Keto Supplements: Mike’s Ketosis Supplement Experiment

Keto Supplements

Keto Supplements like these are talk of the town – but will they really help keto dieters, and if so, how and when?

The keto diet has been exploding in popularity, which meant that the supplement industry would soon follow. In this supplement experiment series, we find out if they’re actually adding any value to the market.

The problems keto dieters face

Keto dieters face a few major issues:

  1. The transition to ketosis is challenging and miserable, often taking three or more tiresome and carb-craved days to shift towards using ketone bodies for energy.
  2. Athletic performance decreases, especially with endurance sports lasting more than 45 minutes.
  3. Eating too many carbs and falling out of ketosis has nasty consequences, such as having to suffer through three more days of “keto flu” to get re-adapted to ketosis.
  4. Pre workout energy and calories are often a challenge

BHB Salts: The solution?

Enter beta hydroxybutyrate, or BHB for short. These are exogenous ketone bodies, and when you take enough, they can give your body some immediate ketones to use for energy (such as for a workout), or can help your body transition into ketosis with less misery and hunger pangs.

That’s what they’re saying, at least!

Purported keto supplement benefits

Compound Solutions goBHB

goBHB is a patented form of “super” BHB that Compound Solutions has bound to various mineral salts to improve bioavailability and decrease its acidity.

BHB salt supplements have been marketed with the following benefits: energy, focus, fat loss, sleep, strength, and mood, amongst others…

…but we’ve all heard that before, right?!

The experiment

So in this supplement series, I’m testing each of the major keto supplements, recording videos, and seeing how they move the marker in terms of

  1. Getting me transitioned into keto when I’m not fully ketotic,
  2. ability to counteract a 75g carbohydrate meal,
  3. assisting with hunger pangs / carb cravings during transition,
  4. and helping me train fasted cardio (lap swimming 60-70 minutes).

I will be monitoring my ketosis levels using a blood ketosis meter (~30 minutes after taking the supplement) as well as urine test strips (KetoStix) another 30 minutes later to see if they’re aligned.

The Keto Supplement List

Here are the supplements I’ll be trying:

  1. Giant Sports Giant Keto

    Giant Keto

    Giant Keto from Giant Sports is taking BHB Salts to the next level with huge doses and a completely open formula to get you into ketosis faster and easier!

    When we posted the blog post linked above discussing this supplement, the ensuing Facebook discussion[1] made me realize that there was something big happening here, making me kick off this experiment series.

    Giant Keto is a “110% open formula” product that discloses everything including the stevia, flavoring, and beet root coloring! It has 14.6g of BHB salts from Compound Solutions goBHB, providing 11.7g BHB.

    It includes Vitamin D (obese people who are often the most successful keto dieters are frequently deficient in this) as well as a few endurance-based amino acids for those bonking too hard when training in ketosis.

    Additionally, you have Fibersol-2 for fiber/digestion (keto dieters are notoriously irregular due to the low-fiber nature of the diet), and even selenium, which many keto dieters go deficient in — and that can lead to thyroid function issues.

    At the time of writing, this has by far the most BHB for your buck, and also contains the bonus support ingredients listed above.

    Giant Keto was formulated by Bruce Kneller, who’s no stranger to our readers as he’s provided comment on several articles.

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    Giant Keto Ingredients

    The entire label is disclosed – no artificial colors or sweeteners here!

  2. KetoSports KetoCaNa

    KetoCaNa

    KetoCaNa is Patrick Arnold’s horse, and has been quite successful over the past year

    Brainchild of industry veteran Patrick Arnold, KetoCaNa was one of the first BHB supplements to launch.

    It provides 11.7g BHB in an open formula that’s slightly less open than Giant Sports’. It’s high in calcium and sodium, as it uses sodium-BHB and calcium-BHB.

    Like Giant Keto, it contains no artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors. The natural orange flavor is the usual go-to, and what we have in hand.

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    KetoCaNa Ingredients

    KetoCaNa’s formula is a more of a “pure” BHB supplement with less add-on features and no full disclosure

  3. Pruvit Keto//OS

    Pruvit Keto//OS

    Pruvit’s Keto//OS comes caffeinated and non-caffeinated (we’re taking the latter), but it seems extremely expensive.

    Pruvit comes in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions, and is unique in that it has a “chocolate swirl” flavor. There are also single packets, which are convenient but definitely less cost-effective.

    Keto//OS is unfortunately in a 22.7g proprietary blend, but is at least led off with Beta Hydroxybutyrate.

