What is Keto Diet and How It Works: Throughout Guide

Historically, the keto diet emerged in the 1920s as a way to treat epilepsy. In a nutshell, this is a low-carb, high-fat, and adequate-protein nutrition plan. Still, the emphasis is mostly on low-carb because high-carbonate foods eventually transform into glucose that nourishes our bodies. With a low-carb diet plan, the liver is forced to burn the fats instead. The process of fatty acid burning creates ketone bodies that replace glucose. Today, when epilepsy is treated with anticonvulsant meds, a keto diet is an effective nutrition plan that reduces glucose levels and burns fat.

The Best Keto Supplements

Exogenous Ketones

Chromium and Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Carnitine (in L or Acetyl-L-form)

MCT oil

Fiber

Creatine

Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB)

Glutamine

ECA Stack

Magnesium

Vitamin D

Tribulus

Digestive Enzymes

FOLATE

Sodium & Potassium (Electrolytes)

What Supplements Should You Take on Keto Diet?

The health benefits of a keto diet are plenty as this nutrition plan is very effective against epilepsy, diabetes (1), cancer (2), and even Alzheimer’s disease (3). Today, however, it is most commonly used for weight loss. Working most effectively with the right exercise plan, keto diets can be very successful in fighting excessive fats all on their own. However, the right supplements can help you see the positive effects even sooner.

Exogenous Ketones

This is the most basic and the most straightforward supplement you can find. It is designed to quickly increase your ketone levels, facilitating the process of ketosis. Since the natural transition to low-carb foods can be intimidating and often causes a constant feeling of hunger, Exogenous Ketones is a vital keto supplement for the beginners. Without it, switching to a new dietary plan will be way more challenging.

MCT oil

This is one of the best keto supplements and is mostly added to smoothies, yogurts, and — sometimes — salad dressings. The main goal of MCT oil is to boost your energy levels. Similar to Exogenous Ketones, MCT oils can alleviate the feeling of hunger and give your body the sensation of fullness. This is not ‘cheating,’ but actual boosting of peptide YY and leptin hormones (4). MCT oils increase your energy levels, forcing your body to burn unnecessary fats. Eventually, this process leads to the creation of ketones and increased weight loss.

best mct oil for keto diet

Fiber

As you spend some time on a keto diet, you may notice a couple of side effects. Constipation is the first and the most expectable consequence of transferring to a new dietary plan. After all, low-carb also means low-fiber. There are several ways to make your intestines work regularly, just taking fiber on keto. First, you can temporary add more carb and fiber-rich foods to your diet — fruit, white rice, and white bread are good examples. Every diet plan should include only the best fiber supplement for keto. You can also drink a lot of water and go for brisk walks after each meal. Or, you can take the easiest way out and get fiber supplements for your keto diet.

best fiber supplement for keto

Fish Oil

As time passes, you’ll see that constipation is not the only possible side effect of starting with a keto diet. A range of inflammatory diseases (5) is also possible when transferring to a low-carb, high-fat diet. The good news is that omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, contained in fish oil supplements, can help you prevent those. However, people who take any blood-thinning meds should consult with the doctor before getting any omega-3 fatty acids. And, if you want to boost your omega-levels naturally, simply eat more fish products — salmon and sardines especially.

best omega 3 supplement

Magnesium

As you reduce your high-carb foods, you’ll be losing a lot of magnesium, commonly found in beans and fruits. The inevitable side effects of this loss are muscle cramps (especially if you keto supplement your diet with regular workouts), sleep disorders, and irritability (6). Taking around 200-400 mg of magnesium a day can help you fight those issues successfully. As for the natural ingredients that contain this mineral, turn to spinach, avocado, and mackerel.

Vitamin D

The lack of vitamin D is not directly related to a keto diet, but is a common occurrence, in general. However, vitamin D is essential to help your body absorb just the right amount of calcium contained in protein and fat foods. If you are lactose intolerant and want to give ketosis a try, substituting vitamin D with supplements is a must for supporting your immune system, preventing inflammation, and ensuring the proper cell growth.

Chromium and Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Similar to Vitamin D, described above, ALA is responsible for cell growth and metabolism. Our bodies naturally form this acid, but the transition to a keto diet can drastically decrease its levels. 30 mg of ALA supplements a day can boost metabolism and make your body burn fats even quicker. Note, however, that this acid works best in combination with fish oils, so if you really want to achieve quick results, you should not neglect other keto supplements on this list.

spinach alpha lipoic

Creatine

For some reason, there is a debate over the safety of low carb creatine supplements on a keto diet. Some people believe they contain carbs that interfere with your ketosis process. The assumption is wrong because creatine on low carb diet is a fully organic substance that does not contain any carbs at all. However, it’s an incredibly effective supplement that can increase your strength (7) and make your workout sessions more effective. If your goal is not only weight loss but also muscle gain, creatine is a must on a keto diet.

best bcaa for keto creatine

Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB)

Another example of an essential supplement for those people who aspire to muscle gain as opposed to mere weight loss. It comes particularly handy at the beginning of your exercise program, helping to increase muscle tissue (8) steadily. However, the primary purpose is to prevent muscle breakdown, which could become one of the potential side effects of transferring to a new dietary plan. Even though this substance is naturally formed by amino acid leucine in our bodies, shifting to a low-carb diet can reduce its levels, negatively affecting your gym performance.

hmb review

Tribulus

One more useful keto supplement that works for most people striving to increase their muscle mass. Tribulus boosts testosterone levels and can be a real lifesaver in the gym — not only for men but also for women. When shifting to a keto diet, Tribulus is definitely not a must and seems to work better for men (9) than women (quite expectedly, to be frank). So, most ladies can easily skip this part and read further.

