An Exhaustive Guide to Keto Supplementation
As the booming popularity of the Keto diet provides us with larger and more exhaustive bodies of scientific research, we can finally build a more complete and sophisticated approach to creating a dietary plan that will meet all of our bodies’ needs.
We can adequately optimize our macro and micronutrient intake by using a well-planned list of the best keto supplements for ketogenic diet that will provide us with the minerals and vitamins that we may be lacking during a Keto regimen because no diet is ideal on its own.
There is an entire range of beneficial effects that ketogenic supplements can provide you with on this diet.
Some may increase the pace at which fats will be metabolized in your body, other may alleviate and even relieve your Keto flu symptoms altogether.
So if you’ve been contemplating the idea of hopping onto the ketogenic diet, the moment is now!
In this article, we’re going to step-by-step look into a host of essential supplements to increase ketosis, along with the best keto supplements in 2018.
Why is it essential to use supplements on a Keto diet?
First off, a ketogenic diet differs dramatically from what we are commonly used to eat, not in terms of the contents of our food, but ratios (fats, protein, carbohydrates).
Your body will have to gradually shift to a regimen much richer in healthy fats, instead of carbohydrates, which are so excessive in our everyday lives.
So these aren’t just mere weight loss supplements, but they are there to ensure that the process of shifting to a Keto diet will go smoothly and you’ll be getting all the essential micronutrients, thus excluding the possibility of suffering from any deficiencies.
So, to recap, the main functions that supplements are there to fulfill are:
- Ensure a seamless transition from a carb-centric diet to a fat-predominant one. You can also use our keto food pyramid scheme to ensure that you eat the right keto-friendly products.
- Your body may be experiencing slight difficulties at the very beginning of your path, supplementation is there to alleviate any possible discomfort.
- Once your body enters the process of ketogenesis, supplementation will enhance this process and make fat loss quicker and more efficient. Multiple organs partake in this process, so assisting them with metabolizing fat into energy is essential.
- You may have heard about the Keto flu — a common cold-like state that the body enters for a brief period, once the process of ketogenesis has started. Supplementation will help you get rid of grogginess and a foggy mind.
What supplements should I take on a Keto diet?
So, what are the best supplements for a ketogenic diet?
Below you’ll find a list of vital ketogenic supplements for a healthy Keto diet, all of which aren’t only advisable for consumption on a ketogenic way of eating, they are also great on any other LCHF dietary plans:
- Exogenous Ketones
- D Vitamin
- Digestive Enzymes (CoEnzyme Q10)
- Vitamin K2
- B Vitamin Complex
- Omega 3 Fish Oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado Oil
Exogenous Ketones (Keto Salts)
This type of supplementation is currently considered to be among the most promising developments in the field of high fat, low carb dieting, and one of the most important ketogenic diet supplements.
“Exogenous” means that they originate outside the body. These are synthesized ketones designed to make your body enter ketosis at a much higher speed. They are known to increase performance in sports and give you a considerable increase in energy and mood, especially during keto flu.
Also known as a Beta Hydroxybutyrate supplement (BHB Ketone Salts), they are similarly useful for decreasing your appetite levels, which is very important at the very beginning of our Keto journey when our bodies are used to eating more significant amounts of food, predominantly carbohydrates.
Exogenous Ketone supplements are perfect for athletes that are looking to start a Keto regimen since these ketone supplements can preserve the low amounts of carbs that we consume for high-intensity efforts when energy is especially precious.
Furthermore, an impressive body of research now suggests that these ketone salts are among the safest Keto diet supplements. They should not be confused with weight loss supplements. Although they do stimulate the burning of excess fat, their effect is much broader and more holistic.
This absolutely crucial vitamin is critical to the proper functioning of our bodies, so please note, that whether you’ve already chosen to start a Keto diet or not, it is most probably the case that your body needs vitamin D supplementation.
Research shows that there are alarming numbers of people suffering from D deficiency, even though it is synthesized by our skin once exposed to sunlight (although the radical shift of human lifestyles, moving from the outdoors to offices may explain this scarcity).
