Best Exogenous Ketone Supplements That Will Help You Achieve Maximum Ketosis Results

Ketogenic diet has gained a lot of popularity recently. As more and more people are jumping into the bandwagon of this high-fat diet, an increasing number of companies have started selling keto-related products. These products are useful for helping people transition from the conventional carbohydrate-based diet to high fat, medium protein, and absolutely low carb diet. One such product is the exogenous ketone supplement. This supplement helps people get into the ketosis mode without making severe alteration to their diet. In this blog, we will brief you more about them as well as help you understand their benefits and side effects. We will also provide you with a list of the best exogenous ketones that can help you achieve maximum benefits. But, before we begin, let us understand what ketosis is and how the best exogenous ketones supplement can help.

What is ketosis?

Under normal circumstances, our body primary uses carbohydrate as a fuel source. However, if we deprive our body of carbohydrate, it will have to start deriving its energy from fat. Burning fat is not easy. Our body has to break it down into smaller molecules. The three primary molecules that are obtained by breaking down the fat are Acetone, Acetoacetate (AcAc) and Beta-hydroxybutyric (BHB). These are collectively called Ketones and the process of breaking down the fat is known as ketosis.

Ketogenic diet is primarily rich in fat and low in carbohydrate. Several clinical studies have concluded that a low carb diet is effective for controlling blood sugar, improving focus, improving cognitive performance, suppressing the secretion of appetite-stimulating hormone, and helping with weight loss goals. (1) But, achieving the state of ketosis is not that easy. You will have to make significant changes to your conventional eating habits. You will have to make special keto diet plan and adhere to it for at least some weeks. Further, while shifting your body from a carbohydrate-based diet to a fat-driven diet you will experience symptoms of keto-flu such as headache, cramps, constipation, bad breath, cravings, fatigue, irritability, etc. (2) These symptoms are temporary but, very often, people find them unbearable and they give up. This is where exogenous ketone supplements come in. These supplements can help you achieve ketosis without making any dietary modification. They can also help you effectively deal with keto flu.

What Are Exogenous Ketone Supplements

Ketones are usually produced by our body when we are on a low-carb diet. Such ketones are known as endogenous ketones. The exogenous ketones are the synthetic ones that can mimic the endogenous ketones. The best exogenous ketones supplements contain beta-hydroxybutyrate ketone, abbreviated as BHB.

The best bhb supplements are available in two forms:

  • Ketone salts: In the salt based supplements, the ketones are bound to a salt, usually sodium, magnesium, calcium, or potassium. Ketone salts are available in powder form. You can mix the recommended quantity of the powder in any liquid of your choice and consume it.
  • Ketone esters: In these supplements, the ketone is linked to ester, a compound and the supplement is usually available as liquid. Ketone esters are primarily used in research. Although a few brands have started selling ketone ester supplements for general use, they are yet to become popular. So, we will not be discussing them in this blog.

Ketone salts have clinically proven to be almost as effective as the natural ketosis process is. They can help reduce cravings, improve alertness, focus, and performance, help control your blood sugar level, and help you lose weight quickly. (3) Further, these supplements can kickstart ketosis quickly, thereby reducing your body’s transition time. The faster your body transitions from normal energy conversion process to ketosis, the fewer keto flu symptoms you will experience.

Are Exogenous Ketone Supplements Effective?

Very often, the best exogenous ketones are marketed as a quick and easy alternative to the complex, boring, and unconventional keto diet. The claims made by the manufacturers sound too good to be true but various studies have proved that they are actually as effective as the ketogenic diet itself. A study published in the Frontiers in Physiology concluded that exogenous ketone drinks are a practical and effective way to achieve ketosis. Whether you take them in ester form or in salt form, they are able to raise the BHB level in the bloodstream. The study also concluded that the exogenous ketone supplements are able to lower the blood glucose level, thereby helping you enter the ketosis mode quickly. (4) (5)

Another study conducted by Sacred Heart University, Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science concluded that approximately 12 gram of ketone salt (which is the recommended quantity of ketone powder per serving ) can increase the blood ketone level by 300%. (6) Now, 300% result is worth trying, especially if you want to avoid keto flu. Exogenous ketone supplements can be taken with or without a specific ketogenic diet. If you take them along with your keto diet, you will achieve faster and better weight loss results.

