The keto diet has quickly become one of the most popular diets available today. It’s a unique diet that consists of low carbs and high fats, guiding your body into the state of ketosis — which is where the keto diet gets its name from. In fact, the full name of the “keto” diet is the ketogenic diet (for those that want to be technical).
Much like every other diet, converting your daily eating habits into the keto state of mind is easier said than done. A lot of the unhealthy foods we eat are loaded with carbs, so limiting them in your diet can be difficult.
In addition to that, many people will hear the phrase “high fats” and automatically assume they get to pig out. That’s not the case with the keto diet, which will target healthy fats — also known as unsaturated fats.
If you’re someone who has struggled to incorporate the keto diet into their life but still want the benefits ketosis provides, keto supplements might be just what you’re looking for. Even for those currently following a keto diet, keto supplements can help give you that extra boost to maximize your results.
To help you fully understand keto supplements, we should first discover what it is about the keto diet that triggers ketosis and how keto supplements can do the same.
Understanding the Keto Diet
The keto diet may seem like a rather new concept, but it’s been around since the 1920s. It was introduced by Dr. Russell Wilder in 1923 as therapy treatment for epilepsy. Although there have since been variations of the keto diet, much like the ones we see today, they all follow the same principle — low carbs and high fats.
In the original ketogenic diet, Dr. Wilder carried a 4:1 ratio. That means his version included four parts fat to every one part carb and protein. When looking at it in terms of calorie intake, 90% of your calories would come from fat, 6% from protein, and 4% carbs.
Why The Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet?
Today, the keto diet has sparked the interest of many, and it’s largely due to the way it changes energy production in the body. Our bodies typically receive energy by converting glucose into ATP, also known as adenosine triphosphate. ATP is responsible for transferring energy from cell to cell.
Before our bodies can convert glucose into ATP, it first needs to convert carbs into glucose. The reason our bodies turn to glucose for energy first is that it’s almost always readily available, and it’s a quick process.
So, what happens when there isn’t any glucose from carbs available? The body turns to fat as an energy source.
And believe it or not, this changes the entire way your body produces energy. Instead of breaking carbs down into glucose, the body will break fats down into ketones. This process will occur in the liver.
By limiting the carbs you eat and consuming more healthy fats, you will allow your body to enter the state of ketosis — which is the process of breaking down fat into ketones. This is the entire concept behind the ketogenic “keto” diet.
What Makes Ketones So Special?
Many scientists have discovered that ketones may provide a much more efficient fuel source for the body than glucose, despite our bodies preferring glucose as its source of choice. Some studies show that ketones can carry more energy per unit, which would be a major upside to glucose.
It should be noted, however, that not all ketones are made equal. The liver will break fats down into three different physiological ketones — Acetoacetate (AcAc), Acetone, and Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB).
Acetone is the least useful ketone and will basically be excreted from the body once produced. Luckily, Acetone will only make up about 2% of all ketones in the body. Acetoacetate will make up about 20% of all ketones, but will come with two fates — it’ll be converted into fuel for the body or converted into Acetone and excreted.
BHB, on the other hand, is the ketone that reigns superior. Not only will it make up nearly 80% of all ketones in the body, but it will hold only one fate — provide fuel for the body. And that’s not all; it can also cross the blood-brain barrier, making this ketone quite the journeyman.
Is It Safe To Combine Keto Supplements With A Keto Diet?
One thing to understand about ketosis and the production of ketones is that there are a variety of ways to achieve it. Keto supplements are the quickest and easiest way to achieve ketosis, but you can also achieve it through diet, exercise, or fasting.
Since the keto diet is generally a temporary diet that you do routinely — especially since many nutritionists warn against staying on a keto diet for too long — keto supplements can be applied to any of the above ketosis methods. They can help you get more out of ketosis during your keto cycle.
To be honest, many people enter the state of ketosis without even knowing it. Anytime you’ve fasted or gone a long period without eating — like while you’re asleep — there’s a good chance you enter ketosis. Keto supplements just help you get there quicker.
Ingredients You Need In A Keto Supplement
Over the past 100 years, we’ve learned a lot about the ketogenic diet, ketosis, ketones, and what they do in the body. We’ve learned how to trigger it, we’ve learned how to speed up the process, and we’ve learned how to maximize results.
If fasting and dieting aren’t exactly your thing, keto supplements are definitely something to consider. When searching for a keto supplement that works for you, it’s always important to read labels, do your research, and make an informed decision — not a hasty one.
There are four main routes you can take here that will work well with or without the production of endogenous ketones — MCT Oils, Omega-3s and -6s, Electrolytes, and exogenous ketones. Let’s take a closer look at all four of these!
BHB salts, also known as exogenous ketones, are supplements that supply BHB ketones directly to the body. This results in higher blood ketone levels and is generally used by those following the diet as well.
When searching for Keto BHB supplements, you’ll likely come across BHB salts and BHB esters. The main difference between the two is that the salts will attach to a mineral, while the esters will attach to an alcohol molecule.
Aside from that, salts will have a less potent but longer-lasting effect, while esters will have a more potent but shorter-lasting effect.
MCT Oils have quickly risen as a favorite supplement to accompany ketosis. They are a type of healthy fat that get their name from Medium-chain triglycerides. MCTs differ from the typical fat we consume in food, also known as long-chain triglycerides, due to their ability to travel straight from the gut to the liver.
Long-chain triglycerides will require a longer process before arriving in the liver and will need bile to break it down further in the gut. MCT oils can bypass this and go straight into fuel production.
While MCTs are commonly found in coconut oil, it will only contain about 17% MCTs. MCT oils provide a much higher concentration and are preferred among keto dieters.
