You're likely familiar with the popular ketogenic diet, or keto diet. This is a high-fat, low-carb way of eating. The emphasis is on keto-friendly foods like meat, eggs, cheese, butter, cream, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, seafood, avocados, berries, and low-carb veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and zucchini. Adding keto supplements can help make this diet more balanced.
When you restrict carbohydrates to less than 50 grams per day, as in the keto diet, your body eventually runs out of glucose as an energy source. A metabolic process known as ketogenesis begins and, instead of glucose, your body starts to use ketone bodies for energy. Ketone bodies are molecular compounds known as acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid (1
When your body uses ketone bodies instead of glucose for energy, you enter a metabolic state known as "ketosis." During ketosis, your body is breaking down fats and proteins for energy, instead of carbohydrates. That's why this way of eating is very effective for rapid weight loss, many people have been able to lose a lot of weight quickly by following the keto diet (1
While beneficial for weight loss, the keto diet is not without risks. According to researchers, common short-term side effects of this diet include "nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, difficulty in exercise tolerance, and constipation" (1
). These side effects are commonly referred to as the "keto flu." Certain supplements can help alleviate symptoms of the keto flu or help you avoid them altogether.
Keto supplements can also help you get important nutrients you may be missing out on by eliminating starchy veggies and most fruits.
Here are the 7 best keto supplements you can take to support your keto diet.
1. Digestive Enzymes
If you followed a high-carb diet before switching to a keto diet, you may be more likely to experience digestive upset while your body adjusts to this new way of eating. Taking digestive enzymes
can help alleviate bloating, nausea, constipation, and fatigue.
Whichever digestive enzyme supplement you choose, make sure it contains lipase, as this is the enzyme responsible for breaking down fat. Proteases and peptidases break down protein, so look for those too. Some digestive enzymes are actually advertised as "keto-friendly," so keep your eyes open for those.
2. Electrolytes Like Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Phosphorus
Eating a low-carb diet has a diuretic effect, meaning the kidneys excrete a lot of water. Indeed, this is why many people lose weight very quickly on this diet — the initial weight loss is actually the loss of water weight (1
Losing this excess water can also result in a loss of important electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Taking an electrolyte supplement can ensure you get enough of these vital minerals. Remember to look for a supplement with no added sugar or sweeteners.
You may also wish to take a magnesium supplement, then add sodium and potassium to your diet naturally. For example, you can drink bone broth
to increase sodium intake and eat foods high in potassium, like avocados and spinach.
3. Omega–3 Fatty Acids Like Krill Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids are in fish oils, like krill oil, and in flaxseed oil and algae. They're also found in whole foods like fatty fish and eggs.
Two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are particularly beneficial to your health. These fatty acids reduce inflammation, act as antioxidants, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and arthritis (2
It's important to note that people who take blood thinners should talk to their doctor before supplementing with omega–3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements are also not recommended for those who are allergic to fish or shellfish.
4. MCT Oil
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. They are a type of fat that produces ketone bodies, increasing ketone levels. If you remember, ketone bodies, or ketones, push your body into ketosis, where you are breaking down fat and protein for fuel rather than carbohydrates. Therefore, MCT oil is a popular dietary supplement among keto dieters.
Coconut oil is a natural source of MCT. Medium-chain fatty acids account for 14% of coconut oil, making it one of the richest natural sources of MCT (3
). You can get a more concentrated dose of MCTs by supplementing with MCT oil. If you want to take it a step further and support your body with healing adaptogens, medicinal mushrooms, Vitamin B12, and Yerba Mate as well as MCT, consider our Ketone Energy Pro4 Formula
As an added benefit, MCTs also cause increased feelings of fullness, which reduces food intake and limits sugar cravings — this alone makes it easier to stick to your diet.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is crucial for health. It impacts the entire body — from your bones to your intestines to your brain, immune system, and cardiovascular system (4
). According to researchers Rathish Nair and Arun Maseeh, Vitamin D helps protect against a myriad of conditions, including "cancer, heart disease, fractures and falls, autoimmune diseases, influenza, type-2 diabetes, and depression" (4
A 2010 study published in the journal Nutrition Research states that as many as 42% of adults in America are deficient in Vitamin D — making supplementation important no matter what diet you follow (5
6. Greens Powder
If you find you aren't eating enough vegetables, specifically leafy greens like kale and spinach, you can quickly and easily boost your intake by supplementing with a greens powder.
Greens powders vary by brand, but they often contain common ingredients like wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella, kale, kelp, ginseng, and green tea extract (6
). For an easy health boost, add greens powders to smoothies, yogurt, or even a glass of milk.
Upping your greens intake has many health benefits. For example, studies suggest spirulina may have "anticancer, antiviral, and antiallergic effects" (7
). Spirulina isn't something you're likely to eat on its own unless you supplement with a greens powder, so consider adding this supplement to your diet.
7. Exogenous Ketones
Exogenous ketones are an ideal and popular keto supplement.
Exogenous ketones simply mean ketones that come from outside the body. Remember, your body makes ketones, also known as ketone bodies, when it's in ketosis. In addition, you can supplement with ketones to further raise your ketone levels.
Supplementing with exogenous ketones may improve your mental performance, memory, and athletic performance as well as decrease inflammation (8
Exogenous ketone supplements are often referred to as ketone salts. They consist of some combination of sodium-, magnesium-, calcium, or potassium-BHB, where BHB stands for beta-hydroxybutyrate (8
). Remember to look for a supplement with no sugars, carbs, or added fillers.
Key Factors to Remember When Taking Keto Supplements
The ketogenic diet is a science-backed method to lose weight by forcing the body into a metabolic state, known as ketogenesis, where ketones are the primary energy source over glucose. Thus, your body burns fat and proteins for fuel rather than carbohydrates.
The diet severely limits carbohydrate consumption to less than 50 grams per day. On the other hand, fat consumption increases significantly while protein consumption remains moderate. The keto diet emphasizes keto-friendly foods like meat, eggs, cheese, butter, cream, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, seafood, avocados, berries, and low-carb veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and zucchini.
Following the keto diet can bring rapid weight loss. Your initial weight loss will be due to a loss in water weight while subsequent weight loss will come from burning fat.
You can support your keto diet with supplements. Supplementation may help you avoid the "keto flu" — a host of symptoms experienced as the body adjusts to being in ketogenesis. Supplementing with exogenous ketones can increase ketone levels even further.
While this way of eating is effective for rapid weight loss and fat reduction, researchers are still studying the long-term health effects of the keto diet. According to M.D. Nikola Djordjevic, individuals should follow the keto diet for a maximum of 6 months (9
). To get the full benefits of a ketogenic diet, support your diet with the above supplements.
It's important to note that the keto diet is not recommended for people experiencing pancreatitis, liver failure, fat metabolism disorders, and similar conditions (1
). Please seek medical advice if you're wondering whether this diet is safe for you.
As a friendly reminder, we're not doctors and this information does not constitute medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting a new diet. If you're ready to take control of your overall health, sign up for our email list
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