Benefits of Exogenous Ketone Supplements

Exogenous ketones are recommended for boosting the effects of the keto diet. Here are some of the reasons why you should include them in your keto diet plan.

They Help You Transition Into Ketosis

As explained above, the best exogenous ketones supplements help you enter into the ketosis state easily and quickly. Further, if for any reason, you need to take a break from the keto diet, i.e. you are unable to continue your low-carb diet but you still want the benefits of ketosis, you can use these supplements to stay in the ketosis mode even when you are not on keto diet. Moreover, as mentioned above, entering the ketosis stage is a challenging process and not many people are able to do it naturally. The exogenous ketone supplements reduce the difficulties associated with transitioning such as nausea, muscle cramps, diarrhea, constipation, weakness, etc.

Can Help You Achieve Better Weight Loss Results

Ketogenic diet is highly recommended for people who want to lose their excess body weight. So it is obvious that the exogenous ketone supplements are helpful for weight loss. However, please note that they are not going to provide you any benefit if you are only relying on them and not following a low carb ketogenic diet. Simply speaking, if you want to achieve better weight loss results, take the ketones supplements along with your low-carb diet. If weight loss is not exactly your goal but you still need to be in ketosis to enjoy the other benefits such as improved mental function, better blood sugar levels, etc.,  then you can simply take the supplements instead of focusing much on the diet.

Can Prevent Fatigue

This is especially helpful for athletes. Our body is so used to deriving its energy from carbohydrate that when you try to shift the mechanism towards fat, you are going to experience low energy levels and severe fatigue. Being a professional athlete or someone who has to travel a lot or do a lot of physical work, you cannot afford to have low energy levels. This is where the best exogenous ketones supplements come in. Various studies have indicated that ketone supplements can increase the overall energy level of the body and prevent fatigue. So, even when you will be on a low carb diet, you will feel as energetic as ever. (7)

Can Improve Mental Focus and Concentration

When you deprive your body of carbohydrate, the first organ to suffer is your brain. This is because 25% of our energy is utilized by brain only. During the initial days of your keto diet, you will experience mild to severe effects on your mental health such as lack of focus, weak memory, confusion, irritability, etc. Thankfully, these symptoms are temporary and they are a part of keto flu. However, they are too difficult to bear, especially if you are into a job where you have to meet a lot of people, make important decisions, and do a lot of mental work. To minimize these effects, you can include the best bhb supplements in your routine.

Can Reduce Anxiety

Transitioning from a high carb diet to a high-fat diet is not an easy thing. You will have to make significant changes that could be very stressful. It will be difficult for you to cook specific food for you and different food for your family members. Further, low-carb dietary lifestyle causes temporary stress and anxiety due to a drop in blood sugar level. This is where the best exogenous supplements can help. They have been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. (8)

Drawbacks of Exogenous Ketone Supplements

Best exogenous ketones are generally safe and effective with no long-term side effects known so far. Some minor and temporary side effects that you may experience are nausea, stomach discomfort, and diarrhea. Many people in their reviews have mentioned that the supplements have very poor aftertaste. This, however, depends on the taste preference of the user, so it cannot be considered as a drawback.

Here are some common drawbacks of exogenous ketones:

They Are Expensive

Yes, they are significantly expensive as compared to other multivitamin supplements. There are cheap exogenous ketones available online but such products are made of poor quality ingredients and they may not be safe. The best exogenous ketones supplements are expensive. Further, you have to take a dose every 2 to 3 hours. This could sum up to a significant amount in the long run. So, if you are planning to put yourself on the supplements, make sure you keep the price factor in mind.

