What are the best keto supplements? Do such things exist? While not absolutely spelled out in black and white, there are absolutely supplements that can help you lose weight and keep up performance.
Of course, supplements can do much more than that on the keto diet. Supplements can also help alleviate symptoms of the keto flu, help you stay in/ attain keto easier, and much more.
This article discusses some of the best supplements and how they fit into the keto diet.
Supplements Used For Keto
There are several supplements available for use while on the keto diet. Some of these supplements include
- Medium-chain triglyceride oil (MCT Oil)
- Exogenous ketones
- Omega-3 fatty acids
A few others that are also important include
- Branched-chain amino acids
- Nootropic supplements
Medium-chain triglyceride oil: Scientifically, it has been proven that it is the presence of ketone bodies that makes the keto diet a success. One of the supplements that can boost the level of ketones in the blood is medium-chain triglyceride oil or MCT oil. This oil is popular among keto dieters and for a good reason. It is found naturally in palm kernel oil and coconut oil. It can also be gotten from butterfat naturally; however, the most abundant source of MCT oil is from coconut oil.
MCT oil is grouped as a supplement to boost ketone levels, but it does not contain any ketones. The fat content in MCT oil is very high, making it easier and faster to increase fat intake. When ingested, the fat in this supplement is rapidly digested and helps increase ketone levels in the blood. With the rapid rise in ketone levels, ketosis is reached faster.
Exogenous ketones: Exogenous ketones refer to ketones that are not produced by the body. They are man-made and are consumed to achieve ketosis. The ketone produced endogenously by the body is beta-hydroxybutyrate. When there are elevated levels of this ketone in the blood, the body is said to be in ketosis. Exogenous ketone supplements also consist of beta-hydroxybutyrate or BHB. The major reason why BHB is used in exogenous ketones made available for purchase is that it is shelf-stable. The major function of exogenous ketones is to boost blood ketone levels so that ketosis can be reached much faster. There are also added health benefits, including decreasing appetite and improving focus.
Electrolytes: One of the commonly used supplements on keto are those containing electrolytes. When the keto diet is first started, water weight is lost. Essential electrolytes and minerals like potassium, sodium, and magnesium are also flushed out of the body with water. The reduction in the level of these electrolytes is what gives rise to the symptoms of the keto flu. Headaches, fatigue, and muscle cramps are examples of symptoms of the keto flu. Adding electrolytes to diet can help balance the losses of these electrolytes. One way to achieve this is to eat foods rich in the essential electrolytes. Supplements containing sodium, potassium, and magnesium may also be consumed.
Omega-3 fatty acids: The star macronutrient in the keto diet is fat; however, not all types of fat may be consumed while on keto. In fact, when unhealthy fat is consumed, it nullifies the aim of the keto diet. It may further increase the risk of certain diseases, especially heart disease. Omega-3 supplements contain antioxidants and vitamins that contribute to good health. A good source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish oil. Recently, a more suitable alternative to fish oil called krill oil is available. The antioxidants in krill oil can combat many inflammatory diseases. While on keto, krill oil is also a beneficial way of maintaining a healthy omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
Additional Supplements that Can be Used for Keto
Branched-chain amino acids: It is advisable to consume moderate protein while on keto. Protein consumption is important for general health and metabolism. Branched-chain amino acids can affect exercise performance. Examples of BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. When consumed, they can build and repair muscle tissue. Athletes will also find supplementing with BCAAs advantageous. This is because it can improve endurance, overall performance, and reduce soreness and fatigue after training.
Caffeine: The keto diet is very popular as a weight loss diet. Consuming foods and liquids that can boost the effectiveness of the keto diet should be a top priority. Caffeine and caffeine-containing beverages can help boost weight loss, so it may be included on the keto diet. Caffeine can also promote the production of ketones in the body. To make it easier while transitioning to the keto diet, caffeine can be taken. It is also effective in increasing energy.
Nootropic supplements: Nootropics refer to supplements that can improve brain function. Ketosis itself has been shown to protect the brain. The ketones produced as the body adapts to this low-carb diet is what is responsible for the neuroprotective effects. Nootropic supplements not only protect the brain and boost the function of the keto diet, but they are effective in improving memory and focus.
The keto diet has so many health benefits, but it can be a challenge to start it and reach ketosis. The keto flu as well as a variety of other health challenges, may arise initially and may discourage one from continuing with the diet. Using supplements on keto can help ease the symptoms of the keto flu and can make transitioning to the diet very easy. These supplements can also maximize the benefits of the keto diet. Use of exogenous ketone supplements differs based on the goals of an individual. The good news is that these supplements support most goals from weight loss to improved athletic performance.
While these supplements can help with ketosis in a number of ways, it is essential to continue with a healthy diet. The use of supplements should be paired with a healthy diet and adequate exercise. If weight loss is the goal, it is also essential to consider making lifestyle changes. These changes may be more beneficial in the long run compared to taking supplements. Before purchasing any supplement, it is also vital to seek the opinion of a health professional.