Exogenous Ketones 101
Your Complete Start-Up Guide To Exogenous Ketones
The ketogenic diet, which most people call the keto diet, is a diet that is high in fat and very low in carbohydrates.
This type of diet encourages a metabolic state called ketosis, in which the body burns fat instead of carbohydrate as its primary source of energy. The process of burning fat results in the production of fatty acid byproducts called ketones. These are the substances that the body uses for energy when carbohydrates are in short supply.
The keto diet is highly restrictive. Some people find that it takes them much longer to enter ketosis than others. What’s more, many struggle to enter ketosis in the first place then have difficulty sticking to the diet and, therefore, fail to achieve ketosis.
In general, it takes 2–4 days if you eat 20–50 grams of carbs per day. However, some people may find it takes a week or longer to reach this state.
Some factors that can affect how long it takes to enter ketosis include your typical daily carb intake, your daily fat and protein intake, exercise, your age, and your metabolism.
For example, people who typically consume a high-carb diet before starting a keto diet may take longer to enter ketosis than those who generally eat a low-to-moderate carb diet. This is because your body needs to deplete its glycogen stores before entering ketosis
What are exogenous ketones?
Exogenous ketones are a nutritional supplement version of the ketones that are naturally produced in your body during fasting, carb restriction, or the consumption of medium-chain triglyceride oils (MCTs).
Exogenous ketones have rapidly become more and more mainstream. Because of their unique feature of providing ketones into the body, many have questions surrounding their safety, usefulness, and how to properly integrate them.
Since most people interested in the ketogenic diet are doing so for the unique feature of the metabolic shift of the presence of ketones in the metabolism, it’s important to understand how exogenous ketones fit into this model and your healthy lifestyle.
The word exogenous comes from the fact that these ketones are made from outside the body. Your naturally produced ketones are referred to as endogenous or diet-induced ketones.
The beautiful thing is that it’s not an either-or situation. While it’s not the exact same thing as following a ketogenic diet, it can absolutely provide some serious support to a healthy low-carb lifestyle. Furthermore, research continues to build to support the role of exogenous ketones as a supplement to help provide you with health and fitness benefits while being able to relax a bit more on your program. This means that you don’t have to follow a strict ketogenic diet all the time to net many of the benefits of ketones in the metabolism. Read more about Ketones and Inflammation of the brain here
Exogenous ketones supplements at their core are mainly made up of the chi-town beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). This is also the primary ketone based energy source your body runs on during nutritional ketosis.
Exogenous Ketones: Ketone Salts vs. Ketone Esters
As mentioned earlier, Ketones from a bottle or capsule are known as exogenous ketones — ketones from an outside source.
Whether you want to sidestep the misery of the keto flu, take a shortcut to all of the amazing benefits of ketosis, or you want to ramp up the results you’ve seen already, you’ve started looking at hacks for getting your ketone levels up faster than you would on your own. So, do you supplement? Here are your options, and keep reading to find out why Brain Octane Oil is the safest and most effective exogenous ketone you’ll find anywhere.
Supplement manufacturers make ketone salts by adding artificial ketones to electrolytes, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Ketone salts are available in a variety of forms, including drinks, pills, and powders.
These particular exogenous ketones can increase electrolyte levels. Higher levels can be harmful if a person has a medical condition, such as kidney disease, that affects their ability to regulate electrolytes.
While ketone salts rapidly induce ketosis, this metabolic state does not usually last as long as it does with ketone esters.
Instead of attaching to a mineral, ketone esters are ketone bodies, usually BHB, bound to 1,3 butanediol, an alcohol molecule that chemists happen to use to make polyurethanes. By the time they get into your bloodstream, ketone esters are chemically the same as the ketones your body makes, so your body knows what to do with them. Research shows that ketone esters raise your blood ketones far more efficiently than ketone salts do
Ketone esters are the most potent type of Exogenous Ketones. As a result, they may cause longer ketosis periods than other Exogenous Ketones supplements. However, ketone esters can be very expensive to buy, and they usually have a strong, unpleasant taste. That’s also the reason you can find many low priced and cheap exogenous supplements on the internet.
Other similar supplements
Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are not technically a type of exogenous ketones, but they do have similar effects.The body rapidly absorbs MCTs. Following this absorption, the liver converts the MCTs into ketones.However, a person will not get into ketosis by taking MCTs alone. They will need to follow a ketogenic diet or take other EK supplements to induce ketosis fully. A very beneficial supplement would be one that contains exogenous ketones and MCTs fats. We have MCT oil as a vital ingredient in most of our product line
HOW EXOGENOUS KETONES WORK.
When you consume exogenous ketones, you are blood ketone levels will rise regardless of whether you are in a state of nutritional ketosis. The beautiful thing is that this increase actually provides many of the benefits of actual ketosis, including appetite regulation, increased energy, brain function, athletic performance, stress reduction, and even weight loss. It doesn’t give us a license to eat whatever we want but what it does do is provide an incredible bridge and act as a support tool for a healthy lifestyle without having to be rigid all of the time.
Exogenous Ketones Replicate Nutritional Ketosis, a common misunderstanding is that exogenous ketones can get you into a permanent state of ketosis on their own. The reality is that they temporarily raise the levels of ketones in your bloodstream which also, in turn, provides you with many of the benefits of nutritional ketosis.