They Alone Are Not Very Helpful For Weight Loss

As mentioned above, if you take ketone supplements without actually going on a low-carb diet, you won’t be able to lose a good amount of weight. This is because each gram of exogenous ketone supplement contains about 4 calories, which is the same as carbohydrate. So, a single serving will contain approximately 100 calories (including the calories from other ingredients). You will have to take 5 to 6 doses per day, so the number of calories you will get from the ketone supplement is approximately 500-600. 500 calorie is too much and it won’t help you lose weight. If weight loss is your target, then you must start a properly planned keto diet as well. You can include the supplements to speed up the process though.

Best Exogenous Ketone Supplements

As mentioned above, ketone supplements are either available as salts or as esters. But, a few companies have also started manufacturing MCT oil for supplementing ketosis during the keto diet. These oils are not exactly supplements but they are quite effective for initiating and maintaining the ketosis state in your body.  So, we have included a few of them here:

Product NameFeaturesAmazon RatingAmazon ReviewsPrice
MCT Oil Powder with Prebiotic Acacia Fiber by Zhou NutritionGluten-free, GMO ingredients 4.51270Check Price
Keto Drive BHB Salts by Zhou nutritionContains scientifically formulated BHB complex along with vitamin A, calcium, sodium and magnesium4.11743Check Price
The Ultimate Keto Coffee Fat for Ketones | by LevelUpNon-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and halal certified. Hexane-Free & Chemical-Free Extraction4.7766Check Price
The Perfect Keto Starter Bundle for Ketogenic DietThe MCT fat used in the supplements are naturally derived from coconut. It uses 100% grass-fed collagen. It is a doctor’s recommended product3.53428Check Price
IGNITE KETO Drink - Instant Exogenous Ketones SupplementManufactured in a GMP certified facility and lab tested for purity. Helps reduce cravings. Comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. 4.3402Check Price
Giant Sports Giant Keto - Exogenous Ketone SupplementGluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and vegan-friendly best exogenous ketones supplement. Contains added vitamins such as vitamin B6, B12, C,D, K, and selenium.3.8754Check Price
Exogenous Ketones Supplement with Beta Hydroxybutyrate BHB Salts for Ketogenic Diet – by Vaxxen LabsVegan-friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free formula with no artificial flavors and sweeteners. Contains Tyrosine for improved mental and physical performance. Contains dopamine to make you feel relaxed.4.2298Check Price
High Potency BHB Salts by Sheer StrengthMade in USA in a GMP-certified facility. Suitable for keto and paleo diet. Contains non-GMO ingredients. Comes with 60 days money back guarantee.4.0173Check Price
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Zhou nutrition is a well-known brand in the supplements industry. No wonder why it’s MCT oil for keto diet is one of the bestseller products. On Amazon, it has received 4.5 star rating and more than 1270 reviews. Zhou’s MCT oil powder is blended with prebiotic fiber derived from acacia plants. This blend helps reduce the chances of suffering from digestive issues when you are on your keto diet. It is a rich source of MCT fat. Just one scoop provides 4 g of MCT fat and 18% of the daily fiber requirement. The MCT oil can quickly put your body into ketosis, thereby minimizing the chances of keto flu. All you need to do is to mix one scoop powder with any of your favorite beverage including smoothies and consume it.

Pros:

  • Gluten-free
  • GMP Quality Assured
  • Made with Non-GMO ingredients
  • No animal products or derivatives
  • Helps maintain physical and mental performance

Cons:

  • May cause stomach upset
  • Some buyers have stated that it is too grainy and doesn’t mix well with the beverages.
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This is yet another bestseller product by Zhou nutrition. With 4.1 star rating and more than 1740 reviews on Amazon, it is an exogenous ketone performance complex formulated to accelerate the process of ketosis. It can trigger or support your blood ketone levels, thereby helping you get the best results from your keto diet. Zhou nutrition claims that they have the best exogenous ketones as their product is carb free, sugar-free and hence, guilt-free. You can mix it with water or any hot or cold beverage of your choice. Unlike other supplements that taste odd, this BHB salt by Zhou nutrition has a tangy orange mango taste that you will crave for.

