What are Ketones ?
Ketones are the byproduct of the body breaking down fat for energy. Also known as “ketone bodies,” the body produces ketones under a number of different circumstances to make up for a deficit in its usual energy source, glucose.
Mmm Sugar …
Glucose is the body’s primary and preferred source of energy because carbohydrates are fast and easy for it to process. It doesn’t require a lot of energy to get the glucose out of the sugars and starches you eat, so that’s what the body tends to want. But when the body is deprived of glucose, it turns to its long-term energy storage, fat, to make up the difference.
I use Ketones to set the baseline of high keto levels – keeping me ripped from workouts but also a stable palette for mental clarityLandon Hamilton, CEO, FitPlan
Fat – The last option
Fat is harder to process for energy, so the body only hits up the larder when it’s left with no better option. Low-carb diets such as the keto diet, as well as practices like intermittent fasting, can cause a glucose deficit that can trigger a mechanism known as ketosis. Using a process called beta-oxidation, the body breaks down fat into ketones which it uses as energy in place of the missing glucose.
There are three types of ketone bodies produced during ketosis: acetoacetate (AcAc), beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB), and acetone. AcAc and BHB are the energy transporters. Once the fats are broken down in the liver, these two ketones do most of the heavy lifting. Acetone can also be used for energy, but since it breaks down quickly, if it’s not needed right away, its byproducts are eliminated through the breath or urine. Acetone is the source of “keto breath,” which can smell fruity or unpleasant while your body is adjusting to its new energy balance.
What is Ketosis?
When the body doesn’t have enough glucose (sugar) to burn to make energy, it starts burning fats instead. Ketosis is the process that the body goes through to turn fats into energy. When your body is in ketosis, your liver makes fatty acid molecules called ketones that build up in your blood. Your body then uses the ketones instead of glucose to fuel itself.
All food is made up of macronutrients. Generally speaking, there are three macronutrients: Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It should probably come as no surprise to you that your body likes carbohydrates the best. Your body breaks down carbs into simple sugars like glucose, which is the easiest kind of fuel for it to use. Unfortunately, most of us eat far more carbohydrates and give our bodies way more glucose than it needs. But that glucose doesn’t just go away. Your body is a packrat. It turns that excess glucose into fat to keep around just in case it needs it. Ketosis is one of the ways that your body can get to that stored energy.
Your Body Chooses Candy over Butter
Now, as long as your body has a steady supply of glucose through the carbohydrates in your diet, it’s going to prefer those over the fat it has stored up. Exercise and a reduced calorie diet can get your body to shed some of it. (And fun fact: This actually puts your body into brief, mild phases of ketosis, but your ketone levels aren’t high enough for long enough for you to really reap the benefits.)
If you’ve tried to lose weight or lower your body fat percentage this way, you know it can take for-ev-er. And that’s if it even works for you at all. There’s a better way, and it involves changing your body’s default mode for making energy. Following a ketogenic diet, or a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet, is the recommended way to get your body into fat-burning mode and start using ketones for energy on a long-term basis.
Ketosis has been shown to be a great tool for weight loss, especially when your body is spending a lot of extra energy changing its fuel source over from glucose to ketones. But even if you don’t need to shed the L-Bs (or the K-Gs if you use the metric system), ketosis has a lot of other health benefits. Studies have shown that it may help control blood sugar, prevent some cancers, improve mental acuity, and make you feel like you have more energy.
Making the ‘Keto Switch’
That said, the road to ketosis isn’t necessarily an easy one. The payoff is worth it, though. First of all, it takes a few days for your body to switch over into ketone-making mode after you go low carb. Your body keeps around 600 grams of glycogen around as temporary storage for glucose you didn’t use. (It’s easier to use than fat but a little harder to use than just breaking down new carbs.)
