Dr. Anthony Gustin is a board-certified sports chiropractor, functional medicine practitioner, entrepreneur, podcast host, and founder of Perfect Keto.
When following the keto diet, you may be able to boost your results with the addition of supplements. While getting nutrients from food sources is certainly preferable, keto supplements have the ability to speed up fat burning, increase lean muscle gain and replace foods you might otherwise avoid on a high-fat, low carb diet.
Supplements exist to help fill any nutritional gaps, and although you should be getting what you need from your ketogenic diet, you might consider adding supplements to boost your nutritional reserves. Keto supplements offer incredible health benefits, including the ability to break down body fat into usable energy, increase muscle function and speed up fat loss.
To learn more about the supplements discussed below, be sure to check out the Perfect Keto online store.
Exogenous ketones are externally-made ketones you consume; they aren’t created inside the body. Supplementing with exogenous ketones can help you get into ketosis faster or re-enter ketosis after a carb-laden meal[*].
Your body creates three different ketones when it enters ketosis: acetoacetate, acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate(BHB). BHB is used in exogenous ketones, giving your body an instant supply of ketones to use for fuel. When starting a ketogenic diet, you may experience “keto flu,” or symptoms like headaches, constipation, low energy, bloating and fatigue. Supplementing with exogenous ketones can help you avoid some of the side effects of transitioning from eating carbs to eating fats.
Not all ketone products are created equally, so weigh your options carefully, and select only high-quality products. Some products include artificial flavors, fillers, gums or binders. Some will even contain carbs, hindering your ability to enter ketosis.
Before buying, consider whether a supplement:
- Is made from clean ingredients. Some products include a bunch of artificial flavors, fillers, gums, or binders. In fact, some will even contain carbs! This is neither good for you or good for ketosis. There’s a reason Perfect Keto Base has absolutely NO fillers, gums, sugars, or carbs—just pure ketones. 11.38 grams per serving, in fact.
- Contains the highest quality ingredients. Source and quality matter! There’s no point in spending your hard-earned money on a ketone product unless it’s high-quality. That’s why our Exogenous Ketones Base always contains BHB that’s created in the USA and has been through extensive lab testing or purity and quality (it’s also half the price of most other brands for the same amount). Do your research and check the source.
- Mixes well. You want a product that is easy to consume anywhere, so make sure it mixes well in anything, including coffee, milks, smoothies, or just plain water.
- Tastes good. Exogenous ketones are notorious for tasting pretty bad. Many people use the term “rocket fuel” to describe the flavor, but that’s not the case with every product. Obviously, a good taste isn’t necessary if you can still get them down, but it sure makes the process a lot easier. Many people say our Base product is the best-tasting BHB supplement they’ve used, and without any gross ingredients used to make it taste great. Check out why exogenous ketones taste bad and a few ways you can make them taste better here.
Our recommendation: Perfect Keto Base contains no fillers, gums, sugars, or carbs. You’ll find the ingredients contain pure ketones — 11.38 grams per serving, in fact. It’s made with BHB, created in the USA, and has gone through extensive lab testing for quality.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Krill oil and fish oil supplements provide an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats that help lower systemic inflammation and protect brain and heart health.
There are three primary omega-3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Krill oil and fish oil contain both DHA and EPA, two essential acids in decreasing your risk of obesity. You can also find EPA and DHA is fatty fish like salmon and trout.
Krill oil contains two compounds that fish oil doesn’t: phospholipids for cell membrane health and brain health, and astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant.
Both help improve muscle recovery, digestion, fertility, cell growth and (with DHA in particular) brain development[*]. Fish oil supplements have also been shown to increase your resistance to free radicals, diseases such as cancer and have positive effects on triglyceride levels[*].
At one point, humans consumed equal amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, in the past few decades, human consumption of saturated fats and omega-3s have decreased.
Meanwhile, consumption of omega-6s, primarily found in vegetable oils and dairy products, has increased. This has caused the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3s consumed to jump from a 1:1 to 20:1[*]. Maintaining a balance between omega-3s and omega-6s has been shown to help manage weight gain[*].
Everyone should consider supplementing with collagen, whether you are following keto or not. There are 28 different types of collagen, which makes up 30% of the protein in your body. Collagen is the main connective tissue found in nail, skin, tendons and cartilage[*]. Loaded with amino acids, collagen helps repair muscles and keep hair, skin and nails healthy.
Collagen can help reduce joint pain, improve muscle function and support tendon repair. Actually, your tendons are made up of 80% collagen[*]. If you are combining weight training with a ketogenic diet, collagen will certainly aid in your body’s training and recovery.
Your heart is a muscle, and it is dependent upon collagen to keep beating. Collagen provides structure to the cells and walls of your heart, allowing blood to flow through[*]. Aging and cardiovascular disease can alter the collagen network in your heart, making supplementation necessary[*].
Both collagen and bone broth have healing properties within the gut. Your intestines help your body absorb nutrients, water and electrolytes. Damaging the lining can contribute to digestive issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)[*]. Collagen can help repair this lining.
Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, can aid fat burning and weight loss. There are three classes of fats: short-, medium- and long-chain fatty acids. These chains are made of carbon. The shorter the chain, the faster your body is able to break it down into energy.
MCTs are found in whole foods like coconut oil, cheese, butter and yogurt, but the best way to supplement MCTs is by using MCT oil or powder. MCT powder is preferable over MCT oil because it’s easier on the digestive system, mixes easily with food or drinks (hot or cold) and is easier to take on-the-go.
MCTs can efficiently be broken down into ketones, which in turn, are broken down into energy. Raising your ketone levels can help you reach your weight loss goals. Plus, they increase energy levels, thereby boosting your metabolism.
MCTs can support our gut’s microbiome, leading to better digestion. They also have antioxidant properties that help reduce inflammation and improve overall health and performance.
Caffeine is a stimulant, able to increase focus, speed up metabolism and boost alertness. Coffee and tea are the most common, affordable and readily available sources of caffeine, and are typically preferable to caffeine pills.
Coffee posts many health benefits, including heightened physical endurance, a boost in energy levels and mental clarity. Enjoy your coffee black or with a dollop of grass-fed butter or coconut oil. You can also add exogenous ketones or MCT oil powder to coffee.
If you prefer tea to coffee, consider adding a scoop of Matcha Latte MCT Oil Powder to your morning mug. Matcha contains 137 times more antioxidants than green tea, shown to support weight management, long-term energy and mental clarity.
If you consume coffee regularly, make sure it’s well-sourced. Be sure to stay hydrated, since coffee is a diuretic.
Green Powder (Fruit and Vegetable) Supplements
One key concern when starting a ketogenic diet is cutting back on fruits and some high-carb vegetables. While limiting these foods may help you lose weight and body fat, cutting them out entirely could cause vitamin and/or mineral imbalances.
Luckily, it’s possible to drink (not eat) your greens. Mixing a green powder supplement like the Keto Greens Powder with MCTs into a low carb beverage allows you to consume 26 organic fruits and vegetables, without the carbs.
Consuming your fruits and vegetables in supplement form gives you the health benefits of vitamins, minerals and enzymes without any spikes in blood sugar or insulin levels. Again, remember to select a high-quality product, one without corn starch, fillers or additives.
A Note on Supplements on the Keto Diet
Taking the right supplements when trying to get into ketosis, burn fat, and lose weight is helpful. But remember: You can’t out-exercise or supplement away a bad diet. A proper diet and exercise will take you further than supplements alone. Make sure you eat healthy ketogenic diet foods, watch your net carbs, eat enough fat and track your ketones. Everything else is just a boost.