13 Keto Diet Supplements for Weight Loss and Well-Being

The keto diet is a safe and easy way to lose weight and gain holistic health benefits, but you may need a boost in certain nutrients when doing it. This article will discuss the top 10 supplements you should consider for the keto diet.

Best Keto Diet Supplements

  1. Magnesium
  2. Calcium and Vitamin D
  3. MCT Oil
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  5. Iron
  6. Electrolytes
  7. Digestive Enzymes
  8. Exogenous Ketones
  9. Greens Powder
  10. Creatine
  11. Caffeine
  12. Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
  13. Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB)

1. Magnesium

Magnesium1 is a crucial mineral involved in various physiological functions. It is pivotal in muscle contraction and relaxation,2 nerve function, blood pressure regulation,3 and energy production.4 Additionally, magnesium is essential for synthesizing DNA, RNA, and proteins.5

On a ketogenic diet, restricting certain food groups that are traditionally rich in magnesium, such as whole grains and legumes, can lead to lower magnesium intake. This makes supplementation important for maintaining optimal magnesium levels, preventing deficiencies, and supporting overall metabolic function.

Inadequate magnesium levels6 can manifest as muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, nausea, and abnormal heart rhythms. Consider magnesium supplements in the form of magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate for better absorption.

2. Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium7 is a vital mineral essential for forming and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Beyond its role in bone health, calcium is involved in blood clotting,8 muscle contraction,9 and nerve transmission.10

While you get enough calcium from dairy products allowed in the keto diet, calcium loss through frequent urination is common in the adaptation stage of the keto diet, which often leads to decreased calcium levels.

A lack of calcium11 may lead to weak and brittle bones, tooth decay, muscle cramps, and fatigue. Choose a calcium supplement that also contains Vitamin D12 to enhance calcium absorption. Calcium and vitamin D helps boost muscle strength and overall health.

On the other hand, vitamin D13 is a fat-soluble vitamin crucial for calcium absorption, bone health, and immune system function. The body can produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but dietary sources and supplementation are essential, especially in regions with limited sunlight.

Reduced intake of fortified foods, such as cereals, and limited exposure to sunlight may contribute to lower Vitamin D levels in individuals on a ketogenic diet. Supplementation becomes vital to maintain optimal Vitamin D status.

Insufficient Vitamin D14 may lead to bone pain, muscle weakness, an increased risk of fractures, and fatigue.

Opt for Vitamin D3 supplements, as they are more effective in raising and maintaining Vitamin D levels in the body. Combined with calcium supplementation, Vitamin D ensures optimal bone health and boosts energy levels.

3. MCT Oil

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are easily digestible fat and rapidly converted into energy. MCT oil, derived from coconut or palm kernel oil, has been proven to enhance exercise endurance and energy levels.15

Since MCT oil is digested more rapidly, it offers an immediate source of ketones for energy when doing the keto diet, supporting individuals in achieving and maintaining a state of ketosis.

Look for pure MCT oil or MCT oil powder. Adding MCT oil to your morning coffee16 is a viable option to improve ketone production. Start with small doses to minimize the risk of digestive discomfort, and gradually increase as your body adjusts.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids,17 specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential for cardiovascular health,18 brain function,19 and the reduction of inflammation in the body.20

While fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are excellent sources of Omega-3s, individuals may find it challenging to meet their recommended intake through food alone, necessitating supplementation.

Omega-3 deficiency may present as dry and itchy skin, joint pain, fatigue, poor concentration, and even depression. Opt for high-quality fish oil supplements, preferably those that underwent third-party purity and potency testing.

5. Iron

Iron is an essential mineral21 crucial for the formation of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Iron is also involved in energy metabolism22 and immune function.23

The keto diet does not recommend large servings of certain iron-rich foods, such as legumes and fortified cereals. While lean meat is a good source of iron, you may still need more to prevent iron deficiency.

Iron deficiency24 can cause fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, headaches, and cold extremities. Choose iron supplements with added Vitamin C, as Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron (the form of iron found in plant-based foods and supplements).

However, we highly advise seeking medical advice before starting this supplement, as too much iron could lead to deposition in different tissues.25

6. Electrolytes

keto diet supplements

Electrolytes are essential minerals that carry an electric charge within bodily fluids, playing a crucial role in maintaining various physiological functions.26 Aside from magnesium and calcium, some vital electrolytes are sodium, potassium, and chloride.

When doing the keto diet, the glycogen storage and insulin levels drop, causing increased urination, which leads to decreased electrolytes in the body.

