Exogenous ketones....what are they?

Exogenous Ketones = Muscle x Clarity ^2

Consuming exogenous (external) ketones will catalyse your transformation into a healthier, more focused and energetic version of you! That’s right peacock. Exogenous ketones are a supplement used for boosting performance, metabolism, recovery and energy and are excellent alongside a low carb diet. They predominantly come in powder form and are mixed in water (or sugar free beverage of your choice) to make a great tasting drink. When the body is starved of glucose and carbohydrates, the liver converts stored body fat and nutritional fat into endogenous (in body) ketones which are then used to fuel the body. ‘Exogenous’ is simply we’re taking them from an external source and adding to the ketones your body makes itself. However from your cell's perspective, they can’t tell the difference…sshhhh!


There are three types of ketones produced in the body. They are:

  1. Acetoacetate (AcAc)
  2. Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB)
  3. Acetone

One ketone in particular plays a starring role: beta-hydroxybutate (BHB). It serves as an exceptional clean fuel source for the body and brain.

BHB is the primary ketone your body makes and ultimately converts to energy.  BHB is therefore the key ingredient in Exogenous Ketones and the source of “clean” energy. It’s the most stable of the ketones, and is actually found in nature in many foods including eggs.

There are a few ways to test the level of ketones in your body. Blood Ketone tests are the most accurate. This involves pricking your finger, adding a drop of blood to collection paper and inserting it into a blood ketone meter. Or you can also opt for a quick and easy ‘pee stick’ which measures ketones in your ‘wee’. Its very interesting to understand your body and when it is producing ketones eg After a Low Carb, High Fat meal? After drinking exogenous ketones? After a period of intermittent fasting? After a HIIT session? I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to this stuff and keep charts and diagrams measuring everything. I'll share this in a separate blog.

What's the difference between BHB KETONE SALTS and BHB KETONE ESTERS?

There are two ways to get exogenous ketones in the market: BHB Ketone Salts and BHB Ketone Esters. I've linked an interview with Dr. Dominic D'Agostino covering "Which Ketone Supplement Works Best: Ketone Salts vs. Ketone Esters".

The conclusion is they both work! Esters are more expensive to manufacture and therefore to buy plus have a very strong taste. Salts are less expensive as they contain less ketones, however have the benefit of additional electrolytes and MCT oil, making them taste much better and are tolerated better by the body.

Dr. Dominic D'Agostino is a professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at University of South Florida. His research is supported by the Office of Naval Research at the Department of Defense.

BHB Ketone Esters  are the raw form of BHB, with nothing else added. They contain no salt, fat or carbohydrates. To date a company called HVMN produce the world's first and only ketone ester drink. The goal was to enhance warfighter physical and cognitive performance. After 15 years of R&D, ketone esters are now available. Their focus is promoting these esters as super fuel for serious endurance athletes. Being so pure they come at a premium price and the taste is an acquired one......you’ve been warned! Watch this space for more on HVMN Ketone Esters. Have you tried these? What did you think? Would you be interested in trying them?.

Enter: BHB Ketone Salts

BHB Ketone Salts are an effective supplement created to help people of all fitness levels enter and sustain ketosis. They’re a healthy blend of:

  • Exogenous BHB
  • Mineral salts such as potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, or amino acids like lysine and creatine

The mineral salts added to exogenous BHB help to:

  • Buffer the intensity
  • Improve taste
  • Lower the incidence of stomach issues
  • Make it mixable with food and drinks

When you take BHB salts, they’re broken down during digestion and release free BHB into your bloodstream. BHB then travels toward your organs, where it starts ketolysis to create energy. Normally your body would only generate BHB after it metabolises fats or is in a deep state of fasting or carbohydrate restriction, but you can bypass that entire process by simply ingesting a BHB salt, and thus get yourself into a state of ketosis within 60 mins.

Basically, you enjoy the perks of BHB right away without having to wait for your body to raise ketone levels through a strict ketogenic diet. Your diet is still important to get best results.

