Advanced Exogenous Ketones: Usually, you’ll find exogenous ketones in the form of powdered ketone salts. Less common are ketone esters, which are the purest form of ketones. Griffin says they work quickly (in 10 to 15 minutes, as opposed to an hour for the salts) and effectively, but they’re more expensive, have a more-revolting taste, and are harder to find (HVMN is one U.S. company that sells them). People also use medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil — or partially manmade fats — to put the body into a state of ketosis.
What Are Advanced Exogenous Ketones Exactly?
The idea is when you eat something that’s not keto-friendly, you can reach for exogenous ketones to keep your body in ketosis. The word exogenous means created externally. Advanced Exogenous Ketones supplements are forms of the ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which your body normally creates on its own.
“The purpose is to, in a timely fashion regardless of your dietary pattern, raise your blood level of ketone bodies,” Griffin says.
Do Exogenous Ketones Work to Bring Your Body Back Into Ketosis?
Griffin says it depends on your expectations. You can’t just take them, eat a carb-heavy diet, and expect magic to happen. “The problem is a lot of people associate [Advanced Exogenous Ketones] with, ‘That means I’m going to burn fat,’ and those don’t actually go together,” she says. “The ketones themselves don’t make you burn fat per se.”
Instead, they should be viewed as supplements to the keto diet. “They can enhance that state that you achieve through your dietary choices,” Griffin says. But, yes, you still have to put in the work.
How to Pick a Good Exogenous Ketones Supplement
Because they’re so expensive, you want to make sure you pick a good one. Griffin and Langer say to ignore the companies that make these supplements sound too good to be true. Just like with any supplement, Griffin says it’s important to look at what’s in it. Beware of products with lots of fillers and instead go for one with a short, straightforward list of ingredients (Griffin likes the options from KetoSports).
The Bottom Line on Using Exogenous Keto for Ketosis
There’s some support that exogenous ketones can be helpful for people already dutifully following the keto diet — but research has been limited. One thing we know for sure: These aren’t a get-thin-quick solution. “I think people are drawn to a quick, easy fix, kind of a magic bullet supplement. Advanced Exogenous Ketones not that this won’t contribute to weight loss, but it’s not that magic bullet,” Griffin says.
Langer sums it up this way: “You have to put the effort in,” she says. “If you want to be in ketosis, do the ketogenic diet. You cannot just relax and eat whatever you want and automatically lose weight with this or any other product.”