Cutting out on carbs and eating more meat? That seems like easy things to do, right? If you are disciplined and have good self-control, it looks like it is.
However, discipline and control are just one side of the story. There's more to the keto diet than these. This type of diet is not just a struggle for the mind. The keto diet more of a battle for the body.
During ketosis, your body switches from using carbohydrates to utilizing fat as a source of energy. While it may seem simple, the process behind this switch puts your body on a rollercoaster ride.
As you ease into your body's new normal, you will have to deal with a lot of things—nutritional gaps to fill in, side effects to manage, and low energy levels to boost. To do this, you may need to take a few supplements.
Which are the best keto supplements that will make your keto life easier?
Read on to find out!
Top 12 Keto Supplements
Our bodies are used to getting energy from sugar and carbohydrates. With the keto diet, we will rely on a new energy source—fats. As your body goes through this major transition, you will experience a few nutritional gaps, discomfort, and challenges.
Ketosis pills or supplements are formulated to help make the transition easier. Some of the benefits of keto supplements are:
- Helps Your Body Reach The State Of Ketosis Faster.
- Address Nutritional Gaps Or Deficiencies.
- Minimize The Side Effects Of Ketosis, Especially The Keto Flu Symptoms (Headache, Difficulty Of Sleeping, Fatigue, Nausea, Dizziness, And Stomachaches)
- Provides An Immediate Source Of Energy.
- Keeps The Body Well-Hydrated And Properly Nourishes.
Now that you know what the potential benefits of these pills are, let us take a look at what the best keto supplements are below:
1. Exogenous Ketones
This is the most common type of keto supplements that you can find in the market as these are considered to help your body reach the stage of ketosis.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis occurs when your body starts to burn fats for energy because there are not enough carbohydrates to burn. To reach ketosis, there must be enough ketones in your blood.
Understanding the Types of Ketones
There are two types of ketones—endogenous and exogenous ketones. Endogenous ketones are ketones produced by our bodies. On the other hand, exogenous ketones are ketones produced synthetically outside the body.
By taking exogenous ketones supplements, the amount of ketones in your body will increase. The higher the amount of ketones in the body, the faster you will reach ketosis.
A Closer Look at Exogenous Ketones
With that said, you can find two types of exogenous ketones in the market—ketone esters and ketone salts.
Let's start with ketone esters, which are considered to be the most potent type of exogenous ketones. This is because they have the same chemical structure as the ketones our bodies make, so the body already knows how to metabolize them more efficiently.
The downside with ketone esters is they are expensive. Not only that, but these supplements also have a rough taste that many people don't like.
On the other hand, ketone salts are ketone bodies attached to minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium. These minerals help mask the unwanted flavor, so ketone salts taste better than esters. But because of their attachment to salts, these are not bioidentical to the ketones in our body. Because of this, our bodies may not use them the same way.
When creating exogenous ketone supplements, whether ketone salts or esters, the ketone body of choice of manufacturers is Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) because it has the highest energy potential of all the types of ketones in our body. (1)
These supplements are usually available as a drink powder or blend. You can find a few products that come in the form of pills, but they are not that common.
But to give you sneak peak, here are some of the best exogenous ketones that we have researched.
2. Fish Oil
Fish oil capsules are considered great keto supplements because they contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid.
Since the keto diet is made up of up to 55 to 60%, you will take in more omega-6-fatty acids, which may cause inflammation and may increase the risk of heart disease. To combat this, you would need to take in the right amounts of omega-3 fatty acids as these are effective in lowering your triglycerides and protecting your brain and heart. (2)(3)
Sadly, the foods you would consume in a keto diet does not contain enough levels of this fatty acid. Taking fish oils or an omega-3 fatty acid supplement may help address this issue.
3. MCT Oil
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fatty acid that can be found in coconut oil.
Upon ingestion, these triglycerides are metabolized by your liver. It will then enter the bloodstream, where it can be used as a source of energy by your muscles and brain. Because of this, MCT oil can be useful in addressing the fatigue and low energy levels associated with keto flu.
Also, it can increase your fat intake and boost your ketone levels, helping your body stay in ketosis for longer. MCT oil can also be a valuable weight loss tool as it can increase your feelings of fullness. (4)(5)
Since there are only a few foods that contain MCT oil, taking MCT oil supplements is the way to enjoy the benefits of this oil. Lucky for you, this is one of the most versatile supplements you can find in the market as you can mix it with your food and drinks, or you can consume it on its own.
4. ALA and Chromium
These antioxidants work boosts the removal of glucose and glycogen in the body. When you take ALA and Chromium supplements, the glucose in your blood will be metabolized faster, and your body can enter the state of ketosis a lot quicker.
However, it is quite challenging to find keto supplements that contain these antioxidants. The best thing you can do is take generic supplements that contain them.(6)
5. Supplements for enhancing Athletic and Workout Performance
If you're an athlete or a gym-goer, you may need a ketosis pill that would address possible fatigue associated with a ketogenic diet. In this way, you can perform your workouts or engage in your games without any issues.
With that in mind, here are some of the ketogenic pills that you can try taking:
Creatine monohydrate has been proven to facilitate muscle gain, improve muscle strength, and boost workout performance.
