Most people know that following a keto diet can be a great way to increase your ketone levels.

What most people don’t know is you can increase your ketone levels without following a ketosis diet.

Now, this doesn’t mean you will be in a ketosis state. It simply means it can slightly increase ketones in the plasma.

There are several benefits of adding keto supplement, especially if you are an athlete.

Here, we’ll go over the benefits of adding a keto supplement, knowing if you need to supplement and if you need to follow a keto diet to achieve increase ketone levels. 

What are ketones?

Ketones are molecules the body produces in the liver once it breaks down fats. It happens when there are not enough carbs to serve as the main energy source.

As a result, the body produces ketones to serve as an energy source. They are produced in a fasted state, in long exercises, or when you reduce carbohydrate intake.

People often use keto supplements to help them reach a ketosis state faster, or want to remain in a ketosis state more efficiently.

Other people, like athletes, use ketosis right before a workout to boost their performance.

What are keto supplements?

As we’ve seen, ketones can be produced in the body (endogenous). However, there are some external sources of ketones (exogenous).

There are two main forms of ketones: acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate ketones. Most supplements contain beta-hydroxybutyrate since the other is not a stable molecule in supplement form.

Research shows that taking keto supplements can significantly increase ketone levels without relying on a keto diet. In other words, it mimics a keto diet without having to necessarily do it.

Benefits of keto supplements

Can speed up ketosis process

Exogenous keto supplements can make a smoother transition into a keto diet. Since you are taking ketones, the body can use them as an energy source.

Additionally, it can decrease the symptoms of ketosis.

When the body needs to metabolically adapt from using carbs to fats as the main energy source, you might experience symptoms like nausea, foggy brain, fatigue, and headaches. This is often referred to as keto flu.

Taking an exogenous supplement and some electrolytes can significantly reduce the risk of side effects.

Might boost cognitive function

Evidence suggests that ketones might have a positive effect on the brain. It seems that ketones can help improve cognitive function by increasing memory, focus, and learning.

Additionally, it seems it can protect the brain by helping reduce inflammation due to increased free radicals.

Possible side effects of keto supplements

Even though keto supplements are safe to consume, there is always the risk of side effects. The most likely side effects that might arise are digestive problems. For example, while your body gets used to the supplement, you might experience diarrhea, stomach cramps, or bloating.

But, after a couple of days, the symptoms should go away.

If they don’t, make sure you consult with your doctor to determine if you should still be taking the supplement.

Impact of keto supplementation on sports performance

Glycogen is the main energy source in the muscles.

As you start exercising, the body starts using glycogen for fuel. But, like any other energy source, it starts depleting.

When the glycogen stores deplete, you might feel your performance going down since fatigue starts to arise.

In some cases, doing a carb load prior to an endurance event might help increase stored glycogen levels and delay this fatigue.

Recently, ketone supplements have been seen as an alternative (or a complementary supplement to carb loading) to prevent early muscle fatigue.

It seems that ketone supplementation before or during exercise leads to a ketone increase in plasma, which results in an extra energy source for the muscles. In the end, it leads to spring muscle glycogen.

In other words, ketones are used first as an energy source instead of glycogen. So, it extends the time of depletion for the muscle glycogen.

However, the studies are still controversial, which means there is still more research needed to determine the effects of ketone supplementation in sports nutrition. But, so far, the results seem promising.

Do you need to follow a ketogenic diet?

Ketone supplements are not the only way you can increase your ketone levels. The other way is the old-fashioned way which is to follow a ketogenic diet.

However, some controversy exists regarding the keto diet on sports nutrition.

Some people, especially endurance athletes, promote the use of keto to boost performance. However, it might not be so beneficial when it comes to aerobic exercises (practices less than 3 hours).

Still, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of following a keto diet in sports.

One approach is to follow a keto diet while you are off-season. This can help you achieve your weight loss goals without affecting your performance. But, once you start training for competitions, you might want to switch to a higher-carb approach.

With that said, make sure you consult with a Registered Dietitian or sports nutritionist for them to guide you into which is the best meal plan according to your needs and activity.

The best ketone supplement

Lazu Max is one of the best ketone supplements on the market. It contains 1,800 mg of beta-hydroxybutyrate per serving.

Additionally, it contains electrolytes, which can help reduce keto flu symptoms. This can significantly reduce the initial symptoms of the keto flu. As a result, it can make it easier to transition into a low-carb diet.

Finally, they don’t have any artificial ingredients, filler, or junk.

The bottom line

Keto supplement can be a great way to make it easier to transition into a keto diet.

But, one of the most significant benefits is improvement in performance. It seems that ketones might spare glycogen usage, which can extend the time to exhaustion. As a result, it can lead to lower fatigue and improved recovery.

While doing a keto diet might be an easier way to increase ketone levels, there is still not enough evidence to support its effect on performance.

So, ketone supplements, like Lazu Max, might be the best alternative.