Going keto requires wholesale changes to the way many people eat. That can take some adjustment.
Most of that change happens at the macronutrient level of our food. To excel at keto, it’s important to find the right balance between fat, protein and carbohydrates. You can learn more about macronutrients on keto.
When you shift the macronutrient composition of your diet, it’s essential to pay attention to make sure you get the right balance of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. So in addition to all the ketone-based supplements we mentioned above, dietary supplements can help ensure you’re consuming adequate amounts of micronutrients.
Electrolytes are one of the most common supplements used by people on the keto diet.
Essential electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium are often flushed out with water weight on low-carb diets. Supplementation with these minerals can help prevent headaches, muscle cramps and other potential side effects from the keto diet. Sodium and potassium can be obtained by upping the intake of certain foods, (bouillon cubes, broths, avocado), while magnesium usually requires a supplement of around 400 mg or more.2
Fat is the main macronutrient in the keto diet, but the types of fat eaten can impact on the health outcomes of the diet.
High serum triglycerides (fats) independently increase the risk for heart disease.27Excessive carb consumption can raise triglyceride levels; the low-carb, high-fat keto diet usually has the opposite effect and lowers elevated triglycerides. Strong scientific evidence indicates that Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil have potent triglyceride-lowering effects as well.28,29 On top of this, fish oil–which has long has been recognized for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties–might even act in synergy with may beta-hydroxybutyrate,17 the most abundant ketone in the blood when one is following a ketogenic diet.
Getting enough Omega-3 in an everyday, western diet can be difficult. Kado, by HVMN, is a high-quality, supercharged krill and fish oil stack designed to assist daily metabolism of the brain and body. Ingredients in Kado have shown to improve mood,30,31 aid in stress reduction, and improve cardiovascular health.32
Green Tea and Caffeine
Both of these supplements, used by Americans every day, can help shed body fat and so may boost the effectiveness of the keto diet, through their beneficial effects on metabolism.
Green tea and caffeine-containing beverages or supplements can give you a short-term increase in metabolic rate and intensify the fat loss effects of the keto diet.33 Caffeine can also promote the production of ketones in the body,34 and may also enhance endurance exercise performance–a great bonus if you are using the keto diet to help you train or compete in sport.35 Be warned though, the effects of caffeine on metabolism decrease over time as your body builds up tolerance.
Carnitine, a nutrient derived from the amino acid lysine, plays a key role in fat metabolism.
Carnitine is used in the transport of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells to be burned for energy.36 Thus, making sure you have sufficient carnitine may help with to weight loss from the keto diet. We warned though–a bit like caffeine while taking carnitine might help with fat burning in the short-term,37 there still isn’t any evidence in humans showing the supplementing can speed up fat loss in the long-term. Carnitine has also been shown to improve exercise performance and recovery.38
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
While protein intake isn’t super-high on the keto diet, making sure you have enough good quality protein is crucial for health and metabolism. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)–leucine, isoleucine, and valine–are essential nutrients playing an important role in protein metabolism.
These unique amino acids are directly used by muscle cells to build and repair muscle tissue. BCAAs, especially leucine, have been shown to significantly improve endurance performance and reduce post-training soreness and fatigue.39,40 By signaling the creation of new mitochondria (the cells’ power generators), branched-chain amino acids may even help you live longer.41
Two BCAAs–leucine and isoleucine–are sometimes referred to as ketogenic amino acids. This nickname implies they’re converted to ketones (or ketone bodies) in the blood. However, while BCAAs are necessary for muscle maintenance, they aren’t important for ketone production and their contribution to blood ketone levels is very small and insignificant.42,43
Selecting the Best Keto Supplement for You
From prevention and treatment of chronic diseases to improved athletic performance, more and more exciting potential benefits of ketosis are being uncovered through growing scientific research.
A variety of dietary supplements can be used to maximize the beneficial effects of the keto diet. Fish oil and branched-chain amino acids improve and optimize fat and protein metabolism, while green tea, caffeine, and carnitine promote fat burning and weight loss. Consuming more electrolytes through food or supplements helps to replenish those lost with water weight.
Choosing the best keto supplement for you depends on your goals. Do you want to lose weight? Maybe you want to achieve better athletic endurance performance?
Reaching ketosis is difficult. Restricting carbs to a very low level may not be sustainable for you. That’s where exogenous ketone supplements can come in, helping achieve ketosis without the weeks or months of dieting and fasting.
Things like MCTs can help drive ketone production (but they don’t actually contain ketones). Ketone salts and ketone esters also serve great supplemental purposes by providing a faster way to achieve high ketone levels that can be somewhat harder to attain through diet alone. As producers of the world’s first ketone ester, we’re seeing those benefits directly with HVMN Ketone.
“The first time I tried HVMN Ketone in training, a 50-minute time trial felt like 30 minutes. I was so focused and had much more energy in my legs. The combination of mental lucidity and extra physical energy was strong and effective.”
While results vary from person-to-person, HVMN is committed to further researching exogenous ketones and providing our community with the most up-to-date research to help you optimize human health and performance.
Are You Doing Keto Wrong?
With all the misinformation about the diet online, it can be difficult to know. We’re on top of the latest scientific literature, analyzing it for our community. Be the first to know.