We listed the 9 best keto supplements to help you support ketosis, prevent the keto flu, and avoid nutrient deficiencies.
Shifting from a high-carb to a low-carb lifestyle can affect your body. Supplementation eases keto flu symptoms, boosts your performance, and helps your body function at its best.
When done correctly, keto will put you in ketosis, help you lose weight, and improve overall health. A well-planned keto diet will also give you all the nutrition you need to stay healthy and it won’t lead to too many side effects.
With that said, you’re probably now wondering “Do I need supplements on keto?”
Well, some of the best keto supplements can boost the effectiveness of this diet. Others can help prevent nutrient deficiencies. Some supplements even provided the added benefit of preventing complications. So, while you don’t really need them, you can greatly benefit from them.
Here are 10 of the best keto diet supplements that can make your diet and lifestyle easier.
1. Exogenous Ketones
The word “exogenous” means having an external source. So exogenous ketones are ketones made outside the body; more specifically, they’re made in the laboratory. Companies usually sell them as BHB salts, although you may find them being sold as ketone esters.
Taking a single dose of exogenous ketones raises blood ketone levels for 4-8 hours 1. This can be useful after a cheat meal (to prevent being kicked out of ketosis) or to boost the efficiency of the keto diet. Many keto dieters claim that exogenous ketones alleviated their keto flu.
2. MCT Oil
A lot of people consider MCT oil the holy grail of the keto diet. It’s a purified source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are fats extracted from coconut or palm kernel oils. MCTs are unique among dietary fats in many ways.
For example, research shows that the body converts them into energy (or ketones) quickly, that they’re rarely stored as fat, and that they even curb hunger 2. All of this, in turn, helps with weight loss. On a keto diet, MCT oil works like an energy and ketone-production substrate that can make it easier for you to lose weight and keep energy levels up.
MCT Oil is a keto diet staple.
3. Collagen Peptides
Also known as hydrolyzed collagen, collagen peptides are supplements that help make up for loss of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body whose production tends to decline with age, and this is one reason we get fine lines, wrinkles, and joint pain as we grow older 3.
Collagen supplements are great for skin, hair, and nails.
According to Richard Harris, MD,
“Collagen supplementation can help with skin health, joint pains, increase muscle mass, and keep bones strong.”
Many keto-ers can benefit from this, especially if they’re older. Furthermore, Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND says that
“Collagen can fight inflammation linked to symptoms of autoimmune disorders. Reducing inflammation with collagen also eases joint pain.”
Early in your keto diet, you’re likely to urinate more often than usual. That’s because switching to ketosis has somewhat of a diuretic effect. A side effect of this is called “keto flu,” and it’s caused by electrolyte imbalances.
Drinking fluids and taking electrolytes can counteract this 4. Electrolytes in supplement form make this a whole lot easier, and especially when they’re designed specifically for keto. Electrolytes are some of the best supplements for the keto diet that will save you the unnecessary discomfort.
It’s hard to get enough fiber on a keto diet. That’s because the highest-fiber foods also tend to be high-carb. Unfortunately, not enough fiber on keto can lead to constipation, diarrhea, and imbalanced gut flora.
A fiber supplement with both soluble and insoluble fiber can prevent these common keto problems. According to Kara Landau, RD,
“eating a blend of fibers is important for digestion and regular bowel motions… and bloating that can come from eating too much of one type of fiber.”
Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN advises to
“make sure you consume adequate water/fluid with fiber supplements…, otherwise you may become constipated.”
6. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 supplements can balance out your keto diet.
There are two types of essential fatty acids, and omega-3 fats are one of them. The thing about omega-3s is that the Western diet is deficient in them while being superfluous in omega-6s, the other essential fatty acids 5.
Supplementing your diet with omega-3s can balance out your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. But it will also support ketosis. The body can use omega-3s like other fats to make ketones and energy. And as a bonus, you get the anti-inflammatory, brain-boosting, and disease-fighting benefits of these essential fats.
A well-planned keto diet should be nutritionally adequate. But doctors often recommend multivitamins when treating people with keto as a preventive measure 6. Becoming deficient in any essential vitamin can derail your attempts at becoming healthy.
Go for any type of multivitamin, or even better, go for those that you’re more likely to miss on keto. Vitamins to take on keto include B complex vitamins and vitamin D 7. Vitamin C should also be on the list if you have trouble getting 5 servings of fresh fruit and veggies on keto.
8. Digestive Enzymes
It’s no secret that keto is radically different from how most people eat. On keto, you swap carbs as your main energy fuel to fat. Your body may struggle to adapt to this change, which manifests as diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, and fatigue. A possible culprit is a lack of fat-digesting enzymes.
Studies have long ago found that the body adapts to changes in diet by adjusting the production of enzymes 8. Still, a bit of help in the form of enzyme supplements is necessary in some cases. Certified Holistic Nutritionist Therapist Erik Abramowitz explains that
“Digestive enzymes are a useful tool to help break down the food for less gut complications and better ability to draw nutrients out of the food.”
Calcium is abundant in leafy greens, dairy products, coconut, berries, nuts and seeds. So, it shouldn’t be that hard to get enough of this bone-building mineral on keto, right? Well, some people tend to lose a lot of calcium once they’re in ketosis 9.
While excessive calcium excretion while in ketosis is rare, it can put you at risk of osteoporosis. You don’t want to risk that as osteoporosis increases your risk of bone fractures and back problems. Taking a daily calcium supplement can help prevent this.
Taking supplements on keto isn’t mandatory. But it can definitely make your diet easier to follow. It can also help you avoid problems on this diet. Keto, after all, is radically different from most diets, so getting help from supplements can make it easier for the body to adjust.
Supplements listed here are some of the best and most important ones to consider. Hopefully, you’ll find at least one of these useful in your own ketogenic journey.