My Experience with Exogenous Ketones: Tale and Truth

My results, written on white paperI woke up the morning of the ceremony with butterflies in my stomach. I’d done the necessary prep. I’d abstained from carbs the past week and food the past 24 hours. I’d performed four consecutive full-body circuit workouts to deplete muscle glycogen, and undergone a liver biopsy to confirm full depletion of liver glycogen. I wasn’t taking any chances. Although I had extensive experience generating endogenous ketones and subsisting on my own body fat, exogenous ketones were another matter entirely. You don’t want to mess around with a holy sacrament without doing due diligence.

Holy sacrament? Yes.

According to ethnographic accounts from early Arctic explorers who encountered the sacred compound, the exogenous ketone was developed by traditional peoples of the wintry north. No one’s quite sure where it arose first—Siberia, Greenland, Alaska, Lapland. What they do know is that these societies revered the type 1 diabetic, a rare find in the pre-contact Arctic. Using an admittedly grisly and cruel process, these groups would starve the tribe’s diabetic to induce ketoacidosis, harvest the ketone-rich urine, and reduce it slowly to a ketone-rich tar over a wood fire. Tribe shamans would dissolve the tar in pine needle tea and distribute it to members exclusively before hunting trips, warfare, and any other activity requiring optimal physical and mental function to boost energy and improve performance. As Mark Twain famously quipped, “The strongest coffee I ever had was a Laplander’s piss.”

So when I showed up to the small building on the edge of town on a rainy evening, I was anxious. What was I in for? The solemn countenances worn by my two guides for the day—Dr. Peter Attia, wearing dark robes and swinging a thurible loaded with burning MCT oil, and Gary Taubes, face smeared with bacon grease, body adorned with wreaths of stevia leaf—impressed upon me the import of the approaching ceremony.

Detractors are scoffing already. “Sisson, you’re degrading yourself taking the shortcut to ketones with a pill. Instead, spend years sweeping the ashram, maintaining a low-carb, high-fat diet, and doing low-level aerobic activity just shy of the anaerobic threshold to boost mitochondrial fat-burning capacity and generate ketones on command. There are Sami gurus who can produce so many ketones in their saliva that a single French kiss from one will boost your IQ one standard deviation for a day. That’s true power—freedom from reliance on a ketone powder.”

Maybe so. But as I said, I’ve been there already. I’ve lived that life for more than a decade. I’ve long been convinced of the merits of a fat-based metabolism, and now I wanted to push the boundaries. To build on the existing scaffolding.

So I took the ketones, Jimmy Moore effigy made of coconut husks and pork rinds looking on.

All the universe unfolded before me. I was discovering solutions to long-standing problems—business disputes, moral quandaries, plans for the future—before consciously considering them. I’d think about a problem and discover my ketone-enhanced brain had already solved it. If I closed my eyes, I could actually hear the whirr of my mitochondria churning through all the additional ketone bodies. I flung open the temple door and practically sprinted through the hills, covering five miles at 4:15 per without breaking the anaerobic threshold and returning only to purge through both ends.

“All part of the process,” Attia said, handing me a bucket and washcloth.

Jokes aside, I have been playing with ketones. Over the past couple years, I’ve tried a lot of ketone supplements, from KetoCaNa, Pruvit, Kegenix, to a few others. I’ve even accepted and tried a one-off from a person trying to break into the market who I failed to thoroughly vet; that time, I felt like I might die. No joke.

What have I noticed?

There is usually some GI discomfort, occasionally outright distress that’s only relieved once there’s nothing left to give. So you have to plan for that.

About half the time I’ll take ketones right before Sunday Ultimate Frisbee matches. It provides a discernible extra burst of speed during the game, more overall energy (I just feel like “going” more), and less soreness the next day. I speculate that my ability to hit higher performance levels without dipping as deep into anaerobic territory is less stressful overall on my body, so I recover more quickly and with less pain.