You can find creatine in most pre or post-workout supplements. When choosing which to take, make sure that you avoid the ones that contain huge amounts of sugar. (7)
Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
BCAA supplements have been linked with minimized exercise-related muscle damage along with muscle fatigue and soreness. (8)
HMB has anti-catabolic effects. This means that it can prevent the breakdown of your muscles and, ultimately, fatigue. It may even help you build lean mass when you work out. (9)
Again, you can't find keto supplements that contain this substance. However, you can see this in bodybuilders' bulking supplements. If you're not doing bodybuilding exercises, you will have to take smaller doses of this supplement.
6. Electrolytes (Potassium and Sodium)
Keto flu—this is one of the things that we dread the most when it comes to the keto diet. But did you know that it is a good sign when you experience this symptom? This is because your diet is working!
However, this doesn't erase the fact that keto flu is not an easy condition to deal with. One of its most common symptoms is frequent urination.
This is because your glycogen stores are the first things that your body will burn once it enters ketosis. The body's glycogen reserves are attached to large amounts of water. When your body burns these reserves, water goes with them too. (10)
As your body sheds water, it will be at risk of dehydration and electrolyte loss, specifically potassium and sodium. This would lead to other keto flu symptoms like headaches, low energy levels, and muscle cramps.
To address this, you should take electrolyte supplements.
Magnesium is another form of electrolyte, but we tackled it in a separate heading because magnesium deficiency is not caused by frequent urination. Instead, magnesium deficiency is a common issue with the ketogenic diet because of its source.
As we all know, the keto diet is an extremely low-carb diet. Unfortunately, most magnesium-rich foods contain high amounts of carbohydrates, so it can be easy to develop magnesium deficiency when you are on keto.
If you are starting to feel magnesium deficiency symptoms such as mental fog, headaches, cramps, and fatigue, you may need to 200 to 400 mg of magnesium supplement per day. But of course, you should consult your doctor before doing so. (11)
As your body transitions to the keto diet, a common symptom that you may experience would be mental fog or difficulty concentrating. This is expected since your body is undergoing a lot of changes when you switch to this diet.
L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes relaxation and helps you get a good night's sleep. When you get a good sleep, your mental cognition will be improved the next day. (12)
Unfortunately, this is one amino acid that is difficult to get from food. You can only get it from green or black tea. The amount that you can get will still vary on the quality of your tea, and the way you brewed it.
The good news is you can find L-theanine supplements in the market. These are available in both ketogenic pill and powder form. To determine how much you should take, it would be best to consult your doctor about it.
Because of the restrictions that come with the ketogenic diet, folate is another nutrient that you may lack. This is because it is commonly found in complex starches and leafy vegetables—two of the things you can't eat when you're on a keto diet.
Since folate is an essential nutrient for DNA synthesis and brain function, low folate levels may cause fatigue, depression, and cognitive dysfunction. Inadequate folate in the body will also increase your risk of heart diseases, dementia, and stroke. (13)
To address this, you would need to take 400 mcg of Methylfolate supplements daily.
10. Greens Powder
We all know that vegetables are essential to our health as it contains different vitamins, compounds, and minerals that keep our body healthy. These also protect us from inflammation and possible diseases.
One of the reasons the keto diet is controversial is that it restricts the consumption of vegetables due to carbohydrate content.
So how do we get around this limitation? The easy answer to this would be greens powder, which is made up of powdered green veggies and superfoods like spirulina, wheatgrass, broccoli, kale, spinach, and many more.
The good news is you can easily add these powders to your drinks and meals.
The recommended daily intake of fiber is around 25 to 31 grams. Unfortunately, keto dieters may not be able to achieve this recommended consumption because the ketogenic diet focuses mainly on meat, dairy, and seafoods. It limits the consumption of high-fiber foods like leafy greens, seeds, nuts, and avocadoes.(14)
Fiber plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Lack of fiber may lead to constipation and bloating.
If you're having problems with your bowel movement, take fiber supplements. You should also increase your water intake.
12. Digestive Enzyme Blends
If you're used to consuming a low-fat diet and switched to the keto diet, the high fat content of this diet will pose a significant challenge to your digestive system. Some of the most common complaints would be nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting.
To make the transition go as smoothly as possible, you may want to take digestive enzyme blends. These ketogenesis pills contain lipases that can help metabolize fats. It also has proteases that can boost your digestive system.
These blends also have proteolytic enzymes. Aside from breaking down protein, these can also minimize muscle soreness and promote faster recovery after a workout. (15)
Which are the Best Keto Supplements for You?
Although some people find that a keto diet is effective at losing weight, we should not disregard the fact that it is a restrictive diet. It limits the consumption of certain food items that may lead to the deficiency of various nutrients and minerals.
Additionally, your body undergoes a major transition when you are on this diet. Because of this, you may experience many symptoms that may prevent you from doing your daily activities or performing well in sports.
The best keto supplements can help you solve all of these potential issues. When choosing which supplements to take, it is always good to identify which vitamins and minerals are lacking in your diet. You should also consider the symptoms you're feeling and your current activity level.