Are supplements required when you’re on the low carb, high fat ketogenic diet?
Just like with any other diet, supplements should be used to help you optimize your health instead of relying on it as a means to fill any gaps in your nutrition regimen.
The truth is, there are a few supplements that will make your keto journey much easier to stick to and get better results.
In this Keto Beginners Series, you’ll discover which supplements will help you maximize your ketogenic efforts.
#1. MCT Oil
MCT’s, also known as medium-chain triglycerides is a type of fat your body can use for energy immediately after consumption.
Unlike long-chain triglycerides - which are the most common fat found in food - MCT’s are broken down by your liver and enters the bloodstream to be used as energy by your brain and muscles right away.
Supplementing with MCT oil will help you get adequates amount of healthy fats, increase your ketone levels, and improve energy immediately after consumption. It’s been shown to help with weight loss and even regulate appetite levels.
Note: Start off with a small dose (14g or less) of MCT oil and assess how your body tolerates it. Too much MCT can cause diarrhea so it’s imperative that you work up to larger amounts.
#2. Electrolyte Supplements
When you first cut carbs out of your diet, your body begins to flush out essential vitamins and minerals. If you don’t replenish these electrolytes, you’ll fall victim to the dreaded keto flu very easily.
There are four main electrolytes that must be monitored constantly, especially as a beginner. These minerals include:
Replenishing the electrolytes mentioned above is crucial for optimal health and neglecting to do so can result in symptoms like brain fog, headaches, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms.
While these minerals can be easily consumed from green leafy vegetables and other whole food sources, using an electrolyte supplement is a great way to ensure adequate micronutrient levels.
The most common electrolyte deficiency on keto is magnesium. Many beginners who aren’t following a properly formulated ketogenic diet, find themselves lacking in magnesium more than any other mineral.
Supplementing with 300-500mg per day is a great way to avoid magnesium deficiency symptoms like muscle cramps, irritability, and problems sleeping.
#4. Fish Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are known for their profound health benefits. These include reduced inflammation, prevention in mental decline, and decreased risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is extremely useful for ketogenic dieters because it helps maintain a good omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Too much omega-6 without omega-3 increases inflammation and can be harmful to your health.
Additionally, studies have shown that ketogenic dieters who supplemented with fish oil experienced an overall decrease in insulin and inflammations compared to those who didn’t[*].
#5. Exogenous Ketones
Imagine having ketones in a bottle, ready to be consumed and used as energy right away. That’s exactly what exogenous ketones are.
They are considered the most popular supplement in the ketogenic community because it has the ability to help you get into ketosis almost immediately (even if you previously had carbs).
Studies have shown that exogenous ketone supplementation can regulate hunger levels, improve athletic performance, and speed up muscle recovery[*][*].
Many keto-ers also use exogenous ketones to help prevent the keto flu. By supplementing with them, you are priming your metabolism to rely on ketones for energy rather than glucose from carbohydrates.
#6. Greens Supplement
Everyone knows how important it is to eat your vegetables. But many beginners on the ketogenic diet don’t eat nearly enough greens to maintain sufficient levels of essential micronutrients.
Supplementing with a greens powder will help you get all of the essential vitamins and minerals that are typically flushed out after cutting carbs out. Adding greens powder into your diet is an easy way to ensure you get proper amounts of vegetables in your keto diet.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t substitute eating vegetables for a greens powder. Instead, use it in addition to eating your greens.
These Supplements Will Help You Optimize Your Ketogenic Diet for Best Results
Adding the supplements mentioned above can help you reach ketosis faster and reach your health and fitness goals.
Remember, instead of using them as a replacement for food, supplements should be taken in addition to a properly formulated, whole-food ketogenic diet.
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