The benefits of ketosis for weight loss are explosive. However, going keto is not exactly a walk in the park. The modern diet is ridiculously high carb, and many people find it difficult to make the transition. This is where exogenous ketones for weight loss could come in handy.
Exogenous ketone supplements are relatively new to the weight loss scene, so there are only a few companies developing their own formulas for dietary use.
Going Keto is especially important if you suffer from chronically high sugar levels. With the ketogenic diet, your goal is to achieve ketosis, a state where your body produces an increased number of ketones.
The body uses ketones to generate energy. When you have a low carb diet, your body tends to use up stored fat as energy, instead of relying on glucose. As a result, you get to manage your sugar levels, AND burn fat.
The body naturally produces ketones. Exogenous ketones are merely in reference to ketone bodies that are ingested by taking supplements.
The supplements on the market these days are usually in the form of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). That’s why when you look up exogenous ketones, you’d probably end up seeing beta-hydroxybutyrate supplements, or BHB salts.
Sodium and potassium are added to the formula to make the substances easier to absorb. Some supplements come with MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides or medium-chain fatty acids. MCT are saturated fats that can be easily digested by the liver. They help boost metabolism and are used up for energy instead of being stored as fat. A diet high in fat is also beneficial for boosting testosterone levels.
There are many types of exogenous ketone supplements out on the market, and if you’re new to going keto, you’ll need all the help you can get to choose the best one. We did the legwork and came up with this list of the 10 best exogenous ketone supplements sold on Amazon.
In these reviews, we took note of not only the upsides but also the drawbacks of the top exogenous supplements on the market.
KetoCana is the original exogenous ketone supplement. One serving has 11.7 g of BHB salt.
Ketocana comes in a powder form and has a natural orange flavor. It has sodium and potassium BHB salts.
It is free of lactose and gluten. It is paleo and keto approved and does not contain stimulants, animal byproducts, artificial colors or flavorings and preservatives.
KetoCana is energizing and helps you focus. It has an unappealing taste, may cause GI distress, and is not budget-friendly.
Nutricost Calcium is manufactured in the USA. Each serving (8 grams) has 1,635 mg of calcium and 6,541 mg of BHB salt.
This is unflavored, and it has no GMO or gluten content. Each product comes with ‘100% Money Back Guarantee’.
It has calcium, which means it’s good for those who need to build bone density, such as older women. It is also effective in increasing blood ketone levels, and it is affordable to boot. It doesn’t have a pleasant taste, though. Some recommended mixing it with fruit juices or sipping a lemon wedge prior to ingestion while others suggested taking it with MCT oil to minimize GI disturbances.
Perfect Keto Base is made in the USA, and it was developed by a medical doctor. Each serving (1 scoop/14 grams) has 11.3 grams of high-quality BHB salts.
It does not have any filler or additive and comes in a chocolate sea salt and peaches and cream flavor.
It is keto-friendly, caffeine, gluten and dairy-free, doctor-recommended and lab-tested. It can increase blood ketone levels up to 1.5 mmol.
It can give you a burst of energy and allow you to focus. It doesn't taste that good though, and it's on the higher end of the price spectrum.
BPI Sports Keto Aminos™ is the first ever essential amino acid (EAAS) formula with ketones, created specifically for those who are following a keto, low-carb or intermittent fasting diet.
Keto Aminos is a multi-purpose recovery sports supplement that promotes lean muscle building while helping your body burn fat into fuel for weight loss benefits. When dieting, of course you want to lose fats and save as much muscles as possible. Keto Aminos utilizes fat into fuel and prevents muscle catabolism.
This supplement contains several clinically studied ingredients to helping boost athletic performance and recovery. First, Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) which help in the process of excess calorie burning, resulting in weight loss benefits. Second, Beta-Hydroxybutrate (BHB) salts to reach ketosis easier. Third, amino acids that help you save your hard earned muscle mass and not burn it away as fuel during workouts. Amino acids are extremely important for dieting and when in a caloric deficit. Also, BHB salts support your body to use cellular energy derived from fatty acids rather than glucose.
