’ll look into exogenous ketones supplement pros and cons.
For now, let’s focus on what exogenous ketones do best.
Top 6 exogenous ketones benefits
- They accelerate your weight loss
- They improve the quality of your attention and memory
- They give you a considerable boost in energy
- They improve your mood
- They improve your athletic performance
- Exogenous ketones suppress appetite as they lower plasma ghrelin levels and reduce cravings
So first off, what does exogenous mean?
Exogenous is a more scientifically accurate way of saying that something comes from the outside.
In the case of ketones, it suggests that these are ketones that aren’t synthesized by our bodies, but rather the ones we supplement with.
Yes, you can actually increase your ketone levels to make fat loss on a ketogenic diet even more efficient.
They help with the “Flu”
When you choose to embark on a ketogenic journey, you start looking out for the infamous “Keto Flu,” which is pretty much the body’s way of adapting to a new way of generating energy.
The reason it’s called a “flu” is that of the way you feel for a short period of time. You’ll most likely experience a state of lethargy, you’ll be feeling slightly less focused, and even achy at times.
The great news is that it doesn’t always have to be like that, since, it really depends on your body and your diet how long you’ll be experiencing this.
The even more excellent news is that this state can be considerably alleviated by Exogenous Ketones.
- Ketones are known to increase energy levels and focus, which will definitely counteract the adverse effects of the Keto Flu. You’ll be much more efficient and engaged during the flu, and you won’t be as groggy.
- Secondly, your body will enter ketosis much quicker, which as a result, will make your Flu shorter than it would be otherwise. Supplementing with ketones acts as a signal to your cells that they should now focus on them as their primary source of energy.
- Ketones generally come in the form of salts. This is an essential combination, considering that during a ketogenic diet, people tend to lose large amounts of salts from their system. These ketones are blended with vital electrolytes, which promotes an increased bioavailability and are crucial for improving mood and health during the Keto Flu.
Our brains notoriously consume a large part of the energy our bodies generate.
Since we commonly eat carbohydrate-rich foods on a regular basis, before we start a ketogenic diet, our brains feed off sugars that are synthesized from the carbohydrates we eat.
When entering ketosis, we tend to be foggier and less focused. However, when we do achieve that state, ketones make up around 70% of our brain’s food.
Supplementing with ketones will make you considerably sharper, will improve your focus and memory.
Increased physical performance
Supplementing with ketones on a Keto diet will promote endurance and generally increase physical performance. The reason they’re so efficient at improving these aspects lays at the foundation of the diet itself.
Carbohydrates are known to be a quick fix. They are digested very quickly, which makes your blood sugar levels spike, giving you a boost in energy, but that is followed by a quick fall in energy, once the carbohydrate resources are depleted.
Due to the fact that ketogenic diets focus on fat, which inherently takes longer to digest, doesn’t have these ups and downs.
If you drink a pre-workout drink that is filled with sugar or maltodextrin, you’ll experience a boost, but not for long.
Ketones have the contrary effect. They provide you with great amounts of energy throughout the day, without making you feel hungry 45 minutes later.
Ketone supplements are amazing for endurance athletes.
What else do I need to know about the exogenous ketones?
Just as ketones have a myriad of benefits, it’s essential to understand what they are not.
It’s highly unfortunate that many marketers falsely promote ketone supplements for what they are not, and as a result, harming people or standing in the way of people’s weight loss goals.
Ketone supplements don’t work on their own
People falsely assume that they can continue eating on a standard American diet and just take ketone supplements, which would make them lose weight without having to make changes to their macronutrient ratios.
So there is an important distinction that needs to be made — exogenous ketone supplements do encourage your body to lose weight, but it’s not a standalone solution.
These supplements will help you decrease appetite levels, which will in effect, make you less prone to binge eating or overeating in general.
The key takeaway is the following — simply eating lots of fat and supplementing with ketones on their own will have a moderate effect.
Keeping an eye on the amounts of carbs you eat and moderately exercising will take you much further.
So it is essential to look at ketone products as a critical part of a Keto journey, but don’t forget that it doesn’t constitute a solution on its own.
They don’t taste really good
Although this isn’t really a problem for most people who use ketone supplements, it’s something you need to be aware of.
Ketone esters are especially notorious in this ballpark. Furthermore, you need to be aware of the fact that they might be problematic for people with high blood pressure.
Don’t start big
People really want to lose weight. This often makes them overdo supplementation.
