More and more people are choosing to follow the Keto way of life. Whilst it is called the ‘Keto Diet’, it isn’t a fad diet, and instead it is a total change of lifestyle.
Following the Keto way means that you are making a commitment to increase your health for the better, and that you’re not only aiming to reduce your weight, but also to give yourself more energy, a greater sense of heart health, and the various other major benefits which following the Keto Diet will bring you.
Despite that, you do need to be aware of the fact that by changing the way your body burns fuel for energy, e.g. going into a new metabolic state, called ketosis, you may become slightly deficient in certain vitamins. The Keto Diet eradicates certain options from your diet, and whilst there are many opportunities to replace them in other ways, not everyone likes the foods which lead to this replenishment, or cannot access it so easily. In that case, supplements are a good idea.
Taking a supplement of any kind needs to be done with caution and education. Always speak to your doctor before you take any type of supplement, especially if you have any health issues, or you are on any type of medication.
Once you have received the green light to continue, you should shop around carefully and find the best supplement product for you. There are so many on the market, and it’s about suiting your needs the best.
Of course, your doctor will also be able to talk to you about the best types of supplements, e.g. the things you may be deficient in.
There are two other reasons why people consider taking supplements whilst on the Keto Diet; this is because there is some suggestion that taking supplements can help with the side effects of Keto flu, which are often felt in the early phases of the diet, and also because supplements may help athletes to perform better, whilst they are using a reduced carb diet, such as the Keto Diet.
Whatever your reason for thinking about taking supplements whilst following the Keto way of life, you need to know which options are standing before you. To help you whittle down your choices, let’s explore the 10 best Keto supplements for this coming New Year.
The number one type of mineral you may be deficient in whilst following the Keto Diet, especially in the early stages, is magnesium. This is mainly due to the onset of ketosis, and the fact that in the first couple of weeks, you’re probably going to be taking trips to the bathroom to pee A LOT. Of course, this doesn’t just leave you lacking in fluids, but it also kicks out certain minerals, with magnesium being one of them.
Putting back what you’re losing is ideal. We should also point out that some foods which are rich in magnesium naturally, such as fruits and beans, aren’t encouraged, due to their high amount of natural carbs.
Always speak to your doctor first, but it is thought that a 200-400mg supplement might be able to right a deficient issue, and also help with the common initial side effects of muscle cramps and problems sleeping. Magnesium citrate is one of the most common types of supplement, but you could also look at magnesium glycerinate and magnesium gluconate too.
Check out this video, which talks about the key signs your body needs a little more magnesium.
MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides. MCTs are utilised and broken down by the liver and as a result they are absorbed into your blood stream much faster. This allows them to be used as fuel for your brain. You can find a natural source of MCTs in coconut oil, but many people opt for supplements because it provides a fast and effective way to provide the body with this extra quick boost of fuel, whilst keeping the body firmly in effective ketosis. As we know, ketosis is the cornerstone of the Keto Diet and without it, it doesn’t work.
Some studies have also shown that MCT oil supplements might be able to help with appetite suppression, which could lead to a greater amount of weight loss too.
MCT oil supplements are often found in liquid form, and can usually be added to food to hide the taste, e.g. added into smoothies in the morning. It is a good idea to start on a low dose and then work your way upwards to a higher dose. This is because a few side effects might occur, with one being diarrhoea.
Omega 3 fatty acids are renowned for being a good idea for overall health and wellbeing. You can choose to take regular fish oil capsules, or you can go for the newer option – krill oil.
The benefit of choosing the latter is the lack of fishy aftertaste. Both are rich in the two main omega 3s we need for good health and wellbeing, DHA and EPA. These both work to lower your risk of developing heart disease, help to prevent against mental health issues as the ageing process occurs, and also help to reduce inflammation within the body overall.
Of course, you can get your natural amount of omega 3 by eating at least two servings of fish per week, but this isn’t always possible for everyone. Especially those who don’t really like fish. A supplement is therefore an easy way to get your omega 3’s with ease.
The other reason why omega 3s are a good idea is because they can actually help to boost benefits to health and wellbeing, which are already promoted by the Keto Diet. Basically, you’re getting a double whammy acceleration.
It’s surprising to note how many people may be deficient in vitamin D, not only when on the Keto Diet, but in general life also. Vitamin D is very important for overall health and wellbeing, as it supports important orange within the body, and also helps the body to absorb calcium. Vitamin D also helps to boost the immune system and helps to lower inflammation too.