There’s also the potential for ketones being anti-inflammatory. Sure enough, exogenous ketones seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect, suppressing expression of an inflammasome involved in various disease states. Some research shows that blocking the inflammasome by deleting the gene responsible for it protects against arthritis in rodents. If the same is true for humans using ketones, that—along with my increased intake of collagen—might explain why I’ve made a strong recovery from serious Achilles’ tendinosis.

I recently did another long fast of over two days. Prior to ketone usage, two days was really rough. I could do it, but I wasn’t happy. This time using a small dose of ketones throughout the first day really helped me through the rough patches. In fact, those rough patches never came. 48 hours was a relative breeze.

I don’t know how much these supplements would help someone on a standard higher-carb diet. It’s clearly a good performance booster on its own, but I think this stuff should be complemented by a foundation of fat and keto-adapted eating which provides a robust infrastructure set up to handle ketones. Longer-term fat-adaptation is the powerful trigger for mitochondrial biogenesis—so you have the extra mitochondria necessary to wring every last drop out of those ketones. You need to look at the long picture here.

Anyway, after the busy holiday I wanted to have a little fun and provide some real actionable information for this post. Hope you all dug it. I’m truly excited about this ketone stuff, and I’m actually feverishly working on a breakthrough new book about keto-adapted eating, living and performing that should come out around Fall 2017. Details TBA.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Have you tried ketone salts or esters? What do you think? What have you noticed?

Take care!

TAGS:  Keto Recipes

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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112 thoughts on “My Experience with Exogenous Ketones: Tale and Truth”

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  1. Go Big 2017:) My wife and I are spreading the word in the MIdwest. Thanks Mark!

    1. My company will have a product ready by september with a price point around $70 US for 30 servings. Benefit in addition to 11.7g of Ketones per serving with be the daily recommended amount of Calcium and Magnesium. If curious, keep in touch at [email protected]

      1. What is your company and how do I know which products are real? Do ketones have calories and so ones that claim low calories can they be ligit? I’ve used pruvit and it’s too expensive!

  2. I admit I had no idea what this article was going on about and had to do a bit of research. Now a question: Are exogenous ketone supplements something that would benefit everybody, including people who are NOT athletes, or is this just the latest “in” performance enhancer? I just want to be able to maintain sufficient fitness for an active, pain-free lifestyle as I continue to get older.

  3. “All the universe unfolded before me. I was discovering solutions to long-standing problems—business disputes, moral quandaries, plans for the future—before consciously considering them.”

    Is this article about ingestion of keytones or psilocybin Mark? 😛

    1. Are these products really necessary? How much do they really help? I have yet to find the energy everyone is talking about and I’ve been keto for four months. Give it more time?

      1. Ugh I hit reply beneath your comment instead of scrolling back up to join discussion. Blegh, sorry.. lol

        1. Ha no problem Sharon. From what I read the products are supposed to help during the first few days whenever going keto.

          Yeah, the on-going search for energy, I cycle in adaptogens and take d-Ribose but I suspect I need to do a lot better with my circadian rhythm LOL. Never done the keto diet but do eat a low carb paleo diet. Hope it works out for you and others have some good advice for you.

      2. Hi Sharon – just curious, are you consistently in ketosis, measured by ketostix and/or blood tests? Are you just in the very light purple region? If so, I’d suggest reducing a bit of protein and increasing fat. I swear, I was in light purple for months but never experienced the energy I do now. I did a ton of reading on it now that I’m an athlete and I was eating too much protein (that was kicking me out of deep ketosis) and not enough fat. Now I’m pouring MCT and butter into my coffee like crazy and my body is loving me for it!

        1. I agree. MCT oil seems to help me stay in ketosis to the point where I doubt the effectiveness of exogenous ketones. I can easy maintain 1.5 daily.

          If I do a fake fast and drink only coffee and MCT oil with butter, I can reach 3.8 – 4.0. So it makes me question why I’d want to disrupt what my body does naturally.

