Dr. Anthony Gustin is a board-certified sports chiropractor, functional medicine practitioner, entrepreneur, podcast host, and founder of Perfect Keto.
This question gives me flashbacks to my childhood and my parents urging me to eat things that didn’t taste good to me because they were “good” for me. Not much of a motivation to a 10-year-old. All I cared about was my mouth being happy. It never occurred to me that perhaps I would consume something for a reason other than the taste…like perhaps the benefit. Later in life, learning to treat food as fuel for my body has changed my life and has become especially prominent in ketosis and dealing with the fact that exogenous ketones taste bad.
Quick Review of Why Do Ketosis and Why Take Exogenous Ketones
Ketosis is a state of metabolism where our bodies use dietary and body fat for energy.
Ketosis feels amazing.
To get into ketosis we need to drop all major carb sources and focus on high-quality fats.
To boost through this period, many people take exogenous ketones.
However, exogenous ketones taste awful.
Problem: Exogenous Ketones Taste Bad
Despite the nice looking pictures and packaging you may have seen, exogenous ketone esters taste truly revolting, even to those with the strongest stomachs on the planet. Some evidence from some well known “titans” in ketogenic nutrition include Peter Attia’s humorous story about trying ketones for the first time. He laments that,
Tim Ferriss and Dom D’Agostino echo the sentiment. For a long time, taking exogenous ketone esters were reserved for only the most extreme bio-hackers.
Why would someone consume something so awful? To get the benefits. Taking exogenous ketones is tremendously effective at raising blood ketone levels to boost performance, fat-burning, mental acuity, well-being, etc.
To make ketones more palatable, manufacturers attach other molecules, (like calcium or magnesium) to create ketone salts. However, this doesn’t magically make them taste “good” or like Peaches and Cream ice cream bars on a warm summer afternoon with a slight breeze.
How We Should Think About the Taste of Ketones
Make no mistake, if we drink exogenous ketones for a great taste and pleasant mouthfeel, we will be disappointed.
If we drink “ketones” that taste “great” it is because,
- There’s little to no actual ketone bodies in the product
- There’s an enormous filler/garbage to ketone ratio
Case in point: Raspberry Ketones. Most flavors you’ll find in raspberry ketone supplements are artificial, and it’s much harder to find real raspberry ketones. In fact, most of the supplements you’ll find use mostly ground up anise seeds and with just a touch of real raspberry ketone. Most have to use fillers and fake ingredients to keep the supplements affordable. See our full post on Why Raspberry Ketones Have Nothing to do with Ketosis.
Quick review of the three (or four) types of ketone supplements on the market:
On the flip side, if we drink exogenous ketones, we will get the benefits of exogenous ketones. Test your ketone levels to confirm this.
Solution: How to Make Exogenous Ketones Taste Better
Perfect Keto’s mission is to make ketosis accessible to as many people as possible. We do this through sharing ketogenic research, writing articles, creating recipes and guides, and also by developing exogenous ketones with the best possible taste while still prioritizing a completely clean product with maximum efficacy, above all else.
Reviews from real Ketonians make us happy, as they are validation that Perfect Keto has made a huge step in making ketone supplementation available to everyone. An actual independent review from our product page,
1) Slowly Ramp Up Your Ketone Regimen
It may be tempting to just crush scoops of Perfect Keto to get as much benefit as possible, but we recommend ramping up your ketone intake. For many of us, our bodies haven’t run on ketones for decades, so this will be a huge shift in our normal functioning and we should treat it as such.
Try ¼ scoop first, heavily diluted in water. This will help with the taste. Also, the process of ketosis removes water from our bodies, so getting lots of water will help with any dehydration and stomach issues. Ramp up from there, trying ½ scoop the second week or when you feel it’s appropriate, and then continue to iterate upwards.
2) Mix Your Exogenous Ketones
The reason we are drinking ketones is for the effect and benefits, not the taste… however, that doesn’t mean we can’t get creative right? These are some favorites from Perfect Keto HQ.
To summarize, dilute or mix and try new things, then test your ketone levels to see the effects.
Conclusion: How to Deal with Exogenous Ketones
Check our Expectations Beforehand
If we come in with the demand of “having it all” and drinking a clean exogenous ketone product, jam-packed with high-quality Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, and have it taste like the drizzling milk chocolate from a Hershey’s commercial, we will be disappointed.
Remember the Purpose
We are drinking exogenous ketones, not for the taste and decadent flavor, but for the benefits of raising our ketone levels. This includes fat-burning, mental focus, energy for performance, transitioning into ketosis, and overall feelings of well-being. The fact is that noticing ketones don’t taste great is a good sign. This indicates the product has high levels of the BHB exogenous ketones we want.
Ramp Up – Start with a ¼ scoop, heavily diluted, and ramp up from there
Buyer Beware – Don’t fall for ketone products that don’t contain real ketone bodies
Test your ketone levels and share them with us!