We love the keto diet here at Fitgenic. We have used it to effectively burn fat, increase our brainpower and clarity, and reduce cravings for sugar and snacks.
The keto diet is an incredibly powerful tool; however, with your body running on ketones, your brain’s favorite fuel instead of carbs, you may need to supplement to help with your new nutritional needs. Keto often gets confused with paleo, so make sure to visit our article on paleo vs. keto and what you can and can’t consume on both ways of eating.
The following supplements are going to be incredibly useful to you if you are following any variant of the keto diet. Whether you are following standard, cyclical, or targeted keto, all the supplements outlined here will come in handy for combating unwanted side effects, and for increasing the benefits you get from being in ketosis.
What Is the Keto Diet?
If you are a bit lost as to what the keto diet is, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The ketogenic diet is an extremely popular way of eating. By following a low-carb high-fat diet to the extremes (Less than 5% carbs a day), the goal is to put yourself into ketosis.
Ketosis is the state in which your body changes from using carbohydrates as energy, to using fats, or in particular, ketones. When you are in ketosis, your body becomes extremely effective at burning fat for energy. Your liver will start to turn fat into ketones, which your brain will use as fuel.
After following the keto diet, you will find that you lose weight quickly, have better brain function, and studies have even shown that those who follow a ketogenic lifestyle have a decreased risk of disease. A ketogenic diet is also one of the recommended diets for those with diabetes, as your blood sugar levels are much more stable while following this particular way of eating.
Some other benefits of the Keto Diet
- Protection from Heart Disease: Following a ketogenic diet can reduce the risk factors that are associated with heart disease like body fat, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
- Cancer: The ketogenic diet is actually used to treat certain types of cancer and is often used when trying to slow the growth of a tumor.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Going keto could reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s and slow the disease’s progression.
- Epilepsy: Studies have found that when following a keto diet, children have a massive reduction in seizures.
- Parkinson’s disease: Research has shown that following a low-carb high-fat lifestyle can improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome: A key factor in Polycystic ovary syndrome is insulin levels, which are controlled much more effectively by eating low-carb.
- Acne: Having lower blood sugar and insulin levels can improve your acne.
Quick Keto Supplements Buying Guide
In our opinion, there are only really four supplements that you could class as necessary when doing the ketogenic diet. Here are our top picks for each category. If you want a more detailed in-depth review of each one, scroll down to the review section.
|MCT Oil||Nature’s Way Organic MCT Oil|
|Electrolytes||Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder|
|Methyl Folate||Jarrow Formulas Methyl Folate|
|Bulletproof Coffee||Bulletproof Iced Keto Coffee|
Essential Supplements + Reviews
Here we are going to discuss the four essential supplements and our do an in-depth review of our top picks for each one.
MCT OIL: Nature’s Way Organic MCT Oil
Why do I need it?
MCT or Medium-Chain Triglyceride is an extremely high-quality fat made exclusively from coconuts. If you are looking for one of the most effective ways of increasing your level of ketosis, MCT oil is one of the most effective supplements on the market.
The reason MCT oil is so effective is the way your body converts it into ketones. The process only takes a few steps, so consuming MCT oil allows you to maintain a high ketone level. By doing this, you maintain or even go deeper into ketosis.
When you start using MCT oil, you should stick to one teaspoon, and it can have strong effects. Once you get used to consuming MCT oil, you can start using it in your morning coffees or as a dressing for salads or even over a piece of lamb at night.
Not all MCT oils are created equally; however, often, they contain fillers and oils that are not as effective as the bottle may suggest.
What MCT OIL do we suggest?
We have tried lots of MCT oils over the years, ranging from expensive to cheap, and we have found that price doesn’t have to be an indicator of quality. That is especially true with our top MCT oil pick. Natures Way Organic MCT Oil is made from the highest quality coconuts, with the promise of no palm or filler oils. This MCT supplement only contains pure source MCT’s with each serving providing 14 grams of top-level ingredients like caprylic and capric acids.
Some MCT oil comes with a pretty strong taste. Although some people love this, lots of people don’t, and Natures Way has addressed the taste factor. Their offering is flavor and odorless, which makes it much easier to add to your meals and coffee.
Natures Way is one of our favorite supplement companies here at FitGenic. We love organic and wholefood sourced ingredients. This is what Natures Way specializes in. For the last 50 years, they have made it their mission to help people live their best lives. They do this through their huge range of organic herbs, minerals, supplements, and probiotics. They know how important sourcing top-quality ingredients from nature is — this is why all their products contain ingredients sourced from fresh, wholesome organic matter. They do not use synthesized ingredients.
