The ketogenic diet provides a laundry list of benefits, ranging from better energy, a healthier mood, quick fat loss, and improved blood sugar control.
Because of the very nature of the keto diet, it’s important to use supplements where the diet might be lacking or as a way to support the ketosis process.
Fortunately, there’s never been a better time to go keto because there are so many quality products available to support your body’s ideal functioning (e.g., MCT oil, fish oil, exogenous ketones, bone broth, et al.).
As we continue, we’ll cover the keto supplements that contribute to maximizing our health on a ketogenic diet.
Why You Need Supplements on Keto
The ketogenic diet is associated with certain nutritional deficiencies because it removes our most readily available sources of electrolytes and nutrients from our diet when drastically reducing the consumption of starchy foods, as well as certain fruits and vegetables.
Potassium, magnesium, and calcium are often the most depleted nutrients found in those on the ketogenic diet.
Supplementing to ensure healthy nutrient levels is where quality, keto-friendly supplements, like the BHB Keto Activate by Konscious Keto, come into play.
In addition to nutrient supplementation, the inclusion of exogenous ketones to your regimen is another excellent way to maximize the benefits of ketosis, while also supporting healthy fat loss and increased energy.
The Top 7 Ketogenic Supplements
Here’s a list of the top 7 keto supplements that you’ll want to incorporate into your daily keto regimen and why:
#1. MCT Oil
Medium chain triglyceride oil, or MCT oil, is a highly bioavailable source of nutrients found in coconut oil, palm oil, butter, cheese, and yogurt.
The unique and powerful thing about MCTs is they can be used as energy immediately, unlike their far less efficient alternative energy counterpart—glucose (sugar).
In addition to being a fast-acting energy source, MCT oil also helps the body utilize and metabolize fat more efficiently.
Due to its high-fat content MCT oil and powder can help you meet your daily fat macros, promoting a sustained state of ketosis.
You want to mind your electrolytes on the ketogenic diet.
Sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are the essentials most often deficient in those attempting the keto diet without adequate mindfulness about supplementation.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that insufficient electrolytes are the common culprit when it comes to the symptoms people often collectively refer to as the keto flu (e.g., fatigue, headaches, dizziness, muscle cramping, nausea et al.).
Magnesium and calcium are particularly essential electrolytes to consume on keto, and they’re often credited with producing a calming effect which can help ease you into the keto lifestyle.
#3. Fish Oil
Many are familiar with the brain-boosting benefits of fish oil, but it’s also worth mentioning that the oil’s high omega-3 content helps to balance our sometimes imbalanced diets, which may be too saturated with foods full of omega-6 fats—something we definitely don’t want—from things like corn, soybean, sunflower and safflower oil; certain dairy products, and non-organic meats and poultry.
Simply put, and a huge takeaway about the value of fish oil, aside from its renowned benefits for improved brain health, taking the oil on the keto diet is an excellent way to maintain an appropriate omega-3:6 balance which is great for cholesterol health, as well.
#4. Exogenous Ketones
The body produces a certain amount of ketone bodies on its own, known as endogenous ketones.
However, exogenous ketones, ketones that are created outside of the body, also play an influential role in optimizing our energy and fat-loss efforts while eating a ketogenic diet.
When you take exogenous ketones, you create demand within your body.
Exogenous ketones, or BHBs, can help you get into ketosis faster, relieve the symptoms of keto flu, and tell your body to produce more ketones to match these needs.
As it can take up to 4 weeks to become fat-adapted, adding exogenous ketones into your daily regimen is a simple way to feel and look your best while your body is learning the ropes.
From mental sharpness to aiding in an expedited fat loss, exogenous ketones are a powerful tool leveraged by many who have established a successful and balanced lifestyle on keto.
L-glutamine is a vital amino acid that does double-duty as a rich antioxidant to reduce inflammation in the body, and it also aids in efficient cell recovery.
It’s important to remember; many people reduce the amounts of certain antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables on a ketogenic diet to avoid their unwanted glucose impact.
L-glutamine counteracts the nutrient shortfall this creates to promote increased health in the absence of otherwise healthy but high-carb foods that we now want to avoid.
If you’re looking to take your workouts to the next level and achieve lean muscle gains, you’re going to want to consider a creatine supplement.
Creatine is a secret weapon of athletes, fitness buffs, and particularly those living a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic lifestyle.
Similar to ketone bodies, the body naturally produces a certain amount of creatine.
However, there are human-made creatine supplements we can use—as we do exogenous ketones—to achieve peak physical performance and maximize endurance.
A nice by-product of the increased energy and the ability to crush your weekly workouts with less rest between sessions is, you’ll soon be well on your way to achieving your personal body goals.
#7. Keto DHEA
There’s been a lot of buzz around the safety and efficacy of supplementing with human growth hormone to promote cell regeneration and overall health—touted by enthusiasts as giving them a taste of the fountain of youth.
While the body does make a certain amount of 7 Keto DHEA on its own, the supplementation of this element is said to support the thyroid gland and aid in the promotion of fat loss and lean muscle gains (1).
5 Important Reasons to Take Keto Supplements
Although we can acquire a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients on a ketogenic diet, supplementation is essential because of the food-based restrictions of keto.
Drastically reducing daily produce intake to achieve metabolic ketosis will naturally produce nutritional gaps.
Think of supplements as a tool that offers enough forgiveness for you to achieve and sustain a healthy state of ketosis while living a non-stop life but finally getting a handle on your health.