Furthermore, supplementation is a safer form of getting vitamin D, since it eliminates the risk of getting skin cancer from lengthy exposure to sunlight.
A deficient body will find it complicated to regulate its hormone production, grow muscle, maintain a strong cardiovascular and immune systems, along with metabolizing and absorbing a broad spectrum of essential nutrients and minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
This is among the most important Keto electrolyte supplements out there, which helps you maintain a healthy immune system, along with having a complex effect on the nervous system. It calms us but increases our energy levels at the same time. What many of us don’t know about magnesium is that deficiencies are widespread with this particular electrolyte, due to the fact that lots of types of medication drain your body of it.
The reason it is essential to supplement with magnesium while following a keto diet is that it can be found predominantly in carb-rich foods, like legumes and certain types of fruit.
Furthermore, if you practice sports regularly, replenishing your magnesium reserves is essential as it helps decrease the amount of cramps and ensures that you’ll sleep well at night, which is incredibly important for muscle development and proper hormonal function.
Replenishing potassium levels is pretty tricky, at least for most of us. Anyone that has ever been concerned with diet knows that the food that is commonly referenced as the best source of potassium are bananas, which are a no-no on a ketogenic diet. Plus, this mineral is absolutely crucial not only on this particular regimen. A deficiency may result in many unwanted adverse effects as low energy levels, constipation, and poor digestion, along with a general feeling of fatigue. Why does this matter on a keto diet?
Getting potassium in during your keto diet is very important, as it may be playing a crucial role in alleviating the adverse effects of the keto flu, which is often a reason why people quit their Keto diets in the first place, being unable to deal with the unwanted and fairly unpleasant effects of the “flu.”
The good thing is that your potassium storage can easily be replenished with a large number of keto-friendly products and supplements. However, supplementing needs to be done with extreme care, since it is very easy to “overdo” it and large amounts of potassium can do you more harm than good. This is why it is always safer to stick to products like mushrooms, avocados, and collard greens to up your potassium while on a ketogenic diet.
Digestive Enzymes (CoEnzyme Q10)
Switching to a Keto diet can have a toll on your digestive function, and we can’t stress how crucial correct macronutrient balance is and how essential it is to consume the right amounts of fiber. However, we are sometimes unable to eat perfectly every single day, which is why supplementing with digestive enzymes can do you a world of good. When your diet consists of 70-80% fat, it is normal that your body will encounter some issues with digestion and it is our responsibility to help it do its job.
Furthermore, depending on what your macronutrient profile was until now, a ketogenic diet, although moderate in protein, may contain more significant amounts of proteins than we’re used to. This underlines another reason for constipation and other causes of digestive discomfort. Enzymes are a great solution to all of these issues. Their function is to help our digestive systems break down fats and proteins and thus bring more ease into the process.
Can you get a sufficient amount of Q10 from foods? Yes and no, it pretty much depends on the type of ketogenic diet you’re following and the macronutrient ratios you have chosen to follow. Generally speaking, you’ll find these enzymes in fish like salmon and fish, which are great on Keto, but also in meat and vegetable oils, which shouldn’t be consumed in excess, especially on a high fat, low carb regimen. This is why it is always better to opt for supplementation for a cleaner and a more exact dose of enzymes.
It hasn’t been too long since vitamin K2 has become a thing, but as soon as it was discovered it was classified as an essential nutrient that regulates a large number of critical functions in our bodies and it is a vital nutrient for bone health, and a prevent a host of cardiovascular diseases.
But getting a decent dose of K2 is slightly tricky since it is commonly found in foods that we tend to avoid, namely the ones that are high in cholesterol, which has the tendency to clog arteries and cause a large number of cardiovascular illnesses.
Furthermore, the vast majority of meat products have very low amounts of this vitamin since most of it factory farmed.
K2 levels are pretty high in grass-fed beef, a type of cleaner meat which we should all opt for. The science behind it states that cows generally have the ability to convert vitamin K1 to K2, from the grass that they eat.
Considering that factory farming facilities provide little to no grass at all to the cows’ diets, it is obvious why there is almost no vitamin K2 in most beef on the market.
