What Keto Supplements Should You Take
If You're on the Keto Diet?
No matter what diet you try out, there are going to be roadblocks and difficulty with staying motivated. As someone who has tried more diets than pairs of shoes, I can tell you that none of them are easy.
While the ketogenic diet has proven to be the most effective for me, I can tell you it’s also one of the more challenging ones to plan and execute. It’s more difficult than just counting diet points, but it also beats the chipotle and green tea diet (yes, there is such a thing, and it’s even less fun than it sounds).
After some initial failed attempts at getting to and staying in ketosis, I knew that I needed help. That was five years ago, and since then I’ve had huge success using keto diet supplements.
But because the market has become flooded with these products, and all the fancy marketing and ripped models that appear around them, I always had some suspicions.
For the most part, you can fill all types of nutritional gaps through some relatively simple ingredients. You can get pills that boost minerals like calcium and phosphorus, while electrolyte supplements will replenish lost salts like potassium.
However, when it comes to protein, ketone, and pre-workout boosters, then you have to be very careful about the carbs. So, I decided to team up with dietitians and nutritionists to analyze available products.
So, let’s take a look at what types of ingredients you can expect in the best keto supplements.
The 14 Best Keto Supplements:
Ask anyone you know who’s on keto, and they’ll tell you it’s AMAZING. However, that may sound a little bit extreme, or even crazy. It will definitely get you awesome results fast, but since most people are used to eating a high-carb diet, it does present a few challenges—namely, the keto flu, low energy, and nutrient deficiencies.
While keto supplements aren’t necessary on the keto diet, they definitely make your life WAY easier and can even help you kickstart ketosis, have more energy, lose weight, and be your best you.
The only problem is that there are too many to choose from (and not all are good for different ketoers). So we whittled the list down to the 14 best that are easy, effective, and simple to incorporate into your lifestyle.
A lot of them can be easily added to your meal plans through natural ingredients. Others will be more difficult to source in enough quantities without messing with your daily carbohydrate limits.
So, what we’ve done is list out the types of boosters first, so you better understand what they are and how they work. Then you’ll be in the best position to pick some of our top recommendations in the reviews section.
Here are some of the best keto supplements we recommend to take while on the keto diet:
1. Exogenous Ketones
The goal of the keto diet is to put your body into a ketogenic state (where your body has raised ketone bodies). Exogenous ketones, based on BHB salts, (1) are a great “shortcut” to getting there.
There’s no substitute for hard work, but taking exogenous ketone supplements can help you reach ketosis quicker and stay there longer.
Many dieters take them to increase their margin for error and jump into a ketogenic state faster. Also, some research shows that they can help improve athletic performance (2), control your appetite, and improve mental function.
Just one scoop of such a keto supplement can give you a healthy boost that turbocharges your diet results and improves your workouts. We have a dedicated page to cover these keto diet supplements, so check them out for some product recommendations as well.
But to give you sneak peak, here are some of the best exogenous ketones that we have researched.
BHB salts are an ideal solution to naturally boost the amount of ketone which is especially helpful during induction.
2. Fish Oil
First on any list of keto diet supplements should always be fish oil. It’s extremely beneficial for numerous body functions and can be easily added to your ketogenic diet routines.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for protecting the brain, combating fat molecules in the blood (triglycerides), and fighting inflammation. They are also a great way to stay in ketosis and prevent heart disease. Most people (especially when doing keto) don’t get enough of them. (3)
During keto, you’re going to take in more omega-6 fatty acids (4) that are known to promote inflammation.
Upping your omega-3 intake can counteract this and offer a ton of other health benefits.
For most people in western countries, the ratio of omega 6 to 3 is way too high at about 16:1. Health experts and nutritionists recommend this to be more in the range of 4:1, which generally means boosting your intake.
While you definitely want to eat healthy foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, avocado, etc.), getting a boost from a keto supplement will do wonders for your health (5).
To reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease, increase omega-3 intake. Also use your food journal to work out your omega 6 to 3 ratio and aim for 4:1.