By raising your systems ketones, these supplements can:
– Supercharge your energy
– Drive mental clarity and focus
– Support weight loss in several ways
– They Help You Transition Into Ketosis
When your body adapts from primarily utilizing carbohydrates and glycogen as its main fuel source to stored body fat and dietary fat, there can be a lot of unwanted initial side effects. This is referred to as the keto flu and generally includes symptoms like:
-Poor physical performance
-Irritability & mood swings
The main reason for these symptoms is that your body has not yet become efficient at tapping into fat as an efficient fuel reserve yet. The other reason is dehydration and corresponding electrolyte loss. The good news is that these symptoms are temporary and the even better news is that you can use exogenous ketones to help navigate this initial murky on-ramp phase. As your body learns how to tap into its own fat reserves and dietary fat for fuel, you can she will it with exogenous ketones to help make the transition into ketosis easier.
Most people are not going to be able to follow a strict high-fat low-carb diet all of the time. If you’ve done this for a reasonable period of time and have experienced what it’s like to go off of your program, you know that it can kick your butt and potentially take a while to re-enter ketosis.
Exogenous ketones absolutely have a role here to help. Because they help boost your energy, promote cognitive function, and reduce cravings, supplementing with exogenous ketones during the re-entry. It can help mitigate many of these symptoms.
The caveat is that if you’ve been following a diet like this for a longer period of time, you’ll likely be able to re-enter ketosis a bit quicker and with a bit less of a headache in start-up mode. Still, exogenous ketones can help mitigate the issues that can present here.
Exogenous ketones help with weight loss in the following ways:
-Support appetite regulation and reduce cravings
-Provide energy at the cellular level which in turn helps various processes of our body relating to weight loss such as metabolism, hormones, etc.
-Supports your metabolic fat loss processes
One reason that exogenous ketones have some mild controversy around them is that many falsely promote them as an instantaneous fat loss miracle. The truth is that they absolutely help but it’s not an overnight fix, although many of the feel-good benefits kick in immediately.
There is a large chunk of research to support their role as a support for fat loss indirectly and exciting new research is showing that they actually can help directly with fat loss.
How To Successfully Integrate Exogenous Ketones:
Exogenous ketones and ketogenic diets can help you live a healthier life, burn fat, and build muscle. However, there are more factors than just being in a ketogenic state alone.
You still need to maintain a healthy activity level ideally, maintain sleep hygiene, eat quality food, manage stress, optimize your caloric intake, and maintain proper macronutrient ratios of carbs protein & fat.
All of that said, exogenous ketones can be a phenomenal tool to support your journey.
Here’s how we recommend using them:
Consume 1 serving of exogenous ketones in the morning to kick-start your day into gear.
If you are in the early phases of transitioning into ketosis, absolutely consider a second serving for added energy, focus, and craving reduction in the mid-afternoon. This also goes for people who want to avoid the 2 p.m. crash and have an abundant supply of energy all day. If you are training or engaging in any type of physical activity, you may time your second serving of exogenous ketones to coincide with this activity as a pre-workout boost. Consider drinking about 30 minutes prior.
We also recommend using exogenous ketones as an in case of emergency break glass savior. this will be for those times when you get kicked out of ketosis because life happens. So take one serving as a situational tool when needed.
The steps to starting a successful journey:
- Set your goals
- Make a nutrition plan
- Develop an activity routine or training regimen
- Use exogenous ketones as a tool
- Monitor your progress and provide yourself with a healthy environment for accountability.
- Make adjustments as needed
Start Your Exogenous Ketones
Journey And Feel The Difference.
THE THREE TYPES OF KETONE BODIES
Once you cut carbs or you’re over the hunger hump of a fast, your body starts making three types of ketone bodies: acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. How many of each type of ketone you make depends on how long you’ve been restricting carbs or fasting.
When your body gets the signal that you’re low on carbs and it’s time to break down fat for energy, acetoacetate is the first type of ketone body your body releases. When you first start, you have more acetoacetate than the other types of ketones, and as you continue, your beta-hydroxybutyrate levels climb until you’re producing all three in steady, sustainable proportions.
When you urine test your ketone levels, you’re measuring AcAc.
HOW YOUR BODY MAKES ACAC
In your liver, two acetyl CoA molecules (think delivery truck molecules for energy packages), will hook up to make one acetoacetate ketone body. Rinse and repeat, until your hunger quiets down and you feel your energy shoot through the roof.
From there, acetoacetate will either:
- Ship off to fuel cells
- React and break down into a different ketone called acetone
- Convert to beta-hydroxybutyrate (up next)
Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is the good stuff. It packs the highest energy potential of the three ketone types, and your body really starts pumping out BHB during an extended fast or after the first few weeks on a ketogenic diet.
Some brands of urine test strips claim they’re measuring BHB, but they’re actually using your AcAc levels to approximate your BHB levels. Test strips don’t detect BHB at all, though, so it’s not an exact indicator. Since BHB is #ketogoals, get yourself a blood keto meter and test the real thing.
Acetone is what you get when BHB or AcAc break down, and it’s the same acetone that goes into nail polish remover. Your body will use it for energy, but only if there’s an immediate energy need. It breaks down quickly and your body kicks it out fast. Acetone is the reason some people notice “keto breath,” a metallic taste that some people experience during the first couple of weeks on a ketogenic diet. That’s a sign that your body is releasing ketones, and you eliminate it through sweat, urine, and by exhaling.
When you measure ketones using a ketone breath analyzer, you’re detecting acetone. Again, the goal is BHB, and acetone is a proxy measure for BHB