Every diet comes with a certain degree of sacrifice, and low-carb diets such as the keto diet definitely have their fair share of restrictions. These dietary restrictions can place a nutritional burden on the body. Where once your body was brimming with electrolytes, it now may be suffering from an imbalance in essential minerals like calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Then there are the keto diet side effects, otherwise known as “keto flu,” like diarrhea, nausea, headaches, and fatigue to contend with. With all that in mind, is the keto diet really all that it’s cracked up to be?
Once you’re fully in ketosis—making ketones and burning fats—the keto diet optimizes health by promoting:
- Weight loss
- Fat burning
- High-performance energy
- Brain power beyond belief
- Lower inflammation
- Clearer skin
- Fewer cravings
- And so much more!
And here’s the good news: you can bypass the potential nutritional deficits and keto flu symptoms by using keto supplements to optimize your keto progress.
Keto supplements help:
- Get you in ketosis faster and keep you there
- Shore up any nutritional gaps from restricted eating
- Keep the keto flu from ruining your day
But you don’t want to go overboard with supplement support. That’s hard on your wallet and not always necessary. So, what are the best keto supplements to have on hand? We’re so glad you asked. Keep reading for the top 8 best keto supplements for low-carb dieters!
This vital mineral does many good deeds for the body. In fact, it is a crucial part of more than 300 bodily reactions. Magnesium…
- Normalizes blood sugar levels
- Keeps muscles from cramping
- Supports immune function
- Helps heart rhythm
- Augments nerve and muscle function
…and subdues two prevalent keto flu symptoms: sleeping troubles and irritability!
Unfortunately, it may be difficult to meet your magnesium needs while on the keto diet because magnesium-rich foods like nuts and beans are also high in carbs and therefore off limits.
You can certainly up your magnesium intake with keto-approved foods such as avocado, spinach, Swiss chard, and pumpkin seeds, but it’s worthwhile to bolster those efforts with a magnesium supplement.
Women—take 320 milligrams of magnesium a day
Men—take 420 milligrams of magnesium a day
In addition to magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium are important electrolytes that can sometimes be depleted by keto eating. That’s because low-carb diets can trigger the kidneys to eliminate excess water, and electrolyte levels can drop as a consequence.
Ensure you’re getting enough sodium by adding pinches of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt to your meals. A cup of bone broth a day is a meat eater’s favorite way to stock up on sodium.
You don’t want to supplement with potassium, as too much potassium can put you at grave danger of a cardiovascular event. Instead, get your potassium by eating plenty of salmon, mushrooms, avocado, and leafy greens.
You can take a calcium supplement fortified with vitamin D (1000 mg per day) if you suspect calcium levels are low, but it’s essential you’re eating your leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, fish, and dairy.
#2: MCT Oil
If you’ve done an Internet sweep on the keto diet, you’ve come across MCT oil, which is the supplement of choice for keto dieters. MCTs stand for medium-chain triglycerides, which are a unique type of healthful fatty acid that is broken down into fuel for your muscles and brain faster than other fatty acids are. In other words, MCTs aren’t stored as fat but are burned for energy, and in the burning, they produce the ketones every keto dieter is after.
You can get some MCTs from coconut oil, but if you’re serious about reaching ketosis, it’s much more effective to supplement with a concentrated dose of MCTs in an MCT oil supplement. An MCT oil supplement:
- Increases ketone levels
- Keeps you in ketosis
- Helps control appetite
- Fuels fat burning
MCT oil is notorious for causing digestive upset when you’re first starting out. For this reason, take a small amount in the beginning, and then increase to the full-strength dose. Powders and oils can be easily added to smoothies and coffees, but many keto practitioners prefer MCT Oil Softgels that are more convenient to take and easier on the stomach. Our premium-blend MCT Oil Softgels make sure you’re fully optimized on your keto journey, especially for keto dieters on the go.
A fish oil supplement containing the omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) isn’t just recommended for keto dieters but is a must-take supplement for all humans regardless of eating plan. Omega-3s subdue inflammation, reduce your risk of heart disease, and keep your brain sharp and healthy as you age.
Unfortunately, eating a typical Western diet can throw off the delicate balance between anti-inflammatory omega-3s and pro-inflammatory omega-6s. Too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 can contribute to chronic inflammation in the body. A high-fat keto diet can likewise affect the omega-3/omega-6 balance. Supplementing with an omega-3 fish oil helps sustain the ideal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio while on a high-fat diet.
