Exogenous Ketones: All You Need To Know
At Alchemy Athletics, we believe that the use of exogenous ketones can have many benefits for fitness enthusiasts, professional bodybuilders, and even those simply looking to gain an edge or reach their health goals.
That’s why we’ve put in the time, done the research, and assembled this trusted resource guide titled Exogenous Ketones: All You Need To Know. Ketones are one of the body’s most powerful naturally occurring fuel sources, and the use of exogenous ketones — that is, ketones which come from outside the body in supplement form — can help athletes experience extreme endurance, unshakable focus, and numerous other benefits.
At Alchemy Athletics, it’s our goal to help health-conscious fitness enthusiasts in Tampa Bay, and indeed all across the United States, to transform and outperform. By understanding ketones, both natural and exogenous, you can learn how to properly diet and exercise in order to get the body you dream about.
Our Body’s Fuel
In order to understand the benefits of ketones, we have to first take a look at the tiny microbodies within our bodies. More specifically, we have to understand how our bodies get the energy they need in order to function.
Typically, the foods we ingest contain a well-known fuel known as carbohydrates, which evolve into glucose during the metabolic process and are then used as one of our primary sources of energy. It’s through these energizing carbohydrates that our body gets what it needs in order to function, not only during periods of high exertion but also through day-to-day activities.
But one unintended consequence of this process is that your muscles can be somewhat compromised as your body makes adjustments and burns through glucose. Essentially, your muscle cells tend to obtain their energy fuel through a process called glycolysis. During exercise in particular, this process can cause your muscle cells to tap into all of the reserves they have, thus leaving them depleted and drained.
When this happens, your body must look for other sources of energy. But wouldn’t it seem more feasible to just provide another source of energy, one that doesn’t degrade muscles, from the get-go? Well, that’s where ketones come in.
What Are Ketones?
If you’re an active member of the fitness community, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about ketones and ketosis a lot during recent years.
But just what the heck do these terms mean?
Ketones are, at their core, an alternative fuel source stored in our livers which can take the place of glucose. Natural ketone compounds are carbon-based and produced by the mitochondria in our liver. There are three types of ketone bodies that are naturally occurring, including:
- Acetoacetic Acid
- Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid, or BHB
Production of these natural, or endogenous ketones, are ramped up when the body is searching for a new source of energy. This happens most often when the body stops using glucose as a fuel, such as if you are on a low (or no) carb diet.
One of the most common low-carb diets that is gaining steam in the health and fitness community is known as ketosis, which aims to altogether eliminate carbohydrates, and therefore glucose, from our diets so that the body instead utilizes ketones as the primary fuel source.
Therefore, when you’re on a ketogenic or ketosis diet, you tend to focus on foods that are high in fat rather than those that contain carbs and high amounts of protein.
The most obvious benefit here is that your body no longer relies on glucose to burn through muscle and produce energy, but rather it provides energy itself through the freely moving and increased level of ketones which break down fat into fatty acids.
Thus, despite the fact that you are eating food with higher contents of fat, your body is going to work on breaking down that fat immediately in search of energy, so it is less likely to be converted into fat during the metabolic process.
What Are Exogenous Ketones?
Now that we know all about endogenous ketones and how they naturally provide much-needed energy to the body when low levels of glucose are found, we can explore the numerous uses and benefits of exogenous ketones.
Exogenous ketones are often found in supplement form — “exogenous” meaning that these compounds originate from a source outside of the body.
When ingested, exogenous ketones can help the body expedite the process by providing an instant supply of this energy fuel. Because ketones freely move about, they are able to provide energy to the brain — something that fatty acids and carbohydrates can’t do — and they raise the level of ketones in the blood to allow your body to remain in ketosis, even if you slip from your diet.
Exogenous ketones are typically based in the compound known as BHB, which we identified as one of the three types of ketones above. Ketone supplements are known to elevate the levels of BHB by upwards of two millimoles for up to eight hours, according to KetoSource.
That also means a decrease in glucose levels, which not only allows your body to tap into alternative fat fuel sources but can also regulate blood-glucose levels for those with type-2 diabetes — a theory which holds merit but still needs more research.
Exogenous ketone supplements are typically found and consumed in powder form, allowing for simple ingestion and immediate benefits. Among those benefits, of course, is a cleaner energy source which lasts longer and provides more focus for the brain. Not to mention, exogenous ketones are likely to produce more energy per unit of oxygen when compared to carbohydrates, allowing your metabolic efficiency to improve along with your performance during exercise.
At Alchemy Athletics, we believe extreme endurance and unshakeable focus are tied directly to the exogenous ketones we offer to fitness enthusiasts in the Tampa Bay area.
Of course, because exogenous ketones are built for the keto-lifestyle, they are gluten free, Paleo friendly, stimulant free, and contain no animal byproducts.
Ingesting exogenous ketones can not only help you get back on track with your ketosis, but it can help provide maximum fuel for a workout. All you need to do is mix one scoop of our exogenous ketones with your favorite flavored beverage 30 minutes prior to training.