This MCT Oil is especially potent. We suggest starting with only half a tablespoon and working your way up from there. The energy boost that you will receive from using it may be slightly overwhelming. It can also have a laxative effect, so be careful of using too much in one go until you are comfortable with how your body will react.
Electrolytes: Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder
Why Do I Need It?
When you are following a diet that is high in carbohydrates, your body will react by storing glycogen, which is essentially sugar. These stores of glycogen are a way of stockpiling energy. If you do some particularly intense exercise or workout for a long period of time and use up your “quick access sugar”, you will start to burn these stores of glycogen as reserve fuel.
When you are in ketosis, things are a little bit different. As you are no longer eating carbs or sugar, your body’s store of glycogen will start to deplete. After a prolonged period of being in ketosis, your body will have a really low glycogen level. As a result of this, your body will begin to burn through fat instead.
To store glycogen, your body needs lots of water. During the first week of being on keto, most of us will lose lots of weight. This is your glycogen levels depleting, and the weight drop is water weight. As you lose this water weight, your body will need to produce sodium, magnesium, and potassium (Electrolytes) to keep everything in balance. Even after you have lost the water weight, your body will still excrete a lot of these electrolytes, leading to deficiencies. This is where you might start to get a headache, cramps, or even explosive diarrhea. This is commonly referred to as keto flu.
If you want to avoid the keto flu and the side effects that come with it, you are going to have to ensure you get enough electrolytes during ketosis. The best way to do this is, of course, through your diet. This can be difficult while trying to stick to keto, and this is where electrolyte supplements come in really handy.
What Electrolyte Supplement Do We Suggest?
If you want a complete electrolyte supplement at a great price tag, we highly suggest the electrolyte powder from Keto K1000. With a really high concentration of potassium (highest level available on the market), magnesium and sodium, this powder is one of the must-have tools for anyone starting out on keto. And, the benefits of magnesium should not be overlooked. This electrolyte powder even comes in handy for those who know their way around the block and need a quick solution for those days when we struggle to hit our electrolyte target through food alone.
This drink is especially useful for those who like to do fasted cardio while on keto. For the runners out there, this is the perfect drink to make sure you stay hydrated after those long runs. As a rule, we have to drink a lot more while in ketosis, and this makes it easier.
There are no sugars, additives, calories, gluten, or GMO’s inside this powder, which make it the perfect supplement for those on keto. This powder is actually very nearly identical to the extremely popular Dr. Bergs, at a fraction of the cost. It is created in an NSF-certified facility, so you can guarantee you are getting exactly what it says on the bottle.
Another great thing about this product is the flavors. Across thousands of reviews, one thing is clear. This supplement tastes great. It is rare that a supplement gains a reputation for tasting good, especially when they have to create a product with no sugar or calories, but K1000 has perfected it.
All in all, this is an extremely effective product that tastes great at an incredible price, a must-have for anyone at all stages of their keto journey.
Quite simply, this is a must-have fitness supplement!
Methyl Folate: Jarrow Formulas Methyl Folate
Why Do I Need It?
Folate is an important catalyst in the brain and for DNA synthesis. Low levels of folate are often associated with lower memory and cognitive dysfunction, as well as depression fatigue, and heart disease. The best way to get this in a normal diet is through complex starches, as you are avoiding these on keto, it can be especially hard to get them naturally.
Something else to bear in mind is how vitamin B6 and folate work together. The two are active co-factors; this means that your body will often use them interchangeably. Because of this, you are going to want to make sure your B6 levels are high enough too. Luckily, as keto is predominantly a meat diet, you should be getting enough B6 from meat.
What Folate Supplement Do We Suggest?
There are lots of Folate supplements on the market, but only one really stands out. Jarrow Formula’s Methyl Folate is one of the most innovative and effective folate supplements we have ever seen. They have taken huge steps to overcome the bio-availability barriers by creating an especially bioactive form of folate 5-MTHF.
Thanks to this innovation, this supplement is the next level in folate supplementation. It is much more readily absorbed and dispersed through the body. For an affordable price, you get a great and easy way to improve and support your cardiovascular and neurological health.
Founded in 1977, Jarrow Formula’s have a great reputation for bringing high-quality nutritional formulas to the masses. With hundreds of products now on the market, they help empower their customers, which has always been their goal. All of their products are created in a cGMP certified facility, ensuring quality in every single product.
