3 Essential Keto Supplements to Amp Up Your Diet
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH THE KETO DIET?
The ketogenic diet has become all the rage in recent years and has since piqued the interest of the fitness junkie and the workout newbie alike. It is a fairly restrictive diet incorporating very little carbohydrates and a large amount of dietary fat, leaving room for a moderate amount of protein intake.
Unlike most other low-carb diets, the majority of your food intake consists of fat from sources other than meat. This means eating a lot of things like nuts, olive oil, and broccoli in place of things like bread and pasta.
Proponents of the keto diet enjoy the wide range of health benefits it can bring when done correctly, including rapid weight loss, mental clarity, lower blood pressure, decreased hunger cravings, and more.
WHAT’S HAPPENING DURING KETOSIS?
When you stop eating these foods, your body stops using carbs to convert into glucose. When your body recognizes it can no longer use glucose for energy, it starts burning fat instead. This means the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketones, which are then used for energy.
Fat loss occurs as the body uses up the previously stored fat. Although it may sound smarter to cut out fats to lose weight, researchers have found that eating a low-carb diet helps you lose significantly more weight than eating a diet low in fat.
The Keto diet can be a difficult diet to stay on top of, as it is so unlike what most people are used to. But research shows that following a ketogenic diet can have significant long-term benefits:
- Reduced body weight and BMI
- Lower triglyceride levels
- Decreased LDL cholesterol
- Decreased blood glucose
DO I NEED TO TAKE SUPPLEMENTS WITH A KETO DIET?
Honestly, there’s no hard and fast rule that says you must take supplements when following the ketogenic diet. However, supplements are just that—additions to your diet that can help take care of any deficiencies you might have. Deficiencies are especially common when your diet consists of extreme ratios of macronutrients, as is the case with the ketogenic diet (65 percent fat, 30 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs).
When you’re strictly following a diet, it is extremely crucial to get a daily fill of all necessary supplements so your body can perform at its fullest potential. The right supplements will check all of your daily nutrient boxes and give you the energy to power through your workouts so you can see results faster. Remember: all supplements work best when taken in conjunction with healthy eating and proper fitness.
WHAT ARE THE BEST KETO SUPPLEMENTS TO TAKE?
To get the most out of your keto diet, we recommend taking, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, and collagen. These three supplements help you get and stay in ketosis so you can look and feel your best.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is a ketone naturally-produced by the body when it is using fat for energy (instead of carbs). When using ketones (instead of glucose), the body enters a state known as ketosis.
It is incredibly easy to have your body kicked out of ketosis. One wrong snack, and the process is interrupted. However, BHB can help keep your body in that metabolic state better than your diet alone.
When found externally, BHB is referred to as an exogenous ketone. Exogenous ketones help support ketosis but aren’t magic compounds. No amount of BHB will put your body into a state of ketosis if your body is already full of carbs and sugars.
In one 2018 study, researchers found that exogenous ketone esters, the purest form of ketones, functioned as an appetite suppressant and lowered perceived hunger. Additionally, ketone esters also proved to lower ghrelin, the peptide hormone responsible for hunger.
Understandably, as lowered ghrelin causes hunger levels to decrease, the amount of food consumed is lessened, leading to weight loss.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are fatty acids naturally present in coconut and some other plant oils like palm kernel. They are known to regulate blood sugar and promote ketone production.
All fats consist of atom chains of different lengths, with the length being determined by the number of carbon atoms it possesses. The most common type is a long-chain triglyceride. The body uses short-, long-, and medium-chain triglycerides all differently. Specifically, research shows medium-chain triglycerides are processed more efficiently because they end up right at the liver.
MCT oil is clear and flavorless and packed with medium-chain triglycerides. As a supplement, it helps with ketone production, energy supply, appetite control, and weight loss.
When trying to lose weight, people tend to lean towards oils they consider healthier such as olive oil. However, MCT oil has been proven to be a better option for weight loss. One study compared the effects of MCT oil and olive oil when taken as a part of a weight-loss program. After a 16-week evaluation, the subjects who consumed MCT oil had lower body weight and reduced fat mass than those who consumed olive oil.