You can take this supplement any time of the day to help you train harder and prevent muscle breakdown while dieting.
KetoForce is like KetoCana as it has exogenous ketones. It’s different since it is liquid, it’s unflavored, and it’s made up of sodium and potassium.
Each serving (30 ml) has 11.7 g beta-hydroxybutrate (BHB), 1.6 sodium and 1.6 g potassium.
After ingestion, KetoForce raises blood ketone levels for a duration of 2 ½ to 3 hours.
KetoForce is keto- and paleo-friendly. It does not have lactose, gluten, animal byproducts, artificial colors or flavorings and preservatives.
It helps curb your appetite while boosting your stamina and focus. It is not pleasant to the taste buds though, and some prefer the flavored and powdered KetoCana.
InstaKetones can increase blood ketone levels to 2 points+ within just an hour after ingestion. Each scoop (17.5 g) has 11.7 g BHB, 1.15 g calcium and 1.3 g sodium.
This product has caffeine. It is paleo and keto-friendly, it is free of lactose, gluten, and dairy, and it does not have animal byproducts, artificial color or flavorings or preservatives.
InstaKetones rapidly increases blood ketone levels, and it is energizing. It has an unsatisfactory taste though.
Kegenix products were developed by Dr. Dominic D ‘Agostino, PhD at the University of South Florida.
Kegenix KGX Boost is the first ever pre-workout spray with MCT and BHB.
It comes in a chocolate salted caramel flavor, and it is good for a month supply as it has 170 sprays.
Each bottle has 30 servings. One serving (1 mL or 6 sprays) has 40 mg each of MCT and BHB.
Kegenix burns fats without that caffeine, shakes or jitters. It has a great taste, and it is fast-acting as ketosis can result 60 minutes after intake.
It decreases carb cravings and is rather convenient to use. It also gives an energy boost. It is only short-acting though. Best to use it with Kegenix Orange Blast.
Kegenix Orange Blast is fast-acting since it only takes one sachet of this to bring you to ketosis in just one hour. It has BHB, MCT, green tea and natural orange flavor.
Kegenix products come with a satisfaction guarantee.
Kegenix Orange Blast is at par with other weight loss supplements since it does not only help burn fats and lose weight; it also heightens energy and focus while decreasing hunger pains.
Keto//OS has 100% natural ingredients like BHB, malic acid, MCT powder, milk, stevia, caffeine and natural flavor.
1 packet has 110 kcal.
It is effective in producing ketosis. It does not taste that good though, and may cause GI symptoms.
KETO//OS Bio MAX comes in a delicious maui punch flavor. It is Kosher certified, keto-friendly, lactose-free, and dairy-free.
One serving of this contains 41 kcal which is lesser as compared to Keto//OS’ kcal content.
It is effective in losing weight, and it has a bearable taste. As is has caffeine, it is not advisable to use it before bedtime.
Keto//OS 3.0 is better-tasting as it comes in a delicious chocolate flavor. This product rapidly absorbed and is longer-acting.
It has caffeine, and 1 packet of this gives 56 kilocalories.
It has a pleasant flavor, and it is effective in losing weight. It is not advisable to use before bedtime though since it has caffeine.
Keto aminos is a great ketogenic pre-workout product. It contains amino acids to prevent muscle breakdown which can sometimes be a problem when keto dieting since the body might breakdown muscle protein during intense exercise.
This product contains a mixture of goBHB™, Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and Captex Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) which help create a ketogenic state in your body. These proprietary blends of ketones were formulated to enhance the body’s transition into a ketogenic state faster while providing energy boosting from MCT oils.
The benefit of this ketogenic pre-workout state is increased fat metabolism and decreased muscle catabolism, which promotes strength and supports your performance during workouts.
This is meant to be taken by ketogenic dieters. If you are diving into a ketogenic diet, this pre-workout product may offer you energy early on even before you are keto adapted, by supplying an influx of keto bodies. Your body can then use these keto bodies as fuel, which will be a substantial energy booster.
