BHB: Exogenous Ketones And The Keto Diet

Published February 16, 2019
Ben Kissam

Written By: Ben Kissam, BS

Ben has a B.S. in Movement and Sports Science and over 7 years Certified Personal Training Experience.

<article> <section> <p>Beta-hydroxybutyrate, or <i>BHB</i>, is the miracle compound behind the amazing results people get from the keto diet. Not only does it help with weight loss, but it’s a pretty great fuel source—one that keeps your energy levels stable and thriving throughout the day.</p> <p>Perhaps you’ve heard us talk about BHB before, and you aren’t really sure what it is. We think showing how it works and breaking down the science behind BHB might help you better understand why the keto diet is one of our favorite tools for weight loss.</p> <p>In this article, we’ll look at what BHB is, how it relates to ketosis and low-carb diets, and the difference between <i>endogenous</i> and <i>exogenous</i> ketones.</p> <p>We’ll also review one of our favorite supplements, the <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">keto bundle</a>, and show you how it can expedite your weight loss goals.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What is Ketosis?</header> <p>To understand beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), we need to quickly review <i>ketosis</i>. More specifically, we want to understand how being in ketosis helps us reach our fitness or weight loss goals.</p> <p>Ketosis is achieved through low-carb dieting (the keto <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">diet</a> being our preferred option).</p> <p>The benefits of ketosis are well-researched and plentiful. We’ve already tackled how ketosis improves <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">brain function</a> and encourages weight loss.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What are Ketones?</header> <p><i>Ketones</i> are chemicals produced by your liver. When you enter a state of ketosis because you are depleted of carbohydrates, ketones are released into the blood and can be used by the muscles and other tissues for energy <sup>1</sup>.</p> <p>The release of ketones is a natural process. It can take time for your body to start releasing ketones depending on several factors, and everyone’s experience can be different. Once you are burning ketones for fuel, though, you are in a great position to lose weight and reap the other benefits of ketosis.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What is Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB)?</header> <p>Touted as the ‘miracle molecule’ behind the success of the ketogenic diet, beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is one of three ketones the body produces when it’s either a) fasting, or b) depleted of carbohydrates due to a low-carb, high-fat diet.</p> <p>Said another way, BHB becomes a thing when you reach a state of ketosis. The other two ketones are <i>acetate</i> (acetone) and <i>acetoacetate</i> <sup>2</sup>.</p> <p>Once carb-depleted, the body eventually switches from burning glucose (sugar) to burning fat. When fat is broken down, BHB forms, providing an alternate source of energy for your muscles and brain.</p> <p>Simply put, BHB shows up when ketones start being produced by our liver. It’s one of the keys to turning your body into a fat-burning machine. Scientists have linked plenty of health benefits to BHB in recent years, one of which is that it can increase life expectancy <sup>2</sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="woman-running-silhouette-0079"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>BHB vs. Glucose: What is the Better Fuel?</header> <p>The benefits behind burning fat as your primary fuel source are well-researched and pretty compelling. Science continues to show that running off BHB ketones help people reach weight loss goals, increase energy, improve blood markers, and fight off diseases like cancer <sup>3</sup>.</p> <p>We’ve watched over the past fifty years as carbohydrate- and sugar-heavy diets have compromised the health of millions. At the extremes, lots of sugar and high-glycemic carbs lead to weight gain, inflammation of joints and tissues, and eventually, disease <sup>4</sup>. </p> <p>On the lower end, sugary foods are responsible for fluctuating blood sugar, which can affect your mood and energy levels.</p> <div class="sub-head">Which is Better?</div> <p>Think of running off beta-Hydroxybutyrate like putting a big log on a fire. Your body burns its fuel slow and steady, with the added benefit that overweight people are drawing from their own body fat stores.</p> <p>Running off sugar is kind of like, well, putting sugar on a fire. If you’ve done it, you know that the sugar burns up quickly and a quick burst of flame appears. But then, the sugar is gone, and the fire starts to die down again. This analogy isn’t too far off what a sugar-heavy diet is like for our bodies.</p> <p>For us, the answer is clear. BHB gives us steady energy, leads to weight loss, and even fights off disease. It is the winner for anyone looking to maximize their health or <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">transform their body</a>.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How is BHB Made?