Digestive Enzymes

One more common side effect of going keto is the opposite of low-carb constipation. About 75% of your meals will contain a lot of fat, which can eventually lead to diarrhea and nausea. Besides, don’t forget that your protein consumption levels will be average at best, so there is no natural way to balance high-fat consumption — especially in the early stages of your keto diet. Digestive Enzymes on keto help to prevent any digestive disorders, putting your intestines to their normal pace.

Carnitine (in L or Acetyl-L-form)

Now, let’s be frank — very few people can spend months on a keto diet without indulging themselves with a couple of high-carb meals. Sounds fair? That’s why you may need Acetyl L-Carnitine supplement sooner or later — it’s very effective after a high-carb meal, making sure all of your past efforts do not go to waste. Once on a steady ketosis process (10), this supplement is not at all necessary.

Carnitine (in L or Acetyl-L-form)

Glutamine

One more thing your body will miss after decreasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat is the antioxidants. The L-glutamine amino acid can help substitute those natural ingredients. Once again, this supplement is necessary for people who work out a lot, not for people trying to normalize their weight. L-glutamine is available in pills and should be taken before and after each session in the gym.

natural glutamin source

ECA Stack

ECA stands for ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. The ephedrine part is the least understandable and most effective one in the mix. This agent boosts metabolism by approximately 5% and leads to quick fat loss. However, the effect is short-lived, so you should either consider this keto supplement in your beginning stages or use it occasionally — for example, after indulging with some high-carb foods or skipping your regular workout.

caffeine-supplement eca stack

FOLATE

Folate is vitamin B-9, naturally contained in vegetables and beans. Asparagus, lettuce, and cauliflower are especially rich in it, even though ready-made supplements can ensure even higher Folate levels in your body. This vitamin helps to balance out your hormonal levels — in particular, estrogen. That is why it is highly recommended for women, helping them to keep their mood and cravings under control. If you experience any of these issues, you may consider adding folate to your keto diet.

folate cycle supplements

Sodium & Potassium (Electrolytes)

We’ve already mentioned the negative side effects of low magnesium levels in our bodies. However, low levels of sodium and potassium can eventually lead to the same effect — muscle cramps, fatigue, and headaches (11). Next, pro athletes and people regularly working out in the gym may lose even more electrolytes through sweating (12). Once again, you can get sodium and potassium supplements in your late weeks of going keto. One of the best sources of potassium for keto is avocados, nuts and seeds. Those who do not work out a lot may also add more salt to their food — it will balance out sodium levels quite effectively.

sodium potassium tartrate

Why take supplements on a keto diet?

If you took time reading the above section, you should, by now, see that keto supplements are designed to make your transition to a new dietary plan easier and less stressful. More importantly, they help alleviate the potential side effects of switching to a new nutrition plan, helping you reduce your carb and glucose levels without any damage to your health. And, of course, if your ultimate goal of getting onto a keto diet is weight loss, plenty of these best keto supplements will alleviate the feeling of hunger and help you achieve visible results even sooner.

Professional Opinions

What Dietitian Say

“The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet is followed for various reasons, from promoting weight loss to boosting athletic performance. Some supplements can make the transition to this way of eating easier and help reduce symptoms of the keto flu. What’s more, many supplements can improve the nutritional value of a ketogenic diet plan and even enhance athletic performance. Taking these supplements can help optimize nutrition and allow you to thrive while on a keto diet.”

jilian kubala

MS, RD & Writer

FAQ

Do Keto pills work for weight loss?

Yes, they do. First of all, minimizing high-carb foods forces your liver to burn excessive fats. Second, some keto pills are shown to reduce appetite, making dieter’s shift from high to low-carb diet less stressful.


Do I need to take supplements on a keto diet?

You do if you want to achieve quick results. Keto, or low-carb, diet is already an effective weight-loss tool. However, the right supplements can help you fill in nutritional gaps, reducing appetite, providing the right vitamins, and making your dietary shift easier.


Can you take b12 while on a keto diet?

In fact, you are strongly advised to take it — especially so, if you do not eat any animal products. Low levels of b12 affect your blood cell formation, which may cause anemia in the long run.


What is Keto weight loss pills?

Keto weight loss pills may feature different combinations of the supplements described above. The ultimate goal of those pills is to help your body deal with reduced levels of high-carb foods and make your liver burn fatty acids instead. Essentially, it all leads to weight loss.


Will vitamins kick me out of ketosis?

Ketosis is a process of forming ketone bodies. Your liver is forced to do that when the glucose levels (from carb foods) are low. So, no — vitamins cannot kick you out of ketosis if the process has already started. Indulging yourself and eating some high-carb food will do it, but not for long. Once your liver burns down carbs, it gets all the glucose it can get. Sooner or later, glucose levels go down, and your ketosis (fat burning) process starts over again.


How fast do you see results on keto?

The answer to that mostly depends on the results you’re trying to achieve. If you are aiming for weight loss, you will see some progress in about a week. If your goal is burning fat AND building muscle, the latter one is a lengthier process that takes months of exercise. Essentially, it all goes down to how determined and consistent you are.


Summing it all up, going on a keto diet has plenty of other health benefits aside from the obvious weight loss. With the right dietary plan and the right keto supplements to help you on this path, increasing your ketone levels is just a matter of time and patience.