          Crazy thing is, I’m still tempted to experiment with it. Hug, the struggle is real. ????

    2. Looking forward to hearing Dennis on a future podcast. Many of us are particularly interested in microdosing out here…

  4. Wow, that whole paragraph about ketone-rich tar pee; I would love to know how they learned to do something like that and what to use it for. Accidental, probably, but just how, exactly did all those dots get connected? It’s bizarre.

        1. They didn’t have diabetes in those times. That’s a modern disease

          1. Diabetes is not a “modern disease”, it is well documented in ancient Egypt & Greece.

  5. Hilarious, thank you! “Dr. Peter Attia, wearing dark robes and swinging a thurible loaded with burning MCT oil, and Gary Taubes, face smeared with bacon grease, body adorned with wreaths of stevia leaf—impressed upon me the import of the approaching ceremony.” — love it!

  6. Interesting stuff, Mark. Funny enough, my bottle of collagen hydrolysate has become my new best friend, especially when I’m on the road and have no access to quality bone broth. I put it in everything from flourless pancakes to store-bought stocks and sauces. I even sneak some in my one-year-old daughter’s soaked oats when she’s not looking 😉

  7. KetoCaNa has become a staple of mine for both sports & big meeting days at work. The benefits are immediate & very noticeable, both physically & mentally. Great when you want to do a 1 rep max or be on your game in a meeting.
    The GI distress Mark mentions is very real. having a daily dose of unmodified potato starch goes a long way to mitigate.

  8. I don’t get it. All that? For what? I’ll just stick with the “eating plants and animals”……Seems to work for me.

    1. Right. My LCHF doctor said “let your body make it’s own ketones”, adding that “my clients don’t need any extra food energy from products like this.”

  9. Mark, thank you for sharing your experience with exogenous ketones and I love the storytelling “flair” you added! When you described your enhanced mental ability and “all the universe unfolded before me” is exactly what I felt when I conducted by first 28 hour fast. I was able to keep a thread of that connection alive by conducting weekly fasts from Sat – Sun. Unfortunately I experienced adrenal fatigue and haven’t done a 24 hour fast for at least 3 years. While I didn’t want to let go of IF either, introducing breakfast has done wonders for my body! Introducing more carbs as well. I’m at a point now where I am tinkering around with the macro ratios (and generally a transition to being more fat adapted) so that while I’m not fasting as regularly anymore, I can still gain the benefits from leaning more toward fats. Looking forward to your book!

    1. Interesting to hear about your experience with adrenal fatigue–I’ve had mixed success with fasting and wonder if it is adrenal fatigue, but I’ve had no diagnosis. Breakfast does seem to help me as well when I’m in a high-stress state, which seems too often.

    2. I’ve only recently discovered that I’m also dealing with adrenal fatigue and likely have been for several years. I crossfit like a fiend and have been eating keto for 6 months and Paleo for 5 years prior yet kept putting on weight. I started using pruvit keto//os in February and didn’t notice any difference after 3 months (and like $500!!!) and gave up. Doing more research now and considering giving it another shot but agree it would be really nice to see something on the market that wouldn’t require a second mortgage on my home!

        1. My friend says that there are calories in ketones and to beware of companies claiming high amounts with no calories? Is this product the REAL deal?

  10. Thanks, Mark! Loved the pictures you painted, lol!

    Exogenous ketones have changed my life. I’ve been a keto dieter for about a year with inconsistent IF. I don’t like being hungry… always leads to hangry. I started on the ketone supplement last September and it has been extremely helpful for appetite suppression. My fasted stated is an easy 16 hours now, sometimes longer and I’m not suffering. Yay to that 🙂 I’ve lost 19 pounds so far.

    I’m looking at it as a training tool, to get my body used to eating less. That seems to be working. Some days I don’t drink my keto and I don’t eat. All good.

