Weight Loss Knowledge

When Should You Take Exogenous Ketone Supplements?

when to take exogenous ketone supplements

When to take exogenous ketone supplements? If you’ve started a ketogenic diet, or are even just interested in starting research, you’ve no doubt heard the term “exogenous ketones” or ketogenic BHB. You then want to know the answer to this question. This is because many keto-ers, whether they are experienced or new to the diet, use exogenous ketones as a supplement to a low-carb diet in order to:

  • Achieve the metabolic state of ketosis quickly
  • Curb carbohydrate cravings and reduce appetite
  • Speed up keto weight loss
  • Relieve or prevent the keto flu.

Here are four times when to take exogenous ketone supplements.

When To Take Exogenous Ketone Supplements

1) During The Keto Flu Transition

When you first start the keto diet, your body is still adjusting to the new fuel source and needs to produce enough ketones to keep you alive. During this initial transition phase, known as the “keto flu,” you may find yourself struggling with some temporary symptoms if you’re not already making and utilizing ketones as well as you can.

One of the most popular uses of exogenous ketones – including beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and other types – is to reduce the side effects of the keto flu. These may include fatigue, indigestion, brain fog and headaches. By supplementing with external sources of ketones, you’re essentially sharing some of the stress with your body to quickly boost your ketone levels.

2) If Your Carb Intake Is Too High

You may be trying hard to cut carbs and increase your fat intake, but chances are you’re still not low-carb enough. There could be several reasons for this. For example, if your food choices are limited (let’s say when traveling), or if you’re not tracking your carb/fat intake carefully enough.

This is where keto supplements can help make up the difference – giving you some wiggle room to keep your macronutrient intake on track. If your body is struggling to get into ketosis and stay there, then supplements may be just what you need to get you over the edge of ketosis. This can help you get more energy, control your cravings for carbohydrates or sugar, and possibly experience more weight loss as a result of having more energy and better appetite control.

3) When You’re Endurance Training 

Taking exogenous ketones is a good option for athletes looking to improve their fitness without necessarily eating a severely low-carb diet.

Low-intensity endurance exercise – called aerobic exercise – relies heavily on oxygen and some fat, rather than carbohydrates, for fuel. This makes the keto diet popular among those who want to intensify their aerobic workouts.

Taking an exogenous ketone supplement about 30 to 60 minutes before starting a hard workout can help provide athletes with energy that can be better sustained even with lower oxygen utilization. Ketones can serve as a reliable and long-term source of fuel for hard-working muscles, helping to prevent fatigue and giving athletes an extra push they may not otherwise experience.

4) When You’re Feeling Fatigued

There may be times when, despite your best efforts on the keto diet, you still don’t feel as mentally or physically sharp as you’d like. If you are dealing with lethargy, moodiness, lack of concentration and poor mental performance, ketone supplements may help.

The brain uses ketones in a different way than glucose to keep you alert, which usually results in fewer peaks and valleys of concentration when ketones are plentiful. While not a panacea for sleep deprivation-induced low energy, many people find that supplementing with ketones (especially on a fast, such as when fasting) helps improve cognitive performance, attention, motivation and decision-making.


Most keto dieters desire to achieve the results of keto diet and avoid the side effects. And many of them take exogenous ketone supplements to achieve the goal above. As for the time to take the supplements,some people may take exogenous ketone supplements during the keto flu transition, if their carb intake is high, when they’re endurance training and when they’re feeling tired. You can find your time accordingly. But do remember to consult your doctors before you take any keto supplements.

Some Exogenous Ketones FAQs

1. Is it better to take ketones in the morning or at night?

The keto diet encourages fasting because it helps to induce ketosis. Many people take keto supplements while fasting, for example, in the morning. However, there are no hard and fast rules for taking keto supplements. It depends on when you want to take the medication and what works best for you.

2. Can I take ketones on an empty stomach?

Ketones easily cross the blood-brain barrier and provide instant fuel for your brain without any additional processing. To boost energy and increase intelligence, start by taking one-half to one scoop on an empty stomach.

3. Who should not drink ketones?

If you have diabetes, it is dangerous and may conflict with existing medications. High sodium- keto drinks are usually high in sodium. In some cases, it can lead to high blood pressure. Therefore, one must avoid them in case of a confirmed hypertension diagnosis. But anyone who’d like to take ketones must consult your doctors first.

4. Is MCT oil an exogenous ketone?

MCT oil is thought to be an exogenous ketones, much like BHB (beta-hydroxybutyric acid), that supports ketosis and provides the highly ketogenic, high-quality fat source preferred by many keto-ers.

5. What happens if you take too much exogenous ketones?

Exogenous ketones are keto esters and salts, although keto salts are also more popular and palatable. Digestive problems, such as diarrhea and nausea, occur in some people who take high doses of ketones, so keep that in mind. In short, they support your low-carb lifestyle and health goals.

6. Do ketones cause insomnia?

When you transition into ketosis, your body needs time to upregulate enzymes and pathways to utilize more circulating fat/ketones than before. Glucose levels tend to drop and your brain will be low on fuel for a few days. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including insomnia. But this is a temporary symptom.

7. Do exogenous ketones hurt your kidneys?

Exogenous ketones may protect against acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. Exogenous ketones reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, cell death, and fibrosis in the kidney. Ketones mediate the benefits of SGLT2 inhibitors in the kidney. Nutritional ketosis is a potential strategy for the management of renal disease.

8. How long does it take for ketones to work?

For healthy people who are not diabetic and not pregnant, ketosis usually starts after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. This is about three slices of bread, one cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can also start ketosis by fasting.

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