Exogenous ketones are becoming increasingly popular among those who follow the ketogenic diet or are looking to improve their athletic performance. In this post, we'll take a closer look at what exogenous ketones are, their benefits and potential risks, and how to use them effectively.
What are Ketones?
Ketones are compounds produced by the liver when the body is in a state of ketosis, which occurs when the body doesn't have enough glucose to use for energy and instead turns to burning stored fat. Ketones can be used by the body for energy in the same way that glucose can.
The three types of ketones produced by the body are acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone. BHB is the main ketone body that the liver produces and is the most commonly measured ketone in the blood.
What are Exogenous Ketones?
Exogenous ketones are ketone bodies that are taken as supplements. They can come in the form of ketone esters or ketone salts.
Ketone esters are made by binding BHB to a ketone precursor molecule. Ketone salts are made by binding BHB to a mineral salt such as sodium or magnesium.
Benefits of Exogenous Ketones
Improved Athletic Performance
Exogenous ketones have been shown to improve athletic performance in endurance athletes. They can help improve oxygen utilization, reduce lactate production, and increase energy production during exercise.
Reduced Symptoms of the "Keto Flu"
When starting the ketogenic diet, many people experience flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and nausea. Exogenous ketones can help reduce these symptoms by providing the body with an immediate source of ketones while it transitions into ketosis.
Exogenous ketones have been shown to reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness, which can help with weight loss.
Mental Clarity and Increased Energy Levels
Exogenous ketones can also improve mental clarity and increase energy levels, which can be beneficial for anyone looking to improve their cognitive function or productivity.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of Exogenous Ketones
Some people may experience gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, nausea, or stomach cramps when taking exogenous ketones. This is more common with ketone salts than with ketone esters.
Taking exogenous ketones can cause electrolyte imbalances, particularly if they are taken in large doses. This can lead to symptoms such as muscle cramps, weakness, and dehydration.
Potential Impact on Blood Sugar Levels
Exogenous ketones can raise blood ketone levels, which can lead to a decrease in blood sugar levels. This can be problematic for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia, as it can cause a drop in blood sugar levels that may require medical attention.
Exogenous Ketones and Weight Loss
Exogenous ketones can aid in weight loss by suppressing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness. However, it's important to note that they are not a magic weight loss solution and should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.
Best Exogenous Ketone Brands
There are several reputable exogenous ketone brands on the market, including Perfect Keto, KetoneAid, and HVMN. When choosing a brand, it's important to look for high-quality ingredients and to read reviews from other users.
How to Use Exogenous Ketones
Exogenous ketones should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise routine. The recommended dosage can vary depending on the brand, so it's important to follow the instructions on the label.
Exogenous ketones can be taken before or after a workout or as a pre-workout supplement to improve athletic performance. They can also be taken throughout the day to help maintain ketosis, reduce food cravings, and boost mental clarity and energy levels.
It's important to note that while exogenous ketones can provide many benefits, they are not a magic solution for weight loss or other health goals. To achieve the best results, they should be used in conjunction with a well-rounded ketogenic diet and regular exercise.
Dosage recommendations for exogenous ketones can vary based on the individual and the specific product being used. It's important to carefully follow the instructions on the label and consult with a healthcare provider if necessary.
When choosing an exogenous ketone supplement, it's important to consider the quality of the ingredients, the dosage per serving, and the overall effectiveness of the product. Some of the top exogenous ketone brands include Perfect Keto, KetoneAid, and HVMN Ketone.
Exogenous ketones can be a useful tool for those following a ketogenic diet or looking to improve their athletic performance. While they do come with some potential risks and side effects, they can provide a range of benefits when used correctly. It's important to do your research, consult with a healthcare provider, and use them in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle for the best results.