BHB Salts – Waste of money, or not?

BHB salts exogenous ketonesBHB salts are the latest craze in the ketogenic supplements market.

Apparently, they can help you get into ketosis instantly. No need for a strict diet or exercise!

Sounds good, doesn’t it? But does it actually work? Or maybe they are just a very expensive gimmick?

Let’s look into it.

What are BHB salts?

Ketones are the end product of fat oxidation. Your body produces three types of ketones during ketosis. These are Beta hydroxybutyrate or BHB, acetone, and acetoacetate.

BHB salts are a blend of exogenous (externally created or isolated) BHB ketones with mineral salts such as potassium, calcium, sodium, or magnesium.

Do BHB salts really work?

Yes and no.

Taking BHB salts will increase the level of ketones in your blood. But that doesn’t necessarily mean much.

Naturally elevated ketones are a symptom of fat burning – not a cause.  Exogenous ketone supplements like BHB salts would increase your ketone levels artificially for a few hours. But if your body is not producing its own ketones, the effect will be temporary.

It will not lead to faster fat burning by itself. Especially if you are still eating carbs and not making any other effort to promote fat loss.

So the answer is – exogenous ketones don’t really work that well in isolation for weight loss.

BHB salts can supercharge your Keto diet

Having said all that, if you are already on Keto and working hard, BHB salts can give you a boost.

Here are some examples of how exogenous ketones can help you.

If you’re already on the brink of ketosis

Some of us struggle with breaking into ketosis, especially when trying it for the first time.

Exogenous ketones can give you a push in the right direction. They can help your body to make the switch from burning glucose to burning fat. So that you get over this barrier and settle into your new metabolic state.

But this would only work if you have been sticking to Keto diet and keeping your carbs really low.

Helping with Keto flu symptoms

Many Keto beginners experience Keto flu in the early stages of their diet. Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps and nausea.

BHB salts can help to reduce these symptoms. Exogenous ketones provide a temporary energy boost. Mineral salts component (usually potassium, magnesium and sodium) replenishes electrolytes to stop headaches and muscle pains.

Getting back on Keto track

If you fell off the Keto diet wagon, exogenous ketones might help you get back on track.

Again, this would only work provided you are not too far off from ketogenic levels.

If you had a major carbs blowout, it will still take a few days for your body to expend all that glucose.

Boosting performance

As discussed above, exogenous ketones don’t necessarily help with fat burning.

However, elevating ketones artifically does give you a temporary energy boost. For this reason, some Keto dieters take it as a workout aid.

Improving mental focus

BHB salts cross the blood-brain barrier where they can be used by the brain as a fuel. Ketones provide as much as 70% of the brain’s energy needs, more efficiently than glucose.

Some people take exogenous ketones to enhance focus and cognitive performance.

Long-term health benefits of BHB salts

BHB salts also have some beneficial health effects over the long term.

Increase longevity by activating FOXO3

A strictly followed ketogenic diet, fasting, or BHB salts supplemntation increase the activity of FOXO3 genes that support longevity and lifespan. [1]

Reduce inflammation pathways and internal inflammation

BHB supplementation has been shown to lower inflammation levels by suppressing inflammatory pathways. [2]

Side effects

BHB salts can cause primarily gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea.

Use caution when first starting with BHB supplementation until you determine your gut tolerance. Too much too soon might require you to stay close to a toilet!

Recommended brands

Here a few brands that are designed especially for Keto dieters.

Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketones: Base BHB Salts Supplement

Keto Drive BHB Salts – Exogenous Ketone Performance Complex

Keto BHB Salts Supplement with goBHB by Zenwise

Diet Doctor experiment with exogenous ketones

Diet Doctor website conducted a trial of several exogenous ketones brands. They tested products against the manufacturers’ claims and asked them for comments on the results.

It was an interesting experiment – read the results on the Diet Doctor website.

Summary

In terms of fat burning, BHB salts are NOT a substitute for real ketones generated by following a Keto diet or fasting. If your main objective is weight loss, supplementation on its own will not help.

However, BHB salts do have some benefits. For example, they can help you get into ketosis faster, provide a temporary energy boost or aid your mental performance.

 

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