The ketogenic diet, which people commonly call the keto diet, focuses on high-fat foods and includes few to no carbohydrates. This approach may have several health benefits. Some evidence suggests that for some people, it may be a more effective weight loss plan in the long term than a low-fat diet.
If a person eats a variety of healthful whole foods on the keto diet, they may find that they have very few, if any, nutritional deficiencies. However, some supplements can help with the discomfort that can occur as a person’s body adjusts to a keto diet. They can also help a person get the right amount of fats in their diet.
A ketogenic diet is a powerful tool for upgrading your body and brain. Eating keto has all kinds of benefits, including:
- More fat burning and weight loss
- Better brain function
- Balanced hormones
- Stronger mitochondria for more energy
- Decreased cravings
You get all these benefits because your body runs differently on a ketogenic diet. With that in mind, there are a few supplements that are especially helpful if you’re in ketosis — and a few supplements that you probably don’t need. Here, four of the Best Weight Loss Keto Supplements to take when you’re on a ketogenic diet, plus two common supplements you can skip.
- Keto Protein Powder
The keto diet isn’t high protein, so no need to go out and buy protein powder. But if you love a good shake, you’ve got options. Make sure to select a ketogenic protein powder—they’re typically made with collagen—since traditional powders have too many carbs and not enough fat. Ancient Nutrition Chocolate Protein contains ashwagandha, ginger, and reishi (three adaptogens) and clocks in at 3 grams of carbs, 15 grams of protein, and 11 grams of fat per serving.
- BHB salts
This is a type of ketone metabolite—an energy molecule. Your body forms beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) when it’s breaking down and burning fat; people in ketosis tend to have higher levels of BHB. As one of many keto supplements, BHB salts “trick the body and force the brain to lower glucose production and switch to burning fat instead,” says Sarah Peterson, content manager at Perfect Keto. “It would be especially useful when you’re starting keto to ensure a smooth transition.” Learn how to avoid these 10 ways the keto diet can backfire.
- Calcium supplements
Keto dieters can often get calcium from cheese, but other calcium-rich sources like yogurt and milk should be limited because they’re fairly high in carbs. Oshiro says you can get calcium from canned fish, such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel with bones—” and yes, you eat the bones,” she says. You can also add a calcium supplement. “Calcium citrate is a well-absorbed form that you can take on an empty stomach or with food,” she says. “Calcium carbonate supplements are cheaper, but they need to be consumed with food to ensure maximum absorption.”
You can also consider supplementing another important electrolyte, magnesium. Your magnesium intake on the keto diet is dependent on whether you’re eating “clean” or “dirty” keto, says dietitian Brittany Michels, spokesperson for The Vitamin Shoppe. If you’re not eating vegetables throughout the day, a magnesium keto supplement might be a smart option. She takes the brand’s magnesium powder at night since magnesium has been shown to encourage muscle relaxation and sleep. If you’re more of a tablet person, Nature’s Plus Magnesium is one of many options.