The new dieting and weight lose trend that is taking the internet by the storm is the Ketogenic diet. It is sometimes referred to just as the “keto”. It is about losing weight by replacing your carbohydrates intake with a high fat diet and it is quite similar in lots of ways to the Atkins and other low carb diets.
This diet is all about drastically limiting your intake of carbs and replacing it with fat. The reduction of carbs from your diet puts your body in a metabolic state which is known as “ketosis”.
When your body is in the state of ketosis, it becomes extremely fast at burning fat for energy. In turn it also turns the fat into ketones in the liver which supplies the energy to the brain.
This diet is known to provide a lot of health benefits and can provide large reductions in the blood sugar and insulin levels. There are quite a few different types of Ketogenic diets that people follow, but the most common one and the most popular one remains the SKD – the standard Ketogenic diet which is the most researched so far and also the most recommended.
So what are Exogenous Ketones?
There recently been a lot of talk regarding exogenous ketones. In the dieting world of keto, many brands are producing exogenous ketones that are used and consumed by the people following the keto diet and the lifestyle all over the world. So if you are just a beginner in the keto diet world, then you must know what exactly are these exogenous ketones and how you can use these in your diet and help other with their benefits.
The term exogenous refers to something that is external to the usual system or production. So when it refers to exogenous ketones, it means the ketones are exogenous and are created outside the body by researchers or scientists to ingest for accelerating the process of ketosis in your system.
To understand what ketones are, imagine them as the compounds which are produced in the body when the body system is going through when you have restricted your carbs intake and have increased the fats in your diet; this creates a starvation state in your body which in turn starts producing Ketones.
It is actually a great source of energy for your body and the brain. Studies suggest that the body is able to utilize oxygen in a more efficient manner when the body is in the state of ketosis and is able to generate more energy.
So Why Take Exogenous Ketones?
The primary reason for taking exogenous ketones is usually to increase the flexibility from having to follow a really strict Ketogenic diet and it helps you to get into the state of ketosis faster than the usual process which happens through the diet. However, these are not the only reasons why people prefer to take exogenous ketones. They can help you in other ways as well!
Exogenous ketones are quite effective in reducing the overall weight gain. It also helps in reducing the food intake by restricting the appetite by altering the concentrations of nutrients and hormones which creates hunger. It removes the need for having to eat more and reduces the cravings to eat unhealthy food. This way, you only eat when you are actually hungry without having to worry about counting calories!
Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
You may be doing the ketogenic diet in order to maintain or regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels or as directed by your physician. The more healthy fats and proteins you will be taking in your diet, the more healthy will your overall health be, and you will experience a stabilization in your blood sugar levels.
One benefit of this ketogenic diet is that it not only promotes weight loss but is able to maintain it along with reducing the cravings and the stress about limiting the calorie intake. Not everyone is able to go on with this every single day and sometimes they need to binge on the carbohydrates.
Using the Exogenous Ketone supplements will automatically tell your body to use these ketones for energy instead of those carbs and this way your body will get back into ketosis.
Exogenous ketones help to enhance athletic performance. Underwater divers can greatly benefit from these ketones. This is because the respirators that the divers use under the water can actually cause toxicity to the brain system that can result in seizures. Ketones are able to maintain the brain’s metabolic rate, which prevents the forming of free radicals in the brain, which can happen through mitochondria and can even cause neurological failure.
Another research suggests that Ketones help to improve the output as well as the stamina for prolong athletic activities. Many cyclists have also been known to be taking exogenous ketones supplements or ketone ester supplements during their races in order to maintain strength, stamina, and energy.
You do not necessarily have to be an athlete to require large bouts of energy. Nowadays, people are generally concerned about their overall health and fitness and most people have some sort of an activity or a work out regime. So while at their workout, or maybe before playing a sport, they require a lot of energy that they can get from these exogenous ketones supplements. With these supplements not only is your body getting the required levels of energy and more but is getting more oxygen to the system that gives you better endurance.
A lot of people are not aware that our brain uses around 25% of the energy that our whole body uses in a day. Of course the brain runs the show and everything from thinking, to cognitive reasoning is a function of the brain and it requires energy. The reason why sometimes we feel lethargic or mentally foggy is because there is lack of energy going to our brains which may be due to the lack of carbs in our system. The exogenous ketones supplement helps to alleviate this by providing the premium fuel to the brain (think high octane gasoline). Taking these supplements on an empty stomach greatly improves mental performance and provides many other benefits.
How to Take Exogenous Ketones
Exogenous Ketones are available in many forms. They can be in the form of powder, liquid, as well as in the form of pills, and you can choose whichever form that suits you the best.
When you are on a ketogenic diet, there are three types of ketones which are produced by your body. These are acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone. The ketone that is present in the exogenous ketone supplements is the beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). This is because this is the one your body can use the most efficiently.
Exogenous ketones are quite beneficial in helping you get back into ketosis whenever you want, instead of waiting for the process to take two or three days. The exogenous ketone supplements can be taken between meals or before a workout for extra energy.
The different types of ketone supplements that are available are:
- Ketone salts offer instant energy and better taste. They are sometimes known as ketone mineral salts. They do not raise the ketone levels instantly like the exogenous ketone esters do, but the good part is that they lessen the side effects of GI distress to a large degree. These are quite common and popularly used.
- Ketone esters do not have a great taste but provide rapid energy. The benefits of ketone ester are that it is in the raw form and that lets your body use ketones quickly. The ketone esters are known to cause intestinal discomfort as a side effect.
