The keto diet allows you to lose weight, gain energy, and improve mental clarity while restricting your carb intake. However, like many others, you may face challenges that make it hard to maintain your keto lifestyle.
If you find yourself in this dilemma, you can turn to exogenous ketones. Ketones are normally produced in the body during ketosis.
But, they can also be produced for ingestion in order to increase the ketones in the blood. Synthetic ketones made for this are known as exogenous ketones.
They are supplementary ketone bodies that are used to enhance the effects of the keto diet. However, using these ketones without following a low carb and high-fat diet will not deliver the same benefits as maintaining a keto diet.
So, what are these exogenous ketones, and how can you use them?
Types of Exogenous Ketones
There are three types of ketones found in the body, and these are:
- Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)
Exogenous ketones are usually made with BHB bodies since they’re more stable and available in the bloodstream. The common types of exogenous ketones that you can find include:
Ketone salts are made by binding ketone bodies to minerals. Sodium, Magnesium, calcium, and potassium are the minerals that are commonly used for this.
Most manufacturers use BHB ketones for the binding. Ketone salts are available in the form of powders, pills, or capsules.
When taken, they can induce a state of ketosis after a short period. However, their effects will not be long-lasting.
Ketone salts are favored because of their palatable taste and flavor, which is absent in ketone esters.
Unlike ketone salts that are bound to minerals, ketone esters are bound to an alcohol molecule. The esters are not as palatable as the salts and can be quite unpleasant to the taste.
However, ketone esters are more powerful in inducing ketosis in comparison to the salts. This is mainly because once they get into the bloodstream, their chemical composition resembles that of the naturally produced ketones in the body.
It means that the body readily uses the esters without any delays. Effects from using esters may not be as immediate as when you use the salts, but they’ll last longer.
Medium-Chain Triglycerides are not ketones. However, on ingestion, they go straight to the liver, where they’re converted to ketone bodies.
In this way, they also cause an increase in the number of ketones in the blood. It enhances the process of ketosis.
MCT oil is also a popular exogenous ketone because it can help with weight loss. It suppresses appetite, which makes it easier for you to follow the restricted carbohydrate diet required for ketosis to work.
To use MCT oil for your keto needs, simply add it to your coffee, meal, or shake. It will help you to eat less carbs and fell satiated faster and for longer.
The type of exogenous ketones that you use depends on your preferences. Will you withstand the awful taste of the esters for a more profound ketosis effect, or would you rather the great tasting salts whose effects are short-lived?
When Is It a Good Idea to Use Exogenous Ketones?
Exogenous ketones provide the easiest way to increase the levels of ketones in your blood. However, this does not mean that you can use them as an alternative to the keto diet.
These external ketones should be used when you need to supplement your low carb and high-fat diet for various reasons. The following are instances when using exogenous ketones can be a good idea:
- When you need an instant energy boost, preferably for physical activity or mental tasks, exogenous ketones can especially help when your body is transitioning into ketosis. At this time, it’s usually low on energy.
- You can use exogenous ketones in between meals to boost your mental performance and gain more energy. It will keep you from turning to fast foods that’ll ruin your keto lifestyle and interfere with your body’s ketosis.
- If you’re having trouble maintaining a restricted low carb diet. Exogenous ketones will help to raise the ketone levels when you’re taking a bit more carbs than are advisable to maintain ketosis.
- When you’re incapable of keeping up with your keto diet, for various reasons, for instance, exogenous ketones can be helpful when you’re traveling and are unable to maintain a keto diet.
How to Use Exogenous Ketones?
The correct way to use exogenous ketones depends on several factors. First of all, it relies on what your goals are for using keto.
Do you wish to lose weight, boost your athletic performance, or clear your mind? For each of these goals, here’s how you should use exogenous ketones:
For Weight Loss
Losing weight is easy when your body is in a ketogenic state. This is because once it runs out of glucose for energy, it uses up the stored fat.
Exogenous ketones raise the ketone levels in the body, which provides a constant energy source and does away with the need for carbs. With less carb intake, you’ll be able to use up all the fat storage and keep from gaining more.
To use exogenous ketones for weight loss, do the following:
Each day, take a single scoop of ketone powder. If you’re using pills or capsules, take a single dose.
It will ensure that your body keeps using fats and ketones for energy in the absence of glycogen.
To Improve Exercise Endurance
When you take part in high energy exercise, your body runs out of energy fast. This energy is provided by Adenosine Triphosphate, and when it depletes, your body turns to glucose for fuel.
Using ketones gives your body an instant energy boost, allowing you to exercise harder and for longer.
This is how to use exogenous ketones for exercise:
Before a workout, take a single scoop of your ketone powder. This is if you intend to carry out your exercises for more than 45 minutes.
After the first 45 minutes, you should ingest half a scoop for every other additional hour that you remain in exercise. It will ensure that you don’t run out of energy until you’re done with your workout.
To Avoid Keto Flu
Keto flu refers to a condition that most people face when their bodies are transitioning into a ketosis state. It’s marked by symptoms such as headaches, fatigue bloating, and irritability.
These occur because the body has not yet begun producing ketones for energy effectively, while sugars that are available for energy are also limited.
Using exogenous ketones can raise your ketone blood levels, which will provide enough energy to prevent these symptoms.
To prevent this flu, you should use the ketones several times throughout the day. Divide your daily dosage into 2 or 3 portions, then spread out their intake throughout the day.
Use them like this for about 4 to 5 days, in which time your body will begin efficiently producing its own ketones.
For Mental Productivity
The brain uses around 20% of the body’s energy to carry out its functions. Getting to a state of ketosis can enhance mental activity by providing sustained energy for several hours.
Use a scoop of exogenous ketones to gain about 4-6 hours of better mental function and clarity. Also, ensure to take the ketones on an empty stomach.
In order to gain more energy, lose weight, avoid keto flu, and improve your physical and mental perforce, you cannot rely on exogenous ketones alone. Instead, you should use them to gain these benefits faster when you’re using a keto diet.
Safety When Using Exogenous Ketones
So, are exogenous ketones safe to use? It all depends on how you use them.
When your body undergoes ketosis, a lot of things such as blood sugar levels change. When ketones’ levels get too high, there’s a possibility of these changes becoming too drastic and putting your health at risk.
Therefore, the number one safety rule for using exogenous ketones is that you should stick to the recommended dosage.
Taking more than is safe for you can lead to stomach upsets and affect your electrolyte balance. Too many ketones in the blood can also lead to ketoacidosis, a condition where your blood becomes too acidic.
When your blood sugar levels fall too much during ketosis, you also risk developing hypoglycemia. This is characterized by feelings of lethargy and weakness.
To avoid these side effects, stick to the right dosage of exogenous ketones. Also, if you’re already experiencing all the benefits you need from just using a keto diet, it might not be necessary to use exogenous ketones.
This is because there are already enough ketones in your blood, and raising them further could be harmful to your organs.
When you use exogenous ketones correctly, they can help advance the benefits that you get from a keto diet.
Use them when you’re unable to maintain your diet regimen, want an instant energy boost, or want to skip the uncomfortable keto flu.
Personally, I prefer the natural way by cooking the right foods. My guide on how to get into ketosis in 24 hours will also help if you are struggling with that part.
While using them, make sure to follow the safety measures that will protect you from developing undesirable side effects.
Exogenous ketones can help your body reach ketosis faster, and play a massive role in helping you stick to your keto diet.