Transitioning to a new diet doesn’t always go as smoothly as we’d like…

And while the keto diet in particular has been proven to assist in a variety of health benefits, there can be some unpleasant side effects that come with it, such as:

To make matters more challenging, eating the right foods alone won’t always be enough to provide your body with the essential ingredients it needs.

This is where supplements come in.

Supplements can help make up for the vitamins and nutrients you need to better and more quickly adapt to a keto diet.

They can be consumed as oral pills, shakes and even proteins.

In this article, we’re going to run through the top ten supplements you need to know about on the keto diet.

Exogenous ketones

Related Article: Should I Supplement with Exogenous Ketones?

The keto diet is all about your body shifting from relying on glucose to ketones for energy. The ketones already found in your body are endogenous ketones.

Exogenous (outside the body) ketones can help you move into ketosis faster, partially by decreasing glucose significantly.

It can help suppress appetite [2], helping you reach weight loss goals faster. Be mindful of side effects like bad breath and an upset stomach (after taking high doses).

Electrolyte supplements

Electrolytes are essential minerals in your body necessary for your heart, nerves, and muscles to regulate processes such as maintaining blood chemistry and muscle action.

On the keto diet, you’re trying to avoid foods that contain natural electrolytes, like starchy fruits and vegetables.

Lack of electrolytes can trigger the symptoms associated with the “keto flu,” like dizziness and dehydration.It can also cause water retention and constipation, so it’s important that your body is getting what it needs.

You can find electrolyte supplements at most grocery and health food stores.

Be on the lookout for supplements that contain sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium—the minerals that could be depleted during keto.

Digestive Enzymes

As you age, your body produces fewer digestive enzymes.

This explains why foods that you didn’t have a problem digesting when you were younger might cause bloating, gas, or discomfort now.

On the keto diet you’re limiting the scope of foods you can consume, and so digestive enzymes are a way to aid in digestion.

This can help ease symptoms like:

  • nausea or diarrhea

Collagen

Collagen supplements can do wonders for you whether you’re following keto or not.

Collagen is an amino acid that holds together tendons, skin, bones, and muscles [1]. Collagen deficiencies can lead to wrinkling and weakening joint cartilage.

Collagen supplements can be an option in case eating the appropriate keto-friendly foods is a challenge. Collagen will help keep your skin glowing, your hair growing, and your nails healthy.

Vitamin D

Like collagen, Vitamin D supplements are valuable whether or not you’re following keto.

A vitamin D deficiency is very common, and Vitamin D helps with skin, bone, and immune system health. It doesn’t directly contribute to ketosis, but is nonetheless vital to your overall health.

Greens Powders

It can be challenging to get the veggie intake you need that will supply you with enough essential nutrients. Greens powders consist of powdered plants like spinach, kale, broccoli, and wheatgrass. They can be conveniently mixed in or blended into smoothies.

These smoothies can be healthy snacks or meal substitutes.

Fish oil

Fish oil supplements are very popular and it’s easy to see why. They’re rich in Omega-3 fatty acids [3], which helps reduce the risk of inflammation, heart disease, and cancer, and helps with skin and nails. Fish oil is also thought to be good for mental wellness as well.

For keto dieters, fish oil can help you get the necessary Omega-3s you might get from healthy fats like salmon.

However, those who take blood-thinning medications should consult with their doctor before taking them because they could potentially thin your blood further and increase your risk of bleeding.

MCT Oil

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are a kind of fat molecule found in coconut oil, cheese, butter, and yogurt. They have shorter chain lengths than other fatty acids and can be metabolized quicker, allowing your body to convert them to fuel rather than storing them as fats.

Rather than getting the healthy fats in the form of, say, coconut oil, supplements provide a higher concentration of MCTs in their most organic state.

That is, they are separate from the rest of the ingredients in coconut or palm oil, which means there’s less work to do in digesting them into fuel.

MCT oils can come in capsule or powder forms that you can mix in with drinks.

Glutamine

Glutamine may sound unfamiliar, but it’s simply an amino acid that is an effective antioxidant.

When you’re on the keto diet, you may be exercising more, depleting your body’s natural glutamine stores and producing certain toxins.

Consuming glutamine supplements can help boost your immune system, muscle recovery time, and stave off cellular damage.

Turmeric

Turmeric has become increasingly popular in recent years as a healthful aid and is technically a flowering plant of the ginger family.

The primary ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It’s a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, which will help in combating disease.

Curcumin in turmeric is often found in small quantities, so taking it in supplement form will allow you to take advantage of its powerful health benefits. Turmeric lattes, or golden milk lattes, have also become popular as a way to add turmeric in a tasty way.

Hopefully while you’re on the keto diet it will prove to be the gateway in improving your overall health.

Supplements, whether in oral, powder, or shake form, can ensure that your body is getting the important nutrients and ingredients it needs keep you on the right path. As always, it’s recommended that you consult with your doctor before beginning a supplement regime.

References:

[1] Zdzieblik D, Oesser S, Baumstark MW, Gollhofer A, König D. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1237-45. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515002810. Epub 2015 Sep 10.

[2] Stubbs BJ, Cox PJ, Evans RD, Cyranka M1, Clarke K, de Wet H1. A Ketone Ester Drink Lowers Human Ghrelin and Appetite. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2018 Feb;26(2):269-273. doi: 10.1002/oby.22051. Epub 2017 Nov 6.

[3] Jenkins D, Josse A. Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids: Fact sheet. CMAJ. 2008;178(2):150. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.071754. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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