Pros:

  • Contains scientifically formulated BHB complex along with vitamin A, calcium, sodium and magnesium.
  • Carb and sugar-free formula.
  • Caffeine free.
  • Helps in weight loss.
  • Helpful for enhancing energy levels and fighting with the symptoms of keto flu.
  • A lot of buyers have mentioned that Zhou Nutrition has an amazing customer services team.
  • The manufacturer offers 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Cons:

  • A few buyers have stated that the container contains fewer number of servings than what is claimed by the manufacturer.
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This natural keto supplement manufactured by LevelUp contains premium quality caprylic acid, an extremely healthy fat. The manufacturer claims that it can put your body in ketosis mode almost instantly and help you avoid keto flu altogether. You won’t face severe and problematic issues such as any lack of energy, lack of focus, and decreased performance. Instead, you won’t even realize that your body is undergoing significant dietary changes. Helpful for weight management. It has been rated 4.7 star on Amazon and has received more than 760 reviews.

Pros:

  • Tasteless, colorless, and odorless.
  • Non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and halal certified.
  • Can be added to hot and cold beverages as well as into salad dressings and sauces.
  • Hexane-Free & Chemical-Free Extraction.
  • Helpful for triggering fat metabolism.
  • Helps reduce cravings for junk food.

Cons:

  • Some users have stated that it causes stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. This could possibly be an allergic reaction.
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Perfect keto starter kit has received 3.5 star on Amazon and yet we have included it in our list because it has received more than 3400 reviews i.e. at least 3400 people have tried it, which is much more as compared to other products. As mentioned, it is a bundle kit with 4 types of keto-supplements that will help you enter as well as maintain the ketosis state in your body. It is one of the best bhb supplements for people who want to enhance their athletic performance as well as mental. It is also helpful for weight management. The manufacturer states that their products are recommended by doctors. The founder of Perfect Keto is a functional medicine clinician, which is why the kit seems to be more reliable than many other options.

Pros:

  • No fillers, gums, or additives used.
  • Sugar free, carb free, and starch free.
  • The MCT fat used in the supplements is naturally derived from coconut.
  • It uses 100% grass-fed collagen.
  • It is a doctor’s recommended product.

Cons:

  • It has a slightly bitter taste. The manufacturer justifies the taste saying that exogenous ketone supplements can’t be tasty and they are not meant to be tasty.
  • A few buyers found it very expensive.
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With 4.4 star rating and more than 400 reviews on Amazon, Ignite keto drink is one of the best exogenous ketones recommended for people who want to improve their mental and physical performance. These supplements can help you get your body into ketosis mode quickly and prevent keto flu. The manufacturer claims that this keto powder has zero carb and yet it tastes great, as compared to many other best exogenous ketones. It helps reduce cravings, thereby assisting you in weight loss. It uses a patented formula, which includes the purest forms of ingredients and all natural flavors. The best thing about this product is that it comes with a 100% money back guarantee.

Pros:

  • No carbs, no gums, no fillers, and no sugar used in this supplement.
  • Manufactured in a GMP certified facility and lab tested for purity.
  • Mixes easily with any hot or cold beverage.
  • Helps reduce cravings.
  • Comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not happy with the results, you can ask for a refund.

Cons:

  • A few buyers have stated that this product has a bitter taste.
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This is yet another patented best exogenous ketones supplement for people who want to remain on guilt-free keto diet. If for some reason you are unable to continue your keto diet for a few days or a few times, these supplements will help your body remain in the ketosis state until you are back to your keto diet again. The manufacturer claims that each serving contains 12 gram of BHB salt. It also claims that their product is pure and genuine with no blends, no misleading labels, no artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors. This bhb keto supplement has been reformulated in two new flavors so that you get a great aftertaste. It helps improve physical and mental performance. On Amazon, it has received 3.8 star rating from more than 750 customer reviews.

