Exogenous ketones have revolutionized the world of keto dieting since their inception in recent years. They allow people to transition more smoothly into ketosis and maintain a ketotic state more easily. Check below for top rated exogenous ketone supplements. Below are the editor’s choice of the three best exogenous ketone supplements available in 2018.
What are exogenous ketones? In basic terms, ketones are byproducts that are produced from fat, when there is little glucose for the body to use as fuel. Exogenous ketones can put you in a state of ketosis (raised ketone bodies in the blood stream) in a relatively short amount of time. There are 4 main kinds of exogeonous ketone supplements
The dictionary definition of exogenous relating to biology is – exogenous ɪkˈsɒdʒɪnəs,ɛkˈsɒdʒɪnəs adjective growing or originating from outside an organism. “an exogenous hormone” The definition of ketone is – ketone ˈkiːtəʊn noun plural noun: ketones an organic compound containing a carbonyl group =C=O bonded to two hydrocarbon groups, made by oxidizing secondary alcohols. The simplest such compound is acetone. So, to put it simply, exogenous ketones are ketones that come from outside of our bodies.
Why use exogenous ketones?
When first starting out with a keto diet, most people experience the dreaded adaptation phase. Our bodies can burn two types of fuel, glucose or ketones. The adaptation phase regarding the ketogenic diet is a period of time in which the body switches from using glucose as it’s primary fuel source, to using ketones. If you have done the ketogenic diet before you know that this adaptation phase can be quite hard! Different people will make the switch more or less easily. Some will transition into ketosis in a few days fairly easily, while for others it may take weeks and they may experience “keto flu”. Exogenous ketones can help with this transitory phase. Rather than wait for days or even weeks for your body to start to produce it’s own ketones, taking exogenous ketones will put you in a state of ketosis in a matter of hours. If you are experiencing fatigue or keto flu, you will feel almost immediate relief by taking exogenous ketones. Exogenous ketones can also be used to make maintaining a ketogenic diet easier. If you are already in ketosis, but every once in awhile you have a cheat meal with some carbs, exogenous ketones can put you back into a state of ketosis much quicker.
As mentioned earlier in the article, ketones are made in the body when there is little glucose available. Glucose is the body’s first go to fuel source, but it is quickly burned up. Ketones however, offer longer lasting energy. With a lack of glucose from the diet, the body starts to use up stored glucose in the body known as glycogen. When glycogen is depleted, your liver starts to break down fat into ketone bodies for fuel. This is when you start getting into ketosis. Your body taps into its fat stores for long lasting fuel. It breaks down fat (triglycerides) into the three types of ketone bodies
BHB salts (beta hydroxybutyrate salts, or ketone salts are the most common type of exogenous ketone supplements available today.) BHB salts are simply the BHB ketone body bound to a mineral salt to allow for easy absorption into the body. BHB is commonly bound to magnesium, calcium, sodium or potassium. A beta hydroxybutyrate supplement will make the notoriously difficult keto diet easier to transition into to and maintain.
Benefits of exogenous ketones
Exogenous ketones raise the quantity of ketone bodies in the blood stream, therefore putting you quickly into a state of ketosis. Here are an overview of these benefits –
- Athletic performance
- Mental clarity
- Suppressed appetite
As mentioned earlier in this blog post, exogenous ketones make the keto diet more easy to transition into and maintain. If you are reading this article, you probably already know the health benefits of the ketogenic diet. But where do BHB salts and exogenous ketones fit into the picture? There are a couple of ways to initiate the keto adaptation phase. One method is by fasting for a couple of days or so. This forces the body to burn up stored glycogen and produce ketone bodies. Fasting can often make you feel fatigued and lightheaded. Exogenous ketones can help with that. As soon as theses symptoms of low blood sugar are felt, simply knock back a BHB salt supplement to get your body into ketosis much quicker.
Are BHB salts/exogenous ketones safe?
Exogenous ketones are a fairly new dietary supplement to the health and fitness scene. However, they have been tinkered with since the sixties by scientists but were too expensive to realistically sell as a dietary supplement. Plus they tasted awful! Thanks to decades of work, we now see exogenous ketone supplements that are FDA approved and come in flavours such as chocolate swirl, and orange crush amongst others! Exogenous ketones and BHB sals have been put through the rigour of FDA testing so yes, hey are safe. What is an un-known is how the body reacts when it loaded with sugar and ketones at he same time for an extended period. It is reccomended that those taking exogenous ketones or BHB salts should be following a keto diet, or be close to it. Always consult your healthcare professional before starting with a new supplement regimen, and remember, supplements are supplemental, you need to try to eat clean most of the rest of the time to be healthy too.
A new area of ketone supplementation is the ketone ester. There are few ketone ester supplements on the market right now, as they are proving difficult to make palatable. Some say they taste like nail polish remover! They are improving however, and are an exciting development in the world of athletic performance. Ketone esters are the raw ketones, they are not bound to a salt like other exogenous ketone supplements. This means that they are even more efficient than ketone salts at getting into the bloodstream, and conveying the benefits of deep ketosis. Unforunately, they tase nasty! More work needs o be done on them to make them more palatable, but soon enough the scienists will create something that tastes great and puts us into a deep state of ketosis.
Raspberry ketones are actually a natural chemical found in raspberries and other fruits and vegetables that are said to help with weight loss. They have not been proven in humans to have this effect however. Your money is probably better spent on actual exogenous ketones or even MCT oil/MCT powder which you can find here.