Since the body tends to use it for ketone and energy production, MCT oil has found its primary purpose as a weight loss supplement and quick energy source. This is primarily because it:
- is not usually stored as fat
- contains fewer calories than most other fats
- helps you burn calories faster
- helps with appetite control
Bottom line: if your goal is to burn fat for energy (i.e. enter ketosis)—and if it isn’t, the keto diet may not be for you—you should always have this power oil nearby.
As a supplement, the protein is referred to as collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen hydrolysate and has many different uses. In addition to reducing fine lines and wrinkles in the skin, collagen also provides numerous benefits to the body’s connective tissue. Collagen is an abundant protein found naturally in our bodies but can be supplemented with either the powder or pill forms.
As mentioned before, to get in and stay in ketosis, your diet needs to consist of the following percentages of macronutrients: 65 percent fat, 30 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs. Remember to use our Calorie and Macro calculator to optimize your macronutrient intake for your lifestyle.
Since protein is such a significant part of the diet, it’s important to hit this number if you want to stay in ketosis and lose weight safely—the primary reason most people follow the keto diet. With proper intake, protein is great on keto because it helps you shed fat and build muscle fast:
- It’s packed with a ton of nutrients that help build healthy muscle and tissue
- It’s more filling than fat—so you’ll be less likely to overeat
- Consuming less protein than you should often leads to overeating in other areas.
Collagen is unique in its ability to help you hit your daily protein numbers without spiking your insulin levels, which is a common occurrence in users of whey protein. If your goal is weight loss, you’ll want to keep your insulin levels lower to avoid gaining fat like crazy. When you eat foods high in sugar and starch, your pancreas releases insulin to tell your body to absorb the sugar, and it is later stored as fat in fat cells.
With continued collagen intake, gut health improves (thanks to L-Glutamine, an amino acid present in collagen), leading to better nutrient absorption. The more diverse the bacteria in your gut are, the easier it is to keep your weight at a healthy level.
Studies suggest that athletes and other active individuals can take collagen supplements to support their active lifestyle. In a 24-week study, athletes treated with hydrolyzed collagen had a reduction in activity-related joint pain when tested against the following five conditions: walking, standing, at rest, carrying objects, and lifting.
It should be a known fact that weight loss on the keto diet (or any other diet) is most effective when paired with physical activity. But the harder you burn the fat, the harder you work your body.
For athletes and individuals with similarly high activity levels, collagen supplements are necessary to rebuild and strengthen the structure that is so easily worn down with activity. Since high-performing athletes often have limited time to recover due to training and competitions, incorporating collagen into their diet is essential for their best performance, one study suggests.
But the benefits of hydrolyzed collagen are not lost on the average Joe just looking to amp up his gym training. For individuals with average activity levels, collagen still provides the support needed to perform well during workouts and recover quicker after workouts.
GIVE YOURSELF A KETO BOOST
Living a normal lifestyle on a not-so-normal diet can get tricky. If you’re not careful, you can cause harm to your body. The keto diet requires dedication and awareness of all the food you consume. It’s easy to slip up and even easier to give up, but the benefits of having such a diet start to outweigh the sacrifices when you see amazing results.
These results can be achieved with the help of three key supplements: BHB, MCT oil, and collagen. Incorporating all three of these supplements into your keto diet will help you reach and remain in a state of ketosis, curb cravings, burn fat, pack on muscle, and avoid keto-related side effects so you can reach your goal weight sooner.
Now that you know the importance of taking the best keto supplements, you have no reason to not do so. Supplements are not an integral part of the keto diet (by definition they are an added boost to enhance your experience and help you live healthier and more comfortably). You can see your body transform with or without them, but the best keto supplements will help give you a much better experience. Taking these supplements will help support a keto diet and lifestyle. You will experience faster weight loss, more energy, clarity of mind, and improved well-being. And who wouldn’t want that?