    I’m losing weight so I know my insulin resistance has reversed to some extent. I’m a 61yo female, post menopause, very active on my homestead and in my functional health practice, regular tabatas + a day of heavy weights at the gym (ala McGuff). Mature women have a hell of a time losing weight! I believe that’s due to entrenched insulin resistance. This supplement has been an amazing tool for that.

    Ketones also helped HUGE with focus and productivity. I’m very happy with them and recommend them to my clients who have energy and weight issues, particularly starting out, some relief care. When you feel better, you are more likely to participate in your recovery.

    1. Sally, what exogenous ketones have you been using? I’m about your age and I can’t seem to lose my subcutaneous blubber.

      1. I use Keto OS, there’s a video at called “how it works” — it’s how all ketones work. Have you tried the keto diet? IMO, for a lot of people, there’s no other way to lose weight. Blood sugar must be controlled and insulin resistance reversed so your body stops craving sugar and starts burning fat rather than storing it.

        I also do IF, intermittent fasting. IF is extremely beneficial in a lot of ways, particularly helpful with fat loss. Mark Mattson has a great interview with Dom D’Agostino, easy to find on a search. Mattson is like the father of fasting. Also Jason Fung has a lot of good youtubes on fasting. There are many, many variations on the fasting theme.

        The ketone supp helps me with the IF. I do bullet coffee in the am, drink my ketones about 9:30-10:30, workout 30 minutes afterwards on exercise days and I don’t eat my first meal until 1 or 2pm. Last meal 8 hours later max. Ketones suppress appetite.

        IF can be hard on the cortisol until you can get into a pattern. So I added meditation to help with stress and cortisol. Huge help. I use Headspace, an app, guided, really helps.

        I follow a keto diet which is like low-carb primal, not a lot of dairy. I come to MDA to find out what to eat, lol. Drink lots of water. I have 15 pounds to go and I’m confident I’ll get there. Then I plan to add a few more carbs till I’m at a good plateau…

        We’ll see. I feel good. Give it a go. What have we got to lose at this point but a few pounds? Happy new year!

        1. Agree with you 100%. I, too, follow a ketogenic diet at the age of 68. I also adhere to IF and extended fasting. As a holistic nutritionist, I cannot offer my clients,especially Type 2 diabetics, any better advice for healthy living.

          1. How about someone on chemo? (carboplatin/doxil)

          2. Bonnie – I am not an expert, but I listen to Joe Rogan podcast religiously and he had Dom D’Agostino on recently. Listen to that please. Definitive. Dom talks a lot about cancer, preventing cancer etc. and the research is showing that this is something that helps immediately and should continue post-recovery.

    2. Sally, what brand of Keto do you use? I need to lose some weight and would love more energy and clarity.

  11. Mark- Always fascinated by the results of your experimentation and that of others in the community, and grateful for your willingness to test and report on findings. But dude, what’s a girl to do? So many mixed results for women on this ketogenic topic. I have had to fall back on a n=1 practice, otherwise known as fumbling around in the dark while trying to sidestep adrenal fatigue crevasses (been there, crawled out of that dank hole).
    Is there any further ancestral explanation that might help me swallow this better? Like when I “low” carb (<50g) for three days or more, my heart pounds in my chest, I pee all night and I need very little sleep. Yes, my energy is way up, but friends and family are afraid of me and my energy. And just in case you were going to ask, I am as healthy as a horse. Cleared by all and sundry.
    I guess I can accept the "eat more carbs and maybe don't fast, dear" pats on the head, but man, I'm jealous of all the fun you boys are having.Guess I'll just add it to my peeve about not being able to pee standing up anywhere I darn well please.

    1. Same question from a fellow female! I feel ya, Sydney. And the pounding in my chest? What’s with that?

        1. Sydney I’m right there with you. Didn’t realize at the time of doing regular weekly fasts and IF’s every day that the reason why I couldn’t sleep was due to fasting and being low carb. I’ve heard if you sprinkle sea salt in your water and take electrolytes along with BCAAs it helps with the sleep. I’m back to tinkering around with macro ratios and generally toward a fat enriched diet to glean some of the benefits from this way of eating.

