I finished off the jar of exogenous ketones that I bought and recorded my own experiences.
Effects on Weight
Here’s my weight on the day taken in the morning before and the morning of the day after I took the PerfectKeto Exogenous Ketones.
Why Weight Gain?
In my n=1, there was a consistent weight gain (1.3 +/- 0.6 lbs) the day after I took the exogenous ketone supplement. So if you are already on a ketogenic diet and are expecting exogenous ketones to help you lose weight you could be really surprised and disappointed. I wasn’t disappointed – I did this experiment since my body weight is fairly stable and I am not concerned about gaining a lb or two.
The question is especially pertinent since higher ketone levels are usually indicative of fat burning and weight loss. There’s some belief that exogenous ketones cause your own body to reduce its generation of ketones. I can’t say whether or not I would have lost weight on those days but I can say that there was a strong correlation to weight gain on the days I supplemented with the product.
It wasn’t extra calories consumed on those that caused the weight gain. My average calorie count is right in line with my maintenance calories. At the very least there was nothing in the food consumed that day that would come anywhere near a 1.3 lb weight gain.
Also, there’s only 15 calories in each product serving so there weren’t enough calories in the supplement itself to cause such a consistent and significant day-to-day weight gain.
The ingredients list might be a clue. Magnesium, Potassium, Cocoa, Stevia leaf, Vitamin C.
They don’t list Sodium as an ingredient although some exogenous ketones include Sodium. If there was Sodium then that could be the reason for the temporary weight gain. But the binding salt could be the Magnesium or Potassium. There’s no reason to think that Potassium alone should cause temporary weight gain. I wonder if there is Sodium? That could provide the most plausible explanation for the temporary weight increase. The Perfect Keto site states:
Ketone salts are formed when the ketones are bound to a salt, typically sodium or calcium, potassium, or magnesium, to improve absorption rate.
This site (BHB Salts) states:
The “BHB salt” is simply a compound that consists of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), and the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate.
The weight gains were temporary and quickly reversed in the days after I discontinued the product.
Rat studies showed rats gained less weight than controls when were fed ketone supplements (Shannon L. Kesl, Angela M. Poff, Nathan P. Ward, Tina N. Fiorelli, Csilla Ari, Ashley J. Van Putten, Jacob W. Sherwood, Patrick Arnold, and Dominic P. D’Agostino. Effects of exogenous ketone supplementation on blood ketone, glucose, triglyceride, and lipoprotein levels in Sprague–Dawley rats. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2016; 13: 9.).
The Keto Base Chocolate Sea Salt product costs $59 for 15 servings. That’s pretty expensive. That’s about $4 a serving which seems like a lot compared to my other supplement costs.
I think I saw a very small mood improvement but I really can’t quantify this. It may have had more to do with having more water from salt?
I did notice I developed a tiny bit of an addiction to the product. Perhaps it was just the chocolate salt mix taste that I was looking forward to. It wasn’t hard to stop so the addiction wasn’t that strong and the $4 a serving made it easier (that’s about the amount of money I spend each day on food anyway).
I didn’t perform any particular exercise benchmarks to determine if I had any performance increases. I also took the supplement early in the morning in my first coffee so I wasn’t exercising around the time. I also don’t know if it would have any time effect with respect to exercise.
Advantages of Exogenous Ketones?
I can imagine a potential use of exogenous ketones in people who are just transitioning into the ketogenic diet. It could allow them to make the transition easier and may ease the keto flu. It would be interesting to see if it has any better effects than electrolyte supplementation – which is a lot cheaper.
However, this is an application that I can imagine few taking due to the cost. People “try” diets and starting this diet with a $60 product might be too much for most people to swallow (pun intended).