Getting started on the Keto Diet can get confusing. To get things right and avoid failure there are a couple of steps you can take that’ll make everything much easier. While I’m not a fan of utilizing supplements in place of real, whole foods… sometimes supplements, well, they work. And supplements can make a world of difference on the Keto Diet. This post will illustrate what supplements are worthwhile. Note: these supplements are needed by the general masses (they aren’t necessarily just for those following a strict, low carb diet).
What supplements do I need on Keto?
When getting started with Keto your body is going to undergo a major shift. It might not be comfortable. To learn more about this shift and to get a list of specifics to make the process easier, check out this post. It helps to know what supplements can assist in overcoming common problems that arise from this change in the way you eat.
And if you’re still unsure about what a Keto Diet is, read our post on What is the Keto Diet? to learn more.
If you’re feeling like something is off, you may have a deficiency. Most of the recommendations below are under-utilized generally, regardless of diet.
Fatigue, Lightheadedness, Headaches, Constipation
If you’re suffering from any of these, you may have a salt imbalance and your body is asking for sodium and potassium.
The Keto Diet is a powerful way to reduce your body’s need to produce insulin. Insulin lowers blood sugar by telling fat cells to store the sugar for energy use later. On a Keto Diet your body isn’t in need of high levels of glucose due to the fact your body is mostly being powered by Ketones (you’re not eating foods that allow for high glucose levels). This means the Kidneys aren’t being told to hold on to electrolytes (sodium and potassium).
Sodium helps to regulate water levels and your blood pressure. Too much or too little can cause health issues.
Muscle Cramping, Fatigue, Headache
There’s a very high percentage of people NOT getting enough Magnesium in their diets. You can find magnesium in Avocados, dark leafy greens, seeds, nuts and cocoa (among other things). Magnesium is responsible for a lot of functions in your body, it’s the forth most common element in the body! Magnesium is involved with moderating blood pressure, nerve and muscle function and regulating blood glucose.
One of the common complaints with new Ketoers is muscle cramping. It’s likely due to a Magnesium deficiency. Magnesium also helps with increasing your energy, calming your nerves, falling asleep regularly, digestion, muscle aches and spasms, regulation of calcium, potassium and sodium and helps to prevent headaches.
Bone Pain or Muscle Weakness
Vitamin D helps your body absorb minerals: Magnesium and Calcium. If you’re not properly absorbing these minerals, you’ll likely feel several negative affects. The sun is the first and most obvious place to find vitamin D. Foods that provide good vitamin D include fatty fish, egg yolks and beef liver. Milk is often fortified with vitamin D but it’s not worth it.
Your body simply performs better with sufficient levels of Vitamin D. Most Vegans (that don’t see a lot of sunlight) must take a vitamin D supplement otherwise the deficiencies are severe. Non-vegetarian Ketoers typically get enough vitamin D… However, it’s a good supplement to take during the winter if you live in a colder climate.
Lack of Energy, Poor Memory, Mood Swings
Your body is making a shift to a more efficient way of utilizing energy. You’re burning fat for energy and you’re not having glucose spikes that give you the up and down energy crashes. However, there may be times where you’re feeling sluggish or irritable (even when in(ish) Ketosis). This could be due to a teetering back and forth between Ketones and Glucose. Your body may get confused. You may not be perfectly fat adapted. Or…
The bigger problem: Lacking the proper amount of MCT’s. MCT’s (medium-chain triglycerides) are digested easily, increase energy and positively alter your metabolism. While medium chain triglycerides occur naturally in foods (such as coconut oil), MCT oil itself has to be extracted from the coconut oil.
Ketones from MCT Oil are the most efficient source of energy for our brain (more so than carbs or really… anything else). Our body doesn’t need to work as hard to get energy for the brain. Total efficiency, energy and restorative properties. If you need a natural boost, use pure MCT oil.
Gut & Digestive Issues
You’ve given up a lot of the bad things that were really plaguing your gut health (like wheat) but due to the high levels of fat you may be forgoing good gut bacteria. Another problem I see with a lot of people adopting a low-carb diet are consuming low quality foods (like Atkins products), this is wrong. Think of Paleo and Primal as the blueprint to what foods are okay and Keto as the guideline to your macro count (how many calories from fat, protein and carbs). If you’re eating the right foods you’re more likely to have a healthy gut (regardless of your specific diet).
To improve your gut health it’s widely agreed that probiotics (fermented foods) can make a world of difference. One of the lesser known gut health improvements come from prebiotics. With proper prebiotics in your gut you’ll improve your overall gut health, digestion, immune function + much much more. Gut health makes a world of difference for your overall well being and being able to overcome sensitive issues your body may be facing.
Prebiotics are a special form of dietary fiber that acts as a fertilizer for the good bacteria in your gut and most prebiotic supplements are not affected by heat, cold or your stomach acid. Boost your gut health quickly with proper fermented food intake and a prebiotic supplement.
Energy Boost (for Performance)
Ketones are our body’s super fuel and are used in perfect harmony in the muscles and the brain. The product we suggest here is similar to the Keto Salts listed above and contains the endogenous ketone body beta-hydroxybutrate (BHB). However, there is no Magnesium or Potassium in KetoCaNa.
MCT oil combined with exogenous Ketones boost your energy levels and do two things: give you a better workout (decrease oxygen demand), and help you get in to Ketosis faster so you’re not teetering back and forth (which isn’t optimal).
Are we missing anything? Let us know in the comments what you use and how it works! Note that links from this page may contain affiliate links. We recommend and use these products. The affiliate link gets you the exact pricing you would get with no affiliate link, the only difference is, we make a small commission (typically from Amazon) for purchases made. This small commission helps pay for expenses associated with providing this content.