BY NATHALIE NIDDAM | ACADEMY OF LIONS NUTRITION & LIFESTYLE COACH

Ketones – Enter the state of ketosis!

The human body will produce ketones only under certain conditions - in starvation or extremely low carb diets (for most people less than 50 grams of carbs a day) as well as alcoholism and uncontrolled type 1 diabetes (not so good). 

From an evolutionary perspective our ability to produce ketones and use them for energy (instead of glucose) in times of famine is probably largely responsible for the survival of humans as a species. Think about it, in the absence of Loblaws, McDonalds and Starbucks, our Paleolithic ancestors and likely all others leading up to the Agricultural Age most probably alternated between periods of feast and famine.   Given these two extremes, it makes sense that our bodies are programmed to store fat in times of plenty and then burn it for fuel in times of scarcity.  Fast forward to today and most peoples’ bodies haven’t seen a ketone since the day they were born (interesting fact is that babies are born in a state of ketosis!) since our constant supply of carbs, protein and even fat ensures that there really is never a need to produce an alternative to glucose.  It turns out that this may be a real shame as ongoing research seems to show increasingly that ketones have some real benefits to our bodies. 

A short list of what ketones can do for you:

1.     Help to reduce inflammation - they seem to inhibit the pathway by which our bodies produce inflammatory cytokines - this is good.

2.     Increase blood flow to the brain (so they can be great to have around in instances of brain injury to help with repair, also great to have when you’re trying to get lots of work done)

3.     They are signaling molecules and as such seem to help with hormone and neurotransmitter balancing.

4.     Ketones help the body produce more antioxidants hence they fight aging and oxidative damage caused by exposure to toxins, stress, excess exercise etcThey are muscle sparing and fat burning so can contribute to improving body composition

5.     Most people feel greater mental clarity and focus when in ketosis - why?  Increased blood flow and a clean fuel source that can cross the blood brain barrier

6.     Ketones help to stabilize blood sugar so many people feel that their cravings seem to diminish or disappear completely when they have ketones in the house.

7.     Ketones also have an appetite suppressing effect - one of the most interesting side effects of the ketogenic diet is that you just don’t seem to get hungry as often - and why should you?  We have loads of energy stores, once the body figures out how to access them it’s open season - for endurance athletes that means no bonking and no need to fuel in the middle of a long race.

8.     Ketones improve recovery from intense workouts

9.     The presence of ketones helps the body produce more energy with less oxygen - very useful for athletes, for divers, pilots and hanging out or training at high altitudes.

For many of you reading this - you are CrossFit Athletes, a lot of what you do is anaerobic and explosive - typically not the circumstances best suited to fat adaptation.  But wait.  What if you could drink your ketones?  What if, you could follow a nutrient dense, healthy carb, moderate to high protein diet with adequate amounts of healthy fats (this would not get you into ketosis) and get enough ketones into your body to at least enjoy the benefits above for part of the day?  How would you do this without adopting a ketogenic diet?  Here are a couple of ideas:

1. MCT Oil - There are several on the market but the best, most effective ones will be predominantly or entirely composed of C8 or Caprylic Acid.  Cool fact about MCT’s is that they cannot be stored as fat (!).  This medium chain triglyceride is the easiest for your body to convert into ketones - spin into your coffee, drizzle on salads and other foods, use as part of your dressing.  My favourite is Bulletproof’s Brain Octane - 100% C8.  There are others but all have a combination of C6, C8 and C10 - they aren’t bad, just not as potent and they are more likely to cause GI upset till you build tolerance to the C10.  You can now find Bulletproof Brain Octane in health food stores or you can purchase from ca.bulletproof.com

2Exogenous ketone products - There are a few on the market but my favourite is a product by the name of Keto O/S - it is the most potent and the formulators are constantly devising new delivery schemes for improved uptake and maximal effect.   As of today you can buy Keto O/S in Canada.  There are3 different formulas available, MAX, the latest geared to Elite Athletes is the most powerful - the patent pending BHB (betahydroxybutyrate - the actual ketone body) has been shown in clinical studies to be more bioavailable and longer lasting than any other product on the market.  It is also approved safe for NCAA and Elite competitors, while also being vegan, dairy free and gluten free.

If you are interested in KETO O/S you can contact me for a 5 day trial pack, for more info or check out: natniddam.pruvitnow.com/ca   Full disclosure - this is absolutely an affiliate site so yes, I will get commission if you buy.

If you’ve made it this far - give yourself a pat on the back - I know this post was long but I do believe that this renewed interest in ketones is well warranted - I have been using them myself and in my practice for over a year now (either as MCT’s, endogenously or from Keto O/S) and I am continuously amazed at the incredible results that people are obtaining. 

Get in touch with Nathalie HERE

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