Do I Need to Take Supplements on Keto? [No, but these are great]
If you think you’re going to need to spend lots of money on supplements for keto, you’re wrong. In fact, you don’t need any supplements at all to get results. But, even with the best of intentions, sometimes the availability of optimal nutrition isn’t available despite intentional effort. Along with this, many people face a few hurdles as they become fat adapted that lead them to the decision to simplify their weight loss efforts with supplements.
You don’t need to take any supplements on keto. But there are some supplements that make your life easier as you’re becoming fat adapted. They can help you balance pH, reduce inflammation, and stabilize your energy. But how to eat and the habits you develop significantly impact how your body responds and functions on keto.
Let’s answer some critical questions people have about getting started on keto and their concerns about supplements.
Do I need to take supplements on keto?
The short answer is no. You can become a fat burning machine and boost your brain power without taking any supplements. Whether your body is getting the nutrition it needs is largely dependent on your food choice and the habits to create. Your healthy lifestyle is hinged on your efforts. This is true for keto or any other diet you follow.
Following a healthy lifestyle requires consideration of taking supplements to maximize healthy results. But, supporting your efforts with supplements can be helpful.
Here are some optional supplements for keto:
- MCT Oil – Boosts brain power and fat burning
- Digestive Enzymes – eases the transition to ketosis
- Electrolytes – helps avoid keto flu
- Bone Broth – high in glycine and collagen
- Collagen – supports gut health and digestion
- Vitamin D – needed for 500 body functions
- Ashwaganda – supports weight loss and emotional balance
You may never take any supplements and get great results. But in my mind, I decided to include these 7 supplements in my keto regiment because I wanted ‘nutrition insurance’. Before you consider making any changes, consider consulting with your doctor in order to make the best decision for yourself.
This oil has no taste. It’s a multitasking oil will boost your metabolism, energy, and brain power. MCT stands for medium change triglyceride. Put it in your morning coffee to heighten your clarity and super charge your and fat burning,
On keto your goal is to get into ketosis and MCT oil does just that. This oil has special properties. Unlike other fats, it doesn’t need to be digested in order to experience its benefits.
Some benefits of MCT oil include:
- Easily digested
- Increased energy
- Balances gut bacteria
- Increased Energy
- Hormone balance
It goes directly to the liver and help you get into ketosis and helps you burn fat. Immediately after consuming it, it crosses the blood brain barrier to in ramp up clarity and focus.
Do you need to supplement with this to get into ketosis? Absolutely not, but it’s satisfying when you make it easier for yourself to get there,
Your digestive system a complex make up many organs. (1)
They work together to break down foods. Nutrients are extracted from food and transported from the small intestines and absorbed into the blood stream. Digestion helps convert what you eat into energy for growth and repair.
Keto heals your gut. Through the healing process you might experience digestive upset. Taking digestive enzymes will support you through the journey towards a healthier gut.
Eating foods high in digestive enzymes will improve digestions and ultimately improve the absorption of essential nutrients. (2)
As a beginner to keto you want to focus on healing the body. You can either supplements with digestive enzymes or you can get them from foods.
Foods with Digestive Enzymes:
Digestive enzymes break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and using them may managements of digestive issues and manage weight. (3)
Electrolytes are used for maintain nerve and muscle function. (4) They help keep you hydrated and keep your internal balanced.
When you’re lacking electrolytes, you may experience an imbalance that results in symptoms resembling the flu. Many beginners to keto experience the ‘keto flu’. The symptoms include: nausea, dizziness, sugar cravings, muscle cramps, headaches, and brain fog.
By supplementing with electrolytes you can avoid and minimize the negative impact of your adjustment as you optimize your body functions. electrolytes are crucial to your nervous system and muscle function.
Electrolytes are crucial to keeping your nervous system and muscles functioning and your internal environment balanced. Electrolytes commonly focused on during the transition to a LCHF diet are:
Your brain sends electrical signals through your nerve cells to communicate with the cells throughout your body.
Nervous impulses are generated because of electrical charges of nerve cell membrane. Sodium moves across the nerve cell membrane creating a chain reaction in the nerve cell axon. (5)
The electrolyte calcium is used for muscle contraction. Magnesium is also part of relaza tion and contraction of muscles. When you have an imbalance of these you may experience muscle cramping.
In order to ward off muscle cramping you need proper hydration. (6) Keeping electrolytes in balance eases challenges of starting keto. This is largely due to maintaining proper pH.
Optimal pH levels are between 7.35 – 7.45. (7)Electrolytes helps you hit this target. If you think you have an electrolyte imbalance, considering supplementing with electrolytes. Contacting your doctor would be a wise consideration, too.
Bones are rich in vitamins along with calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Simmering up bones releases nutrients filled with amino acids from the marrow and cartilage. (8)
When you cook up a batch, it’s hard to judge the exact nutrient content because it largely depends on the quality of bones and tissue used.
However includes it includes nutrients such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Fatty Acids
Bone broth is an easy way to to get these nutrients, and it’s easy to digest.
Here’s how it’s made…
Bone broth is made by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animal. On the stove it must be boiled for hours. The smell is less than appealing after 10-12 hours.
Some have a problem with the smell. Making it in an instant pot handles this problem. It also decreases cook time significantly.
You can make this highly nutritious broth using the bones on any animal: port, beef, veal, turkey, lamb, bison, venison, chicken, or fish.
The purpose of simmering bones and animal parts down to a soft mess is to draw out the collagen. When strained and cooled you’re left with a clear, gelatinous liquid that is pure gold.
Bone broth is liquid gold!
It contains glycine and collagen which help to heal the gut, and it’s great for optimizing digestion, one of the pillars of the keto diet. With some added Himalayan salt, you can use this to help maintain balanced electrolytes too.