      1. Hi there Guys…A lot of carbs, be they grains or fruits and veggies are rich in magnesium-a mineral many of us are already deficient in. Try a mag citrate supplement it will calm the heart pounding:)

    2. I think you can still pee standing up anywhere you want, it’s just that it gets all over your legs and feet/shoes…..

      I’m trying presently to heal some adrenal fatigue, takes a LOT of time and packs on the pounds sadly.

      1. Me too!!! Couldn’t understand how I could be continually gaining weight on my keto diet and intense crossfit schedule

    3. I feel the same… Fumbling in the dark. 50 year old female martial artist and triathlete training for half and full ironman events (average 14hours per week tri and 5hours martial arts). I have no problem sleeping. Perhaps this is the high fat low carb diet or the volume of training done. I do remember doing the 5:2 diet a couple of years ago where you eat dinner then 500cal for the next 24hours go to bed and eat breakfast so about 36 hours of almost fasting. This was too hard and I could not sleep and in fact more hungry. Although at that stage I was not following low carb protocol.

      Now I fast once or twice a week 24hours and do IF the other days 16/8. My weight is stable and BMI seems good at around 20. I am happy with the endurance benefits of low carb living but I have some extra work to do on strength and power.

      I feel that I should aim to reduce the coffee which I tend to rely on each day (1-2 cups black). I worry about adrenal fatigue and would love to learn more about it.

      I am feeling that it is a better option to use whole foods for fuel. Quality and variety is important.

      I will not use MCT oil without food for the problems are not worth it. So i can only take on non fasting days at lunch on my salad. I do like to test my performance with MCT pretty regularly because I want to know my response so that I know whether I can reliably use it in my pre race meal (especially ironman).

      Does anyone know of an women’s endurance athlete low carb group? Or a mature women’s (referring to age less than attitude) endurance athletes low carb group? I know that we are all very much individual and that no one protocol will work for everyone the same but it is really interesting to read other perspectives.

      1. Thanks Sally Oh. Not sure though. These symptoms seem awfully persistent. Talking years here. Working on maintenance, not weight loss.

        1. I’m of the opinion these days that the #1 cure for adrenal fatigue is good sleep. Fix the circadian rhythm, manage the blue light and get sleep… it fixes a host of problems for me!

    4. You are experiencing the release of toxins sequestered in body fat you are using for fuel. Toxins make you pee lots and make hearts race and other horrid side effects like disaster pants. I use activated charcoal between meals away from nutrition to bind to toxins in bile and escort them out of the body instead of being reabsorbed. I also put collagen in my bulletproof coffee if I am trying to avoid adrenal problems. And eat sweet potato if I do get close to adrenal exhaustion.

      1. Thanks Hilary. Would love more data on the toxin release theory. I see that posited a lot as a cause but very few hard facts. My understanding is that the heart pounding is a result of an adrenaline/noradenaline response to ketosis. Unless I work closely with someone thoroughly qualified and experienced with this reaction, unwilling to bio hack it. Maintenance is my goal at this point. Not weight loss. But I am impressed by the performance enhancements Mark et al seem to be getting from it. Just wish there was more data rather than anecdotal experience out there. In time, no doubt.

        1. Sadly, I don’t think anyone’s going to study the toxin release theory… where’s the money in that?

      2. Hilary, I experience the exact same thing: when I lose bodyfat, I usually get sick, quite sick. The last time I ended up in the hospital.

        Duh on the charcoal — great idea, I will remember to do that. Although right now, I’m past the major toxin release part. It only happens for me at the beginning of the fat loss.

        Two big helps to avoiding adrenal insufficiency — the new name/theory — are meditation and adequate sleep. The trick is to manage that cortisol.

        Re adrenal insufficiency: it’s no longer believed to be an organ problem, it’s a communication problem. Adrenals don’t get exhausted or worn out, they aren’t getting the right signals.