The energy derived from BPI best pre workout isn’t based upon your fat being metabolized; it is the ketones that get metabolized for energy. However, this pre workout product contains less BHB salts than other products (about half as much) and it is not clear how much are MCTs.
BPI Sports Keto Weight Loss is designed primarily for ketogenic and low-carb dieters interested in supercharging their increased fat burning powers. When starting these types of diets, your body will eventually transition through a phase known as ‘keto adaptation’, in which you may feel tired or unmotivated. BPI Sports created this ketogenic weight loss formula and it is especially effective during this phase if your goal is weight loss.
This supplement helps your body to utilized stored fat to fuel as an energy source. It is also formulated for appetite support, promoting endurance, and supports mental alertness.
This product contains ingredient like Vitamin D3, which is important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption. Also, it contains Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) salts (ketones) which are otherwise only produced by the body during periods of fasting.
BPI Sports Keto Weight Loss is strictly focused on stimulants that help burn fat, contains very little BHB salts (about 1/4 of other products) and should only be used as a good adjunct fat burning supplement on the ketogenic diet. The BHB salts in this product does not contribute to much of the products effects.
These kinds of supplements are new to the market, so we understand your need to fully understand what you’re getting into. So let’s take a look at what exogenous ketones can do for you.
Exogenous ketone supplements help you reduce weight by suppressing appetite. Weight gain is less likely to happen since the kidneys excrete excess ketones preventing these from being converted and stored in the body in the form of fats.
It is noteworthy to mention that exogenous ketone supplements work better with MCT oil in delivering faster weight loss results.
Intake of a high ketogenic diet leads the body into ketosis, a metabolic process which results from burning fats.
A study supports that consuming a ketogenic diet while on a high-volume training schedule increases metabolism of fats, reduction of fat content and body mass and lessens muscle damage after exercise.
Evidence suggests that exogenous ketone supplements protect against cancer since it contains anti-carcinogenic properties.
Ketone bodies are used as energy source of healthy tissues whilst cancer cells do not.
Aging poses a great risk to acquiring neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Exogenous ketone supplementation seems to help improve the expected decline in cognitive function which comes with aging.
Approaches involving intake of ketone bodies by animal models and humans with Alzheimer’s disease in clinical trial showed effective results.
There is evidence which suggests that ketone bodies help reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of a protein called inflammasomes.
A study supports that calorie restriction and consumption of a ketogenic diet can improve mitochondrial functions or energy productions, decrease production of apoptotic and inflammatory mediators and increase production of neurotrophic factors which supports growth and protects neurons.
Exogenous ketone supplements may cause the following:
Before we delve into the topic of exogenous ketones, there’s something you should know – the proportion of macronutrients that we consume directly determines the speed and effectiveness of ketogenic diets.
On one end, having more carbohydrates means that the body produces excess amounts of glucose and glycogen. When this happens, the extra glucose is turned into glycogen to be stored in our muscles and liver.
This is actually a problem since only about 50% of our daily energy intake can be stored in the liver and muscles. The process of lipogenesis will turn the excess glucose into fat, literally adding to the weight that must be carried around.
On the other hand, when we go on a low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet, our body turns the metabolic process around. The body is suddenly starved of glucose and glycogen, and we’re really “starving” our body of food.
In response, the body will start digging into its fat stores, and in the process it creates compounds called ketones. Our liver uses our body’s fatty acids to manufacture these ketones, which will be burned for fuel (serving as a substitute to glycogen).
The ketones themselves do not cause weight loss, but they’re essential in bringing ketosis. As you may already know, ketosis is a metabolic state where your body is using fatty acids as its primary source of energy.
Exogenous ketone supplements are effective in losing weight. It is natural although these do not taste that good. If taste is important to you, check the flavors.
Exogenous ketone supplements also come in different forms. If you want those that are portable, choose powdered as opposed to liquid-based supplements.
If you want to rapidly increase your blood ketone levels, choose products which are fast-acting.
Raspberry ketone products are different from exogenous ketone supplements. Be sure to read product labels first.
Also remember that eating a proper low carb high fat diet is crucial for success with ketone supplements.