Bone broth is great to maintain your intermittent fasting goals. It’s low in calorie, yet nutrient dense. Add extra salt and it may maintain your electrolyte balance.
You don’t need to make it to get its benefits.
You can buy it online. Be sure to read the label. Extra sodium and preservative should be avoided.
Two of my favorite bone broths you can buy online are:
Neither of these are affiliate links. They are just so delicious, I think they’re worth sharing. Once I made a habit of drinking it, I actually looked forward to it whether I was fasting or not.
Collagen makes up almost a third of your protein composition. It’s found in your blood vessels, teeth, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin. Think of it as the glue that hold all these together. (9)
It contains 19 different amino acids including arginine, glutamine, glycine, and proline.
Poline and glycine are not easy to include in the Western diet. People lack amino acids, unless they often eat organ meats.
When your body is under a great deal of stress, if it’s sick or healing, it may have a difficult time producing these on its own.
This is why it’s important to consider supplementing with collagen regularly on the keto diet. Some of the benefits of collagen include:
- Boosts metabolism
- Increases energy
- Increased nutrient absorption
- Heals leaky gut
- Improves quality of hair and skin
- Improves liver health
- Reduces joint pain
Regardless of which diet you follow, be intentional about including collagen in your diet. You can make bone broth or use protein powder made of bone broth in your recipes. Supplementing with a high quality, hydrolyzed collagen is something to consider.
Supplementing with collagen is so easy, there’s really no excuse not to. One of my favorite ways to get my daily does of collagen is heating up a cup of Kettle and Fire bone broth and blending in a tablespoon of powdered collagen.
My experience resulted in improved digestion, better sleep, and lower anxiety levels. Without getting into too many details, I will tell you, my digestion is better than it’s ever been because ever since I got serious about collagen supplementation, by life has changed!
Vitamin D deficiency is more prevalent with obesity .In fact, 50% of the population is deficient in this vitamin. You can get more sunshine to boost your Vitamin D levels. Unfortunately, few foods other than fatty fish, fish liver oil, and egg yolk contain it. (10)
Benefits of Vitamin D
- Maintains healthy bones
- Strengthens immune system
- Supports brain health
- Regulates insulin levels
- Aids with diabetes management
- Supports cardiovascular health
- May prevent certain types of cancers
Here’s what you need to know about getting more vitamin D. It’s actually considered a pro-hormone. Vitamin D is the one vitamin that’s difficult to get from diet.
After sunlight exposure, it is synthesized by the body. When referring to “supplementing with vitamin D’ you can consider getting more sunlight part of your effort. Sensible sun exposure includes 5-10 minutes a week 2-3 times a day. You can’t overdose on vitamin D with extended sun exposure to the sun.
You can, however, overdoes throughout supplementation. According to the U.S. Institutes of Medicine (IOM) recommended daily amount of actual supplementation of vitamin D for adults through the age of 69 is 600 IUs. For Adult 70 and above they recommend 800 IUs.
Research points towards the real possibility that supplementing with vitamin D can help you lose weight and decrease body fat. It could also decrease fat storage and reduce new fat cells from forming.
If you find yourself feeling hungry while on keto, Vitamin D may help controlling your appetite to further support your weight loss efforts.
Ashwaganda is an adaptogen meaning it promotes or restores physiological functioning. It also helps your body deal with stress. (11)
Starting on keto is exciting, but it can also be stressful. Let’s face it, there’s a lot to think about as you work to shift to the new lifestyle.
Ashwaganda has benefits for your body and your brain in these ways:
- Lowers sugar levels
- Reduces cortisol
- Boosts brain function
- Reduces inflammation
Ashwaganda has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels for those who are diabetic and those who aren’t. It’s been proven to improve insulin sensitivity in muscles. This alone makes it worthy of consideration in your keto supplement regiment because it could help you lose weight.
In current research, it has also been shown to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat in men. This is quite a testament to its impact on metabolism. With more muscle, comes a higher metabolism.
Supplementing with ashwaganda decreases cortisol, the ‘fat storing hormone’. People with more stress in their lives have higher cortisol levels and with that come greater amounts of belly fat.
Not only will it help you decrease stress and cortisol levels, it supports two pillar objectives of the keto diet: reducing inflammation in improving brain function. This is why ashwaganda in on my list as suggested supplements for beginners on the keto diet. You can support your brain and your body at the same time.
So let’s review the questions you came to get answered: Do I need to take supplements on keto? The direct answer is no.
you can increase the speed of healing your gut for healthier digestion and ensure you get essential nutrients for good health.
Each of the seven suggestions are easy to get online, simple to incorporate into your daily routine, and have a positive effect when you’re starting the keto diet.
Here’s a summary of optional, but effective supplements for keto:
- MCT Oil – Boosts brain power and fat burning getting you into ketosis fast
- Digestive Enzymes – eases the transition to ketosis, and improves nutrient absorption
- Electrolytes – ensures balance of magnesium, potassium, and calcium and helps avoid keto flu
- Bone Broth – high in glycine and collagen, heals the lining of the gut
- Collagen – supports gut health and digestion, strengthens joints, skin, and bones
- Vitamin D – decreases insulin resistance, supports emotional health
- Ashwaganda – an adaptogen, reduces cortisol and reduces stress
If you want to learn more about the keto diet, check out our Keto for Beginners Page. There’s nothing to download, just a boatload of information.
Do you want to see if the keto diet is for you? Check out our FAQ page. Lots of answers here!
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When you do, feel free to reach out and say hello. I’d love to hear about your health and weight loss goals.
If you have any questions, I’m here for you!!!