3. MCT Oil
Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) oils are like the duct tape of the keto world: they hold everything together and make life way easier, and loads of keto supplements contain them.
MCTs are fats that are easily absorbed by the body and provide a number of really powerful health benefits. Fast energy (6), appetite control for better weight loss (7), increased ketone levels—you name it.
They are also one of the most convenient and flexible, too. Add it to a shake, make a smoothie, or take a spoonful of it straight with some water for a quick keto boost that lasts all day.
If you’re the kind of person that struggles to stick to a diet or eat a lot throughout the day, MCT oils are the perfect keto supplement. (8)
Great for physical and mental performance boosts, especially during the induction phase.
This (9) is another key electrolyte that ketoers struggle to get enough of (10). It boosts energy, protecting your body from everything, and regulating your blood sugar (11).
It also helps regulate mental function, reducing mental fog and improving focus.
Watch your diet very closely, as it’s easy to develop magnesium deficiency when on keto.
If you start to experience fatigue, cramps, or headaches, start taking a supplement: 200-400 mg per day ought to do. (12)
If you’re struggling to get enough from food, then look for some keto diet supplements that will give you a boost.
One of the most effective ways to reduce brain fog and fatigue in the early days of keto.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that most people (13) struggle to get enough of.
Its functions range from immune health to cell growth and strong bones.
There are few natural sources (14) of it (our bodies get it mostly from sunlight and a few select foods), so taking a supplement, in general, is a good idea whether you are on keto or not.
There are some great keto supplements available that also contain a cocktail of vitamins for an overall immune boost.
Making sure your body has all the necessary vitamins to maximize immune functions means there will be less chance of catching a cold or flu.
6. Chromium and ALA
Chromium and alpha lipoic acid (ALA) work in tandem to help metabolize glucose in the blood.
You see, glucose is normally stored in the body to be used as fuel.
When you boost your intake of these two antioxidants, it helps you burn calories faster and move you into ketosis quicker (15).
ALA also has shown to help protect the mitochondria in your cells, enhance insulin sensitivity, optimize glucose levels, and has a few other key health benefits.
It’s difficult to find a keto supplement that contains these, so you might just need to opt for a generic one.
Excellent metabolism boosters that help to speed up the removal of glucose and glycogen.
Keto is great, but it’s even better when combined with crushing it in the gym.
If you want a supplement that helps you get that extra oomph in the gym to get bigger muscles and a sculpted physique (or just great weight loss results), creatine (16) is your best bet.
Creatine is an amino acid that increases endurance (17), and as we age our bodies produce less and less of it.
Since keto should be combined with a challenging workout regimen, taking keto supplements to increase weight loss, muscle endurance, and strength building is a great idea.
Many pre and post workout boosters will contain creatine, but you have to make sure you avoid the high-carb ones.
8. Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB)
Pronunciation aside, HMB is a great ally to have in your corner in the fight against fatigue and muscle wasting (18).
The first few weeks of a keto diet are tough enough.
When you combine that with tough workouts it gets even harder (especially if you’re a beginner).
HMB has anti-catabolic effects, meaning it helps fight the breakdown of your muscles.
So if you’re going to be starting a workout program while on keto, this supplement will help take your workouts to the next level and build some serious lean mass (19).
Don’t get these mixed up with BHB salts based keto diet supplements.
Those are very different, and we have a dedicated page for them.
HMB is most often found in bulking powder that is aimed at bodybuilders. Smaller doses can also help the average Joe.
Tribulus is a common keto supplement that ketoers (mostly males) use to boost their testosterone levels (20).
While healthy fats on the keto diet have been shown to increase testosterone, taking Tribulus can magnify those results even further.
It isn’t necessary and doesn’t have major health benefits, but it can help you achieve much better results with each workout (hey, you’re doing keto to look good, right?).
Boosting testosterone can be achieved with a mix of completely natural and legal substances like Tribulus, and this will increase stamina and lean mass growth.
10. Digestive Enzyme Blends
Keto is great, but it’s not always great on the digestive tract. Keto is high fat, moderate protein, low carb, which kind of turns your normal diet on its head (21).
