April 15, 2018
So where do keto supplements come in? Well, they are just one of many tools we can use to help our bodies during this transition (or also in the long-run), so let’s learn more about how they can help treat some of the most common side effects while becoming keto-adapted. Some supplements can be added to our routines thought foods and drinks, while others we’ll need to consider pill-forms.
The body stores carbs in form of glycogen in the muscles or liver and for each gram of stored glycogen, it also stores 3g of water. When you are in ketosis, the glycogen stores will get depleted and the liver and muscles will excrete the stored water as well and “flush” out important electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
A deficit of electrolytes can have following symptoms (aka keto flu):
There are several ways to counter an electrolyte deficit, here a few:
MCT Oil (or MCT powder) should become a main component of your keto diet. It is a healthy fat, very calorie dense, has no flavor and can be added to coffee, drinks, salads and all sorts of dishes. Since it’s a saturated fat, it is quite stable and can be used for cooking as well. The great thing about MCT oil (medium chains) is that it can be broken down by the body easily and converted into ketones before it will be stored as fat. Up to 50% of caloric intake from fat can come from MCT oil. If you run the risk of encountering a caloric deficit on your keto diet, you can keep a small bottle of MCT oil or powder with you and add it to your drinks and foods to achieve your daily caloric targets. MCT oil powder is less heavy on the stomach and doesn’t create digestive issues, so we suggest testing both to see which one works best for you.
Exogenous ketones are becoming quite popular and are a good supplement, if you want to increase your blood ketone concentration in the short-term. We do not recommend using it over a long period of time, but it is very effective when you start your ketogenic diet, to get yourself into ketosis more quickly. Also, it is an option if you get kicked-out of ketosis, because you ate the wrong thing (carbs). In this scenario, don’t beat yourself up – just get back to your keto routine and accelerate the transition into ketosis with some exogenous ketones. As a reference, one serving of exogenous ketones elevates the blood ketone concentration about 0.5mmol/ L and lasts for 3-4 hours. You can take up to 4 servings spread over a day to increase your ketone levels.
Vitamin D has a significant role in regulating your metabolism and the concentration of electrolytes (calcium, magnesium and phosphate). It is made by the skin from natural sun light and is activated in the liver and kidneys. Depending on the source, a blood concentration level between 40 and 50 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D) is recommended as a healthy standard. Due to a lack of sufficient sun light exposure, a large part of the population is below these levels and a supplementation of 2,000 to 4,000 UI of vitamin D3/day is recommended if you are vitamin D3 deficient. Find a guide from the Vitamin Council regarding vitamin D3 supplementation here.
Omega-3 fats are poly-unsaturated fatty acids found in certain fish, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for a number of bodily functions, including muscle activity, blood clotting, digestion, fertility, and cell division/growth. There is some evidence that Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce body inflammation and are also related to mental health. There are no serious side effects and therefore a supplementation of Omega-3 is highly recommended. A good Omega-3 supplement is cod liver oil and a total dosage of >1,000mg/day is beneficial (>400mg/ DHA, > 400mg EPA).
Apple cider vinegar has a long history as a home remedy and some scientific research underlines numerous benefits. On a ketogenic diet, it reduces the risk of kidney stones and helps to further regulate insulin response. Further benefits include support in digestion, maintaining good gut bacteria, promotion of weight loss and increases in energy levels. Get your apple cider vinegar here.
Turmeric contains bioactive compounds, such as curcumin, which has great medicinal properties
and is a powerful anti-oxidant - lowering acute and chronic inflammation in the body. It can be added during cooking as a spice or consumed as a supplement in form of tablets, or by simply adding it as a powder to water and drinking it first thing in the morning.
Disclaimer: We are not physicians. Read our full disclaimer here.