Omega-3s and Omega-6s
Omega-3s and omega-6s are essential fatty acids that the body will use as fuel for the body, but they also do so much more than that.
A healthy balance of omega-3s and omega-6s is essential to proper function in the body. Omega-6s are known as inflammatory, while omega-3s are known as an anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is necessary to fight infection and prevent injury, but excessive inflammation can be damaging.
A typical diet today will consist of high amounts of omega-6s, but low amounts of omega-3s. This imbalance has been viewed as one of the biggest health concerns when it comes to the “Western diet.”
Whether you’re on a keto diet or not, your body won’t be able to make omega-3s by itself and will rely on the food you eat as a source. Supplementing with omega-3s can help give your body what it needs, while also giving your body healthy fats to stimulate ketosis.
The final ingredient you should be on the lookout for in keto supplements is a group of nutrients called electrolytes. You’ve likely heard this term all over the place, but few actually know what they are.
Don’t worry; they’re much less complex than you’d think. Electrolytes are just a group of minerals that are essential to the body. The body will lose electrolytes through sweating and urinating.
Since many people following a keto diet will experience a loss of water weight during the transition — as well as a loss of essential minerals — ensuring you’re consuming enough electrolytes throughout the day is a prominent preventative measure that must be taken.
When searching for a keto supplement that takes this into consideration, look for sodium, potassium, or magnesium. While we’re talking about minerals, vitamins are also another solid addition when pursuing ketosis. Digestive enzymes (protease and lipase) can also help increase the breakdown of proteins and fats in the body.
Best Keto Supplements
Now that we all feel like experts when it comes to the keto diet, keto supplements, and how to maximize your ketosis experience, it’s time to put what we’ve learned to good use.
There are a lot of keto supplements out there, but it can be difficult finding the one that doesn’t use harmful, unnecessary, or expensive ingredients. To help you narrow your decision down, we’ll introduce four of our favorite keto supplements. Each one will take one of the ingredients listed above into consideration.
Let’s get started!
Key 2 Keto by Carefast
Key 2 Keto by Carefast is an extremely simple, straight-to-the-point BHB ketone supplement. It provides six grams of BHB per serving in the form of Magnesium, Calcium, and Sodium. They also combine Stevia Leaf Extract and Beet Root Crystals in each serving.
The Beet Root Crystals are an added boost of nitric oxide, which will enhance the flow of blood, nutrients, and oxygen throughout the body. Combined with the energy from ketosis, you’ll feel like a new person.
Key 2 Keto is available in a 30-serving tub for $60 and will come in a fruit punch flavor.
Keto Electrolytes by Perfect Keto
If you’re looking for a basic electrolyte supplement that delivers the four most prominent minerals needed on a keto diet, Perfect Keto has you covered. With 35mg of calcium and magnesium, 140mg of sodium, 70mg of potassium, and 280mg of chloride (from sodium and potassium).
It’s rather cheap, only costing you $27 per bottle of 120 capsules. Each serving size is only one capsule, so you can make it last you a good while. With the proper amount of electrolytes, you can combat the common “keto flu” that arises during the transition. Perfect Keto also has other keto products, such as Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketone Base and Keto MCT Oil.
Keto MCT Oil Softgels by Perfect Keto
Perfect Keto comes in again with another easy-to-use supplement featuring a basic formula for any keto dieter. MCT oil can become your best friend when following a keto diet or pursuing ketosis, and Perfect Keto delivers 3,000mg of it in a soft gel capsule.
They also offer a powdered version that gives you even more MCTs — 10,000mg per serving. The powder can be added to water and will come in the following flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Matcha Latte, and unflavored.
The soft gels will cost you $31 per bottle of 100 capsules, each serving being three capsules. The powder, on the other hand, will cost you $37 per 30-serving tub. The powder is the better deal, but it will also boil down to preference with this.
Keto Nootropic by Perfect Keto
We have one more product from Perfect Keto, and it combines the previous two products in one — plus more! If you’re interested in truly transforming your body and mind, Keto Nootropic will give you healthy doses of MCTs, essential minerals (electrolytes), vitamins, BHB ketones, and nootropic ingredients.
This is truly an all-in-one solution that’s filled with power. We know what the keto ingredients will do, but the addition of DHA, Alpha-GPC, Cat’s Claw Extract, Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, Phosphatidylserine, and Gingko Biloba will truly benefit your brain and cognitive function.
It comes in powdered form and will cost $40 per 15-serving tub. It’s a little more expensive, but you get what you pay for here.
Keto Omega by Sports Research
If you’re after the Omega-3s, which haven’t really been featured in any of the products listed thus far, we have a product designed specifically for those on a low-carb, high-fat diet. They utilize AlaskaOmega® Fish Oil, Wild Sockeye Salmon Oil, & Krill Oil in their product.
Keto Omega contains 840mg of EPA, 380mg of DHA, and 200mg of Phospholipids for a total of 1,400mg of Omega-3s. In addition to that, they combine 2,000mg of MCT oil and 1,000mcg of Astaxanthin into each serving.
Keto Omega will cost you $30 per 30-serving tub, or $1 per serving if you like to manage it that way. They have several other products designed for keto dieters, as well.
Final Thoughts: Best Keto Supplements
Now you know what to look for in a keto supplement as well as our picks for the best keto supplements. Getting your body to reach ketosis can be difficult, but adding a keto supplement to your routine can greatly benefit the process.
Want to know if your body is in ketosis? You can do a blood test or a urine test. There are also breath sensor tests that can check for ketone levels, such as the Keyto Breath Sensor. Now get going with your keto diet!