If You’re Wondering What The Story Is With Exogenous Ketone Supplements, You’re Not Alone
Ketones have been getting a lot of attention lately. What started out as a somewhat underground dietary experiment in the bodyhacking community has made it into the mainstream. That’s because there has been a lot of research over the last few years around the positive effects of nutritional ketosis on a wide variety of health and fitness topics. One of the areas getting the most buzz is how a ketogenic diet (commonly referred to as “keto diet”) can cause your body to shift from burning carbs to burning fats, thus accelerating weight loss.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you know of people who are into one of the popular diet movements like paleo, “slow carb”, keto, bulletproof coffee (aka butter coffee), micro-fasting, biohacking, etc. All of these are to some extent utilizing your body’s ability to enter a state of nutritional ketosis. Regardless of which if any of these diets you may be into, using ketosis to burn fat generally requires you to be getting somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of your calories from beneficial fats while restricting carbs. These should be healthy fats from sources like nuts, grass fed butter, organic free range eggs, etc.
No The Ketones Are Not A Hot New Ska Band
The best way to understand how ketosis works is to get a little back story on the ketones themselves. In essence, as your body runs out of sugars to burn, your liver starts processing fats into ketones which are used as fuel for your brain and muscles. This mechanism is basically a response to starvation. In a keto style diet, you’re not literally starving (though you might feel like it when you first get started), but you are starving your body of carbs that it can turn into sugar. You’re basically convincing your body that it’s in danger of starvation without actually starving. Pretty cool little trick right? But hold on there’s more to the story.
Ketosis inducing diets and fasting plans are very popular these days for good reason: they work. But there is a major hitch in the plan that anybody who has been on a keto diet for any length of time runs into, and that is if you fall off the carb wagon even a little, you’re basically starting over. Ok, big deal. Just get back on the wagon right? Yep, but the catch is that nutritional ketosis doesn’t happen instantly. Once you’ve got a nice bump of glucose back in your system, it takes time to get your body back into a ketogenic state. And lets face it, it’s pretty easy to find yourself staring down a plate of delicious carbs. Are you really going to your brother’s wedding and simply refusing to eat cake? Hey. Life happens.
Enter The Ketone Supplement – Hang On There Stretch, Is This For Real?
There is actually a growing body of research on exogenous ketone supplements, and it’s generating a lot of excitement in the fitness and weight loss world. We’ve all seen many weight loss and performance enhancement fads come and go, but ketones don’t seem to be fading. Ketone supplementation came on the scene a few years ago and continues to gain interest as more and more data becomes available. If it’s on your radar at all it’s probably because you heard about it from one of the many high profile fitness and biohacking celebrities like Tim Ferris and Joe Rogan who’ve become vocal fans. (Psst, we’ve actually got a free guide on using ketone supplements… grab it!)
Yet, the reason people are getting so excited is due to reports of a variety of beneficial effects beyond their potential to promote fat burning. People report enhanced mental clarity, better sleep, sustained energy. There is also a lot of very interesting science being done on therapeutic ketones for lowering cancer risk, and managing cholesterol.
Ok Enough Is Enough, Time For Some First Hand Experience
I’m generally pretty skeptical when it comes to the latest weight loss thing or performance enhancement technique. I tend to find what works for me and stick with that. In fact, I’m actually very familiar with the keto diet because I’ve been doing it off and on for years with very good results. The trouble has always been – you guessed it – staying on it for a useful amount of time. Because I’m also not freaky militant about life, sometimes I decide to roll with things and enjoy what’s before me. I mean I’m not going to spend a giant pile of cash traveling to another country and then not eat the food. And I’m sure as heck not going to my mom’s for thanksgiving and not eating mashed potatoes swimming in gravy and that heavenly stuffing. For one thing that would be crazy because nobody, I mean nobody makes gravy and stuffing like my mom, and also because she’d be like “You’re not eating? What is wrong with you?” I digress.
So when it seemed like I was hearing about exogenous ketone supplements everywhere – literally all of my favorite pod casts, magazine articles, Facebook, my work out buddies – I was finally like ok. I gotta see for myself.
So I Drank The Koolaid And…
Because I’m me, the first thing I did was do a bunch of research on the various ketone supplements on the market. Honestly, it was pretty hard to differentiate them from just Googling and reading reviews. The way I ended up trying ketones was totally random. Because I was in the tech industry forever, I end up being the guy whose phone number gets handed out whenever somebody in my circle needs “internet” help. I ended up helping a friend of a friend with some website stuff and said friend had showed him my blog (which was a tad embarrassing since I hadn’t updated it in forever.) In the course of this randomest of random encounters he he actually gifted me a bunch of ketone drink packets he had left over when he switched to buying the large containers.
It Was Good!
First off, this stuff actually tasted ok, and mixed completely in my shaker. There was of course the ubiquitous “chocolate” which I generally shy away from because I’m a snob about chocolate, as well as some novel flavors including a berry drink which was hands down my favorite – probably because it’s super close to actual Koolaid.
I was just drinking half packets over the following couple of weeks because I wanted to get a sense of what the extended effect was like. The first thing I noticed on the very first day was how I didn’t have my usual 2:00pm crash. That in itself was a amazing because I tend to plan my whole day around the fact that I’m going to capable of accomplishing exactly zero from about 2:00 – 3:30. Over the following days I definitely felt an enhanced sense of mental clarity and calmness. Which is funny because those are the claims I generally dismiss out of hand as marketing fluff. I also definitely felt a general increase in my energy levels, especially around exercise.
Are Exogenous Ketone Supplements The Magic Bullet?
I hate to break this to you, but there is no such thing as a magic bullet. At least not one that works for every individual. It’s like that old saying about which diet is the best: the best diet is the one that you stick to.
But that said, I am a total convert to therapeutic ketone supplements. I like the way they make me feel, I like the flavors… and yes, I lost weight.
Before You Dive Head First Into A Bucket Of Ketones…
Here’s the deal. If you run out and buy a huge container of exogenous ketone drink, and start downing glasses like it’s going out of style, you’re very likely to have an unpleasant experience. The same would be true if you suddenly started eating a gallon of raspberries a day.
There are some things you should know before you start drinking your ketones. Thats why I’ve put together a simple guide to help you have a the best experience possible. The guide is short, no-nonsense, and no fluff. It covers choosing a supplement, getting started comfortably, and how and when you should take breaks.
Is a ketone supplement your magic bullet? Only one way to find out!