It can take your body 1-3 days to break down this reserve before it starts looking at your fat cells as a source for energy. While your body is still breaking down glycogen, you can’t reach ketosis. This is why it’s really important to stick to a strict ketogenic diet while you’re trying to get your body to make the transition. If you’ve got friends who have done keto diets, you may have heard them refer to the “carb flu” or the “keto flu.”
Basically, your body panics a little bit when you go low carb. It can no longer make energy the easy way, and it pitches a fit to get you to give it carbs. Your blood glucose is low, but so are your blood ketones because your body is still holding out for sugar. You might feel tired, achy, nauseous, or all of the above. Don’t give in! You’re going to crave carbs like crazy, and eating the might make you feel better in the short term, but you’re going to have to start all over and deal with the carb flu for even longer. The keto flu can take 2-7 days to pass while your body adjusts and your blood ketone levels reach the optimal point. If you did everything right, you come out on the other side of it officially in ketosis. Congratulations! I bet you feel amazing right now.
Benefits of Ketosis
Weight loss is probably the benefit that people mention the most when they talk about ketosis, “going keto,” and the ketogenic diet. And yeah, that is a HUGE benefit for a lot of people. But that’s not the only thing keto can do for you. In fact, once you learn about all of the other amazing benefits of switching your body’s primary fuel source from carbs to fats, weight loss will just seem like a convenient side effect. Studies have found that ketosis may help with everything from managing blood sugar and preventing dementia to helping you look and feel happier and healthier.
The available results of research projects dealing with the use of the KD and ketone bodies in neurodegenerative diseases are fairly promisingNutrients. 2019 Jan; 11(1): 169.
Maybe you came here with a few (or more than a few) pounds to shed, and all you really need to know is that it will help you reach your goals. That’s cool. But you might have a few other problems that came bundled with your bigger waistline–lethargy, mental cloudiness, or even diabetes. While your body is busy turning your beer gut into an all-you-can-eat buffet, you’re going to start noticing that a lot of those things will go away and others will be a lot easier to manage.
Keto – The Diabetes Destroyer
A study in The Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism put subjects with Type 2 Diabetes on a ketogenic diet for six months. After that time, 95% of the subjects were able to reduce or eliminate their need for medication to manage their diabetes. Ketosis helps create the conditions the body needs to relearn the proper way to handle sugar and store fat.
The benefits of ketosis that are most near and dear to us here at Trubrain, though, are the neurological ones. Studies of subjects on ketogenic diets over the last decade have shown a variety of benefits to people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s or dementia, mental health issues like depression and anxiety, and other mental annoyances like brain fog and lack of focus. Ketosis seems to have both a protective and healing effect for all of these conditions.
How to Test for Ketones
There are four main ways to test your ketone levels and determine whether or not your body is in ketosis: urine test strips, blood tests, body symptom assessment, and breath testing. Which method is best for you depends on your personal goals, budget, and health risks.
Assessing your body’s symptoms is the least expensive option. You can’t get exact ketone numbers from this method, but it requires no additional equipment. The symptoms of a body in ketosis include:
– Increased thirst and urination: You’ll probably notice this one first. As your body is using up its glycogen stores, you’ll need to urinate more. This will make you thirsty and deplete your electrolytes. If you don’t replenish these fluids and electrolytes, this can lead to the “keto flu.”
– Decreased hunger: When your body is making the switch from glucose to ketones as a fuel source, don’t be surprised if you still feel hungry even if you’ve eaten plenty. But the good news is, once you’re not feeling that “bottomless pit” feeling anymore, you’re almost definitely in ketosis. A decrease in your appetite means that your body has switched gears to a more steady source of energy–your own fat stores.
– Clearer mental state: Your brain uses a LOT of energy. You’ve probably noticed that when you’re eating a standard diet, you get pretty foggy when you haven’t eaten. But the same thing that keeps your hunger at bay fuels your brain more constantly–ketosis.
