Ketogenic

Carbohydrates and fats are the fuel for our bodies. A ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet in which you typically consume a maximum of around 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. By greatly reducing your carbohydrate intake, your body primarily derives its energy from fats. As a result, your insulin levels decrease, your blood sugar becomes more stable, and your body begins to burn fat. Following a ketogenic diet requires discipline, as it represents a shift in dietary habits for many people accustomed to consuming higher amounts of carbohydrates. Normally, your body burns carbohydrates first, as this process is simpler. During the keto diet, there are insufficient carbohydrates available, prompting your body to opt for fat burning. When your body burns fats, it produces certain acids: ketones. Hence, the term 'ketogenic diet.'

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What are ketones?

Ketones are water-soluble molecules produced in the liver when the body starts burning fat instead of sugar. When the body primarily consumes carbohydrates and receives fewer fats and proteins, it utilizes carbohydrates converted into glucose as its fuel. However, when there is a limited amount of glucose in the body, for example, due to food restriction, prolonged physical exertion, or when following a strict low-carb or ketogenic diet, the body transitions from burning sugar to burning fat. The liver converts fatty acids from body fat into ketones and releases them into the bloodstream. Subsequently, the brain, muscles, and other tissues utilize these ketones as a source of fuel. This metabolic state, where the body primarily relies on ketones for energy, is known as ketosis.

Ideas behind ketogenic eating

In the latter half of the 20th century, nutrition experts and health-conscious individuals mostly avoided fat consumption, paying little attention to carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet, on the other hand, emphasizes the consumption of healthy, unsaturated fats while limiting carbohydrates. Although this diet has gained popularity in recent years, it is far from a new concept. Forms of fasting and diets that mimic the metabolic mechanisms of fasting have been employed since 500 BC as a means to support health. In essence, the low-carb diet is inspired by the dietary patterns of people from centuries ago when carbohydrate-rich products were scarce. Individuals primarily sourced food by hunting animals and gathering berries, nuts, seeds, and wild herbs. The cultivation of wheat, grains, potatoes, and rice began later. In those times, people could efficiently utilize these carbohydrates due to their physically demanding daily labor. However, as physical activity has decreased and work has become less strenuous, the consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods has increased, contributing to the rising issue of obesity.

What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet?

Low-carb diets, including the ketogenic diet, restrict carbohydrate intake and emphasize the consumption of healthy fats, proteins, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. A low-carb diet becomes ketogenic when 75% of your dietary intake consists of fats, 20% from proteins, and only 5% from carbohydrates. In other low-carb diets, these proportions may vary, with people consuming more proteins, fewer fats, or more carbohydrates, for example.

Benefits of a ketogenic diet include stable blood sugar levels, which can help prevent energy spikes and crashes, weight loss due to the body shifting to use fat as its primary fuel source, reduced hunger, improved mental clarity and focus, lower insulin levels, which can benefit individuals with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes, and potential support for certain medical conditions like epilepsy and neurological disorders.

The use of ketones in the world of sports

Ketones are efficient energy sources and are used by athletes, particularly endurance athletes, to extend their energy reserves. Exogenous ketone supplements, available in various forms such as liquid esters or powdered ketone salts, offer a way to increase ketone levels in the body. These supplements can help delay the body's reliance on glucose for energy, making them popular among endurance athletes who aim to prolong their energy reserves.

Exogenous ketone supplements

Various exogenous ketone supplements exist, including ketone salts made from mineral-bound beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and esters that contain BHB, acetoacetate (AcAc), or a combination of both. Esters are more concentrated but can be more expensive and may have a sour or bitter taste. BHB powders are mainly used by individuals following a ketogenic or other low-carb diets to help achieve ketosis. It is primarily top athletes who opt for esters. Ergomax offers a wide range of exogenous ketone supplements from reputable brands, such as KetoForce - Exogenous Ketone Salt by Ketosports or Ketone Ester by Prototype Nutrition. Ergomax also provides various supplements that fit well within a low-carb or ketogenic diet, such as Grass-Fed Beef Liver by Ancestral Supplements or Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth by Broth of Life.