Bulletproof Coffee: Bulletproof Iced Keto Coffee with MCT and Butter
Why do I need it?
Well, you don’t actually. However, what fun is following a strict way of eating without a treat? Bulletproof coffee, or sometimes called “butter coffee” is a combination of coffee with oil, butter, or oftentimes both. A staple for those who are following a keto diet, it is a great way to boost your ketone level and give yourself lots of energy in the morning.
The benefits of drinking bulletproof coffee include:
- High morning energy levels
- Prevention of hunger
- Higher mental clarity and focus
Although you can make your own bulletproof coffee relatively easily, it can often be more convenient to purchase a premade product. Not only can it be much more convenient while “on the go”, but it can also contain better ingredients than we have at home.
Often premade coffees come with high levels of quality MCT oil and offer a true range of keto macros, preventing us from accidentally ruining our ketosis. Besides the benefits to our keto lifestyle, drinking coffee every day holds its own benefits.
Drinking bulletproof coffee is also a great way to curb your morning hunger pangs. Lots of us struggle with morning nutrition, and this can be a great way to combat that struggle. No need to be hangry!
What Cold Brew Do We Suggest?
Bulletproof Cold Brew is our go-to choice when it comes to premade bulletproof coffee. Designed to actively support ketosis, they are made from really easily digestible MCT oils, which, as you now know, convert really quickly into ketones.
Another great aspect of Bulletproof’s cold brew coffee is that it contains 8g of grass-fed protein, no added sugar, no artificial colors, and a great chocolate taste.
As well as containing really high-quality ingredients, Bulletproof is an incredibly well-known brand.
What Keto Supplements Should I Avoid?
Now that we have run you through the essential keto supplements and which ones we rate the highest, it’s time to talk about the keto supplements that you should avoid.
Unfortunately, the weight loss industry is full of people waiting to capitalize on people who just want to have a better body. As a result, there are often lots of supplements that get touted as necessary, which are quite simply a waste of your money.
Perhaps the biggest scam on the market are exogenous ketones. Exogenous, which is the opposite of endogenous means outside, whereas endogenous means within. Exogenous ketones are therefore meant to be ketones which are created in a lab that you can buy as a supplement and consume. The promised benefits are accelerated weight loss, better mood, appetite suppression, and better sleep. The real results, though, are just a hole in your wallet.
The companies that push these products do so by pushing made-up science. They bamboozle their customers with studies and research that under scrutiny, does not have much merit at all.
On top of this, lots of the companies that produce exogenous ketones, do not disclose a full list of ingredients for their products. Instead, they say that they use a “proprietary blend.” The problem with this is that you have absolutely no idea what goes into their proprietary blend. We highly suggest you do not ingest anything you are unsure about.
Lots of exogenous ketone products on the market actually contain ridiculous amounts of caffeine. Sometimes equivalent to a pre-workout drink! Obviously, the result of this is a higher temperature and perhaps some additional weight loss. This is because of the caffeine, not the ketones.
Another product pushed in the keto supplement market is ketone salts. Ketone salts come with a huge number of promises that are backed up with little science. There has been next to no published work analyzing the actual effects on our bodies. Despite this, ketone salts are a rapidly growing market.
It gets worse, the FDA, doesn’t even recognize ketone salts as GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe). This is a massive red flag. The high salt content found inside ketone salts, which often hide their actual potency by labeling the ingredients as a proprietary blend, can lead to some serious health problems.
High salt content can lead to hypertension, heart disease, and other ailments. While we don’t recommend ketone salts, all salt is not created equal. Salt gets a bad name, mostly, from iodionized salts — which are incredibly toxic to our body.
If you’re looking for a quality salt, look to Redmond’s Real Salt brand or similar products
A ketogenic diet offers a huge number of benefits to those who follow it. Although it can be tough at the beginning to follow, you can definitely benefit from using the recommended supplements above.
Be cautious when purchasing supplements that come with claims that seem too good to be true. At this moment in time, we would not recommend that anyone buy either exogenous ketones or ketone salts, perhaps we will change our mind on this when provided with scientific evidence, but until then, we would advise against it.
If you are just starting out on your keto journey, we wish you all the best. It may be hard, to begin with, but within a couple of weeks, we are sure you will begin to reap the rewards of the effort you put in.
Stay healthy everyone!