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Have you been wondering what exogenous ketones are? If so, you’re not the only one. The keto-dieting world has been buzzing with information about developments on exogenous ketones for awhile now, with many brands producing exogenous ketones that are used by Keto lifestylers around the world.
But the majority of Keto dieters don’t completely understand what exogenous ketones are or how they can benefit their diet (or dieting options).
In this post, we’ll provide you with easy to read information about exogenous ketones. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to utilize exogenous ketones in your diet, and teach others about their value.
Let’s start with the label!
The Definition of Exogenous Ketones
Two words: exogenous and ketones.
The word exogenous describes something that is developed from external factors; something outside of the usual production. So in terms of ketones, this means that exogenous ketones are synthetic: created outside of your body by scientists and then ingested for accelerated ketosis.
We assume that you already know what ketones are, but just in case, we’ll give you a brief description of this term as well.
Ketones, are organic compounds produced by in your body when your system experiences starvation, or when you restrict carbohydrates and increase fats, which inhibits a starvation-like state that produces ketone bodies.
These ketones are an ideal fuel source for your body and your brain. Studies have suggested that when your body is in a ketogenic state, it utilizes oxygen more efficiently in the generation of energy.
In short, ketones are secret weapons for anyone looking to take their body’s fueling system to the next level!
To restate the point: Exogenous Ketones are ketone supplements. They’re created outside of your body and ingested by you, instead of being produced in your body.
Why should I take Exogenous Ketones?
Exogenous Ketones can increase flexibility in what you can eat, decreasing the burden of a strict Ketogenic Diet. They can also help you get back into Ketosis faster than nutritional Ketosis.
But that’s not all they can do! There are multiple reason to utilize exogenous ketones. Here are some other ways to leverage Exogenous Ketones:
Curiosity has grown about the effects ketosis and ketone bodies have on athletic performance. From diving performance of Navy Seals, to the Tour De France, exogenous ketones have been the at the center of breakthroughs, and controversies.
Dr. Dominic D’Agostino proposed that Navy SEALs who use oxygen respirators while training underwater, could benefit from exogenous ketones while underwater. This is because the respirators used by the divers can cause oxygen toxicity to the brain, which can cause seizures.
Dr. D’Agostino discovered that exogenous ketones can maintain the brain’s metabolic integrity, which in turn can prevent the formation of free radicals in the brain that can form from mitochondria and cause neurological failure.
Another study by Dr. Peter Attia discovered that exogenous ketones can actually improve output and stamina for prolonged athletic activity. The advantage of exogenous ketones was further displayed at the Tour De France, when rumors of leading riders using supplementing them raised concerns over fairness for those who weren’t.
The Big Idea Behind Exogenous Ketones and Athletic Performance:
Exogenous Ketones have been shown in performance studies of both humans and animals to improve metabolic efficiency, which in essence means that your body is using better fuel that burns more efficiently over longer periods of time, and decreases the amount of fuel you need while performing. Where glucose fails (glycogen depletion), ketones pick up the slack!
Wiggle room while you’re dieting
Sometimes you’re in the mood to be a hardcore dieter, and other times – not so much. Exogenous ketones are an asset to anyone struggling to stay in nutritional ketosis. This is because they allow you to decrease the ratios of fat to carbs to a less strict number.
A “classic” ketogenic diet macronutrient (fat, protein, and carbohydrate) ratio would be 4 grams of fat to every 1 gram of protein or carbs. However, if you’re utilizing exogenous ketones, you could drop this ratio as low as 1:1!
This means that you can get all the benefits of the state of Ketosis without the discipline required for nutritional ketosis.
Ease the stress of a medically enforced Ketogenic Diet
The burden that comes with medically forced low-carb diets can be psychologically taxing on individuals who’ve never lived without carbs. Many people don’t choose the Keto Diet – it chooses them.
Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, or neurological issues like epilepsy often cause physicians to suggest the Ketogenic Diet as one of the only options for survival. Patients who need a “mental break,” will find exogenous ketones a godsend.
Taking Exogenous Ketones
Like many supplements, exogenous ketones come in different forms. Liquid, powder, and pill forms are all available depending on what suits you best.
A word of warning – exogenous ketones do not have the best taste! Peter Attia quipped that “The world’s worst scotch tastes like spring water compared to these things.”
The powder form is said to be the most tolerable of all the forms. Powder exogenous ketones are also easier to travel with. So if you’ll be moving around a lot from work, to gym, to home, powdered should be your first choice.
Powdered forms of exogenous ketone allow you to mix the supplement with other ingredients, making them ideal for breakfast keto shakes, or any other sort of meal replacement.
If you’re interested in using exogenous ketones, we’ve listed some of the top brands below:
Core BHB™ provides pure goBHB™ in an all-natural formula with no artificial sweeteners, making ideal for those on the keto diet, athletes, and people who are health-conscious. Even if you’re on a high-carb diet, Core BHB™ will rapidly elevate blood ketone levels and help your body enter a state of ketosis (often with 30 minutes of consumption). In turn, you will experience increases in energy, fat loss, endurance, and mental acuity. With regular use of Core BHB™, you can also speed up the transition from a higher-carb diet to the ketogenic diet and reduce symptoms of the “keto flu”.
Each serving of Core BHB™ contains a clinically effective dose (12 grams) of pure goBHB™ exogenous ketones. This ensures you’re getting the purest and most efficacious BHB salts available. Research and scientific findings continue to demonstrate the promising benefits of exogenous ketones, especially when used with a calorie-controlled diet and healthy exercise regimen.