– Increased energy: It only takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours for the mitochondria in your cells to use up all of the energy it gets from carbohydrates. If you’ve ever eaten a lot of sweets or a meal particularly high in carbs, you’re probably familiar with the crash that happens afterward. When you’re in ketosis, that crash literally can’t happen. Your body’s fat stores are your mitochondria’s 24/7, all-you-can-eat buffet. We’re not saying you’ll never get tired (ketosis doesn’t make you that kind of superhuman), but you’ll have a lot more get up and go.
The Only Time that Fruit is Bad
One thing that is NOT a symptom of ketosis is fruity-smelling breath. This is actually more commonly a symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) which is a very dangerous condition. If you experience fruity breath, particularly if you are diabetic or it is accompanied by nausea or vomiting, seek immediate medical attention.
That said, it is possible to measure your ketone levels through your breath. But it requires some specialized equipment, and the up-front investment can be a little steep. Devices like the Ketonix meter work kind of like a breathalyzer for the acetone levels in your breath. Levels between 40 and 80 mean you’re in ketosis. Breath meters can help you put numbers to your ketosis, but they’re less accurate than blood or urine testing. They do have the advantages of being a one-time purchase (both blood and urine testing require regular purchases of testing strips) and not having to deal with bodily fluids.
Urine testing is probably the most well-known method of testing for ketones. It is fairly affordable (most test strips are less than $10 for a pack), and it’s pretty foolproof for beginners. Basically, once you’re in ketosis, and your body is using ketones as its primary fuel source, it will excrete any extra ketones it doesn’t use. This shows up in your urine and can be detected with special test strips designed to indicate ketone levels.
Depending on the strips, you might be able to determine a range of ketone levels or just get a “yes” or “no” answer as to whether you’re in ketosis. Always read the directions on the test strips you select to understand how to use them properly and interpret your results. Most are pretty straightforward–urinate on the test strip, wait about a minute, then read your results. That said, urine testing may become less accurate as you become more keto-adapted and your body optimizes its ketone use. At this point, the test strips may not indicate that you’re in ketosis, even if you are. However, it is great for when you’re transitioning into a keto diet, and your body is just switching into ketosis.
Keto Levels in the Blood
Blood testing is the most accurate way of testing ketone levels. In short, you prick your finger, squeeze a drop of blood onto a test strip, and test it using the same type of meter that is commonly used by diabetics. Testing for ketones requires different test strips than the kind that you’d use for testing your blood sugar, though, and the strips can be pricey ($5-10 per strip). These strips measure your glucose-ketone index (GKI). If you’re following a ketogenic for fitness or weight loss reasons, having exact GKI numbers will give you a clearer picture of your metabolic performance.
Depending on the meter and the test strips you’re using, you might get your GKI straight out of the meter. But more than likely, you’ll have to do a little math. (Always read the directions of your particular testing equipment!) First, you will have to divide your blood glucose level by 18 to convert it from the mg/dl measurement the meter gave to into mmol/L. Then, you’ll take that number and divide it by your blood ketone level. This is your GKI. A GKI between three and eight means you’re in ketosis.
Now that you know your options, you can decide which method works best for you and your goals.
Ketosis Side Effects
Ketosis has a ton of health benefits. From weight loss to increased energy, following a ketogenic diet has loads of scientifically-proven health benefits. However, some people will experience some short term side effects. The bad news is, they all kind of suck. The good news is, the most common side effects are temporary. Once you’ve finished the transition into ketosis and your body becomes keto-adapted, the side effects go away. So really, these side effects aren’t even side effects of ketosis as much as they are side effects of getting there!
Here are 10 of the most common keto side effects and a few tips on combating the Carb Cravings
Keto and Carb Cravings
Long story short, your body is addicted to carbs. When you start a low-carb diet and stop giving your body its easiest source of energy, it’s going to pitch. a. fit. You’re going to want to eat every cookie you see. You will dream of bagels and ice cream (probably not together, but you never know). But just like you wouldn’t give into the demands of a toddler screaming for sweets, neither should you give into your body’s carb tantrums.
That said, sometimes you just want the screaming…er…the cravings to stop. Some people find a gradual reduction in daily carb intake makes the transition easier. Instead of going cold turkey to less than 50 g per day, try logging your normal diet for a couple of days, figure out how many grams of carbs you usually eat, and reduce your intake by 10-20 g per day until you reach the 50 g limit. It’ll take longer for you to reach ketosis, but it’ll help reduce the intense carb cravings. And once you’re keto-adapted, the appetite-suppressing benefits of ketones (along with your increased fat and protein intake) will keep the cravings away, maybe for good.
Pees and Queues
During your first week in ketosis, your body is getting rid of all of its glycogen stores. Glycogen is your body’s quick-access emergency energy storage. It’s harder to use than glucose but easier to use than fat. And there’s a lot of water in glycogen. So as your body is using that up, you’ll be making more frequent trips to the bathroom. This is more annoying than anything else, and you’ll see some pretty immediate results on the scale as you shed a lot of water weight.
However, this isn’t all good. Some of this water is excess, but not all of it. You have to put some of it back, otherwise you’ll get dehydrated. Dehydration is the root cause (or one of the root causes) of a lot of the other side effects on this list. Drinking around 64 oz (2 liters) of water is enough to prevent keto-induced dehydration. Adding a bit of salt or other electrolytes to your water or other beverages can help your body hold onto more of this water and further help prevent dehydration.
Keto and Doody
Constipation (having a hard time passing stool or having three or fewer bowel movements per week) is one of the most common side effects of going keto. It affects up to 65% of all keto dieters. There’s some debate about what causes this, but it’s probably the result of one or more of the following:
– Dehydration: Keto or not, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can cause constipation. Upping your liquid intake as well as your intake of salt and potassium can help.
– Not enough fiber: Fiber, which is an indigestible carb, is important to keeping your bowels moving properly. Ketogenic diets are often lower in fiber than standard diets, as whole grains, a common source of fiber, are not eaten. However, since fiber is indigestible, it doesn’t count against your daily carb limit. Vegetables are the best source of fiber in a ketogenic diet. Eating more of them should help get things moving. A fiber supplement may also help.
– High fat intake: Ketogenic diets are high-fat diets. Some studies have shown that too much saturated fat can disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and cause constipation. Eating more fiber and drinking more water seems to help with this balance. Even though you can’t digest fiber, the “good” bacteria can. Taking probiotics can also help.
Nausea is another common side effect of ketosis. Typically, it walks hand-in-hand with dehydration and constipation since these interfere with normal digestion. Additionally, since fat and protein are a lot harder to digest than carbohydrates, your body has to produce more gastric juices and work harder and longer to digest your food. For some keto dieters, this can cause indigestion.
Usually, time, patience, and proper hydration is enough to make this symptom go away. You can also gradually increase your fat intake (much in the same way as you might gradually decrease your carb intake–see above) to give your digestive system time to adjust. If it’s still around after you’re keto-adjusted, taking digestive enzyme supplements can help. However, these are usually only necessary if you have an enzyme deficiency or other digestive problem.
Fatigue and Keto
Ketosis is supposed to boost your energy, but you’re tired, and you feel like crap. WTF? Fatigue is common in the first couple of weeks of being on a ketogenic diet as your body freaks out about and eventually adjusts to the sudden lack of carbs. It just lost its primary source of energy, and it takes 1-2 weeks to replace the glucose with ketones. It’s ok if you need a little extra rest during this period. Once you get that energy boost, you’ll know you’re in ketosis.
A lack of electrolytes due to frequent urination is also a cause of fatigue and weakness. While your body is adapting to a ketogenic diet, it’s important to keep your electrolyte levels up using bone broth, sugar-free sports drinks, and high-mineral salts.
Keto and Dizziness
Most likely, dizziness and lightheadedness is the result of dehydration and/or an electrolyte imbalance (particularly magnesium and potassium). Drinking enough water and replenishing your electrolytes through bone broth, sports drinks, or keto-approved foods that are high in these nutrients (like broccoli and avocados) should help your dizziness subside.
Another cause of dizziness, which can happen even after you’re keto-adapted, is not eating enough. Since being in ketosis suppresses your appetite, it can be really easy to just forget to eat. And when you do eat, you might not feel like eating as much. This means that your body doesn’t get all of the nutrients it needs to function well and give you energy. Make sure you’re eating enough of a variety of foods.
Keto and Headaches
Severe headaches are another common keto side effect. Most sufferers describe these headaches as “sharp” or “shooting.” The cause? Bring out the usual suspects:
– Carb withdrawal: These headaches are usually accompanied by brain fog and dizziness. There’s not a lot you can do for these other than take an analgesic and wait it out. Once your brain starts utilizing ketones, these will go away.
– Dehydration: Keto or not, dehydration is a top cause of all headaches. When you’re dehydrated, your blood volume drops and less oxygen reaches your brain, which can make you dizzy and cause pain. And since your brain is also mostly water, it shrinks when you’re dehydrated. Dehydration is bad news all around. Drink your water.
– Electrolyte imbalance: Magnesium deficiency in particular can cause tension headaches or migraines, especially if you’re already prone to them. Keep up with your electrolytes, especially while your body is depleting your glycogen reserves and you’re urinating a lot.
Keto and Muscle Cramps
If we’re sounding like a broken record, it’s because we feel like one. Electrolyte imbalances and dehydration are the reasons why you feel achy all over or just woke up with a wicked Charlie horse. Electrolytes, particularly magnesium, potassium, and calcium, help transmit the signals to your brain to relax and contract. When you don’t have enough of one or all of them, boom. Muscle cramps. Also, electrolytes need water to work. If you’re dehydrated, those same nutrients that your muscle needs can become concentrated and cause damage, especially if you’re chronically dehydrated. Drink your bone broth and eat your vegetables, kids.
Keto and Sleep
Once you’re keto-adapted, ketogenic diets are associated with helping you sleep better. But the road to ketosis is paved with many restless nights and some really weird dreams for some keto dieters. The reason? Surprisingly, not dehydration. This time, it’s our other arch-enemy. No, not electrolyte imbalance, either. (Good guess, though.) It’s the tantrum-throwing toddler otherwise known as carb withdrawal.
Carbohydrate-rich meals increase the brain’s production of tryptophan and serotonin. Tryptophan, also known as “the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy,” is an amino acid precursor to the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you sleep (among other things). As it turns out, it’s the pie and the macaroni and cheese that you had with that turkey that’s probably responsible for you dozing off watching football on Thanksgiving, not the turkey.
But tryptophan IS still in turkey, and that’s good news. The even better news is that there are plenty of other keto-friendly foods that have it, too, like chicken, eggs, chickpeas (mmm…hummus…), and cheese. Eating tryptophan-rich foods along with relaxation can help you overcome any sleep problems that your body’s keto adjustment process may be causing.
If you’ve got keto breath, the good news is you’re in ketosis. The bad news is your breath stinks. When your body first transitions into ketosis, it’s not too good at using ketones efficiently yet, so a lot of them get expelled as waste. When you exhale, a byproduct of the unused ketones, acetone, is what causes keto breath. Acetone is a volatile compound, and when it’s in your breath, it doesn’t smell too great. Once you’re keto-adapted, and your body is using ketones more efficiently, this largely goes away. In the meantime, if it makes you self-conscious, mouthwash, chewing gum, breath-freshening spray, or sugar-free mints can help mask the odor temporarily.
Side effects are common when you’re just starting a keto diet, but nearly all of them are avoidable (or easily treatable). Above all else, stay hydrated and make sure you’re replenishing your electrolytes. This will help you avoid most of the side effects listed above. As for the rest, none of them stick around once you’re keto-adapted. Sticking to the plan is the best treatment for these, along with a little patience.
Losing Weight With Keto
At first glance, a ketogenic diet might seem like a terrible way to lose weight. As a high-fat, low-carb diet, keto goes against nearly everything we have been told about weight loss and dieting. But here’s the thing: the conventional wisdom about dieting isn’t working. Although all diets come down to the basic math of “calories in, calories out,” your metabolism is designed to want to keep you at the weight that you are right now. This is why the vast majority of people who are successful at losing weight are unsuccessful at keeping that weight off for the long term. But more to the point, this is why it is so hard for a lot of people to lose weight in the first place. Have you ever noticed that, as you lose weight on a conventional diet, you’re just hungry all the time? Yeah, that’s your body trying to get back to your starting weight.
Some sources might describe keto as a sort of “hack” to get around these rules. But that’s not completely accurate. Keto completely follows these rules but also exploits them to your advantage. At first glance, this sounds like some kind of hand-wavey, pseudoscientific, fad diet. Because, seriously, a high-fat diet without calorie counting that keeps you feeling full while the pounds just melt away sounds absolutely too good to be true. But not only is it true, it’s backed up by some serious science.
However, it’s the benefits of being in ketosis and the way that the keto diet uses your body’s natural processes to your advantage that makes it the best way to lose weight. Here are just a few scientifically-proven reasons to make keto your co-pilot on your weight loss journey:
Keto Works – Science Says So
Newer studies about weight loss have moved away from the conventional wisdom of cutting out fat and eating more whole grains. Instead, these studies have found that reducing your intake of sugar, starches, and other carbohydrates while increasing your portion of fats and proteins works even better. Keto does exactly this making it a foolproof way to lose weight under these new discoveries.
Eating a lot of carbohydrates creates a wild cycle of blood sugar fluctuations that cause your insulin to spike and your hunger pangs to return within just a few hours. The more refined the carb (which is to say, the less fiber it contains), the faster your body can process the sugars and the sooner you feel hungry again. Eating a diet lower in carbohydrates keeps these fluctuations very small and keeps you from feeling as hungry as often
Keto doubles down on this by forcing the body to find a fuel source other than the glucose from carbohydrates to keep it going. Fat is the body’s way of putting glucose it made a long time ago into storage for later. When the body doesn’t have enough glucose to use for energy, it taps into these fat stores to turn them into an alternate source of energy: ketones.
Keto keeps you from feeling hungry
Literally the worst thing about dieting is that you’re hungry all. the. time. Your body wants to stay the same weight that it is right now, and it is going to pitch a fit until you eat enough to make that happen. This makes you hungry, which makes you eat (or makes you miserable), and in the end, the whole thing isn’t sustainable, and you just gain the weight right back. Bummer.
But you might notice that there is no calorie counting in keto (you can if that makes you feel better, but it really isn’t necessary). That’s because once your body is in ketosis and chowing down on your love handles for extra fuel, you’re actually going to forget to eat. Seriously. You might want to set an alarm. The fat in your body isn’t enough to live on, as your body still needs protein, vitamins, and maybe just a few carbs. 50 grams or less per day is all you really need.
Nearly every healthy eating plan sets whole grains as the cornerstone. But standard weight loss diets have done literally nothing to put a dent in the current obesity epidemic. It’s all “calories in, calories out” which can be unsustainable once you’ve reached your goal weight. Even if you’re eating less junk, your body will compensate to try to get back to the weight it used to be by keeping you hungry.
Keto turns the whole food pyramid upside down by setting fat as the cornerstone. Healthy dietary fats, combined with moderate protein and a lot of high-fiber veggies, create a satiating diet that trains your body to consume its own fat stores to make up its perceived deficit instead of making you hungry all the time. Keto uses your body’s worst tendencies against itself to burn fat and keep you feeling full.