Another reason why replenishing our reserves of K2 is essential is the widespread prescription of antibiotics which damage the body’s natural ability to make the K1 to K2 conversion. Not only that, a large number of animal products we consume unwanted traces of antibiotics which severely damage our gut flora.
Zinc is an essential nutrient that helps us maintain proper immune function along with improving the body heal its wounds quicker and more efficiently. Zinc supplementation is imperative for good eyesight, especially for preventing age-related degradation of vision. A zinc deficiency may be linked to poor digestion, anemia, and sperm health.
Zinc is present in many foods that are common on a Western diet, like fish, meat, nuts, and seeds, along with dairy products. However, it is often the case that these products do not contain the desired or recommended amounts of zinc, which makes it desirable to opt for supplementation. Using a supplement is very inexpensive and much more efficient in deficiency prevention.
B Vitamin Complex
Considering that there is a broad spectrum of B vitamins, which are all essential for proper health, it is generally complicated to keep their levels in check at all times, indifferent of the diet you’re following.
A ketogenic diet often implies the elimination of certain foods that are rich in a variety of B vitamins. This is why it is always a good idea to implement supplementation for this vitamin spectrum. There is an extensive body of research which suggests that although low-carb, high-fat diets are safe and effective for weight loss, supplementation remains imperative, due to low amounts of carbohydrates.
This supplement is arguably among the best sources for Omega-3s out there. These are acids that your body is not designed to produce autonomously, and it is our responsibility to provide the body with these nutrients. Fish oil helps our bodies generate stronger cell membranes and reduce inflammatory processes within our bodies. It is also considered that Omega-3s are an essential supplement for brain health.
Similar to the vitamin D deficiency across the globe, we consume much less Omega-3 and -6 acids that we ought to, and there is a large body of research that confirms these claims.
Coconut oil and MCT oil
The delicious and fatty oil of the coconut is the best source of MCT oil, around a fifth of its contents, are Medium Chain Triglycerides. Luckily we’re now able to isolate MCT oil from coconuts, which makes it easier to process and enjoy its benefits without having to go consume large amounts of coconut oil or pulp.
Adding MCT’s to your daily regimen will provide you with large amounts of healthy fats very quickly and will considerably increase the number of ketones in your blood so that you can enjoy the benefits of the ketogenic diet much faster than you otherwise would. The significant part about MCT’s and coconut oil is that it promotes the sensation of fullness and alleviates the feeling of hunger during your body’s adaptation to the ketogenic dietary plan, which makes it an excellent instrument for efficient, safe, and comfortable weight loss.
Furthermore, the vast majority of MCT oils are tasteless and odorless, which makes them a great addition to your daily food intake. Adding some MCT oil or MCT oil powder to a pre-workout shake will provide you with a large amount of healthy fats and will act as a great source of energy. It is essential no to consume MCT’s on an empty stomach, since it may cause nausea. It is advisable to consume them as an addition to your food.
This is probably among the healthiest oil you’ll come around, and it’s easily among the best supplements for a Keto diet. Similarly, like olive oil, it’s incredibly rich in healthy fats, and it’s pumped with antioxidants. Not only that, it has a much higher smoking point than most oils, which makes it an excellent choice for cooking even at high temperatures, without having to think about carcinogens. Furthermore, it’s perfect as is to be added to salads and cold dishes. Over 60% of this oil is oleic acid which is a fantastic supplement for your cardiovascular system.
What about protein powders?
When you start eating the ketogenic way, your diet will shift from three essential nutrients to only two, as you may already know, your intention will be to eliminate carbs almost entirely. This means that you’re pretty much left with proteins and fats. While everybody on the web speaks on the types of fats you should consume on a keto diet menu, there’s much less focus on the protein.
Considering that you’ll have to restrict your protein intake to around 1.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight, you need to source only high-quality proteins, to ensure that your muscle tissue will not lose its regenerative qualities and that no hormonal imbalances occur.
So what is the best protein powder for keto?
There is no consensus on the matter, but it pretty much depends on what you’re aiming for. However, just like anything in life needs diversification, it is always a good idea to diversify your protein sources, along with the types of protein you ingest.