    5. try supplementing with plenty of salt. google salt water ketogenic low carb for more info. i use up to a whole teaspoon of salt in a glass of water a couple times a day to ward off the palpitations. sometimes i also need potassium or magnesium. but usually its the salt.

      1. Sharon you are right on the money about the salt. Being in ketosis actually increases sodium excretion by the kidneys. That is why it is important to add salt to your food, both in cooking and to taste on your plate, and to have your broth either home made(with lots of salt) or a salt supplement as a replacement. If you don’t you can look forward to symptoms like constipation, fatigue, mental confusion, heart palpitations and muscle cramps just to name a few. So get tucked into the salt and check you blood pressure every now and then as you settle into the new routine, it should drop a little but if you are having too much salt it will start to rise a little. So just adjust till you find what works for your body, everyone’s needs are different.
        Good luck.

    6. Check out Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained gynecologist turned functional medicine doctor. Her books The Hormone Cure and the 21 Day Hormone Reset Diet discuss how keto can affect women differently and potentially cause thyroid issues (heart racing is a classic thyroid disregulation symptom). I found her female perspective refreshing and well researched. I’ve had better success with her diet approach than with true keto, although I remain fascinated with keto and think there are lots of great things to learn from it.

    7. Hi Sydney, I’m a 39 yo male (healthy and active) and am 2+ months into an IF protocol of about 16/8. The lack of eating hasn’t been hard for me at all (surprisingly), and I’ll easily sometime not eat until 5-6 in the evening, even after a quick hiit/strength routine. The hardest part, however, has been the the sleep aspect. I had the heart pounding and sleepless nights as well. Watched some Tim Ferriss videos and he also mentions it (he hadn’t looked into what was causing it yet). Online people are saying that your body will adjust, and that seems to finally be happening for me after a few spotty weeks of some really late/rough nights. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I’ve seen a lot of men talk about it too. Only explanation I’ve read about is that it’s boosted adrenaline from the fasting (this was a very non scientific hypothesis). I actually also wrote to Mark to see if he could address it in one of his posts. I love everything else about the technique so will continue pushing through and experimenting. Nest I plan on extended fasting with exo ketones. Good luck everyone!

  12. I’ve been experimenting with exogenous ketones as well, as I didn’t love the extended fasts and middling results I was getting after 2-3 days of fasting.

    After a lot of testing (and trying the brands you mentioned), I found that the brand Perfect Keto worked best for me. Where PK raised my blood ketone levels by 0.7mmol, the other two I tried (KetoCana and Pruvit) only raised blood ketone levels by 0.3 and 0.2mmol respectively.

    I’ve definitely seen a similar energy improvement, though I tend to swap ketones for my morning coffee and drink them on an empty stomach (to alleviate some of the disaster pants that can come from taking exogenous ketones).

    1. Yeah it’s your company, which you should fess up to instead of pretending to not be a shill.

  13. great, I was just going through this blog and found very useful. The whole article about ketone I would love to know how they studied to do something like that and what to use it for. I think they may have taken the development test from any training like benchfolks . benchfolks tea provides better training.

  14. I became fascinated with diet and ketones recently and found a ketone suppliment that I can attest is having some amazing results. It tastes great and I take it once a day. I have lost 8 lbs in 2 days and as you stated it does reduce appetite. I look forward to further posts and your research.

  15. All this ketosis talk lately is going to detract from your more important message, Mark.

  16. In my current job, I work 10 hour shifts, mostly walking, not enough break time to eat sufficiently. At the end of the day, I’m starving, cave to sugar cravings, and so goes the downward spiral. It seems like, if I eat a big, fatty breakfast, I have a chance to avoid stuffing myself before bed. Maybe exogenous ketones and a good food management plan could get me over the hump. I certainly have some doubts.

  17. I am new to all of this ketone stuff so I wanted to know what was the difference between Endogenous and Exogenous Ketones?