All of the extra fat (HEALTHY FATS) can lead to some unpleasant digestive issues (we aren’t going to name names).
Taking digestive keto supplements that contain both protease and lipase enzymes (22) can help ease nausea and other symptoms that most people encounter when starting keto.
With some simple enzyme boosters most stomach upsets associated with the induction phase can be significantly reduced.
11. Carnitine (in L or Acetyl-L form)
Carnitine comes in two forms, one is more specialized for keto but they both provide key health benefits for people on keto (or any diet general), and they can both be taken at the same time.
L-carnitine helps metabolize fat so you can use it as keto supplements to get a metabolic boost.
Basically, it helps you achieve weight loss faster and turn fat stores into fuel.
Acetyl-L carnitine is more of a general health supplement that has shown to have positive effects on the brain (23).
Take this to help propel you into ketosis and burn more fat, while at the same time gaining more mental clarity.
Are you an extreme keto dieter who wants to give it your all in the gym? Glutamine is one of those must-have keto diet supplements.
Essentially, it is an amino acid (24) that acts as an antioxidant in your body, which can both boost your performance in the gym and fight the free radicals that extremely intense exercise produces.
When you’re on keto, you’re cutting way back on carbs which also means you may struggle to get enough antioxidants.
So now you’re in a catch-22: you don’t want to increase carbohydrate intake, but you need more energy in the gym and antioxidants in your blood.
Glutamine solves that issue.
Taking keto supplements that contain glutamine will decrease your recovery time, leading to better, more productive workouts.
This vital amino acid is often lacking in keto meal plans, so aim to take some several times a week.
13. ECA Stack
This cool acronym for ephedrine-caffeine-aspirin is a serious keto cocktail that will boost your energy levels, increase your metabolism, and help you achieve some short-term fat reduction.
We recommend this only for serious ketoers, and you should have a talk with a medical professional first.
Some people can have serious complications if they have existing cardiac issues.
You probably know caffeine and aspirin, but ephedrine is usually a mystery to new keto users.
It’s the main agent that spurs on fat consumption, meaning it increases the amount of fat available to be turned into energy.
ECA stacks make great keto supplements that can help you get great results. You just need to exercise some caution.
14. Sodium & Potassium (Electrolytes)
Keto flu—we all get it. In the first few weeks, your body is going through an extreme adjustment process as it slowly realizes you aren’t feeding it the way it’s used to.
As you shed water (and you WILL SHED WATER), you will always reduce electrolytes fast. (25)
One of the main causes of this is that your body will get rid of all glycogen reserves before you reach full ketosis.
And because glycogen binds to three parts water, any reduction will lead to some dehydration.
Loss of electrolytes could lead to headaches, lack of energy, and cramps, so it’s important to supplement these minerals to counteract these symptoms. (26)
Table salt and bouillon are time-tested methods of getting more electrolytes into your diet. For potassium, try leafy greens, nuts, and avocados. (27)
And if all else fails, then use keto supplements that boost electrolytes.
Reduced electrolytes can increase the effects of keto-flu, so a simple booster will help you avoid unnecessary problems.
The Bottom Line
Getting to full ketosis and maintaining it to optimize your health and life is not the easiest of tasks. I’ve been at this for five years now, and even with all that experience, I wouldn’t do it without keto diet supplements.
For me it’s extremely helpful with the keto cycles I go through, and I have found several products that work well to speed up the induction phase and help with getting me to my weight and fitness goals.
I’ve worked with countless people who are completely new to this, as well as experienced dieticians, and this has helped me understand what makes a great product.
Through countless tests, we’ve been able to come up with this list of the best keto supplements.
These have been proven to work through extensive testing, and we share all those results for free on this site.
Whether you need an organic MCT oil, or just some protein and vitamin boosts, we’ll have something that will suit your very specific needs.
Check out our reviews section and the free guide as well to help you get to your goals with a lot more ease.
We just started wearing the coolest keto t shirts from this site: Keto Life Shirts. The designs are really cool and they help support different charities that provide ketogenic and diet knowledge to students and young adults.