Humanity has relied on carbohydrates for thousands of years, but it’s possible that our body isn’t really designed to be fed that way. After all, hunter-gatherers, our ancestors, couldn’t have had much carbs daily.
It’s logical to assume that fats, not carbohydrates, may very well be the body’s original source of energy. Proteins are, of course, needed as well – getting them in sufficient amounts prevents muscle wasting and stops cravings in their tracks.
Amazingly, we can think of our body going into a fasting state when we are in ketosis. As in fasting, our body, used to burning carbs and glucose for energy, now directly uses its fat stores.
Ketosis, aside from burning energy stores much more efficiently, has been known to produce a wide range of health benefits, not just weight loss. These perks include a healthier nervous system and better aerobic performance.
Also, during ketosis, the body produces hormones that stimulate the digestion of both protein and fat, and blocks the emptying of our stomach. This feeling of fullness further helps in suppressing appetite.
The significant drop in the consumption of carbohydrates helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which in effect cuts diabetes risk. The pancreas won’t have to push more insulin into the bloodstream, leading to a normal rate of glucose absorption.
Good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) also gets a boost from ketosis. HDL serves an important role in the body, removing bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and having them reprocessed in the liver.
Surprisingly enough, the fat-burning state further protects against risks associated with bad cholesterol by reducing the size of LDL. This soluble protein isn’t really bad but its tendency to form plaques can be a problem.
Despite providing all sorts of benefits, the path towards ketosis can be challenging. This shouldn’t be surprising though, given that most have lived their entire lives in a carb-filled world.
We wolf down cakes, chips, and sugared drinks almost as second nature, and it is usually very difficult to wean ourselves from the carb habit. So, it’s true that beginners tend to have a tough time with this diet.
It takes at least a couple of weeks of eating strange low-carb meals before the benefits of ketosis can actually manifest. This makes it even harder for beginners to stick it out, particularly those accustomed to quick results.
Even non-beginners experience difficulty since they end up getting the keto flu. This isn’t actual flu though, being something caused by the bodily changes that occur during the shift from carbohydrates to ketones.
These physical changes include a general feeling of listlessness and fatigue, worsened by bloating, headaches, irritability, and even anxiety. The transition causes these until the body is efficient enough in using ketones.
The keto flu is a big reason why people eventually choose to give up on the ketogenic diet. Many drop out of the low-carb lifestyle even before they start experiencing the fruits of ketosis.
A great way to address these problems is to ingest ketones that are not produced in the normal course of your body’s metabolic processes. Yes, you’ll need a bit of help from exogenous ketones.
Exogenous ketones can be extremely beneficial to your weight loss efforts. After all, they can help propel your body into ketosis much faster than if it were left to its own devices.
This is how we avoid one of the biggest hurdles of ketogenic diets, which is having to deprive ourselves of what we perceive as tasty food. With exogenous ketones, we can eat relatively carb-heavy meals while still being able to reach and maintain ketosis.
Taking a serving or two of exogenous ketones will put you in a ketotic state. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can just simply go out and dig into a cheesecake or a tub of ice cream.
Remember that even when taking exogenous ketones, you still have to consume mostly fat in your diet – otherwise your body will quickly shift back to burning carbohydrates as fuel.
The longer you take these supplements though, the slower your body gets when it comes to shifting back to its carb-burning ways. The pace at which you get the rewards of ketosis should also become faster.
Avoidance of metabolic diseases, boost in mood and concentration, sustained energy, decreased anxiety, and of course, weight loss are just a few examples of the things enjoyed by those who choose to go the exogenous route.
Exogenous ketones are generally safe, and can be taken in a wide variety of formulations. Simply put, following ketogenic diets doesn’t have to be a slow and painful endeavour anymore.
Considering taste, effectiveness, and quality, Perfect Keto Base is our top pick. It energizes and boosts focus without giving you caffeine jitters. It also comes in two flavors, it is lab-tested and doctor-recommended. Finally, it is gluten-free and keto-friendly. If you’re looking to try exogenous ketones, start with the Perfect Keto Base.
Product Image credits: Amazon.com
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