Ketogenic dieting is on the rise as the health risks of sugar and a better understanding of the role of carbs and fats in obesity grows in the dieting community. An approach to High-Fat Low-Carb dieting which pushes the body into a ketogenic state, where ketones are produced and used in place of glucose, ketogenic dieting has been used for years by type II diabetics and those suffering certain types of seizure.
As with any diet, there are certain supplements which can target specific challenges dieters might face, supplements which can improve the efficiency of the diet, and those which fulfill important roles in long-term health. Here are six supplements of particular interest to the savvy ketogenic dieter.
Most supplements today rely on beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB) as the main source of exogenous ketones. These supplements supply users with an instant blast of ketones to use for energy. These supplements can be very useful when transitioning away from a HCLF diet.
The nature of a ketogenic diet leads to easy depletion of sodium and magnesium, in particular, and can cause general difficulty with electrolytes. This makes this an obvious supplement even for those who eat healthy, well-rounded diets.
BCAAs are great for the body and the mind. One of the unique benefits of a ketogenic diet is the increase in BCAAs in your body; what you may not know is that there’s an interesting feedback loop where supplementation of BCAAs during a ketogenic diet can improve ketogenesis and thus create an even more BCAA-enriched body.
Glutamine has been one of the suggested supplements for ketogenic diets since the early days of Atkins, as a solution to sugar cravings, stomach problems, and post-workout recovery. Keto dieters should be alert to one issue; some who supplement glutamine find that it can push them out of ketosis, undermining the efficacy of the diet. That's why you should pay extra attention to energy and weight loss supplement ingredients if you're pursuing a ketogenic diet; any little thing can cause problems.
Medium-chain triglycerides are a unique type of triglyceride which contain medium-chain fatty acids, a substance integral to effective ketosis. MCT oils vary by manufacturer, but most are derived from coconut oil, which is already relatively rich in MCTs. It can be rough on anyone unaccustomed to it, but past the early intestinal difficulties, it’s a superior source of fat in any ketogenic diet.
To be fair, fish oil is more of a general-purpose supplement than a ketogenic supplement, but if you’re eating a high-fat diet and not getting proper fats, what are you doing it all for? Add a dash to your other meals to up your fat intake in an extremely healthy manner—or use pills, if you prefer.
Known as one of the key supplements of ketogenic dieting, l-carnitine is known for its role in fat transporting and the effect of insulin on muscle cells. This makes it a popular supplement in the ketogenic dieting community, especially as a tool for easing induction or for people on variant keto diets such as TKD and CKD.
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