The Effectiveness Of Keto Based Supplements
A client had a question regarding ketosis/keto based supplements, their effectiveness and whether or not we at Flex support the use of them... so I figured I would outline it in a blog article here as you all may come across this at some stage.
First of all, what is ketosis?
Ketosis is the state in which the body switches its fuel use from carbohydrates to fats, which are broken down into things called ketones, and they are then used as energy for all bodily functions.
The theory goes like this... reduce carbohydrates to below 10% of your total calorie requirements each day, deplete all stores of glycogen (carbs) and then force your body to breakdown stored fats, convert them into ketones (the primary one is called beta hydroxybutyrate) and burn them as fuel instead of carbs.
Sounds great in theory, in reality the results of keto follows a pretty standardised response curve of effectiveness...
- Fat loss is fast
- Hunger is controlled
- Daily energy is stabilised
- Improves insulin sensitivity
BUT... long term:
- Fat loss tends to stall
- Muscle loss risk goes up
- Hormone function reduces
- Dietary adherence drops big time
- Athletic performance drops
Comparatively, a controlled carbohydrate, moderate fat, moderate protein diet performs as good within the first 3 months when compared to keto but outperforms it long term in ALL markers.
So whats the jazz about all these keto products now surfacing...
The primary company responsible for the push of these is called Pruvit and their flagship product is Keto OS.
It is a supplement that contains Beta Hydroxybutyrate salts and claims to 'put your body into ketosis immediately without changing your diet.'
Another example is keto fit (image).
Now, what does this mean??
They claim that by taking exogenous (via diet) ketones achieves the same benefits as your body making them endogenously (in your body by reducing carbs and increasing fats.)In doing so they are claiming that you MUST be in ketosis to burn fat, which is a COMPLETE LIE. As clients, you all know this as you are eating carbs and still getting unreal results.
So the pitch is sold on a lie...strike #1.
Secondly, they claim exogenous ketones will increase fat burning.
Lie #2... Strike #2... your body will burn the exogenous ketones first, then proceed to go back to burning its preferred fuel (carbs).Third, they claim you will get immense energy from these physically.
Lie #3... Strike #3... Exogenous ketones will reduce long-term exercise fatigue by delaying carbohydrate use but it will not increase energy immensely.
So 3 strikes, you're out!
The monster strike on this particular brand, however, is the fact that it is a part of a multi-level marketing scheme just like Isagenix.
People will literally say they feel like God if it makes them more money, please do not purchase any of these products unless you talk to your coaches first.Now in saying all of that... there is some good research currently coming out on the use of supplemental Ketones increasing brain function, so there is some benefit there, however, you will benefit most when following a higher fat diet even when using the product so the claim of not having to change your diet is once again false.
In my opinion, the only usable benefit I can foresee these products providing is increased brain function when taken in the morning. In doing so you would also need to minimise carbohydrate intake until the night.
Similarly, for any endurance athletes like marathon runners, there may be some benefit to delay long-term fatigue but the science on this is still scarce.
Don't be fooled by marketing team, it's designed to remove the reality and sell you hopes and wishes.
To anyone who has made it this far on this monster post, thank you for reading!
Diet Smart. Not Hard.