Keto Supplements: Mike’s Ketosis Supplement Experiment

Latest Updates: Coconut Oil works similarly to MCT Oil and Pruvit Keto//OS is a ripoff but works well, posted in August after BPI Keto Aminos bomb out badly in July.

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!

    Mike’s Giant Keto Review

    It’s up! Giant Keto performed admirably well in getting me into ketosis (even if temporarily), training cardio, and not going completely dumb while in the transition state!

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    The results:
    • Transition Mode:

      • Starting: 0.2 mmol/L (no carbs, not enough ketones, no energy.. in “no man’s land”)
      • 45 minutes later: 0.6 mmol/L (now technically in ketosis, much more mental energy for the morning and afternoon!)
    • Fasted Cardio:

      It’s tough to report success anecdotally, but there was no bonk and no crash with long-course swimming.

      Interestingly, blood ketone levels only went up 0.1 mmol/L between pre-swimming and post-swimming each time, which means these exogenous ketones are getting used up because the numbers don’t climb nearly as much as when not training, like above!

    • 75g Carb Cheat Meal Save?

      • Starting: 1.1 mmol/L (in legit ketosis! Now take ‘cheat meal”)

      • 45 minutes after 75g Carbs + 47g protein: 1.4 mmol/L with blood sugar 185 (insane response started! Now take Giant Keto and pray)
      • 45 minutes after Giant Keto: 0.7 mmol/L and blood sugar 106 (still in ketosis, but less so, blood sugar nearly normal… but what happens next?)
      • 7.5 hours later: 0.9 mmol/L – Nearly legit ketosis – the save was a success! Blood sugar back to normal at 82 as well!

      The above experiment was very surprising. 75g carbs with BHB is one of the most energetic things you’ll ever feel. Blood sugar was so high I had to go train.

      Overall this was a great success!

  2. MCT Oil

    Since so many of the below supplements have MCT Oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides) inside, it’s smart to first see what happens with MCT Oil first! This is where Mike had a surprise, so he had to do some learning:

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    • Day 1:
      • Glucose Before: 102
      • Ketones Before: 0.5
      • Glucose After: 111
      • Ketones After: 0.8
    • Day 2:
      • Glucose Before: 105
      • Ketones Before: 0.6
      • Glucose After: 97
      • Ketones After: 1.2

    It’s actually pretty simple, and it comes down to ketogenesis. Without glucose around (I was slightly in ketosis when starting), my body knew to take the Acetyl-CoA molecules and make ketones out of them for energy!

    Now that we know that (for Mike at least) taking MCT oil when in a low-carb / keto-adapted state will increase blood ketones, this should help us with our other supplement reviews below!

    Thanks to NutraKey for providing the MCTs!

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  3. Coconut Oil

    Since MCT oil did so well, what about coconut oil? We can get it cheaper, and it [arguably] tastes better in coffee, and it’s better for cooking… although it stays solid when mixed with cold drinks,

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    • Day 1:
      • Glucose Before: 99
      • Ketones Before: 0.7
      • Glucose After: 99
      • Ketones After: 1.4!
    • Day 2:
      • Glucose Before: 86
      • Ketones Before: 0.9
      • Glucose After: 95
      • Ketones After: 0.9

    Once again, it comes down to ketogenesis, and you can understand that by watching my MCT Oil video up above.

    Coconut Oil or MCT?

    Since both coconut oil and MCT averaged 0.45mmol/L gains in ketones, which do I choose to use? The answer is coconut oil for my coffee – it tastes better to me, and is cheaper. But for cold drinks, MCT oil is the way to go, since it stays in a liquid state even when cold.

    Catch the best deals on Coconut Oil below or see our Coconut Oil Price Comparisons page to save!

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  4. BPI Sports Keto Aminos (WARNING: PricePlow DISAPPROVED)

    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.

    The answer is YES – three out of three times tested, BPI’s Keto Aminos pulled me OUT of ketosisdespite the fact that there’s MCT (which we now know is ketogenic in high enough doses) as well as BHB (which boosts blood ketones as well):

    Mike’s failed Keto Aminos experiment

    Watch the YouTube video below, where I experiment with Keto Aminos:

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    The results are as follows:
    • Day 1:
      • Glucose Before: 102
      • Ketones Before: 0.5
      • Glucose After: 130 (45 minutes post)
      • Ketones After: 0.4
    • Day 2:
      • Glucose Before: 87
      • Ketones Before: 0.5
      • Glucose After: 99
      • Ketones After: 0.3 (!!)
    • Day 3 (with 40 min Fasted Cardio):
      • Glucose Before: 80
      • Ketones Before: 0.7
      • Glucose After: 111
      • Ketones After: 0.4 (!!)

    Clearly this supplement is not for me, and I strongly urge BPI Sports to stop selling it and reformulate it without so much glycine, alanine, and other glucogenic amino acids inside. The nonfat milk and whatever else is providing the carbs can go too!

    Other ingredients are of additional concern

    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.

    These inactive ingredients make up for a whopping 40% of this product!!

    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 primarily investigated… and it fell flat on its face for me.

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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. KetoSports 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

  6. 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 alongside its orange cream flavor that didn’t review well for me. Why are we adding dry milk with its sugars and carbs to a keto product??

    There are also single packets, which are convenient but far less cost-effective. Keto//OS is naturally flavored and also stevia-sweetened.

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

    Ripoff Alert!

    The formula constantly changes with this product (you’ll different versions of the product out there), but one thing always remains the same: it’s a giant ripoff compared to most of the other products on this page.

    My Pruvit Keto//OS Review

    See my review below where I struggle with the orange cream flavor and still don’t know whether I like or hate it… and it no doubt works well — but at what cost?!

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    The Pruvit Keto//OS results:
    • Day 1:
      • Glucose Before: 103
      • Ketones Before: 0.3
      • Glucose After: 87 (45 minutes post)
      • Ketones After: 0.8
    • Day 2:
      • Glucose Before: 100
      • Ketones Before: 0.5
      • Glucose After: 102
      • Ketones After: 1.3
    • Day 3 (after 60 min swimming on 16-hour fast):
      • Glucose Before: 86
      • Ketones Before: 0.7
      • Glucose After: 92
      • Ketones After: 1.2

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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

  7. 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!

  • Glycine: Do not use!

    As predicted and suggested from the BPI Keto Aminos disaster, glycine does drop ketone levels and spike blood sugar more often than not!

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  • Creatine Monohydrate: Good to Go for Keto Dieters!

    But even 10g of creatine seemed to do more good than bad – an average of 0 change in blood sugar and +0.05mmol/L in ketones!

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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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