- Ketone oils provide long-lasting energy levels. These are used indirectly to raise the levels of ketones in the body. They are not so instant at raising the blood levels of ketones in the body very quickly but are still a great solution for managing the exogenous ketones levels.
Products labeled ‘not real ketones’ are products which use “keto” but do not raise the ketone levels.
The different forms of exogenous ketones are however not very pleasant tasting, and the most popular and convenient form remains the powder form, which is also the most tolerable taste wise as well as easy to travel with if you move around a lot. The powdered form is also more practical in the way that it can be used to mix with other ingredients, for example, you can mix it up in your smoothie or your breakfast keto shake or some form of a meal replacement, making the powder ideal in this respect.
Once you have taken them, the body will look for fat storage and start using it for energy. So, in a nutshell, the more ketosis that is happening in your body means there is more fat burning.
Benefits of Ketosis at a Glance:
- When your body is in the state of ketosis, it is able to burn off more fat as energy and this helps to lose the extra pounds.
- Fat is a stable energy source and this helps to maintain and regularize the blood sugar and insulin levels in your body.
- Ketogenic diet helps to reduce the possibility of a heart disease by lowering the levels of cholesterol in the body.
- Ketones in the body are sort of a fuel for you and as this level rises in your body, your overall energy level will also increase.
- Having more fats in your meals is more filling and reduces the cravings and the hunger pangs.
Different forms of Exogenous Ketone Supplements
Exogenous Ketone supplements can be in the form of oil, which you can add to your daily cup of coffee or your breakfast shakes or even on your salads which will provide you with the needed levels of fat to help you burn off the fats!
The powdered forms of exogenous Ketones supplements are known to be very effective and if taken before an exercise session, it can result in a decreased demand for oxygen and will improve performance.
The best time to take these supplements is in the morning and after you have gotten used to them, then you can increase the intake at different parts of the day. The powder can be available in different types and varieties, like caffeine free, orange flavor, etc.
Exogenous Ketone supplements in the form of sports supplements are also available. The most popular ones are in liquid form.
Side Effects of Ketogenic Diet
When the body is in the transition phase and moves from using carbohydrates to generate energy to the ketones, it may lead to some of the exogenous ketones’ side effects. This may include bloating, low levels of energy, irritability, fatigue, and headaches. This happens because the body is not used to this new system and it has not yet become efficient at burning the ketones and producing them from your fat.
Increased and frequent need for urination is one of the other side effects of the ketosis; this is however only temporary as this will normalize as soon as your body gets used to the new system.
You might also feel a bit dizzy or drowsy. This is also quite normal as the body gets rid of the excess water in its system. In this process, it also gets rid of the minerals in the body like magnesium and potassium, as well as sodium. This loss of the minerals will make you drowsy and dizzy. This can however be avoidable as well when you focus on the diet being rich in potassium such as the leafy green vegetables and salads, dairy and meat, poultry or fish, etc. Using salts in your meal is also important, but if there is a problem with high blood pressure then it is best to check with your doctor before making a change.
Similarly, the loss of magnesium can be countered for by taking a magnesium supplement before going to bed. That again should be consulted first with the physician in case somebody has a kidney problem.
People who are diabetic may experience episodes of low blood sugar as this diet regulates the level of insulin and blood sugar in your body.
Some people may experience side effects in their digestive system in the form of constipation. This is because your whole system is adapting to a change and this may be caused by dehydration as your body is releasing more fluids. The good news is that you can take care of it beforehand, by adding more fiber to your diet and drink plenty of water.
Others may experience bouts of diarrhea in the first few days of starting this diet. This is also due to the body adjusting to the changes in your system.
Flu-like symptoms are also quite common. In fact, within the first two to four days when you start the keto diet, you may experience something that is known as the “ketosis flu” because it has symptoms like the actual flu. In this “flu,” you might experience headaches, lethargy, irritability, confusion, lack of motivation, and fatigue. This is completely normal and will eventually go away itself. The trick is to continue to stay hydrated, take enough salts, and keep taking the fats.
Using Exogenous Ketones to Fight off the Side Effects
Using the exogenous ketones will actually help you through this phase as the exogenous ketones supplements or ketone ester supplement will provide you with the needed levels of energy in order to counter the low levels of your energy.
When you have just started the diet and your body is struggling with the whole new process and looking for energy, the ketone supplements will provide your body with the necessary requirements and this will also eliminate the nasty side effects that you may be experiencing.
Using exogenous ketones can be extremely useful especially for those trying this new diet and hoping to lose weight. The weight loss industry is huge and every other day there is a new diet craze going on. This ketogenic diet, however, is quite straightforward and has immense health benefits as well.
Many people are unable to completely follow or adhere to the strict limitations of the diet so they may take the exogenous ketones supplements to help them reap the benefits. They may also take these initially when they are settling down in the phase. Overall, these exogenous Ketones supplements are a great addition for all those who want to achieve the benefits of ketosis.
There are many diets that make rounds quite often and many times, people end up falling sick due to not following them correctly. Ketogenic diet is more like a lifestyle change. It is about adhering to healthier eating habits. The best part about this is that everything is out in the open, whatever side effects that do exists, are countered by the exogenous ketone supplements so that there is never a time that your body is falling short of anything.
It is however always good to consult with your doctor or a physician before embarking on a weight loss or a change in your diet regime so that they can better guide you with whatever changes you can make, considering your health and history.
Exogenous ketone supplements are a blessing in disguise for all those following this diet. You can use the exogenous Ketones supplements usually after a weekend of binge eating your carbohydrates; it’s not always easy to hold back! This way you can achieve the benefits of the nutritional ketosis without sticking to a very strict diet.
Where there is a will, there is definitely a way!