Today, thousands of people have turned to ketosis for health and wellness benefits like proven weight loss, improved athletic performance and recovery, elevated day-to-day energy, and heightened mental clarity.
This keto guide will break down the relationship between ketones and ketosis: what they are, how they work, and why you should seriously consider using them to fuel your life.
Ketones and Ketosis - Ketones Definition
You’ve probably gotten used to the idea that your body burns carbohydrates for energy, and for most people, that's true. But that isn’t the full story.
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the mind and body rely on ketones for energy instead of glucose (or carbohydrates).
Historically, our early human ancestors first harnessed the power of ketosis to combat food scarcity. When triggered, this natural metabolic state allows our bodies to burn stored fat for energy. For early humans, this was especially important during long winters or after an underwhelming harvest.
Today, our bodies have retained this amazing ability to burn fat for energy, but few people understand how to access it.
Once your body experiences significant carbohydrate depletion, it will turn to free fatty acids (FFAs) housed in fat stores throughout the body. These will be sent to the liver, where they are converted into ketone bodies, a powerful alternative energy for your mind and body.
Traditionally, elevated ketone levels mark the beginning of “Ketosis”. Once in ketosis, one can experience the cognitive and physical benefits of ketones, which is why many people follow a strict keto diet. Thanks to product’s like Kenetik’s delicious ketone drink, there are still ways to experience the benefits of ketones even without maintaining a strict keto lifestyle. But what exactly is the meaning of ketones? Keep reading to learn more about the types of ketones.
What Are The Different Types of Ketone Bodies and How Are They Formed?
Now that you know more about the basics of producing ketones, we should differentiate the three types of ketones. This trio of ketone bodies includes:
- Acetoacetate (AcAc)
- Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB)
- Acetone (C3H6O)
Acetoacetate, Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, and Acetone are all formed in the liver through an intertwined process.
Acetoacetate is the first ketone produced during ketogenesis (the process of making ketones). When fatty acid chains are broken down by the liver, they split into energy-abundant acetyl-CoA molecules, which condense into the acetoacetate ketone.
So, what is BHB? Beta-Hydroxybutyrate is the most abundant ketone body and accounts for approximately 80% of circulating ketones during ketosis. BHB is also the ketone used in Kenetik, where it’s sourced from plants with a cutting edge, carbon negative process!
Finally, the third type of ketone is acetone. Acetone is actually a byproduct, and accounts for the smallest portion of ketones in your body. Most often, acetone is excreted through your breath.
After these new ketone molecules are formed they are transported into the bloodstream to provide energy for cells throughout the body, putting your body into a state of ketosis.
Now that we’ve covered foundational questions like what is BHB, AcAc, and acetone, we’re ready to get into the benefits of ketones and ketosis.
What Are The Benefits of Ketones as an Energy Source?
High levels of ketones offer many advantages and can be harnessed during strenuous workouts, daily brainstorms, or as an ongoing, precautionary fuel against the adverse effects of aging and certain diseases.
Moreover, ketones are a cleaner and more efficient fuel source than glucose, as they produce more ATP per unit oxygen and fewer free radicals. Additionally, research has shown that they can enhance physical and cognitive performance, and trigger cellular-level metabolic functions that can improve overall brain health and disease resistance. A few key benefits offered by ketones include:
- Enhanced physical and cognitive energy metabolism on the cellular level
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
- Support of the growth, development and longevity of brain cells
- Improved cognitive function
- Protection against neurodegeneration
- Improved insulin sensitivity and overall metabolic function
How Do Ketones Work?
Getting into ketosis through strict dieting and fasting can be a tough multi-day process. Ketone products help individuals reach a state of ketosis without strenuous and restrictive fasting and diet regimens.
Ketone products achieve this by providing a direct infusion of exogenous ketones, rather than waiting for the body to kick-start the production of ketone bodies.
This offers a wide variety of benefits, including reducing the time required to enter metabolic ketosis, improved clarity and mental energy, weight loss due to a potential reduction in appetite, and minimizing the negative effects of “keto flu.”
If your body is not able to produce enough ketones, ketone products are available in a variety of forms, including ketone esters, ketone salts, and MCT oils. While these ketone products are thought to offer many of the most impactful benefits of ketosis, they struggled to gain popularity due to factors like high caloric content, general inconvenience, or bitter tastes.
That said, exogenous ketone products are a great way to replenish your body’s natural ketones. Many people rely on them today as a complement to their usual keto diet and for the cognitive clarity, energy, and overall benefits they offer to your mind, body, and wellbeing.
Ketone Salts, MCT Oil, Ketone Esters, and other exogenous ketone supplements can provide a helpful solution for those who may have experienced a quick dietary slip, want to fuel or kick off ketosis, or simply need to trigger a rise in overall ketones. For more information, you can explore a full breakdown of how these exogenous ketone products interact with your body in our greater Exogenous Ketones vs. Regular Ketones article.
Besides taste, another way Kenetik differs from traditional exogenous ketone supplements is in its product formula. Today, Kenetik’s exogenous ketone drinks are the only ketone products that harness R-1,3 butanediol. Once ingested, R-1,3 butanediol is metabolized into the two primary metabolic ketone bodies: D-Beta-Hydroxybutyric acid and acetoacetate, meaning that they include two types of ketones.
Additionally, Kenetik relies on a unique bio-manufacturing process and renewable feedstock (natural sugarcane) making its products carbon-negative.
So the next time you’re considering ketone products to fuel your mind and body but don’t want to sacrifice taste, check out Kenetik’s Ketone Drinks.
How To Test Your Ketone Levels
Testing your ketone levels is a crucial aspect of any ketosis kick-start plan (and any valuable keto guide.)
There are three ways to test your ketone levels, each with its own list of pros, cons, and testing techniques. Let’s break them down so you can learn how to test ketone levels and the best method for your lifestyle.
How to Test Your Ketone Levels With Blood Tests
Blood tests are the most accurate way to test your ketone levels.
Ketone blood tests use strips that detect the presence of Beta-Hydroxybutyrate in a small drop of blood, typically drawn from the finger. However, while blood ketone tests are the most accurate of all three testing options, they are also the most expensive.
How to Test Your Ketone Levels With Breath Tests
Keto breath tests measure acetone. Acetone makes up the smallest portion of the three ketone bodies produced by the human body.
Ketone breath tests can vary in accuracy depending on make and model. Still, the convenience and non-invasive nature of ketone breath tests make them worthy of consideration for individuals who don’t like the idea of blood or urine tests.
How to Test Your Ketone Levels With Urine Tests
Ketone urine tests can test for the presence of Acetoacetate and Beta-Hydroxybutyrate. These ketone tests utilize a color-coded chart and dipstick that reacts to the presence of ketones in urine to indicate the level of ketone saturation.
Urine tests are less accurate than blood tests and have the disadvantage of providing information about your metabolic state a few hours before testing, rather than current ketone levels. They are, however, more affordable than blood tests and widely available in pharmacies and big-box retail stores.
How to Start Harnessing Ketones
Now that you know what ketones are, the quickest way to experience the benefits of ketosis is to crack open a bottle of Kenetik. Exogenous ketones are an important tool for anyone exploring or enjoying a keto lifestyle. They are just as powerful of a fuel for new and dedicated keto fans, whether you’re on a keto diet or not.
So whether you’re still learning how to power your own keto plan or taking a break between meal prepping, harness the power of plant-based ketones today!