Pros:

  • Highly recommended for enjoying a guilt free keto diet.
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and vegan-friendly best exogenous ketones supplement.
  • Contains added vitamins such as vitamin B6, B12, C,D, K, and selenium.
  • Available in multiple flavors.
  • Patented unique formula.

Cons:

  • A few buyers have complained that the packaging needs to be improved. The bottle is big but the quantity of powder in it is too less.
  • Some people didn’t like its taste.
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With 4.2 star rating and approximately 290 customer reviews, this BHB salt is definitely one of the best exogenous ketones. The manufacturer claims that unlike other supplements their product will help you reach ketosis much faster and you won’t experience any terrible symptoms of keto flu. There patented formula is gluten-free, dairy-free, and made of all natural ingredients. It doesn’t contain any artificial sweetener or coloring agent. Counted among the best exogenous ketones, it has tyrosine that helps enhance the oxygen consumption in the body, thereby helping you feel more energetic. It can stimulate the production of dopamine, the feel-good hormone, which will help you feel relaxed and stress-free.

Pros:

  • Patented formula with all natural ingredients.
  • Vegan-friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free formula with no artificial flavors and sweeteners.
  • Contains Tyrosine for improved mental and physical performance.
  • Contains dopamine to make you feel relaxed.
  • Helps control appetite and cravings.
  • GMP certified.
  • FDA approved.

Cons:

  • Buyers who rated it poorly were mostly dissatisfied with its taste. But, they have mentioned that it does work.
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With a 100% money back guarantee and satisfaction guarantee, Sheer Ketones is worth trying, especially if you want to enter into the ketosis state without suffering from keto flu. This BHB salt is formulated to burn fat and feel more energetic. The manufacturer claims that their product is very genuine and they have mentioned each of the ingredients on the label. Nothing is hidden in terms of secret recipe. You can mix it with almost any beverage of your choice. It is manufactured in the USA in a GMP-certified facility. People have rated it 4 star on Amazon and there are almost 175 reviews which will help you understand more about it.

Pros:

  • Gluten-free Carb-free, sugar-free, BHB salt with no artificial sweetener or hidden ingredient.
  • Available in multiple flavors.
  • Made in USA in a GMP-certified facility.
  • Suitable for keto and paleo diet.
  • Contains non-GMO ingredients.
  • Comes with 60 days money back guarantee.

Cons:

  • It didn’t work for some people, which is a common issue with almost all products.

We hope we have provided you with a list of the best exogenous ketones. Although our team has tried its best to provide you with the most accurate information, we request you to read the product descriptions and reviews thoroughly to find out if it is suitable for you. For more such helpful information, keep reading our blog.

References and Citations:

  1. Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/ketogenic-diet/. Published May 7, 2018.
  2. Leonard J. Signs of ketosis: How to tell if the ketogenic diet is working. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323544.php.
  3. Hashim SA, VanItallie TB. Ketone body therapy: from the ketogenic diet to the oral administration of ketone ester. Journal of lipid research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24598140. Published September 2014.
  4. Stubbs BJ, Cox PJ, Evans RD, et al. On the Metabolism of Exogenous Ketones in Humans. Frontiers in physiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5670148/. Published October 30, 2017.
  5. Ari, Csilla, Zsolt, et al. Exogenous Ketone Supplements Reduce Anxiety-Related Behavior in Sprague-Dawley and Wistar Albino Glaxo/Rijswijk Rats. Frontiers. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2016.00137/full. Published November 22, 2016.
  6. James S, Kjerulf Greer B. Influence of Exogenous β-Hydroxybutyrate on Walking Economy and Rating of Perceived Exertion. Journal of dietary supplements. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29953297. Published June 28, 2018.
  7. Pinckaers PJM, Churchward-Venne TA, Bailey D, van Loon LJC. Ketone Bodies and Exercise Performance: The Next Magic Bullet or Merely Hype? Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5309297/. Published 2017.
  8. Stubbs BJ, Cox PJ, Evans RD, et al. On the Metabolism of Exogenous Ketones in Humans. Frontiers in physiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5670148/. Published October 30, 2017.

Last updated on June 1st, 2019

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