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 fun for a 10-year-old. All I cared about then 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 health benefits.
Learning to treat food as fuel for my body has changed my life.
I started taking exogenous ketones when there weren’t any good tasting ones on the market. Thank goodness that’s changed, with flavored powders that mix easily with water, nut milk, coffee, and smoothies.
Still, what makes some exogenous ketones taste so bad? In this article, we’ll explore what makes ketones taste bad, how to make them taste better, and the best ways to consume exogenous ketones.
Why Get Into Ketosis and Why Take Exogenous Ketones
Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body uses dietary fat and stored body fat for energy.
Ketosis feels amazing and has a ton of health benefits that range from increased mental clarity to fat-burning. But to get into ketosis, you need to cut your carb intake dramatically and increase your consumption of low-carb veggies, high-quality protein, and good fats.
Sounds easy enough, but removing carbs from your diet can cause a host of flu-like symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and digestive issues for a couple of days to a week.
To bust through this period, many people take exogenous ketones.
However, I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Most people find that exogenous ketones taste awful.
The Problem: Exogenous Ketones Taste Bad
There are two main types of exogenous ketones:
- Ketone esters
- Ketone salts
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:
“The world’s worst scotch tastes like spring water compared to these things.”
Tim Ferriss and Dom D’Agostino echo the sentiment. For a long time, taking exogenous ketone esters were reserved for only the most extreme biohackers.
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, and all the other benefits of ketosis.
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.”
How We Should Think About the Taste of Ketones
Make no mistake, if you drink exogenous ketones for a great taste and pleasant mouthfeel, you will likely be disappointed.
Not to brag, but Perfect Keto Base (ketone salts) are some of the best-tasting exogenous ketones on the market. You can even mix them easily with water and ice — no almond milk or other ingredients required to hide the taste.
However, they still don’t taste like ice cream or your favorite sugary energy drink.
If you find ketones that taste unbelievably good, it’s probably 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. Besides, they’re irrelevant to ketosis. 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 you drink exogenous ketones, we will get the benefits of exogenous ketones. Test your ketone levels to confirm this.
Solutions: How to Make Exogenous Ketones Taste Better
1) Slowly Ramp Up Your Ketone Regimen
It may be tempting to just crush scoops of exogenous ketone powder to get as much benefit as possible, but it’s best to ramp 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. If you’re using BHB capsules start with 1/3 or half dose.
Ramp up from there, trying ½ scoop the second week or when you feel it’s appropriate, and then continue to titrate upwards.
Also, the process of ketosis removes water from your body, so make sure to drink plenty of water with electrolytes!
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.
Still can’t stand the taste or texture? Try BHB capsules all of the benefits in a convenient cap.
The Takeaway: How to Deal with Exogenous Ketones
Check Your Expectations Beforehand
If you 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, you will be disappointed.
Have realistic expectations and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Remember their Purpose
You are drinking exogenous ketones, not for the taste and decadent flavor, but for the benefits of raising your 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
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 keto diet followers make us happy, as they are validation that Perfect Keto has made a huge step in making ketone supplementation available to everyone.
Check out this independent review from our product page: