Since their explosion onto the fitness and nutrition scene in 2014, exogenous ketones have been a popular nutritional supplement. As with a product new to the market, there is often a fair amount of wrong and faulty information on the Internet. But there is information out there that can be trusted and relied on as proven data.
Ketones are made naturally in our bodies in order to generate energy. Think of them as an alternative to glucose in order to fuel the body. In the human body, ketones are produced by the mitochondria of the liver. Sometimes they are called ketone bodies. There are three different types of ketones: acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB). Although BHB is not officially a ketone, it does function like one, so we’ll include it here. BHB can be converted into energy much like the other ketones can.
Exogenous ketones are ketone bodies that are ingested through a nutritional supplement that you consume. Exogenous means ‘outside the body.’ (The ketone bodies produced by the liver are sometimes called endogenous ketone bodies.) These exogenous ketones, once ingested, provide you with an immediate supply of ketones. You do not need to be in a state of ketosis by eating a ketogenic diet before ingesting the exogenous ketones. Keep in mind, as of yet, we don’t have research on the long-term effects of combining a diet with moderate carbohydrate consumption (or a typical diet) and high blood ketone levels, achieved through supplements.
The exogenous ketone supplements out there typically replicate the BHB in order to trick the body into responding to an instant supply of ketones. BHB efficiently converts into energy and is easy to formulate. And, no, raspberry ketones are NOT the same as ketone bodies or exogenous ketone supplements. Although raspberry ketones are popular among dieters, they are not related to ketones themselves. A raspberry ketone is what give actual raspberries their distinctive smell. Research shows that raspberry ketones don’t have much impact on fat loss anyway.
Exogenous ketones come in two forms: ketone salts and ketone esters. All commercially available ketone supplements currently available to the public are made from ketone salts. It has been shown in research that exogenous ketones made from ketone salts can have an impact on weight loss, which is promising. Exogenous ketones are effective in reducing appetite cravings.
There are other benefits as well. Athletic performance can be enhanced. So far there is little direct evidence for this correlation, but they hope that exogenous ketones can provide energy without depleting muscle glycogen stores in the body. A depletion of glycogen stores in muscle is directly linked to an impairment of physical performance. Exogenous ketones may help stave off cancer through neuroprotection and their anti-carcinogenic properties. They may improve cognition and will also reduce inflammation.
They work by elevating BHB levels in the blood for nearly 8 hours. Exogenous ketones may even present a potential therapy for type-2 diabetes due to their effect on decreasing blood glucose levels. There are some downsides, though: flatulence, electrolyte depletion, halitosis, and hypoglycemia. Overall health and longevity will hopefully be proven to be positively affected if they should decide to supplement their nutritional needs with exogenous ketones.
Exogenous ketone supplements are primarily made up of BHB and, therefore, BHB supplement is another name for an exogenous ketone supplement. Their research and development began in the early 2000s. Ketoforce by Prototype Nutrition was the first to release a supplement to the public. Prüvit’s Keto-OS was next. Finally, KetoCaNa came to market in 2015 and is reputed to taste the better than most. Know that Prüvit’s Keto Kreme does not contain exogenous ketones like the others; it’s simply a dietary creamer supplement made with coconut oil and cinnamon extract. Look for the impact your exogenous ketone supplement will have on your blood ketones when choosing a supplement. What type of ketone salt is used? How pure is it? These answers would impact the strength and power of the product. Unfortunately, limited information is out there regarding these answers. KetoForce is one product from KetoSports that does provide that information. You should also consider the price per BHB gram. Divide the total grams by the cost per serving to find out the cost per BHB gram. Taste might affect your choice; some products have various flavors such as orange or chocolate; they’re still questionably palatable. Keep in mind you might have to up your electrolyte intake when using these supplements and you should consider how the other side effects affect your gut and bowels. In the future, hopefully, there’ll be a broader range of products to choose from with a wider array of statistics, studies, research, and information about the products as well. Current user will appreciate if the taste improves and cost comes down. We’ll just have to wait and see.