Electrolyte imbalance27 often manifests as muscle cramps and spasms, fatigue and weakness, headaches, dizziness and lightheadedness, palpitations, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, constipation and diarrhea, and even brain swelling.

Electrolyte supplements come in different forms: powder, capsules, tablets, and keto-friendly drinks. Be sure to check the ingredient list for any additives, especially sugar.

7. Digestive Enzymes

Natural fiber is essential for digestive health,28 promoting regular bowel movements and supporting a healthy gut microbiome. Digestive enzymes29 aid in the breakdown of food, enhancing nutrient absorption.

Digestive issues are one of the most common drawbacks of the keto diet. Switching to a ketogenic diet low in fiber-containing foods like vegetables may result in inadequate fiber intake.

Lack of sufficient fiber in the diet may result in constipation and irregular bowel movements for some individuals.

Supplementing with digestive enzymes can address digestive issues and support overall gut health. Incorporate Keto-friendly fiber sources such as psyllium husk and cauliflower, and consider digestive enzyme supplements to support the efficient breakdown of nutrients.

8. Exogenous Ketones

Exogenous ketones are produced outside the body,30 typically as beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). They can be ingested to provide an additional source of ketones, supporting ketosis and boosting brain function.31

There are two main types of exogenous ketones: ketone esters and ketone salts. Ketone drinks are also becoming more popular in recent years due to their palatability.

Supplementing with exogenous ketones during the keto diet32 can be beneficial, especially during the early stages or when transitioning back into ketosis after a carb-rich meal. Exogenous ketones provide immediate energy and can help individuals overcome the keto flu.

Choose exogenous ketone supplements without added sugars or unnecessary fillers. It’s essential to use them to complement a well-formulated ketogenic diet rather than a substitute for proper nutrition.

9. Greens Powder

Greens powder is a concentrated blend of nutrients derived from various vegetables. It typically includes vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients.

Meeting the daily recommended intake of vegetables can be challenging on a ketogenic diet, especially if you don’t enjoy eating them. Greens powder offers a convenient and efficient way to supplement essential nutrients and antioxidants.

Select brands with minimal additives and a diverse range of ingredients. This ensures that you receive a broad spectrum of nutrients that may be lacking in a low-carb diet.

However, we recommend eating whole green low-carb veggies like broccoli, spinach, and celery.

10. Creatine

One of the most researched, widely used, and best supplements is creatine. This naturally occurring compound supports energy production by facilitating the synthesis of ATP, which is crucial for intense, short-duration activities.

Creatine has demonstrated benefits in enhancing strength, power, and muscle recovery,33 making it a staple for athletes seeking optimal performance.

11. Caffeine

Caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant, is another prevalent athletic supplement.34 Known for reducing perceived effort during exercise, caffeine enhances focus, alertness, and endurance.

It can also contribute to improved fat metabolism, making it a versatile addition to pre-workout routines.

However, individual tolerance and sensitivity vary, as it may cause high blood pressure, leading to headaches, irritability, and palpitations.

12. Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), comprising leucine, isoleucine, and valine, play a pivotal role in muscle protein synthesis and recovery.

Their use extends to pre-, intra-, or post-workout periods, supporting muscle preservation and reducing post-exercise soreness.35

13. Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB)

Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), a metabolite of leucine, has garnered attention for its potential to enhance strength gains and mitigate muscle damage36 during intense training.

Widely used as a supplement, especially during periods of heightened training intensity, HMB is generally well-tolerated, though consultation with healthcare professionals is advisable for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating these supplements into a ketogenic diet can help bridge nutritional gaps, optimize health, and support weight loss goals. However, it’s crucial to approach supplementation with a personalized and informed perspective.

Consulting with a healthcare professional ensures that the chosen supplements align with individual health needs and goals, contributing to a well-rounded ketogenic lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are keto diet supplements safe?

Yes, when taken as recommended, Keto diet supplements are generally safe. However, individual responses may vary, so consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable.

What are keto diet pills?

Keto diet pills often contain a combination of ingredients to support ketosis, such as exogenous ketones, MCT oil, and electrolytes.

Are keto diet pills safe to use?

While generally safe when taken as directed, the safety of keto diet pills depends on the specific ingredients. Choose reputable brands and consult with a healthcare professional if in doubt.

Can keto diet pills cause high blood pressure?

No, exogenous ketones, including ketone salts, have been shown to reduce blood pressure in healthy populations. However, specific ingredients, such as caffeine, may increase blood pressure. Checking ingredients is crucial in choosing keto pills.

Can you take supplements on keto?

Yes, taking supplements while doing the keto diet may offer benefits, especially if you take the right types of supplements, the ones recommended by your healthcare provider.

References

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Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

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