As interest grows in the ketogenic diet and low-carb diets in general, so too has the demand for keto supplements.
Keto salts and other supplements can help you enter ketosis, a metabolic state where you burn ketones — rather than glucose — for fuel. However, that’s not the only benefit.
This guide will explain how keto supplements work, why they can make an excellent addition to your keto lifestyle, and how to spot high-quality keto salts from those that just look or sound good.
Ketone supplements are often referred to as exogenous ketones, meaning they are created externally, or outside of the body. This is opposed to endogenous ketones, which are produced by your body. BHB supplements usually come in the form of keto salts or keto esters (more on this below).
Usually, when someone eats a low-carbohydrate or keto diet, or stays in a fasted state for an extended period of time, they will naturally enter a state of ketosis. In this metabolic state, your body burns body fat, rather than glucose, for energy.
However, some individuals find that nutrition alone isn’t enough to increase ketone production. During these times, ketone supplementation is necessary to lead the body into a fat-burning state.
Why You Should Look for Keto Salts Made With BHB
The ketone found in exogenous ketone supplements is BHB. This is the most abundant ketone found in your body, making up 78% of the ketones found in your blood[*].
BHB is known for being the most stable, abundant ketone, and therefore the most efficient fuel source for your body. BHB has also been shown to:
- Slow tumor growth and help prevent cancer[*].
- Reduce the amount of inflammation in the body[*].
- Reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity[*].
- Improve memory, decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s, and improve other cognitive functions[*].
- Improve heart health and basic metabolic functions[*].
There will be times when maintaining a steady ketogenic state isn’t realistic. Whether you ate a carb-laden meal during the holidays or enjoyed an evening out with friends, exogenous ketones can give you an extra boost in ketones.
They can also be taken in between meals to provide a quick punch of ketones or before a workout for additional energy.
In addition, exogenous ketones come with a number of positive effects, including:
- They can help decrease unwanted “keto flu” negative side effects such as brain fog, low energy levels, light nausea, headaches, and other withdrawal symptoms that usually accompany the beginning stages of a low-carb diet.
- They can lower your blood glucose levels (within 30 minutes of taking them), which can help decrease your risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes[*][*].
- They can help reduce inflammation, a known cause of a number of diseases[*].
Like many supplements on the counter, not all keto supplements are created equal. Discover four different types of keto supplements, including those which are most effective and those that are best avoided altogether.
1. Ketone Salt Supplements
Ketone salts are formed when the ketones are bound to a salt — typically sodium or calcium, potassium, or magnesium — to improve absorption rate. Sometimes ketone salts are referred to as BHB mineral salts or ketone mineral salts.
Ketone salts are the most highly recommended supplement for ketosis. The minerals allow you to more easily absorb the ketones, but here’s the tricky part: A high-quality supplement should only use just enough minerals to be effective (usually less than 1 gram).
In Perfect Keto exogenous ketones, there is .68 grams of sodium, .59 grams of calcium, and .32 grams of magnesium.
When selecting a keto salt product, look for those with the shortest list of ingredients. Many times manufacturers will cut corners by adding high-carb sweeteners and artificial flavors, which can reduce the supplement’s effectiveness.
2. Ketone Ester Supplements
Ketone esters are supplements with raw BHB ketones, without any minerals (or other compounds) bound to it. The benefit? You’re getting ketones in raw form, which can raise your blood ketone levels more quickly.
Here’s the downside: Studies show keto esters do not elevate your blood ketone levels for very long. In studies, a ketone ester drink was shown to spike blood ketone levels initially, before quickly returning to regular levels[*].
If you’re looking for a supplement which will prolong the amount of time you’re in ketosis, stick to keto salts.
Finally, ketone esters are notorious for having a terrible aftertaste. It can also cause digestive distress in some people.
3. MCT Oil Powder
MCT oil powder is not an exogenous ketone supplement. That said, ingesting concentrated medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oils powder contain medium chain fatty acids can help with the boosting of ketones. MCTs can be found in some high-fat foods, like coconut oil, or they can be ingested as a dietary supplement.
The difference here is that when you take ketone salts or ketone esters, your body is able to use them for energy right away. In contrast, MCTs must be broken down first before they can be used for energy.
MCTs also don’t raise ketone blood levels as much as keto salts or esters, but they do offer a viable option for entering ketosis when nutrition isn’t enough.
4. Products That Aren’t Real Ketone Supplements
Buyers, beware: There are some products out there with “ketones” printed on the package that will not help you enter or stay in ketosis. The best example? Raspberry ketones.
Although they’ve increased in popularity throughout the years, raspberry ketones are highly unreliable, do not contain ketone bodies, and will not help you enter ketosis. To date, there are no human studies showing that raspberry ketones will help you enter ketosis.
Keto Salts Are the Most Efficient Keto Supplements
Ketone supplements are a great way to help optimize your ketogenic lifestyle. Whether you’re working to enter ketosis initially, or trying to get back into ketosis after a carb-laden meal, exogenous ketones can help you when nutrition isn’t enough.
When selecting a keto supplement, look for those containing BHB ketones, your body’s preferred energy source. Always look for those with minimal ingredients, without any unwanted sweeteners. The most reliable supplements are keto salts, which can help you stay in ketosis longer than other supplements (such as keto esters).
If you’re looking to try keto supplements, try Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketone Base. It comes in a number of delicious flavors, doesn’t cause digestive distress, and can help you reach your keto goals.