Benefits of Exogenous Ketones

  • Higher Ketone Levels: Boost your body into an effortless fat burning mode.
  • Physical & Athletic Performance: Ketones before and during workouts give you a boost in energy.
  • Mental Focus: It’s when you’re tired that you’re most likely to overeat or choose sugary foods.
  • Improved Overall Wellbeing: Ketones help you get into ketosis for benefits from enhanced well-being, to disease prevention and longevity.
  • Boost Energy: At anytime of day
  • Get back into ketosis after eating carbohydrates
  • Reduce Inflammation: The main culprit here is sugar!
  • Preserve muscle mass: A tremendous benefit!  Losing weight in ketosis means you won’t get that ‘skinny fat’ look!  With glucose, the body breaks down lean muscle mass into energy (gluconeogenesis). With ketosis your body converts fat into energy and so muscle is protected. Bonus!

Exogenous Ketones put your body into ketosis within 60 minutes from consumption. Try it for yourself and do the tests. This metabolic state is also referred to as ‘Fat’ or ‘Keto’ Adapted. Ketosis increases fat oxidation and catalyses the break down of fats in the body, i.e. you burn fat quicker!

How To Start Taking Exogenous Ketones

Try this stuff for yourself but go easy tiger!

Now, there a few things you should know before you begin using ketones. First, ketones naturally act as a diuretic, so you lose salt, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and it is generally encouraged to take ketones with extra sodium added.  This can be rectified by supplementing with a good electrolyte. I often mix an electrolyte or megahydrate in with my ketone drink.

Secondly, if you drink them too quickly, can cause stomach cramps and possibly a sick feeling. I made this mistake first time I tried them. There’s no rush.

If you’re not used to consuming ketones, and your body hasn’t yet adapted to the increased fats in your diet and using ketones as an energy source, start slowly and over two weeks build up to a full sachet twice a day. Try 1⁄2 sachet first diluted in 500ml water and drink over 30 mins. Increase your exogenous ketone intake from there.

You can also try mixing with coconut milk, almond milk, coffee, shakes, or any low- or no-carb drink. No blender required.

When you’re body is used to exogenous ketones, I recommend one serving in the morning or before a workout and one in the evening. You can also sip this stuff during a long morning or afternoon bout of work at the office, without spiking blood sugar or consuming excess calories.

When to Take Exogenous Ketones

  • In the morning or between meals for a sustained energy boost.
  • Before or during exercise as a no-carb energy boost.
  • During the day for peak mental performance and sharper focus.
  • After eating a meal that knocks you out of ketosis (ie high carbs) to transition yourself back into ketosis.

How often to take?

I take 2 sachets daily. Often a caffeine version in the morning and a decaf version late afternoon. I’m quite sensitive to caffeine and don’t want a caffeine overload from my ketones so I stick to morning caffeine. If I have a 'fat' coffee then i'll stick to decaf exogenous ketones.

What next?

Ketones are a 4th macronutrient. High energy value. More efficient than protein, carbohydrates or fat. The keto diet peaked in popularity this week — and shows no signs of stopping. There are 4 million #keto posts on Instagram and more than 69 million keto diet recipes on Pinterest.

Key thing to remember.....Sugar is the enemy and will prevent you from burning fat!!

Anyway, the benefits of ketosis go on and on, as you can easily see if you simply “Google” any of the research by guys like Ben Greenfield, Jeff Volek, Richard Veech and Dominic D’Agostino. These guys are steeped in ketosis studies done well, and coming up with some very compelling results on the multitude of benefits derived from exogenous ketones as well as calorically restricted or high-fat diet induced ketosis.

Interestingly a recent study from Ben Greenfield states….ketones have now been proven to have some pretty potent anti-aging, longevity enhancing properties.


Dislcaimer: We’re not doctors. We have summarised key messages for an easy read and are firm believers ketones are the only fuel we need for our bodies to glow and excel inflammation free!

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