As keto increases with popularity, we are seeing more and more keto related products on the market. One of the most popular and well known is the exogenous ketone supplement, which claims to boost the effects of a keto diet and even give you some of the benefits of keto while still eating carbs. Sounds like the ‘magic pill’ we’ve been looking for. There is so much information that might confuse you and don’t know which one to trust or if they are even worth the money.
What are the ‘claimed’ benefits:
• Help you shed weight
• Control hunger and cravings
• Improved focus
• Increased energy
• Better mood
• Help you perform physically and recover quicker from exercise
• Help getting back into ketosis after consuming carbs
• Decreased inflammation
• Better sleep
First of all, let's be clear that your body will produce its own ketones naturally, when you follow the keto diet the right way AND guess what, it's free.
If you are following our ketogenic diet/New Image meal plans consistently you are totally nailing it and if you feel an abundance of energy, then you really don’t need exogenous ketones.
Ketones are molecules that are produced in the liver from fat, this is then used as energy when there is no glucose.
In the average diet, glucose is the main source of energy, but when we follow a keto diet, glucose is dramatically decreased, the body switches from glucose to fats for fuel. Ketosis is referring to the body converting fat to ketones for energy. These ketones are produced inside the body, or ‘endogenously’.
Exogenous ketones are the opposite and are made in the lab and consumed as a supplement or made ‘outside’ your body.
There is a difference between nutritional ketosis or ketogenesis (following the keto diet and producing ketone bodies in the liver), and ketonemia (the presence of ketone bodies in the blood). So, when you take an exogenous ketone, you promote ketonemia, ketones in the blood, not nutritional ketosis.
Exogenous ketones can put βHB (Beta-hydroxybutyrate aka ketone bodies) in your blood. So, when you test your urine, you will see the presence of ketones. However, this doesn’t mean that you are in nutritional ketosis and will stay there as your levels will return to your baseline, whether that be ketosis from eating a keto diet or not, eating too many carbs.
If you follow the keto diet effectively and you do supplement with exogenous ketones, then they might boost your energy and increase satiety.
We know that what matters the most is having your body in nutritional ketosis state, as this is when you will reap all the rewards of ketosis.
So basically, exogenous ketones might be beneficial if you follow the keto diet, however if you’re cheating and eating carbs, it won’t really do much. You’re better off spending your money on overpriced avocadoes.
• Gross, Elena et al. “Efficacy and safety of exogenous ketone bodies for preventive treatment of migraine: A study protocol for a single-centred, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover trial.” Trials vol. 20,1 61. 17 Jan. 2019, doi:10.1186/s13063-018-3120-7
• Stubbs, Brianna J et al. “On the Metabolism of Exogenous Ketones in Humans.” Frontiers in physiology vol. 8 848. 30 Oct. 2017, doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00848
• Stubbs, Brianna J et al. “A Ketone Ester Drink Lowers Human Ghrelin and Appetite.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) vol. 26,2 (2018): 269-273. doi:10.1002/oby.22051