Ketosis is one of the human body’s natural metabolic states. Entering ketosis is marked by the body's transition from using glucose as its primary energy source to ketones –– or ketone bodies.
Ketones are produced by breaking down stored body fat, a process that occurs naturally when glucose levels fall below a certain threshold. This transition is typically achieved by adopting a carb restricted diet such as the ketogenic diet for 2-4 days.
Because ketosis only occurs when glucose stores are depleted, ketogenic diets are very high in fat, with little to no carbs, and only moderate protein intake.
This ratio is designed to deplete glucose levels while allowing users to maintain high energy levels by consuming healthy fats. Exercise and fasting can help speed this natural process up, but the 2-4 day guideline is still a safe estimate.
But some people don’t have 2-4 days to wait around!
Or at least, they’re convinced they don’t. Whether they’re new to the ketogenic diet or recently slipped up, users often want to experience ketosis as fast as possible –– which time and again leads to the question:
Is It Possible to Get Into Ketosis In 24 hrs?
Getting into ketosis in 24 hours is possible but typically requires a difficult process. Instead of a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet designed to support stable energy and a satiated appetite, you’ll need to fast to expedite the process.
Fasting is the only way to deplete your body’s glucose supply in such a short time frame. So if you’re interested in getting into ketosis quickly (or how to get back into ketosis as soon as possible after a slip-up), you’ll have to maintain a strong, disciplined regimen.
Fasting to induce ketosis has been the subject of multiple scientific studies stretching back to the 1920s when rapidly induced ketosis through fasting provided a breakthrough in the treatment of epileptic children that failed to respond to traditional medicines.
It’s worth noting that while many of the subjects of these studies did indeed achieve ketosis in roughly 24 hrs, it was done under highly skilled supervision and guidance from researchers and physicians. This means that for many, fasting may not be an ideal (or entirely safe) option for jump-starting ketosis.
That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to achieve ketosis in 24 hrs. You may just need to take advantage of a few tips and tricks to pull it off.
Luckily for you, we’re here to break down 5 strategies for getting into ketosis fast.
How to get into Ketosis in 24 hrs
High Intensity Exercise
Entering ketosis is all about reducing glucose. So if you’re looking for the fastest way to get into ketosis, you’ll need to put in some serious sweat equity.
For this 24 hr keto challenge, you should work out first thing in the morning, ideally on an empty stomach. This will provide the greatest chance of depleting glucose stores early, paving the way for increased ketone production as your day progresses.
Glucose is burned fastest during high-intensity or cardiovascular exercises and resistance training. Maxing out on the bench press won’t help much here, but a few rounds of high-intensity interval training (often known as HIIT) alongside activities like mountain biking or swimming, kickboxing, or similar activities will do wonders for rapidly reducing glucose levels. The key is to keep your heart rate at 70-80% of your max, where you’re breathing too hard to hold a conversation.
If fasting isn’t an option for you, focusing on carbohydrate restriction is a solid strategy for entering or getting back into ketosis. Individuals should target 20 grams (g) of carbohydrate consumption or less during this 24 hr period to avoid replenishing glucose levels.
Increasing Healthful Fats like Coconut Oil in Diet
Healthy fats, like coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, support increased ketone production while satiating your appetite during your 24-hour express ticket to ketosis.
Coconut oil offers another benefit to ketone-seekers because it contains fats called medium-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, are highly bioavailable and ketogenic, which means the body will rapidly absorb them. Then, MCTs are broken down in the liver to produce - you guessed it, ketones! To get started, try adding one tbsp of coconut oil to your daily coffee.
Fasting for Long and Short Periods
For the intrepid among us, fasting still holds significant appeal when answering how to get into ketosis fast.
Fasting is without a doubt one of the fastest ways to get into ketosis, but may carry potential health risks. Fasting should always be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to beginning.
If you or your doctor feel a 24 hour fast isn’t for you, shorter fasting periods may still do the trick. Even a 6, 8, or 12 hour fast can go a long way towards glucose depletion.
Using Exogenous Ketones
Exogenous ketones encompass a range of supplements built to help users get into ketosis faster. This makes them useful for starting ketosis, and for those wondering how to get back into ketosis quickly after breaking a fast or having a cheat day.
Exogenous ketones can be produced synthetically outside the body (i.e. exogenously) but are either bonded to salts, in a bad tasting ester form, or in a standalone form bio-identical to your body’s naturally produced ketones.
Ketone supplements like Kenetik are made from the standalone ketone version which is made from plants. Kenetik delivers a concentrated dose of ketones to your bloodstream, providing many of the same benefits as nutritional ketosis.
A few well-timed exogenous ketones throughout the day can keep your energy levels high during this 24hr push, which will be extremely important for those who elect to include fasting in their ketosis strategy. That’s because elevated ketone levels in the blood can reduce hunger when fasting, help provide energy to your brain to put you in a great mood, and give you a boost at the gym.
How to Test Your Ketone Levels & Make Adjustments
Of course, there’s no point in figuring out how to get into ketosis in 24 hours if you can’t track your progress!
For accurate readings, keto crusaders can test for acetone, acetoacetate, and D-beta-hydroxybutyrate (D-BHB) in their breath, urine, or blood. The primary ketone created during ketosis is D-BHB, and this is what provides the alternative energy to your brain and body
Acetone Breath Tests - Breath acetone tests are a fantastic method for reliably testing acetone levels in the body. Breath tests are convenient due to their noninvasive nature and can be taken throughout the day with ease to monitor ketone levels.
Acetoacetate Urine Tests - Acetoacetate urine tests are another effective and straightforward method for monitoring ketone levels. Ketone urinalysis kits are widely available over-the-counter and typically use a simple “spot test” that uses a change of color to indicate the presence of ketones in your urine.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate Blood Tests - Ketone blood tests screen beta-hydroxybutyrate levels in the blood and can be completed under the care of a healthcare professional or at home using ketone test kits. This process does contain some minor discomfort but provides highly accurate results. There are also some BHB breath testers entering the market, but these may be a little pricey.
Why Should I Test My Ketone Levels?
Testing your ketone levels can help you dial in your strategies for getting into ketosis fast or getting back into ketosis after a dietary slip.
Low levels of ketones later in the day may suggest you haven’t entirely depleted your glucose stores, and a quick workout may be in order. Conversely, if your body has already begun to produce noticeable levels of ketones in the late afternoon or early evening, congratulations! Feel free to ease off the gas a bit (and maybe wring out your gym towel!)
If your tests place you right on the cusp of full-blown ketosis, consider reaching for an exogenous ketone drink. These can be an extremely useful tool for getting into ketosis even faster and can help stave off hunger to keep your fast going.
How to Avoid Keto Flu and Other Negative Symptoms
A rapid transition into ketosis can bring about some pretty undesirable side effects if you aren’t careful. That’s because depleting glycogen can cause headaches, foggy brain, fatigue, irritability, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and constipation.
This response to entering ketosis has become widely known as “keto flu” and occurs as the body adjusts to the sudden lack of carbohydrates. Here, your body is simply learning how to make the metabolic switch from using glucose to instead using ketones.
This sudden elimination or reduction can lead to adverse reactions, but staying hydrated and replenishing crucial electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium can help keep Keto Flu and other negative symptoms at bay.
Taking advantage of exogenous ketones also helps prevent Keto Flu even more than traditional ketosis methods. By flooding the body with supplemental ketones, individuals gain an alternative and potent energy source despite depleting glycogen levels.
Kenetik offers premium ketone drinks that help individuals reach ketosis quickly while avoiding negative side effects. Check out our refreshing Ketone Drinks today!