The benefits of the keto diet are hard to miss. Between the weight loss, reduced appetite, and increased energy, there’s no questioning why more and more people are joining in on the fun. For those of you who are newer to the keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, it’s a diet that focuses on pushing your body into ketosis where you burn stored fat for energy instead of using glucose. To do this, you must eat a majority of healthy fats and low to minimal carbs.
Those who choose to take on the keto diet and live a keto-friendly lifestyle are forever in search of the best way to optimize their nutrients. One of the ways you can do this is through supplements. There are supplements for many things and many reasons why you would take them from mitigating some of the less desirable aspects of the keto diet to improving efficiency in how you energize your body and adapt to a new energy source.
Trying to supplement your keto diet can be a bit intimidating since there are so many options out there and just about every product swears to be the best or “keto-friendly” when in fact, they aren’t. Below we’ll cut through all of the noise and tell you exactly what you need to know to get the most out of your keto diet with supplements and why you should be taking them.
What Do You Need to Supplement with on Keto Diets?
There’s a reason so many people love the keto diet, but why not make something great even better? That’s why there are supplements to help. When you’re feeling run down and the fat bombs just aren’t doing it for you, there’s a supplement that can help- Collagen powder. When you’re feeling dehydrated and drinking enough water isn’t cutting it for you, there’s a supplement for that- Electrolytes! Or maybe you’ve accidentally eaten something that’s kicked you out of ketosis (we’ve all been there), well, there’s a supplement to help kick things into gear again- BHB! Whatever the reason is, there’s something that can help support you along your keto journey.
There are several things that you will want to add to your daily regimen when starting on a keto diet. The reason being is because you want to make sure you’re fueling your body with complete nutrition and when on any diet, that can be challenging. For most people, your body is used to a certain way of doing things and part of that is using glucose as the primary fuel for bodily processes to keep it moving and functioning healthily. Keto is all about changing that fuel source which causes your body to operate in a very different way than it is used to.
There are supplements available for keto dieters that are having trouble getting the required minerals from their meals. They come in many varieties including powders, pills, and liquids, and are capable of giving you the minerals you need to stay healthy while on the keto diet.
The first and primary concern is that your body will start processing water and salt much faster and in much greater quantities, which can lead to dehydration and a host of very unpleasant symptoms known as the keto flu. This is totally normal and most people are low in electrolytes to begin with so most people will have some degree of symptoms. As you start keto - and continuing throughout your keto journey - you might consider taking electrolyte supplements and drinking lots of water to try to alleviate the symptoms or bypass that stage entirely.
Electrolytes are essential in every diet, but especially for someone on a keto diet. Our bodies need at least 5,000mg of potassium, which is an essential electrolyte mineral, daily to function at our best. Add in daily exercise, and our bodies require even more. Without potassium, our bodies feel weak, jittery, and listless; it is an essential mineral that keeps our bodies in fighting shape.
So what is the perfect keto supplement to help you get the replenishment you need and to avoid the keto flu symptoms? The key is to look for a reputable company that focuses on clean ingredients and supports your keto diet, like Adapted Nutrition. To find the perfect all-natural keto electrolyte supplement look for the following:
- 1000mg of potassium
- At least 100mg of magnesium
- No sugar, additives, gluten or GMO
- Balances electrolytes
- Boosts energy
- And most importantly- Keto friendly
While we’re on the topic of electrolytes, let’s dive deeper into two of the most essential electrolyte minerals- Potassium and magnesium. Both are the key to overcoming the keto flu and feeling well overall.
Potassium- Potassium is used to help regulate your heartbeat and blood pressure. If you notice any symptoms such as bloating, low blood pressure, constipation, nausea, and fatigue, then chances are you can blame in on not getting enough potassium. Focus on potassium-rich foods such as leafy greens, mushrooms, and nuts.
Magnesium- This is a crucial element in our every day lives. High carbs = high magnesium intake, so the keto lifestyle takes a lot of those away. Adding in magnesium supplement will help with muscle cramping, sleeping issues, resulting in those Charlie horses we love so much. There are keto-friendly, magnesium-rich foods that the keto lifestyle can gain magnesium with, but taking a supplement will make sure you are getting the amounts you need. Although too much can result in abdominal cramping and loose stool so start off slowly.
At the end of the day, electrolytes are critical to performance and recovery. Naturally replacing electrolytes that are lost through sweat can helo prevent muscle cramps and aids in post-workout recovery.