More on maintaining a balanced keto lifestyle while living in today’s ultra-connected and always-on society.
Even with our best effort to eat a balanced and clean diet, we cannot get all the minerals and vitamins we need from whole foods; and it is for this reason that supplementation is highly advisable and imperative on the ketogenic diet.
Fat Loss Keto Supplements
All noted electrolytes support the body’s healthy functioning and in an indirect way, aid in weight loss to some degree.
However, some keto diet supplements are particularly beneficial in the promotion of body fat loss: MCT oil (especially organic, cold-pressed coconut oil), fish oil, l-glutamine, exogenous ketones, and even naturopathic aids like dandelion root all work together to help with healthy fat loss.
Stay in Ketosis Supplements
Fish oil, MCT oil, and l-glutamine are the holy trinity of supplements to maintain a consistent state of metabolic ketosis.
Pre-Workout Keto Supplements
L-glutamine, MCT oil, and creatine will give you the pre-workout energy and endurance boost you need to hit your next personal record, and are vital supplements for anyone living an active keto lifestyle!
Cell Recovery Keto Supplements
Fat is always a good go-to supplement when the goal is cell support and healthy cell regeneration.
MCT oil is an excellent option to aid in recovery, as is fish oil and l-glutamine—all aid in improved cell health and expedite post-exercise recovery (2).
Brain-boosting Keto Supplements
Our brains are built to thrive on healthy fats, and premium fats are the best fuel source for both the body and brain—hands down!
A quality BHB-based ketone supplement like Keto Activate are essential tools to make achieving and maintaining ketosis a more attainable reality for the everyday person and athlete alike.
Whole Food Keto Supplements
There are some food-based supplements like bone broth, turmeric, chlorella and spirulina that have some well-documented medical uses, helping with everything from reducing inflammation to glucose regulation, and acting as an aid to help the body efficiently metabolize fat.
#1. Spirulina for Lower Cholesterol
Don’t underestimate these blue-green algae as it provides all the amino acids the body needs—making it a complete protein!
This gem is essential, especially for those of you adventurous and disciplined enough to attempt a vegetarian or, even stricter still, a vegan ketogenic diet.
#2. Chlorella for Fighting Fatigue
You may notice a bit of a trend here as we go over the most important supplements to add to the ketogenic lifestyle.
Like spirulina, chlorella is another fantastic blue-green algae that have many health benefits including helping to fight fatigue, especially for those just transitioning to the keto diet.
Also, chlorella inherently contains a growth factor, a nutrient containing RNA and DNA, that can increase the efficacy of energy transport between cells in the body, it’s pretty amazing!
#3. Bone Broth For Electrolyte Intake
Drinking bone broth on a regular basis on the ketogenic diet is a delicious and fantastic way to maintain healthy electrolyte levels.
Often depleted due to the inevitable water loss experienced on the keto diet when carbs are drastically removed from the diet.
It’s worth noting that bone broth is often credited with helping to prevent or lessen the symptoms of the keto flu.
Also, bone broth provides the following additional health benefits:
- Boosts immune system
- Boosts increased collagen levels in the body to support a healthy heart, healthy bones, optimal brain function, as well as healthy hair, skin, and nails
- Promotes intestinal health
#4. Dandelion Root For Fat Absorption
Dandelion root is another functional food with dual health benefits.
Along with improving the body’s ability to metabolize and efficiently use fat, its effect on the body’s ability to produce more bile in the gallbladder to support proper digestion and nutrient absorption is a bonus, as well.
#5. Turmeric to Combat Inflammation
Turmeric has long been renowned for its many health benefits, mostly known for its efficacy in reducing inflammation in the body.
Another point worth noting, it’s certainly understandable that despite your wish to eat super clean, your budget may not afford you the ability to buy exclusively organic whole foods.
Use powerful and antioxidant-rich functional foods like turmeric to boost your immune system on a dime, and offset some of the free-radical damage that may occur if you’re skirting the line here and there eating non-organic meats and dairy foods.
Keto Supplements Make Keto Successful
OK, so the options can become overwhelming, and that’s why we advise keeping your supplement routine simple.
Aside from making a conscious effort to eat as many low-glycemic foods rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, remember to add good quality salt to your meals throughout the day.
A solid but doable supplement routine you can commit to daily will get your day started on the right track, attuned to fat as its primary fuel source and brimming with tons of energy to burn.
3 Ways to Add Electrolytes to your Morning Routine
- You may want to add some fatty MCT coconut oil to your coffee for the cognitive benefits and to make a dent in your daily fat macros early in the day.
- Skip a traditional breakfast and cozy up to a warm, delicious, mug of mineral-rich bone broth for an electrolyte boost to help keep you focused throughout the day.
- Take an exogenous ketone supplement of your choice, be it in the form of esters, salts, or oils, to keep ketone bodies high and your fat-burning mechanisms working at full tilt.
Get Creative. Experiment. Enjoy.
Many people experience a shift in appetite once fat-adapted on the ketogenic diet and not eating less frequently or consuming less quantity, but it’s still possible to get in essential vitamins and nutrients regardless.
Dinner could incorporate an extra dose of sodium and potassium with a large helping of creamy avocado, topped with a sprinkling of pink Himalayan sea salt.
Get creative: toss some kelp or dulse flakes into creamed spinach for a savory and nutritious serving of blue-green algae to boost immune function—there are so many options.
Supplements are not meant to replace healthy food choices, but it is equally true that the use of quality supplements is essential if your goal is to achieve a sustainable ketogenic lifestyle.