If you’ve ever tried to adopt and maintain a keto diet, you know it’s not easy.
In the first days or weeks of adopting a keto diet, you're going to experience, to some degree or another, everything from fatigue, sugar cravings and lack of focus to insomnia, dizziness, and nausea. Call it the carb flu, call it keto flu, or just plain carb withdrawal, it's not pleasant.
Our bodies are accustomed to receiving large amounts of carbs every day, up to and exceeding 200 grams per day. Your body converts these carbs to glucose, which in turn is used for energy to keep us thinking clearly and to power us through the physical tasks we face every day. Your body is naturally reluctant to use fat stores for this purpose, because fat can be kept in reserve and used during times of famine and starvation. Since most Americans rarely face famine and starvation, our bodies simply don't burn fat as well as they burn carbs. We become metabolically inflexible or poorly "fat adapted."
Of course, your body can and will make the adaptation to converting fat into fuel. But this process takes time, as your body reorients itself to become a fat-burning machine (instead of a carb-burning one). In the meantime, your brain will be screaming at you that you NEED MORE CARBS and unleashing all the symptoms of the keto flu.
What Is Ketosis?
The end goal of all the physical trials and tribulations described above is to enter a state of ketosis. Ketosis, simply put, is a state in which your body breaks fat down into fatty acids, which are converted to ketone bodies which are then used to create energy in your cells. This occurs when your carb intake drops from 200 carbs per day to fifty or even twenty-five and there aren’t enough carbohydrates available for processing into glycogen. The ketones from fat are instead used for fuel, which helps your body eliminate fat stores. The ketones your body produces are called endogenous ketones and, again, your body's capacity for producing them will be limited at first.
When your body does get up to speed, however, you'll start experiencing the physical benefits of the keto lifestyle, which may include decreased appetite, improved mental performance, increased energy and even improved physical endurance.
Helping Your Body Attain Ketosis
For some people, particularly those who have been maintaining some semblance of a healthy, balanced diet with proper daily portions of protein, fats and carbs over the long term, the keto flu is a minor inconvenience that lasts a few days and is gone. If you're not so fortunate, here's some good news. There are strategies that you can employ to shorten the period of mental sluggishness and physical torpor that lurk in wait for you on the bridge to ketosis.
First and foremost, make sure you're getting enough daily calories. People who first start a keto diet are often startled by just how much of their calorie intake has been derived from pasta, rice, bread, and simple sugars. Replacing all those calories can be hard. Replacing them with protein is virtually impossible. Yes, you're going to be eating plenty of eggs, beef and poultry, plus a lot of seafood. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and other fatty fish are particularly useful in boosting calorie intake, and they contain Omega-3 fatty acids that have other health benefits as well. On a keto diet, cheese is your friend. Cheese is very low in carbs and high in fat, and also contains conjugated linoleic acid, which may be associated with improvements in body composition.
You see where we're going here. Fats are the key to the keto diet. Your body needs energy and, without sugars and other carbohydrates, it needs to get energy from fats. Where will you be getting them from? Avocados, cheese, coconut oil, olive oil, butter and cream. Nuts and seeds are high-fat, low-carb foods, too. Get used to carrying macadamia nuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds with you for snacking. Consider adding an MCT oil supplement to your diet as well.
Cruciferous and non-starchy vegetables contain very few net carbs and are high in vitamins and important minerals (but aren't exactly packed with calories). Interestingly, berries are a rare fruit that is also low in carbs. Finally, remember to drink plenty of water and add a little salt to your diet. Dehydration can often give you a headache, nausea, and fatigue, while low-carb diets have been associated with decreased insulin levels, which in turn can lead to sodium deficiency. Oh, and exercise! Recent research suggests that exercise can condition your body to switch between using carbs and ketones for energy more easily.
Exogenous Ketones and Ketosis
Earlier we discussed endogenous ketones, which are the ketones your body produces on its own from stored fat to be used as energy. Scientists have been devoting enormous amounts of attention and research into these ketones and have begun to regard them as a kind of fourth macronutrient (in addition to protein, fats, and carbs). One of the more exciting fields of nutritional research to emerge in recent years involves the formulation of synthesized ketones that can be introduced to the body through supplementation to ease the rigors of attaining and maintaining a state of ketosis. These ketones, called exogenous ketones, function much like endogenous ketones, and have proven enormously popular with keto dieters.
Keto dieters have discovered that supplementation with exogenous ketones like beta-hydroxybutyrate or BHB, can satisfy hunger for significant periods of time and may even modulate blood sugar levels. Some keto dieters have attested that BHB supplementation can help provide an alternative energy source and spare glycogen stores, thus supporting endurance. Others have cited improved cognition and focus when supplementing with BHB.
It should come as no surprise then that a number of sports nutrition manufacturers have started producing exogenous ketone products of greatly varying content and quality. Some of these products contain inferior sources of BHB. Others contain puzzling added ingredients that serve merely to inflate retail prices or, worse, to imitate the benefits that BHB is supposed to provide.
Many of the supplements, for instance, contain large amounts of caffeine for some reason. Is this caffeine present to provide the increased focus and concentration that is not being provided by an inferior form of BHB? It's hard to tell. Some BHB supplements contain malic acid, which is often linked to energy support and tolerance to exercise. But isn't that what the BHB is supposed to be achieving? And then there are BHB supplements that contain needless vitamin B, C, or mineral components. Needless to say, the BHB supplement you should be taking should contain the highest quality source of BHB and nothing else. Fortunately, there is one such source of BHB.
Pure BHB from ProSource: Your Ideal
Source of Pure Exogenous Ketones
ProSource's new Pure BHB is a state-of-the-art ketosis-supporting beta-hydroxybutyrate supplement powder that provides you with exactly what you want and nothing else. Pure BHB is sourced entirely from industry gold standard goBHB®. It is 100% vegan, carb-free and gluten-free, and contains absolutely no needless artificial colors or flavors. There is no caffeine, malic acid or spurious trace amounts of vitamins and minerals in it. Pure BHB's ultra-pure exogenous ketones are designed specifically to help you reach ketosis more swiftly and efficiently and stay in that beneficial state even during brief intervals of higher carb intake.
Pure BHB offers REAL benefits for fitness-conscious people. Take Pure BHB 30 minutes before your workout to support workout energy, focus and clarity. It has a light, clean taste, and mixes easily with water, protein shakes, milk or any cold beverage. Just shake and go!
And this is important: Keep in mind that the best BHB supplements, including ProSource's Pure BHB, are designed to be used in support of a well-maintained keto diet, not in place of a keto diet. There are no magic bullets out there. You have to do the work to earn the benefits!
Also keep in mind that Pure BHB is a ProSource product. With so many disreputable or just plain unknown brands of keto BHB products out there, it's reassuring to know that Pure BHB is the latest entry in a ProSource product line exemplified by over twenty years of research, development, and retailing excellence. You can purchase Pure BHB at our own state-of-the-art retail site or, if you prefer, click on the Amazon banner above and place your order there.
Either way, ProSource PURE BHB is the perfect way to get into ketosis and stay there!
Use as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.