Exogenous Ketone Supplements
Sometimes you might consider taking exogenous ketone supplements, also known as keto BHB, to boost your ketones and help kick-start the ketosis process. Taking BHB can help kick your body into ketosis faster and burn fat for energy instead of carbs. Think of BHB as amplifying your keto diet.
In other words, this means you will take supplements that introduce a fuel source that your body already naturally produces to convince it to use that instead of glucose, which is the whole point of a keto diet. This is sometimes encouraged early on in your keto journey to help you get started. Some benefits of exogenous ketone supplements such as keto BHB include the following:
- Reduced hunger
- Improved focus
- Increase energy
- Reduce keto flu symptoms
There is a reason that you limit protein consumption when on the keto diet and that is because protein can be transformed into glucose if you have an overabundance of it. Therefore, you might also consider taking protein supplements to be more efficient with the little amount of protein you are allowed to have on a keto diet and target the specific kinds of proteins that you will get the most benefit from. This is especially important because you are only allowed so much protein on a keto diet and protein is important for an active lifestyle, which means you need to make sure you are getting the essential proteins you need without going overboard and kicking yourself out of ketosis.
The key to protein intake on a keto lifestyle is collagen. Collagen is a protein that provides structure to most of our tendons and ligaments. Collagen powder comes with so many benefits when taken with a keto diet. Where the keto diet may need some support, collagen powder is there to help in more ways than one. It’s known to be a great source of protein, promote gut health, support healthy joints, anti-inflammatory, and so much more. And the best part about collagen in addition to the health benefits is it won’t kick you out of ketosis. There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to taking collagen as well. There are supplements, powders, liquids, and even injections. The secret to supplements is reading the ingredients and really making sure there’s no hidden junk like added sugars or fillers like Maltodextrin (which is often hidden and not listed on the ingredients label!) that will ruin the effort you’ve put in to get into the state of ketosis. In this case, focus on finding a reputable company, such as Adapted Nutrition, that only offers high-quality collagen products that have no artificial ingredients, no added sugar, no maltodextrin, or fillers, free of soy, corn, and peanut, and gluten-free.
It's a strange concept to absorb thinking that taking in more oils that you have been told are bad for some long, can actually benefit your keto body better. Pure MCT oil derives from Caprylic acid (known as C8) and is better suited for a keto diet as it helps suppress appetite more effectively than its counterparts. It is quick to burn and is broken down by your liver. A good example of an MCT oil is coconut oil. This supplement is used as a fast concentrated fat that keeps our body satisfied and reduces food cravings as well as keeping us in ketosis longer. For those of you who are fasting, MCT Oil works great for appetite suppression during your fasting period. Just add it to your morning coffee or any other drink to get its benefits.
What Supplements to Look For?
The specific kind of supplements to look for varies based on what you’re trying to achieve. We all know and love the keto diet so it’s imperative that you find supplements that support your keto lifestyle. Most “keto” products are filled with junk. Here’s the key signs to look for when shopping for truly keto-friendly products:
- No artificial ingredients
- No added sugar
- No Maltodextrin or fillers
- No soy, corn or peanuts
- No gluten or grains
While keto is the key to transforming your body and health, clean and natural ingredients are the way to go to support you.
Should I Take Supplements On Keto?
Ultimately, whether you take supplements or not you can still get the benefits of a ketogenic diet. Everyone is different and some people will benefit greatly from supplementing their diet while others just don't need it. The options for supplementing are endless. Where some people only need to supplement at the beginning of their keto journey to get through the keto flu, others may need it the entire time. The important thing to remember if you are going to start supplementing your keto diet is that moderation is key. Nobody can tell you exactly how much of a mineral you need because it is based on many factors including your current diet, height, and weight. Take the time to find out what you need and don't take too little or too much of anything.
The bottom line is supplementation should be used as support. You can’t look at supplements like they are a magic pill that will do all the work for you. They’re meant to help you along the way of your keto journey. One of the main reasons people quit a keto diet is because of the lack of electrolytes. They start to experience flu-like symptoms, known as the keto flu and think that their body isn’t fit for the keto life. Don’t be alarmed, consider it as a sign that your body is telling you you’re on the right track, and use supplements such as electrolyte drops to give you the boost you need. Other support efforts you can look into other than supplements are keto strips. These strips will help you to measure the ketones in your body to tell you if you’ve entered ketosis or not.
Let’s face it, we all can use support every once in a while. Some more consistently than others and nothing is wrong with that! The keto life is a great life to live and everyone deserves a chance to get there so don’t be afraid to seek supplements that can make you feel better and get you into the state of ketosis sooner or more efficiently. That’s what they’re designed to do!