You need to be aware of the fact that beta-hydroxybutyrate supplements, especially beta-hydroxybutyrate salts, could upset your stomach if you overdid them early into your ketogenic diet.
Just as with any supplement, it’s always best to ease your way into them, so that your body doesn’t have a hard time processing them.
More doesn’t mean better.
Ketone salts, esters, and oils
BHB Ketone Esters – is a synthetic type of ketones that are created by chemically bonding them with alcohol (no they won’t get you drunk).
Despite being exogenous and synthetic, they live pretty easily converts them into raw ketones that can be used by the body. Esters are commonly known to provide with high levels of energy very quickly, so it is a great option if you’re looking for a quick boost, alongside their typical Keto applications.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Esters enter the bloodstream very quickly, in around a half an hour
- Compared to ketone salts they do not come with large amounts of salt
- They are medically approved and are commonly known to have nearly no adverse effects
- They are a great choice for athletes that focus on both endurance and high-intensity sports
BHB Ketone Salts are ketone bodies that are chemically attached to a broad spectrum of salts and electrolytes, which promotes bioavailability. They typically come with potassium, calcium, and other very useful compounds that our bodies secrete while on a Keto diet.
They have a lighter and milder effect on the body since they don’t increase ketone levels as much as esters do.
BHB Ketone Oils – Despite the fact that a broad spectrum of oils cannot provide with lots of energy, the byproducts of their metabolization will be used by the body for energy.
Ketone oils don’t increase the ketone levels in the blood as do the first two, and they’re pretty rich calories.
Exogenous ketones vs. MCT oil
Just as many people are using exogenous ketones for weight loss, there are many adepts of MCT oil.
Naturally, people may ask which one of the two is actually better?
The most significant difference between the two can be underlined in how quick they are metabolized.
Ketones can be absorbed by the body at a much higher pace, while MCT’s are slightly more complex, which means that they need to be broken down first and only then converted to energy.
Yet at the same time, it’s safe to say that MCT’s are metabolized quicker than the vast majority of foods.
Another important aspect is that Medium Chain Triglycerides are fairly calorie dense, which needs to be taken into account when your watching your daily calorie intake.
It’s important to mention that anecdotal reports have stated that large doses of MCT’s to an unprepared body have cause nausea and stomach aches.
It’s essential to ease your way into MCT’s and start out by taking small doses, and it’s best to abstain from taking them on an empty stomach, at least from the very beginning.
Are exogenous ketones safe?
Exogenous ketone supplements are generally considered safe. However, it’s crucial to mention that there are some side effects to them.
Reports indicate that ketone salts may cause occasional stomach unrests, diarrhea, and nausea, but these effects aren’t recurring and affect a large number of people.
Another important aspect to ketone salts are the salts themselves.
It’s crucial to underline that even the best exogenous ketone supplements have large amounts of sodium, magnesium, and calcium.
They do not exceed the daily recommended amounts, but in combination with other foods may cause you to go overboard:
A standard portion of ketone salts contains around:
- 700 milligrams of sodium (which is about 25% of the RDA)
- 350 milligrams magnesium (85% of the RDA)
- 6000 milligrams of calcium (55% of the RDA)
These numbers suggest that we need to be mindful of our diets and how much of these micronutrients we consume with our food.
Key Takeaways For Exogenous Ketones
If you’re looking to buy exogenous ketones, it’s safe to say that they won’t do you any harm, and will be an invaluable asset on your Keto journey, of course given that you use them wisely.
There isn’t too much reported data on the combination of exogenous ketones and fasting.
Common sense suggests that they may cause stomach unrest, considering that it’s it one of the most common adverse effects related to these compounds, and that’s the case even with the best exogenous ketone supplements.
When it comes to starting off with one of these supplements, it’s most probably best to go with salts and only then advance to esters.
However, be mindful that esters are known to have a really bad taste.
Another critical takeaway is the fact that ketones in all forms — salts, oils, or esters do not work on their own. The give you a beneficial effect in combination with a high-fat, low-carb diet, and ideally, exercise.
That pretty much sums it up, if you’re looking to embark on a Keto journey and ease your way into ketosis, without having to suffer from the Keto Flu — ketone supplements are definitely a great choice.
However, it is essential to approach them responsibly, as there is a lot of misinformation about their effects.
We wish you good luck on your keto path, along with a safe and happy way into weight loss!