Exogenous Ketones and You
Ketones are molecules created when your body breaks down fat for energy instead of sugars, and are used to indicate that your body is in ketosis. They are the primary substance used to gauge your ketogenic diet. You can test for ketones using home urine tests, which are great for finding whether you’re in ketosis.
Recently, exogenous ketones have been creating a lot of buzz in the keto world. While evidence for and against these ketones has surfaced, continued progress will foster greater exogenous ketone options for health and wellness.
What are exogenous ketones?
Exogenous ketones are synthetic supplements used to increase the amount of ketones in your body. Because these are supplements, they’re used in addition to your body’s natural ketones, and do not replace sugars if sugars are present in your body. Exogenous ketone supplements typically come in either powder or oil, and are commonly mixed with other foods or water, although you may consume them straight. There are also a few exogenous ketone supplements in tablet form, but those are a less common way of consumption.
What are endogenous ketones?
Endogenous ketones are the compounds your body creates when breaking down fat instead of sugars for energy. This is done during nutritional ketosis when carbs are removed from your diet, forcing your body to switch to fat as the source of energy. When most people think about ketones, they’re thinking about endogenous ketones.
What do exogenous ketones do?
Exogenous ketones simply add extra ketones to your body, which can lower your blood glucose levels, suppress your appetite in varying amounts, and give your body a jolt to prepare for burning fats. Exogenous ketones can help add a boost to your already keto-adapted lifestyle. Once you’re already in ketosis, or you’ve already limited your intake of carbs and sugars and switched to a fat-rich diet, but are looking to enter ketosis faster; exogenous ketones can be used as a way to boost your ketones, which can help give you added energy.
Do I need exogenous ketones to get into ketosis?
No. Getting into ketosis is dependent on your body, diet and macros. Exogenous ketones should be used to boost your ketones when you’re already producing ketones from nutritional ketosis, or are looking to enter ketosis quickly.
When should you take exogenous ketones
Exogenous ketones may be taken if:
- You’re already low carb living and need a boost of energy
- You’re following keto nutrition, but are having trouble entering ketosis
- You follow a keto diet and are currently training or following a very active lifestyle
- You’re entering ketosis and want to avoid the keto flu
- You slipped out of your ketogenic diet and want to get back in quickly
What kind of exogenous ketone supplements are there?
There are three types of exogenous ketone supplements currently, oils, esters, and salts.
MCT oils and ketones
The most widely available ketone supplements are oils, primarily MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil. MCT oil is generally built around coconut oil to provide your body with a concentrated dosage of healthy fats, which can help keep you full longer and burns in your body very efficiently. Add some to your morning coffee for an awakening morning routine.
Ketone Esters utilize raw BHB ketones without added salts or oils, which allows your body to use the ketones quicker. Esters are still largely being developed, and there aren’t any commercially available right now. Esters also have a notably terrible taste.
Ketone salts combine ketones with salts like sodium to improve ketone absorption. They’re fast working, and currently fairly common in powder form as a way to consume ketones without the awful taste. Ketone salts are also known as BHB salts or ketone mineral salts, and almost all available exogenous ketone supplements fall into this category.
What are the drawbacks to exogenous ketones
While there are many benefits of exogenous ketones that are growing with each new ketone development, exogenous ketones are still not a weight loss alternative, nor do they replace nutritional ketosis. If your body is currently burning sugars for fuel, adding exogenous ketones is not going to replace the sugars with fats.
Exogenous ketones are a supplement that will continue to advance and help more people get into and stay in ketosis. The brain power that a boost of ketones adds helps those with a low-carb lifestyle, and development and research continues to push these new supplements forward. While exogenous ketones do not replace a healthy keto-adapted diet and lifestyle, the future for progressing the ketogenic diet with exogenous ketones is bright.