    1. Endogenous means your body makes them. Exogenous means they’re coming from outside the body.

  18. Would this be an effective way to efficiently dip back into Ketosis after a weekend binge? Not something I do regularly, by any means, but when we travel for kids karate tournaments, or have a big family get together and I don’t want to be a downer when it comes to meals out/celebrations.

  19. what type of ketone supplement did you take? I am assuming this was a special ester of some sort, not the run of the mill ketone salts available on the market?

    1. My husband and I have been using KetoOS. It tastes good and it’s really helped us stay on track with our lower carb semi Keto diet. Biggest thing we have noticed is the energy. Husband works 2 full time jobs, amazing product for energy.

    1. There was an absurd amount of caffeine in those as well. There’s not caffeine in exogenous ketones, normally

  20. Hey Mark, thanks for the post, I’ve been taking an exogenous ketone suppliment now for about 6 months, mostly for the cognitive benefits, I have MS, and it has been very effective in combatting brain fog for me, I have found the cognitive benefit to be similar to when I managed to get into nutritional ketosis a couple years ago without a suppliment, This time I have not been following a strictly Ketogenic diet, but I do avoid processed sugar, and limit carbohydrate intake to some exten and increase my fat intake to some extentt, though not to the OCD level that I maintained in my first experiment with NK.

    Today I am starting my first ever water fast, I find that I am now intermittent fasting regularity for 16 to 18 hours a day most days with no ill effects and I have not been noticing any hungry outbursts after skipping a few meals, if anything it leads to hyper focus for me and I forget about food while I’m working.

    My question to you, beyond the benefit you note above of skipping the crash during a two day fast, are there any drawbacks that you are aware of if during a fast of artificially increasing ketone levels with exogenous ketones during a water fast water fast, where the SOP is to take only water for the duration of the fast?

    Long time reader, first time writer,



  21. What a ridiculously good play on the psychedelic shamanic entheogen journey vs meditation debate.

  22. It’s working for me with no prep. Last week I was bidding a final farewell to my beloved mtn dew and traditional high carb/sugar ice cream among other non keto friendly foods by consuming more than I probably should.

    Then this past Saturday afternoon I started with a half scoop as instructed and again Sunday a half scoop. Monday started full scoops 1 per day.

    Monday morning I was down 10# no exercise. As of this morning I’m down another 2#.

    I definitely have more energy so I’m starting some light workouts tonight possibly 2-3 times a week and see how it goes.

    I have been trying to hit my macros. I’ve kept net carbs under 30 but my protein and fat consumption has only been half of what it needs to be.

    I’m trying all the top brands and am not going to pimp any particular brand here.

    Do your research, try a few different brands in low package quantities to see what works best for you.

    I’ll be 50 in a couple months and this is only thing that has garnered any results of everything I’ve done in past 5-6 years since I started packing it on. 12# in a matter of days even if some of it is water is crazy good. I’m sticking with it to see what happens.

  23. I’m a holistic and sports nutritionist and I work 10-15 hour days with very little time to eat- I also follow and prescribe a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet and find IF works well for me when I can stick to it. I’ve had my father on exogenous ketones for Alzheimers for years (Keto//OS) since he doesn’t always have the mindset to eat low carb but I hadn’t tried them myself til last month. Now that I’m working so much I find I get REALLY hungry towards the late afternoon, when I’m supposed to break for my workout, because I usually haven’t had anything but coffee + MCT oil + protein. I ordered Instaketones from Julian Bakery last month and am slightly obsessed with them, the difference in my appetite and focus is pretty crazy. No, I don’t work for the company haha. I have noticed my clothes are loose and a few people have commented that I look thinner but I haven’t checked my weight/body fat yet. But I FEEL great and am able to have my MCT + protein coffee plus a scoop of ketones, and sometimes a Keto Bar if I didn’t eat enough the day before, and then have my main meal when I get home at night. I have a few of my fitness competitor clients on ketones now to help with energy & fat burning and despite a lack of scientific evidence I can say anecdotally they really seem to work to reduce appetite and cravings! It’s amazing to go all day without being a slave to meal times AND not be fending off sugar cravings when I finally get home.

