What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state, where your body is using ketones for energy, instead of glucose. We cover this in depth in one of our free Guides: The Ultimate Guide to Ketosis.
Types Of Exogenous Ketones
Your body can make three types of ketones from stored fat when you are in a state of ketosis. You get into ketosis in the absence of carbohydrates. But, you can also increase your ketones readily from sources found outside of your body (exogenous).
The three variations of “ketones” that your body uses are:
he one we are most interested in is Beta-hydroxybutyrate because your body can use it as it is readily available in your bloodstream. This is also the one found in exogenous ketone supplements.
When Ketones are in its raw form and not bound to any compound, they are called Ketone Esters. Ketone Esters are more potent in elevating blood ketone levels because the body doesn’t have to separate the BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate) from another compound. Ketone esters, however, tastes horrible and due to its potency can also lead to gastric irritation.
In this case, the ketone BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate) is generally bound to compounds like sodium, calcium, magnesium or potassium. Ketone salts may not be as potent as Ketone Esters, but it tastes excellent (especially Keto Halo’s Mango flavour) with much lower levels of gastric stress. Ketone salts are the way to go when supplementing with BHB.
There’s also MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil to help boost ketones. But, it is worth noting that BHB (salts or esters) can almost immediately be available for energy, whereas MCTs first needs to be broken down. During this metabolism of MCTs, ketone bodies are the byproduct produced by MCT metabolism. Unfortunately, MCTs are not effective in significantly elevating the actual blood levels of ketones. Also keep in mind that MCT oil is high in calories, making it not the best solution for someone wanting to keep their calories low to burn fat.
Why Use Exogenous Ketones
Now that we have set the scene; why do you want to take extra ketones when you are already on a keto diet?
To start with, it is extremely difficult, and not everyone’s cup of tea to follow a rigorous Keto diet, resulting in the higher levels of ketone bodies you actually need to enjoy the full benefits. A full Ketogenic diet can often lead to low energy levels, but supplementing with BHB is a sure way to get the benefits of high levels of Ketones that your diet may not provide for you.
Athletes in certain sports often need some carbohydrates for peak performance, but this now means that they too lose out on the full benefits from ketosis, because they will never be in deep ketosis. Also, supplementing with additional ketones will help them to maintain peak levels of performance during longer workouts where glycogen stores become depleted.
Many of us following a keto diet often times step over the line and eat certain carby foods that kick you out of ketosis. Exogenous ketones can now get you back on track and help you back into ketosis almost immediately… or you can keto away fro 2-3 days before you back into significant ketosis.
To Burn More Fat
Many Keto followers start Keto for this reason; to lose weight.
It is important to note that BHB is not a fat burner and doesn’t just make your fat disappear (neither does any other “fat burner” supplements – sorry if I just burst your bubble…). Supplementing with BHB, however, will get you into ketosis quickly, and that is where the fat burning magic happens.
How does taking BHB help me into ketosis quicker? Great question and often a concept very misunderstood in the market.
Let’s dummify it; taking BHB actually tricks the body… If you take extra ketones through a BHB supplement, it signals your body that it is now time to use ketones for energy. Why? Because the body (especially your brain) actually prefers ketones over glucose. When your body worked through all ketones that you supplemented with, your body will start looking to other places in your body for more of the good stuff… it then turns to fat. In essence, more ketones lead to more ketosis, leads to burning more fat.
Get Back Into Ketosis Faster
I wish I can say we all are super disciplined to always follow a rigorous keto regime without ever faltering. Truth be told, most of us regular peeps, fall off the bandwagon more often than we would like to admit. We also know, and always regret that it takes a while for us to get back on track and into a state of decent ketosis. BHB can help us out by getting us back into ketosis without a sweat.
Supplement with BHB after a carbohydrate-rich meal. This will signal your body that you prefer to use ketones instead of the consumed carbs for energy. So, rather than punishing yourself with a rigorous keto regime for a few days, just take a scoop of exogenous ketones and get back into ketosis quicker. It will also help with not going through the dreaded
“keto flu” phase
Skip “Keto Flu”
The transitions from using carbohydrates to ketones often come with some nasty side effects like a lack of energy, a feeling of being bloated, headaches, and feeling irritable. It is because your body is not yet adept at producing ketones for energy from your fat stores. Read some more on Keto Flu here. Exogenous ketones to the rescue. By using BHB you can skip these unwanted side-effects by simply giving your body the ketones it needs for energy while it figures out how to create them by itself.
In this case, you can use 2 scoops and sip it throughout the day while in this transitioning phase.
During physical exertion, the body uses different energy systems, each requiring different types of fuel.
Athletes with higher power or explosive demands like sprints or weight lifting will derive their energy more from stored glycogen. Keep in mind that this stored glycogen is limited to the body’s ability to store it.
At some point during the event, all the glycogen gets used. The body will then start making more or start metabolising fat for energy; both these processes being very dependent on using oxygen. By supplementing with Exogenous Ketones, the ketones now become instantly available for energy, and with a much lower need for oxygen.
This is especially applicable and beneficial to endurance sports. The universal limitation for all athletes is the available amount of oxygen during any event, but the athletes that supplement with BHB will require less oxidation for the same levels of energy.
Take a scoop Keto Halo BHB before workouts that will last longer than 45 minutes, then another 1/2 scoop every 90 minutes after that. This is the secret weapon for marathons, triathlons, and ultra-endurance events.
Improved Mental Performance
Your brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier that ensures that only selected elements get through to the brain. Your brain needs to be adequately fueled given that it uses around 25% of the total amount of energy your body needs. The problem with this is that glucose struggles to cross the blood-brain barrier. When you eat carbs you get “ups and downs” in energy. This “up” in energy is supposed to feed the brain with energy but struggles, and when the “down” in energy come due to a drop in insulin, it leads to mental fog. That foggy feeling you feel after eating a carb-dense meal is due to this dip in energy and the desperate attempt of various metabolic processes to move that glucose through the rest of the body.
Ever felt mentally foggy after you ate a super dense carb meal? That is the dip in energy and a ton of metabolic processes trying to shuttle glucose around your body. We all live busy lives and have no time for our brains to be foggy, struggles to function optimally. Luckily ketones are small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier leaving you with a constant supply of energy to the brain and almost not processing to get it. If you’re not always in a state of ketosis or even when you in a mild to low state of ketosis, you might not have the optimal supply of ketones to the brain. Exogenous ketones can now be your on-demand jet fuel to put your mind in a superstate of focus and alertness.
Many high performers, executives and CEO’s use exogenous ketones for peak mental performance and many other benefits. There are many resources on the internet explaining the benefits of exogenous ketones. One example is the infamous Tim Ferris. In his book, Tool Of Titans, and on his podcast with Dr. Dominic “Dom” D’Agostino, he explains how he supplements with Exogenous Ketones to hack his body to greater mental and physical performance.