Recommended Keto Supplements
There are a long list of supplements that have some proven benefits. This list is the supplements that we have found to be highly beneficial over the past few years eating a ketogenic diet. Before taking a new supplement we will typically research the proven benefits using examine.com. Lets get to the list!
It is essential to supplement with electrolytes while doing a keto diet, especially when first starting. Your body holds less water due to the decrease in dietary carbs, which will lead to a depletion of important electrolytes. Supplementing with sodium, potassium and magnesium will help mitigate some of the symptoms of low electrolyte levels such as fatigue and headaches.
The easiest electrolyte to add to your diet is going to be sodium. While most people on a standard american diet are advised to reduce their sodium intake, keto dieters may want to do the opposite and dramatically increase it. Sodium tends to be in most processed and packaged foods, which you won't be eating as often on a keto diet. Here's some easy ways to add sodium to your diet:
- Add salt to your meals.
- Add salt to one of your drinks each day.
- Eat salty snacks like pickles, roasted nuts and pork rinds.
- Drink chicken or beef broth regularly
Potassium can be the most difficult electrolyte to get from dietary sources and supplements. Foods high in potassium are mostly vegetables and leafy greens, but the potassium in these foods has questionable bio-availability. Supplements in pill form are capped at 99mg, which is too low of a dosage to make much of a difference. Here are some effective ways of adding potassium to your diet:
- Include avocados, salmon, nuts and leafy greens in your diet.
- Supplement with potassium powders such as potassium citrate or potassium chloride.
Even if you're not on a keto diet you may want to consider supplementing with Magnesium as the US is becoming increasingly deficient. There are a number of factors that have lead to the high amounts of Magnesium deficiency mostly related to our modern diets and the quality of our soil, but there are ways we can counteract this:
- Eat pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and fish.
- Take a magnesium supplement daily. Magnesium Glycinate or Magnesium Citrate are the preferred forms.
To read even more about electrolytes check out this post!
Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in the industrialized world for a number of reasons. The big ones are that we spend less time in the sun than ever before. The animals we eat are even spending less time in the sun (which means their flesh will contain less vitamin D) so we are missing out on dietary Vitamin D as well as Vitamin D from sun exposure. Supplementing is not something that is specific to those eating a ketogenic diet but it is important to consider for all those who do not spend enough time outside.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is a traditional supplement that has been used in Europe for hundreds of years and provides all of the fat-soluble vitamins. Particularly vitamins A and D, which were found to be 10 times higher in primitive societies that did not experience any of the health issues we experience in modern day America. In addition to being rich in vitamins it is also a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. While it can be pricey, the nutrient content of cod liver oil is unmatched. We look for virgin, cold-pressed, or fermented varieties. Following the guidelines of Weston A. Price a dosage of cod liver oil that supplies between 10,000 and 20,000 IU of vitamin A is recommended.
MCT oil is often associated with a keto diet because it can be rapidly converted into ketones by the body. MCT oil is typically derived from coconuts and comes in different types based on the length of the fatty acid.
- Caprylic Acid (C8)
- The most costly, but also the most rapidly metabolized MCT. You will notice an immediate boost in energy, but this can also be the hardest on the digestive system.
- Capric Acid (C10)
- Turns into energy slower than C8 but is significantly cheaper. Most MCT oils on the market are a combination of C8 and C10.
- Lauric Acid (C12)
- Lauric Acid is technically an MCT but does not behave in the same way as the previous two. It requires more digestion and will therefor not result in the same kind of instant energy.
MCT oil is a nice supplement to try out and see how you respond to it. While it does provide instant energy, it is devoid of any true nutrition. Most people like to include it in their morning coffee for an added boost.
Protein and Collagen Powders
It's always going to be best to get nutrients from whole foods, but in a pinch these powders can be nice to have. We like to create baked goods with them sometimes for more of a guilt free dessert. If consumed with adequate amounts of fat, these powders will not have a significant impact on blood glucose levels like so many keto dieters fear. It's best to look for powders that don't contain fillers and use natural sweeteners such as stevia. Most powders will use less desirable sweeteners so it can take some searching to find a really good one.
Comment below with any supplements you have found beneficial or anything else you may have questions about.