With the keto diet making big waves in the health and fitness world, a lot of you may have seen a number of “keto-friendly” products pop up in grocery and e-commerce stores. Though eating whole foods is the only way to truly all the benefits of this high fat, low carb diet, there are some products that can make the keto diet more enjoyable. So, we’ve created a multi-part series on keto aids that can help you achieve and stay in ketosis should you choose this path.

Today, we’ll talk about a few supplements that can combine with the keto diet to help boost your performance. Whether you’re looking to achieve new goals at the gym, on the trails or in the pool, these tips can help you supplement smart.

Keto & Supplements: The Basics

The keto diet, in the simplest terms possible, is all about switching your body’s fuel source from carbohydrates to fats. On the keto diet, your body relies on fats, also known as ketones, to power you through work, play and everything in between. As we covered in our February article on the keto diet, this process, known as ketosis, has myriad benefits, from weight management to cognitive and athletic performance. However, some keto dieters have reported some early struggles with this transition, as lower blood glucose levels may leave one feeling groggy until the body produces enough ketones to keep up an active lifestyle. This feeling, known by many as the “keto flu”, can be a real drag, especially if you love being active. Supplements can not only help you minimize this downtime, but also combine with the keto diet to achieve new wellness goals. Below, we’ll talk about two supplements that are great keto aids for a variety of active lifestyles.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and essential for building and repairing lean muscle. Traditionally, your body gets these from foods like meat, eggs, and legumes, but they can also be supplemented as BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) or essential amino acids (EAAs).

However, aminos can be broken down by the body and converted into glucose, taking you out of ketosis. While lysine and leucine are both exclusively ketogenic, other essential amino acids (e.g., glutamine) can be converted into sugars, especially if you take them in a fasted state. As a result, we recommend consuming aminos around or during training. This maximizes your body’s potential to use them for their intended purposes and reduces the risk that they are converted to glucose.

BHBs (Beta Hydroxybutyrate)

BHBs are some of the newest supplements on the market, and can be a beneficial fitness aid, whether you’re on a keto diet or not. The easiest way to describe what they are is to actually look at carbohydrates. You have simple carbs (e.g., fruit juice) that are broken down quickly, and complex carbs (e.g., sweet potatoes) that are broken down slower. Similar to simple carbs, BHBs are processed rapidly, making them a great fuel source that your body can use immediately for energy.

Instead of waiting on other fat sources that digest slowly, try taking 5-15g of BHBs to help you get through a tough workout or a busy day. BHBs have also been shown to help speed up recovery and enhance cognitive function, so you’re getting more than just fuel.

Wrapping it all Up

Keto is about more than just losing weight - it’s about improving your life. No matter where you are in your wellness journey, these keto-friendly supplements can help you take your diet and fitness to the next level.