Science backs up the benefits of fish oil supplements. A 2015 study published in Marine Drugs revealed that an omega-3 supplement of krill oil lowered triglycerides and decreased inflammation and inflammatory markers.
What about ALA, you may be thinking. ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, is an omega-3 found in plant-based foods like chia seeds. It converts to DHA and EPA in the body but very slowly and overall not that great. For this reason, it’s best to supplement with a fish or krill oil that contains DHA and EPA omegas.
But not all fish oils on the market should be trusted. Many contain heavy metals and other contaminants that cause brain and nervous system disorders. Look for the stamp of approval on your omega-3 supplement from IFOS (the International Fish Oil Standards) and FOS (Friend of the Sea). You’ll want to take between 3,000 and 5,000 milligrams a day with an equal distribution of DHA and EPA.
Caution: omega-3s thin the blood, so please consult with a doctor if you are on blood-thinning medication before supplementing with omega-3s.
#4: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is best gotten from the sun, but SPF creams have replaced sun worship due to skin cancer concerns and 33% of Americans are low in this crucial nutrient. It’s a good idea for everyone to start supplementing with a vitamin D3 supplement high in IUs, such as Vitamin Code Raw D3 with 5000 IUs of D per capsule.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which we’ve already seen can be lacking in the keto diet and for those who are lactose intolerant. Vitamin D also…
- Strengthens immunity
- Controls cellular growth
- Alleviates inflammation
- Fortifies muscle strength and growth
- Supports bone density
- Maintains healthy testosterone levels
Vitamin D is found in some foods, like fatty fish, beef liver, cheese, and vitamin D-fortified foods, but in pretty low amounts. Spend some time SPF-free in the sun (10 minutes should suffice if you have pale skin—you don’t want to burn!) and consider taking a vitamin D supplement daily.
#5: Exogenous Ketones
Every keto dieter needs her exogenous ketones. Exogenous ketones are ketones you get from an external source, like a BHB supplement. Endogenous ketones are those your body produces internally. So, if your body can make ketones naturally, why provide an outside source?
Answer: So you can reach ketosis quicker and stay there easily…even on cheat days!
Research suggests exogenous ketones may also help:
- Elevate athletic performance so your fitness doesn’t fail while on the keto diet
- Help your muscles recover faster
- Curb your appetite by helping you to feel fuller for longer
If you’re embarking on a keto diet and want to keep your energy up, sharpen your focus, lose weight, boost energy, and make sure your body is inflammation free, consider supplementing with Fitoru’s BHB Oil Powder and Capsules to feed your body some supportive ketones.
#6: Digestive Enzymes
A high-fat, low-carb diet, especially if you’re used to eating low fat, can be tough on the digestive system. You may feel nauseous and have bouts of diarrhea, and increased protein intake doesn’t help matters. Digestive enzymes help ease this transition by breaking down fats and proteins.
You’ll want to take a digestive enzyme blend made up of protease and lipase enzymes. Protease enzymes help you digest protein and lipase enzymes tackle the fat. There’s also some evidence that protease enzymes may help ease soreness after a workout.
Probiotic supplements also give a boost to gut health by populating your gastrointestinal tract with beneficial live cultures of bacteria. This is especially important on a keto diet, because eating so low carb can deprive beneficial gut bacteria of the nutrients they need to survive. When your gut flora is overrun by bad bacteria and depleted of good bacteria you may experience a weakened immune system, food intolerances, and allergies.
You’ll want to consume as many keto-approved fermented foods as you can, such as sauerkraut, but it’s also a good idea to supplement with live cultures of good bacteria to make sure your gut microbiome stays satisfied. A probiotic helps beat keto flu symptoms like diarrhea and constipation, gives a much-needed boost to the immune system, and encourages a healthy weight. Look for a probiotic supplement made up of Lactobacillus strains, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces boulardii, and Bacillus coagulans.
#8: Greens Powder
We all know how tricky it is to get our daily allotment of fruits and veggies, which is what makes green powders so awesome. Just mix a scoop of these concentrated superfoods into your favorite smoothie and you’re loaded up with anti-aging antioxidants that help protect against all manner of disease.
Let’s face it: your main focus on a keto diet is meeting your fat macros, and veggie intake can take a hit as a result. Look for a greens powder that boasts superfoods like chlorella, spirulina, and wheatgrass, and then whip up a keto-approved smoothie!
So, there you have it folks. The 8 best keto supplements to take with you on your keto journey. May you be blessed with ketones and fat burning along the way!