Adapting to a keto diet can be difficult. But just because you are going “keto” it doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite supplements. You might have to swap out a few here and there just to make sure they have ZERO carbs, but all in all there are some terrific Keto friendly supplements that will keep you performing at your highest level.

***Update: There are a lot of cool supplements that we have seen in the past few months that might give you the benefits of being in a state of ketosis. These supplements supply exogenous ketones to your body through the use of BHB (Ketone Salts). The research on BHB is pretty remarkable!

  • Protein Powders. Most people on a ketogenic diet find that meeting their protein requirement is pretty easy. The reason why is that protein intake is supposed to be relatively low ie .5g-1g per pound of lean body weight. If by chance you still feel the need to or are having a hard time hitting your protein requirements there are some very good ZERO CARB protein powders available. Here are my 3 favorite LOW/ZERO CARB Protein Powders:
    1. Dymatize ISO-100
    2. ProSupps PS-ISOLATE
    3. Species Nutrition ISOLYZE
  • Creatine. If there is one supplement you should be taking, is Creatine. Yes, it works perfectly well with keto. According to Lyle McDonald:

If there is a single sports supplement that has been shown to work under a variety of conditions, it is creatine. Recall from chapter 19 that creatine phosphate (CP) is used to provide short term energy for exercise lasting approximately 20-30 seconds. Numerous studies have shown that supplementing with creatine monohydrate can increase muscular stores of CP and enhance high intensity exercise performance (for recent reviews of the effects of creatine, see references 3-5).

Improvements are primarily seen in short duration, high-intensity activity such as sprint performance as well as weight lifting (3). However, creatine has not consistently been shown to improve longer events, which rely on other energy systems. The improvements range from the ability to maintain a higher performance level prior to fatigue, the ability to perform more repetitions with a given weight, and some studies suggest that creatine supplementation may increase maximal strength (1 repetition maximum). Additionally, creatine typically causes a large initial weight gain of 5 or more pounds, although the majority of this weight is water. Whether long-term creatine supplementation causes significantly greater gains in lean body mass is still under research. creatine is typically loaded first to saturate muscular stores.

Although the optimal dosage can vary, most studies suggest consuming 20 grams of creatine in divided doses (typically 5 grams four times a day) for 5 days to saturate muscular stores. An alternate method is to take small (3 grams) daily doses of creatine, which results in similar loading over a period of a month. Some individuals find that high doses of creatine cause stomach upset, and lower doses may make loading possible while avoiding this problem. Although maintenance doses have been suggested, there is some debate as to whether or not this is truly necessary . As long as red meat is an integral part of the diet, as it will most likely be on any form of ketogenic diet, muscular CP stores will stay elevated for long periods of time.

One concern regarding creatine and the ketogenic diet is that research suggests that creatine is absorbed most efficiently if it is taken with a high glycemic index carbohydrate (6,7). Thus the low-carbohydrate nature of the ketogenic diet raises the question of whether creatine supplementation is useful. What should be remembered is that the early creatine studies used coffee or tea, without carbohydrates, and creatine uptake was still fairly high. Simply more creatine is absorbed if it is taken with a carbohydrate.

There are several strategies to get around this problem. The first is to load creatine before starting a ketogenic diet, so that it can be taken with a high glycemic carbohydrate. Once loaded, the high intake of meat on a ketogenic diet should maintain muscular stores. Additionally, creatine uptake is higher following exercise so that a maintenance dose could be taken immediately after training. Finally, many individuals have had success taking high dose of creatine (10-20 grams) during the carb-load of the CKD. As well, creatine could be taken around workouts on a TKD. creatine has no known effects on ketosis, nor would it be expected to affect the establishment or maintenance of ketosis.

  • Caffeine. Be it your regular black cup of coffee or caffeine pills. Most pre-workouts have caffeine included as an ingredient. Caffeine is a compound that is seen as ‘anti-sleep’, by mimicking and blocking a molecule that induces sleepiness known as adenosine. Over a short (2 week) period of usage, it is a potent stimulant and fat burner; these effects, alongside some others, fade with time. Source: Examine.com
  • MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) Powder or Oil. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), an extremely healthy fat. These fats easily convert to ketones bodies, helping athletes and busy professionals realize increased levels of energy, focus and performance.All fats are made up of strings of carbon and hydrogen. Short-chain fats have fewer than 6 carbons (e.g. butyric acid), long-chain fats have 13 to 21 (e.g. Omega 3s) and medium-chain fats have 6 to 12. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are made up of medium-chain fatty acids. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are a ketone precursor which are a potent alternative energy source for the brain and muscles.
  • Ketone Salts – Beta Hydroxy Butyrate. Ketone bodies (ketones) are energy sources that are produced and burned under special metabolic conditions such as starvation and high fat (ketogenic diets). Ketones are a super fuel that can be efficiently used by the muscles and the brain, where they generate more energy (ATP) per unit of oxygen consumed than do carbohydrates, protein, or fat.

When eating a low carbohydrate diet, the liver converts fats to ketones, which serve as an alternative energy source for the brain, heart and muscle. Ketone Salts are a ready-to use ketone body, giving athletes and busy professionals more energy, performance, and focus.  There aren’t too many ketone salt supplements / BHB supplements available. The ingredients used in these products are expensive to purchase, much more so than the ingredients found in typical supplement. But these supplements are anything but typical. The science behind them is tremendous. The results that we are seeing are truly remarkable. I would rather spend my money one one supplement that works vs. ten that might work. In the end, if you choose to spend $75 on a Ketone Salt/BHB supplement you will get better results and still save money.

One of the most popular BHB supplements available is Pruvit Keto//OS (click to read my review).