    Glucogenic amino acids added?!

    It’s followed by an Amino Acid Blend (L-taurine, L-tyrosine, L-arginine, L-leucine), which is interesting because arginine is a glucogenic amino acid and can be converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis — whoops! In addition, tyrosine is both glucogenic as well as ketogenic.

    Because of this, we’re excited to see if this affects ketone levels, but it’s tough to compare to the above supplements because of the dreaded proprietary blend.

    Keto//OS is also naturally flavored and also stevia-sweetened.

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    Pruvit Keto//OS Ingredients

    Pruvit’s got a proprietary blend here (lame) but looking at the calories, we can tell it’s using fewer calories than the above two products

  4. BPI Sports Keto Aminos

    BPI’s been well ahead of the keto diet game, marketing various weight loss supplements to keto dieters. The one we’re interested in is their “Keto Aminos”, which have a 5g proprietary blend of MCT oil and three forms of BHB — Calcium BHB, Magnesium BHB, and Sodium BHB.

    BPI Keto Aminos

    BPI’s Keto Aminos look to have about 3g of MCT oil and 2g of BHB salts… but will the amino blend counteract some of that?

    Since there’s 3g of saturated fat listed on the label, we have to believe that there’s 2g of total BHB salts, yielding less than 2g of BHB (the calcium/magnesium/sodium take up space too).

    Will the amino acid blend work against us?

    The amino acid blend, which weighs 5g, is a BPI standard practice of mixing glycine and alanine with their aminos. That ultimately results in less of the other aminos mixed in being leucine and such, although glyine and alanine do provide their own benefits.

    The issue is that glycine and alanine are both glucogenic amino acids, as mentioned above – they can get converted into glucose!

    Will they work against the BHB and hurt ketosis levels? We will have to find out.

    In addition, the “Other ingredients” section is a mouthful, with additions such as carboxymethyl cellulose sodium, crospovidone, natural waxes, carboxylic acids, polyethylene glycol, Nonfat Dry Milk, a gum blend of cellulose gum, xanthan gum, carrageenan gum, artificial sweeteners in sucralose, Acesulfame K, and artificial colors in Red 40.

    Honestly, I’m not sure if the keto world cares about that “other” stuff listed above — if the keto world were an extension of the paleo world, they very well indeed would. But it’s possible that most keto dieters are more interested in carb load and ketosis levels, so that’s what we’re going to investigate.

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    BPI Keto Aminos

    Looks like about 2g of BHB salts… but that “other ingredients” section may intimidate some of the more strict dieters

  5. American Metabolix Keto Meal

    American Metabolix Keto Meal

    Keto Meal is marketed as a meal replacement for keto dieters. But the BHB salts are behind silica in the proprietary blend, which is a massive turn-off.

    Keto Meal is what it says it is – a meal replacement powder (MRP) marketed towards keto dieters.

    It delivers 210 calories from

    • 10.5g protein
    • 17.5g fat
    • 2.6g carbs (as sugar)
    • Trace amounts of BHB salts?

    The BHB salts are a total question mark, because they’re buried in a proprietary blend, and are behind silica… so we either have a lot of silica here, or we have practically no BHB.

    In addition, the above macros add up to 209.9 calories, so the BHB is not adding in (m)any additional calories here. We estimate that BHB yields roughly 6 calories per gram.

    The protein comes from whole egg powder, while the fat comes from butter powder. It is artificially sweetened with both sucralose and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K).

    American Metabolix Keto Meal Ingredients

    This is the only label you can find on the website. Was it obfuscated on purpose?? We rotated the ingredients list for you so you can see the blend easier.

Testing other things

As someone who’s always been better off on a low carb diet, I’ve felt the idiocy of bouncing in and out of ketosis several times – that was before I knew what ketosis even was (I was a paleo dieter 2009-2011 and had much success).

So after this keto supplement series of experiments, it’s my intention to go fully ketogenic and test my blood on other things, ranging from standard doses of the BCAAs (together and individually) to glutamine to even things like the various low-carb beers. We might as well have some fun with this!

But first, you’ll need to give me some time to complete this series. It will take a few weeks of bouncing in and out of ketosis while testing the efficacy of these supplements to see which ones really move the marker.

You can sign up for BHB supplement alerts below, and stay tuned, because we’re sure to have full analysis with all of the research we can find on this stuff!

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References

  1. https://www.facebook.com/PricePlow/posts/10155312051859137
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