</header> <p>BHB can be made two different ways: endogenous and exogenous BHB.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="salmon-on-plate-with-salad-0079"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Endogenous BHB</header> <p>Endogenous BHB is made by the body when you are fasting or doing a low-carb, high-fat diet like the ketogenic diet. We’ll save you the full white lab coat speech on how it happens, but just know that all three ketones (acetoacetate, acetone, and BHB) undergo a chain of reactions in the liver. The end result is BHB, which goes on to be used as fuel in the blood.</p> <p>Too much science? Just remember that BHB is produced in the liver and goes on to burn ketones as your primary fuel source. The reason we lose weight on the keto diet is that BHB is present in the blood and burning up stored fat.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="salt-crystals-in-spoon-0079"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Exogenous BHB</header> <p>Exogenous ketones are produced as a supplement and used to help the body stay in a state of ketosis. The word exogenous means ‘created externally,’ which is an easy way to remember the difference.</p> <p>They are typically sold in <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">supplement bundles</a> as exogenous ketone salts or sold as pre-made drinks.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Why Would I Take Exogenous Ketones?</header> <p>We’ve touched on the benefits of <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">exogenous ketones</a> before. To review, taking exogenous BHB can help you reach a state of ketosis faster. Before we continue, keep in mind that there is no magic pill in the health world. No salt drink is going to help you burn off pounds of fat if your diet is poor all the time.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">How long it takes</a> to get into ketosis is an individual thing, but it can take as many as ten days for some people. In this case, exogenous ketones can also be useful when first starting the diet or getting into ketosis, because they can help offset or mitigate the negative side-effects of the keto flu. Instead of a week of headaches and not being able to sleep, the supplement might allow you to skip it completely.</p> <p>Still, exogenous ketones are mostly used as an offset for after a carb-heavy meal. They may help blunt the body’s response to an influx of sugars and keep you in a state of ketosis if you eat a few too many carbs.</p> <p>Last, since ketosis has been shown to improve brain function, exogenous ketones might help boost your memory or ability to focus. As part of our <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">keto bundle</a>, exogenous ketones provide long-lasting energy that make daily eating less of a struggle. <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="keto-ultra-warrior-made-0079"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Warrior Made’s Solution: Exogenous BHB Ketone Supplements</header> <p>We do our best to create supplements that cut through the fitness jargon and help you get results. We believe health and fitness can be achieved simply, by using a few proven tools (the keto diet and our <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">at-home workouts</a>, for example).</p> <p>We also believe supplements can help you achieve your weight loss or health goals faster. While no supplement is a magic pill, our <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">keto bundle</a> helps you stay in ketosis and provides long-lasting energy, even after a less-than-perfect meal choice. As we have mentioned before, if you have a pre-existing condition always make sure to consult your healthcare provider before adding any supplement to your diet.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Wrapping Up</header> <p>BHB, or beta-Hydroxybutyrate (we’re sure you’ll stick with BHB), has a lot to do with why the ketogenic diet works so well. Ketosis is a powerful health tool, whether your goal is weight loss, more energy, or improved brain function.</p> <p>There are two kinds of BHB: endogenous ketones, which are produced by the body when you fast or follow a low-carb diet, and <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">exogenous ketones</a>, which are man-made and can be quite useful for anyone using the keto diet.</p> <p>If you’re ready to transform your body, check out our latest <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">exercise</a> and <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">nutrition</a> content or some of our programs like the <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">14-Day diet</a>. <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> What are ketones?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> BHB: The Miracle Molecule of the Keto Diet?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> 10 Health Benefits of Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> 11 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for You</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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