The popularity of the keto diet has increased since its introduction to the fitness world. Originally, this diet is recommended for those with epilepsy. Seeing that it leads to weight loss, fitness enthusiasts decided to give it a go.
However, not everyone can withstand the requirements of the keto diet. It is, after all, very difficult especially in the early stages. Keto flu can render you useless at the beginning. The feeling of tiredness and unproductivity might wear you out, so you might end up quitting halfway through your body’s metabolic transition from glycolysis to ketosis.
For this reason, exogenous ketones were invented to stimulate ketosis that you earn while fasting or doing a ketogenic diet. The best part is that it increases the ketone levels in the body without having to undergo rigorous low carb dieting. Not only is it an easier option, but it is also a faster way to reach ketosis.
What are Exogenous Ketones?
Exogenous ketones came from man-made sources. They are not naturally available in the body. These ketones work by providing the body with a ready to process the source of energy. Even if you do not lay off carbs in your diet, you can achieve a state of ketosis. The body will burn these foreign ketones first and leave the existing carbs in your system for later processing.
Exogenous ketones make it possible to have increased ketones despite having full glycogen stores. That being said, consuming these ketones is not the same as pulling off a keto diet.
How Do Exogenous Ketones Work?
Scientists stated that both keto diet and fasting results in good health due to ketones. By simply raising the ketone levels with the use of either natural or exogenous ketones, the results are the same.
- Reduced inflammation: ketones can lower the activation of inflammatory markers.
- Reduced oxidative stress: they remove harmful reactive oxygen species from the body.
- Improvement of the metabolic process: ketones has an effect on cellular processes involving the brain and longevity.
What are the Different Types of Ketones??
The body produces three different ketone bodies when undergoing ketosis. There are:
- Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) – is mostly used in exogenous ketones. It is the most available ketone in the body.
- Acetoacetate (AcAc) – plays a part in the metabolic process that produces ketones. However, it is not as predominant as BHB.
- Acetone is the least available. It is produced in minimum amounts. Most of it is just excreted through exhaling, instead of being utilized as a fuel source.
What are the Different Types of Exogenous Ketone Supplements?
Exogenous ketones, or ketone supplements, come in two different types: ketone salts and ketone esters.
Ketone esters are made by combining a keto body and a ketone precursor. This type seems to be more beneficial but only comes in a few varieties that are available in the market.
Ketone salts are made with a combination of ketone and a mineral ion, depending on the product. More often than not, this ion is sodium and the ketone body used is BHB. This type is widely marketed.
The Potential Dangers of Using Exogenous Ketones
It may have its own appeal to those people who want to lose weight without dieting, but it certainly has its downsides, The truth is that there are even some possibilities that it can hinder weight loss. Read about the potential problems you may encounter when taking exogenous ketones.
1. Ketones can inhibit the breakdown of fat.
Ketosis from fat stored in the body is the reason why the keto diet works. However, if there are already plenty of ketones in your body, it will respond by reducing the release of natural ones that actually process fats. Additionally, with high ketone levels in your blood, your blood will also turn acidic.
2. Ketone has plenty of calories.
Ketones work as a source of energy. This means they contain a lot of calories. In fact, one gram of ketones has around four calories. The same amount of calories than carbohydrates and proteins have.
One serving of the salts can have more or less a 100 calories. That does not sound bad, right? Mind you, taking exogenous ketones is not once a day kind of thing. You need to ensure that you maintain your ketosis by consuming doses all throughout the day. Ketone supplements can only last for a few hours.
3. Regular consumption of ketone salts can lead to electrolyte imbalance.
One of its key ingredients is an ion. The amount of the specific ion, mostly sodium, in a serving can be a lot higher than what is recommended daily. An increase in sodium can lead to a lot of chronic diseases, like hypertension and cardiovascular problems.
4. When taken in high doses, ketone salts tend to cause a bad reaction in the gastrointestinal tract.
The distress in the GI tract can be experienced as nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. One study conducted on athletes showed that it decreased performance level by 7% and caused GI distress in most of the participants.]
5. Ketone esters do not taste so good.
One possible reason why ketone esters, despite their more promising effects, are not widely commercialized. This is possibly due to the fact that the taste of ketone esters is not tolerated by a lot of people.
6. A lot of ketone supplements contain caffeine and other secret ingredients.
Many of these supplements contain the same amount of 16 ounces cup of coffee. Another surprising ingredient is malic acid. This acid is known to enhance performance and increase energy during workouts or training. BHB supplements promise all that, so why will there be a need for additional ingredients such as these two?
Exogenous ketones promise a fast track to successful weight loss without the sacrifice that is dieting. However, there is not much research conducted on its effectiveness. Health experts will tell you to instead focus on clean eating than spend money on these supplements. After all, they are pretty expensive.