You can also mix in one scoop to consume during your exercise, and on non-training days it is recommended to add a scoop or two to your morning protein shake or smoothie.
An important thing to know about exogenous ketones is their taste — because the goal is to allow these BHB compounds to go to work and stay within the body, exogenous ketone supplements are typically mixed with sodium, potassium, and/or calcium to improve the absorption properties. That means these supplements often have a salty taste to them, so it’s best to mix them with a flavored beverage whenever possible.
The Benefits Of Exogenous Ketones?
Now we know all about ketones, both endogenous and exogenous, and how we can get them into our bodies.
But what are the benefits? We’ve previously written a blog exploring the benefits of using exogenous ketones, which is a handy resource for anyone looking to live by the Alchemy Athletics motto of “transform and outperform.”
There have been numerous health studies, papers, and examples of using exogenous ketones to better serve our bodies’ needs. Some key benefits to using exogenous ketones include weight loss, improved athletic performance, and even an improvement in our cognitive function.
How is all of this possible with these simple, salty little supplements? Though it might seem too good to be true, exogenous ketones and the keto-lifestyle, when used right, can be every bit as effective as they are cracked up to be. More benefits include:
Exogenous ketones are known to aid the metabolic process by producing superoxide and glutathione, which help prevent our cells from over oxidation. This helps speed up the body’s metabolism, and can help lead to weight loss in the long run. Furthermore, because ketosis requires foods that are high in fat, there’s a good chance that you will be sustained for longer and decrease overall food intake. Finally, you may be concerned about having too much fat and/or ketones in your system as a result of taking exogenous ketone supplements. However, the body recognizes when the levels are too high and filters out the ketones through urine rather than converting them to fat.
One could make the case that exogenous ketones are among the best supplements for improved performance during exercise or athletic competition. That’s because ketones have the ability to serve as a highly efficient, long-lasting energy source for working muscles throughout the body. Because they require less oxygen, your muscles don’t exert themselves nearly as quickly when compared to the use of glucose as the primary fuel source. We like to say this gives you more bang for your buck with regards to workout fuel. Not only that, but the use of exogenous ketones can also help with recovery after a workout by aiding in protein synthesis.
Too often, there are supplements which claim to improve memory, focus, and brain function without substantiated evidence. Well, when it comes to exogenous ketones, there is scientific proof to those claims. Exogenous ketones can help cognitive function by preventing oxidation to the hippocampus, our brain’s hub for all things involving memory, emotion, and the nervous system. Not to mention, one study indicated that Alzheimer’s patients who consumed a ketone supplement had better results than those with lower ketone levels when recalling a paragraph of content.
There are some studies which even suggest that exogenous ketones can help prevent cancer, as cancerous cells are unable to use ketone bodies effectively. Ketones can also feature anti-inflammatory properties, aid in mitochondrial function, and help regulate blood sugar levels. All of this with little to no side effects, even for those who are ingesting exogenous ketones or living a keto-lifestyle for the first time.
Ketosis Shopping List
When looking to lose weight, gain muscle, and increase productivity with higher levels of energy, then going on a ketosis diet might be right for you.
However, eliminating or even cutting down on carbs can be much more difficult than it sounds. Fortunately, if you’re a Tampa Bay fitness enthusiast going through ketosis, you have Alchemy Athletics as your trusted resource.
We can help you develop an efficient regimine with our online training, provide some of our ketosis and Paleo-friendly signature meals, and a whole lot more.
When shopping for ketosis-friendly foods and products, here are a few things you need to add to your pantry.
- Exogenous Ketones: This is an obvious one, as ketone supplementation can help ramp up the process significantly so you can transform and outperform better and faster. Not to mention, exogenous ketones can help your body kick back into ketosis even if you stray from your diet plan.
- Fatty Meats: During ketosis, you want to avoid meats that are lean and high in protein and instead aim for fatty foods. This may seem counter-intuitive to the other diets that you’ve been on, but there’s a method behind all of this fatty madness. When it comes to meat, aim for things like pork chops, pork belly, chicken thighs/wings, ribeye steak, beef brisket, and oily fish like cod.
- Dairy: You can’t go wrong with eggs and dairy when it comes to the keto-lifestyle. Butter, soft cheese, whole eggs (yes, that means the yolk), and more are all your friends when it comes to ketosis.
- Fruits & Veggies: Did you know that many of the sweeter fruits and vegetables actually contain high levels of carbohydrates? You’re going to want to throw conventional wisdom to the wind when it comes to finding keto-friendly fruits and veggies. When it comes to low-carb greens and fruits, aim for things like celery, lettuce, kale, avocado, spinach, asparagus, cranberries, tomatoes, and cauliflower.
Where To Buy Exogenous Ketones
Now that you know all about ketones, how to use them, and the many benefits of exogenous ketone supplementation, it’s time to get started on a brand new, healthy lifestyle.
Our goal is to provide you with all of the relevant information and techniques in order to help you achieve your desired fitness goals. Whether you’re looking for customizable online training in Tampa, or you want to improve your fitness level through yoga, Alchemy Athletics has all of the tools and resources you need.