You can’t often find a great amount of vitamin D in your diet alone, so supplements are a great idea. Head to see your doctor and have a blood test to check whether you are indeed deficiency in this very important vitamin.
A relative newcomer on the supplement block is something called digestive enzymes. These help to support overall gut health and ensure smooth running of the entire digestive system. When following the Keto Diet, the high amount of fat you are required to consume can be difficult on the stomach, especially at first. In this case, helping your stomach to deal with the change is important.
If you’re nothing stomach problems since starting the Keto Diet, e.g. bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, it could be that digestive enzymes could help solve the problem. Look for supplements which contain both protease and lipase enzymes, for the best Keto transitional supplement on the block.
The Keto Diet can make it a little difficult for some to get enough vegetable/plant foods into their daily diet. Whilst it is always better to focus on natural measures, e.g. trying your best to get as much vegetable content into your diet, Greens Powder could be a good source of middle ground.
These types of supplements contains spinach, kale, broccoli, and other types of similar foods, but in powdered form. Whilst this isn’t as good as the natural type, it does go some way to giving you a little of what you’re missing. You can easily add these powders to your food, and you will receive the supplement benefit.
You might be wondering why you need to supplement your body with ketones when it is supposed to be making the naturally via ketosis. Well, yes it is, but exogenous ketones aren’t made by the body, which is why you need to help it out a little! The type of ketones your body makes naturally are called endogenous ketones.
Exogenous ketones help increase the levels of blood ketones, and this supports the entire ketosis process, allowing you to reach the metabolic state faster, decreasing appetite, boosting performance for athletes and also helping to recover after a workout too.
There is some hit and miss research into whether it is necessary to take this supplement, but there is also a good amount of support for them too.
In the first couple of weeks especially, you may find yourself lacking in electrolytes and certain important minerals. This is because you are losing a lot of fluids, either by going to the toilet a lot or from your kidneys simply kicking out excess water in the first phase.
As the transitional period ends, this shouldn’t be so much of a problem, but during those first couple of weeks it is important to keep your electrolyte levels up. Ditch the sugary energy drinks as these are super high in carb content, and instead go for salting your food and considering an electrolyte supplement.
It is a common situation for beginner Keto dieters to have low potassium, magnesium, and sodium levels, and this can cause side effects such as tiredness and headaches. Again, add salt to everything and try drinking broth, but an electrolyte supplement is a quick fix, for sure.
Check out this video, which shows you the main types of electrolytes and how they are affected when you’re trying to lose weight.
If you are an athlete and you’re looking to supplement your performance in that early Keto phase, you could consider a caffeine supplement, or simply try and gain extra caffeine from your diet alone. You simply need one extra cup a day, or even through green tea, but you can also find supplements which will tick the same box.
There is some suggestion that caffeine could help to boost energy levels in athletes are in the first phase of the Keto Diet.
Beta-hydroxy beta-methyl-butyrate (HMB)
This is another option for athletes and those who are trying to avoid muscle loss during the Keto Diet, especially the first stages. In addition, if you are simply trying to improve your overall health and wellbeing by starting a new exercise programme, this type of supplement may be of help to you.
HMB helps to maintain muscle loss, and actually increase the amount of muscle mass you have in your body. As a result, there is likely to be less soreness after a workout too, and less fatigue.
These ten Keto supplements are ideal for supporting your new health and wellbeing endeavours, and also to protect you against some of the side effects which can occur during the first phase of the diet. The most common of these side effects include:
- Needing to pee a lot
- Feeling thirsty
- Muscle cramps and aches
- Keto flu
- Issues with sleeping
- Cravings in the first couple of weeks (this does abate and then you should have no cravings at all)
Just because you are starting on the Keto Diet, that doesn’t mean that you are going to suffer from these initial side effects, but it is likely that whilst your body is transitioning from burning carbs for fuel, to turning the fat burning switch on, you might notice a little confusion. The severity of this depends, and changes from person to person. The best advice is to talk to your doctor if you are at all concerned, and if any of the symptoms are severe, to stop the diet immediately and seek medical advice.
Taking a supplement to counteract particular Keto-related issues is a good way to calm the waters and to help your Keto efforts along. Whilst there are a few natural ways to solve many of these issues, it is often a much easier option to take a supplement in the first place.
Always remember to shop around for your ideal supplement and to ask any advice from your doctor if you’re not sure of which supplement is best for you to take.