Core BHB Benefits Backed by Research
- Rapidly induce ketosis
- Promote healthy cognitive function
- Curb sugar cravings and reduce appetite
- Enhance athletic performance
- Support healthy blood sugar balance and insulin metabolism
- Support lean muscle tissue and fat burning
- Fight inflammation
Onnit is an incredible company that’s making a massive impacts in the lives of athletes in nearly every sport. From Olympic Gold Medalists, to NFL middle linebackers, Onnit has taken athletic performance to a new level. Providing supplements, food, and training equipment, Onnit was an early adopter of the elite performance booster that is exogenous ketones!
Onnit MCT Oil provides a shot of healthy-fats that turn you into the fat burning machine were built to be! Add some to your coffee, protein shakes, or salads and watch your strength and endurance explode!
Onnit’s Emulsified MCT Oil brings a accommodating exogenous ketone product to the table. It is an ideal supplement for anyone who wants to A) add some variety to their ketone supplementation or B) doesn’t have the stomach or pallet for regular MCT Oil.
What makes this possible is the emulsifying process that Onnit uses to create an exogenous ketone that mixes in beverages much like a coffee creamer would. So instead of the oily residue that many MCT users complain of, you get an evenly mixed beverage with a refreshing flavor.
Keto//Os is rapidly growing in popularity in the exogenous ketone market.
The product comes in two powdered forms, “Charged” and “Caffeine Free.” Pruvit provides multiple serving sizes of the product, ranging from the 75 serving “Go Pack,” the 30 serving “Kan” (a tub), to the smallest, 15 serving “On The Go” pouches.
The Ingredients (as listed on the pruvit website)
MCT Powder, Beta Hydroxybutyrate, Natural Flavor, Malic Acid, Stevia and Caffeine. Contains Milk Ingredients (Gluten Free)
Dosage instructions (per the pruvit website)
“Consumption of KETO//OS before exercise can result in significant decreases in oxygen demand and increases in performance. We recommend 30 minutes before a workout. Note: Pre-workout use is recommended after building up to a full dose. The best way to maximize energy, appetite control and sustain energy is to take KETO//OS first thing in morning. To maximize benefits, build up to 1 serving 3 times daily – morning, afternoon and early evening. May be used with carbohydrate supplements if desired or by itself as a non-carb, highly efficient energy source.”
Customer reviews vary on the product from extremely pleased, to demands for a refund. The positive reviews focused on Keto//Os’ ability to get them into Ketosis within an hours’ time, while negative reviews focused on poor taste and lack of effectiveness.
To see consumer reviews, click here.
Keto Sports’ exogenous ketone supplement Keto CaNa presents a more straightforward exogenous ketone than Keto//Os.
Like Keto//Os, Keto CaNa comes in a powdered form, but unlike Keto//Os Keto CaNa offers only one recipe and one container size for users.
The supplement comes in a 10.75 ounce tub, and offers one flavor: natural orange.
As we stated above, the Keto CaNa supplement offers a more “barebones” exogenous ketone supplement, with the only ingredients being:
Calcium, Beta Hydroxybutyrate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, and Stevia
Keto CaNa’s serving instructions are as follows:
“Dissolve one heaping scoop in 8 ounces of cold water and stir vigorously. Consume 15 minutes prior to cardio intensive exercise. May be used with carbohydrate if desired or by itself as a non-carb highly efficient energy source. Do not exceed over 3 servings per day.”
The reviews were mostly positive, with the negative comments being centered around taste and ineffectiveness. The positive reviews suggested increased ketone levels, and improved athletic performance.
KetoForce is also a Keto Sports’ product, however KetoForce comes in liquid form instead of powder.
The supplement comes in a 16 fluid ounce bottle and is unflavored. Because it’s unflavored, KetoForce often draws criticisms for being very hard to drink due to the taste.
The ingredients for KetoForce are as follows:
Calcium, Beta Hydroxybutyrate, Water, Citric and/or Sodium Hydroxide
On the bottle, the serving instructions read:
“Consume 3 capfuls. Do not exceed 3 capfuls per 24 hour period. Bes if mixed with acidic beverage. (4 to 8 ounces).”
The reviews speak highly of KetoForce’s ability to get users into Ketosis and improve their athletic ability. However, negative reviews said that the supplement was very hard to drink due to poor taste.
Why Exogenous Ketones?
Exogenous ketones are a great addition to anyone attempting to achieve the benefits of ketosis. But before you start purchasing exogenous ketones, it’s important to know what you’re buying, which is why we created this starter guide.
Use exogenous ketones to get back into ketosis after a weekend of not-so-low-carb eating, or if you want the benefits of nutritional ketosis without the strict diet.
Whether you’re using them for increased athletic performance, cognitive ability, or weight loss, exogenous ketones should be a part of your ketogenic regimen. These supplements will become more popular as dietary science proves the value of ketosis for the human body.
Don’t miss out.
About the Author Nate Arnold
I started this website because it was hard to find trustworthy, evidence-based information about the ketogenic diet. Information that was published and peer reviewed by respected scientific journals. After years of research, I'm sure you'll achieve great results in a healthy way following my advice. I do my best to translate scientific research jargon into plain English. Remember, it's always a good idea to consult a doctor before starting a new diet!