If you keep your carb intake under 50 grams per day, the increased fat intake will not cause any weight gain. In fact, you may very well find that you can eat more calories on a keto diet than you can on a conventional diet and still lose weight. It seems impossible, but the results don’t lie.
Keto makes you healthier
Aside from losing weight, which will probably fix a lot of things on its own by lowering your risks for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, keto has a lot of other benefits that totally make it better than any other diet.
Many keto dieters report feeling more focused and having better mental clarity once they’re in ketosis. Studies have shown that that ketones reduce oxidative stress and improve energy production in brain cells. Other research suggests that ketones may also protect the brain from various degenerative diseases (like Parkinson’s and dementia).
Some research has also shown that the reduction of glucose in your blood can control inflammation that is associated with both chronic pain and a higher cancer risk. It can also improve insulin sensitivity which can help some diabetics manager their condition with fewer or no medications.
Keto Diet is Easy
Well, let’s amend that: keto is easy once you’re in ketosis. Most keto dieters find the diet really hard to stick to in the beginning. And that’s fair! You’re literally changing the way your body has worked your whole life! But if you can get past the “keto flu” and the cravings (which last for no more than a week or two), your body will almost automatically guide you the rest of the way.
Once you’re keto-adapted, your cravings for carbs will disappear almost entirely, your appetite will decrease, and when you do eat, the full-fat goodies like butter, cheese, avocados, and bacon are delicious and stick with you longer than any sugary treat could ever dream of.
How Should I Take Ketones?
Exogenous ketones, or ketones that your body didn’t make, are a type of supplement meant to help you get in ketosis and stay in ketosis more quickly and easily. Think of them like your keto wingman. Instead of having to stick to an absolutely strict keto diet, instead of having to suffer through keto flu, and instead of having to wait up to two weeks to become properly keto-adjusted, exogenous ketones help make up for your mistakes and help you stay on target.
Taking TruBrain ketones is as easy as mixing a scoop with 8 oz. of water or your favorite beverage. When you take them depends on where you are in your keto journey and what your goals are. A lot of people take their exogenous ketones with their morning coffee to double up on the focus-building effects from both the caffeine and the ketones.
Generally speaking, your body can only make so many ketones so fast. If you’re moderately active, and your job and lifestyle don’t require too much intense focus or productivity, just being in ketosis is probably plenty for you to see improvements in your energy levels and mental capacity. But if performance is your goal, exogenous ketones bridge a lot of gaps by giving your muscles and brain a needed fuel boost when they’ve been working too hard for your body to keep up.
Keto – Start Out Slow
If you’ve never been in ketosis before, we recommend starting out slow. For the first day or two, take a half or whole scoop per serving 2-3 times per day. Note your tolerance and how it makes you feel. If it gives you a indigestion or gas, dial the serving size back for a couple of days. Once you’ve worked up to a one-scoop serving size, take 2-3 scoops throughout the day for 2-3 days. Combined with a diet containing fewer than 50g of carbs per day, this should help you transition into a keto-adjusted phase in under a week with a minimum of keto flu side effects. Exogenous ketones fill in during the period that your body isn’t getting the carbohydrates it’s used to but hasn’t gotten good at producing its own ketones yet.
If you’re already in ketosis, exogenous ketones can help you maintain your body’s new balance. If you have a snack attack or a few to many carbs in a meal, a scoop after eating can help keep you from getting kicked out of ketosis. Basically, it keeps your body from wanting to jump ship back to carbohydrates as its preferred fuel source by keeping the balance of energy tilted in favor of ketones.
Whether you’re transitioning or already in ketosis, the times you take exogenous ketones during the day can make a difference. A scoop in the morning or between meals stokes your metabolism and gives your brain a jumpstart. A scoop before physical activity gets your body ready for the demands of a workout. Taking TruBrain Ketones during or after your workout sets you up for efficient post-workout recovery. A scoop on an empty stomach can make you sharper and improve your focus.