The keto diet is a diet in which the user limits carbs severely to little or none. When carb intake is becomes this low, the the liver produces ketones as a byproduct of protein being used for energy. The keto diet is also known as the ketogenic diet or just a low carb diet.
Starting a ketogenic diet is not as easy a thing as some people may have you think. The first few days are the worst, and most people end up giving up despite the many benefits of a keto diet.
While it may seem like the the keto diet just involves packing away pounds of bacon, heavy cream, and avocados, it’s not as easy as you might think. Your body will struggle a lot in the first few days as it tries to make the transition from burning carbs for energy to burning fat.
To keep this transition smooth, it’s important to include some supplements in the diet. This article will cover some of the supplements needed to help your body adjust to the ketogenic diet more easily.
Top 6 Ketogenic Diet Supplements:
Beta-alanine supplementation is necessary if you want to reduce the burning feeling you can experience in your muscle during and after workouts. The supplementation produces a carnosine with dipeptide molecules that creates a buffer against the cause of the aching. It is not easy managing even a few reps during your early days on a keto diet.
However, when you do, you can deplete your glycogen stores faster, which is crucial when transitioning. This means you will get to use your fats and ketones as energy faster.
Carnosine can also be found naturally in meat, but will have to eat at least 30 ounces of lean beef or 120 ounces of chicken to see the benefit.
The recommended dosage is usually 3-6 grams of beta-alanine spread across 2-4 doses a day.
Reducing the number of carbs you take on a daily basis also means cutting down on fluids and sodium in your body. This usually leads to natural loss of water from your body through diuresis.
Water is not lost alone as it goes with the sodium, which means your body will be short on the required sodium and electrolytes it needs. When your body loses a lot of fluids and minerals, you experience fatigue, headaches, nausea, and lack of focus.
Taking electrolyte supplementation is a sure way to supply your body with the much-needed sodium and potassium, helping minimize the flu effects of water and mineral loss. You can also eat leafy greens, seeds, and nuts to compensate for the loss of magnesium. 300mg of magnesium a day for women and 400mg for men is recommended.
3. Branched chain amino acids (BCCAs)
Depending on what you choose to eat in replacement of carbohydrates, the keto diet might actually contain fairly little protein. The ketone bodies produced as a side effect of this diet have a preserving effect on proteins, which means that the body needs very little of them to get what it needs.
Even if you do get a lot of protein by adding more meat and eggs to your diet, your body will take some time to get used to burning protein and fat instead of carbohydrates. In the meantime, you’ll need to supplement with BCAAs.
BCCAs play an important role in building your muscles and maintaining them. However, you also need to make sure you don’t overdo it, as this will jeopardize the ketogenic diet altogether. Consuming too many enriched BCCA drinks might lead to high insulin levels in the body.
The recommended dosage is a serving of 1-2 of 4-5mg per single workout in a day.
4. Creatine Monohydrate
You’ve probably heard of Creatine monohydrate, the most extensively studied supplement for sports nutrition. This is one of the best supplements to get you adapting to your keto diet and hitting the gym without any difficulties.
Creatine, which is a compound in our muscles that helps with muscle recovery, might take a hit after you start a keto diet. It is worth noting that a keto diet does not have a high protein intake affecting creatine levels.
Creatine can also be sourced from salmon, red meat, and other animal sources, but many people avoid these food sources when on a keto diet. In these cases, supplementation is the only way to go if you need the best results.
There is no need to load your body with creatine, 5mg daily should be enough.
Coffee drinkers are commonly known to feel groggy and tired until they have their first cup of coffee. Well, the ingredient in coffee that gets you feeling energized is caffeine.
The feeling you get when you miss your cup of coffee for a day is the same feeling keto dieters feel when they start the diet. Now imagine feeling that way for days to weeks when they first get started.
Caffeine can help a lot when working out, giving you various additional benefits. Most people get reduced DOMS and increased focus, especially when working out. If you have a training schedule, there is nothing wrong with getting a cup of coffee afterward. The caffeine in the coffee can help relax the muscles and help you recover faster.
You can also supplement with caffeine moments before a workout to have the caffeine working inside you before you get started.
6. Protein Powder
This is a great source of protein for people on a ketogenic diet. However, before choosing any protein powder, check on the best brands and go with the ones with as few grams of sugar as possible.
If you’re looking for protein powder, you can also go for the whey protein powder. This is known to have very little carbs that can hinder your keto diet. The goal is to supplement your body with enough proteins in the first days to avoid the loss of muscle that is usually experienced in the initial stages of a keto diet.
Top 6 Ketogenic Diet Supplements Review Summary
When you choose to follow the keto diet, you are making some serious changes to the nutrients your body receives and it will take time for your body to learn how to process these changes.
In the meantime, the top 6 ketogenic diet supplements above can help you to bridge the gap.