  24. FYI, Mark Twain never said that. The correct quote is “The coldest summer I ever knew was a summer in San Francisco” – Twain was never in Lapland or thereabouts. Please update your article with something more appropriate and accurate.

  25. Are you under the impression that making ketones the natural way is not as good as the exogenous ketones? If the body is fully capable of making it’s own, would exogenous use be overkill?

  26. What about the liver? Does it affect it in the long run of using this?

  27. I’ve taken Instaketones for 2 weeks straight. 1-3 scoops a day. I feel more energized, and have lost 5 pounds of fat, however, it is almost as if the ketones are sucking up my brain fat and not just my body fat. Sounds funny, but its how I FEEL. My brain is less clear than usual, which is a scary thought. When I take the ketones, sometimes it gives my body a “rush” similar to when pain meds are injected. Has any one else had this happen to them?
    ( I have to abstain from taking the ketones for 4 weeks due to an upcoming surgery, but plan to resume asap.)

  28. Hi! What do you think of the company ketond? Also, I keep hearing that these keyrone drinks are hard on your organs, especially the pancreas. Do you know anything about that?

  29. Exogenous ketones from Prüvit have helped me on so many levels. From over 20 lbs of fat loss, 4 pounds of lean muscle gained, no more soreness and inflammation from my intense workout, better sleep, NO MORE HOT FLASHES, increase cognitive ability, increased energy and focus and a general feeling that I wish the day was 3 times as long because I am so full of energy…if you are not using exogenous ketones from Pruvit you are missing out on life!

    1. Just wondering if you use these around eating carbs? i.e. take before or after a cheat meal or just as a meal replacement? Cheers

  30. Hi, I’m trying to find out if you are not in ketosis, take exogenous ketones and then do not eat any carbs following on from that, will you stay in ketosis or does it have to be a more gradual transition / get into ketosis first? Thanks

  31. I occasionally used to take exogenous ketones when I wanted to get back in ketosis quickly. My stomach often churned taking it on an empty stomach so took it more with meals. It worked well for getting rid of brain fog but now MCT oil is my favorite go-to supplement.

  32. Have any of these products been tested and studied on humans? If so what were the results and wheres the study report.

  33. I am sharing what I personally experienced using BHB Beta-Hydroxybutyrate. I have dieted down to low body-fat many times in my life, but never experienced the results as I did using BHB. I thought BHB was going to allow me to speed things up a bit, kick my body into ketosis right after a carb load. Seemed like the miracle supplement! To go to be true! Well after eating nearly three pounds of the stuff, I found myself thinking exactly that! Yes too good to be true!

    I did experience some strange results, I was using BHB and going several days on zero carbs and low fat meat protein with MCT and coconut oil. I was lifting using multi-joint exercises large muscle groups, circuit training plus running 5 miles per day. My body became very depleted and wrinkly skin like an old man, fat loss was minimal compared to my normal results! Eventually as days past using BHB my energy to lift was limited and by the time I started my run, I found myself only able to jog at half the pace and I would have to rest every half mile or less! So I started to implement some low glycemic carbs into my diet in hopes to boost some type of energy. Nothing happened! I was now starting to feel horrible and weak, so I added more carbs to my diet. I did continue to use the BHB at this time while eating low GI carbs hoping not to kick me out of ketosis. I had noticed that as I consumed more carbs my body started to get leaner and my muscles began to refill! My energy was still shot out the window! I was puzzled! So I started researching further into BHB and more of a bias opinion from past users. Thats when I found this one article. Everything in this article was dead on! Everything my body was going thru was from what it appears to be that BHB was blocking my body from burning fat for fuel and or using my glycogen stores, my body became a depleted wrinkly mess! I am glad to say I have personal knowledge of the use of this product and its true results with my training. Does it compare to the results or claims promised by the vast marketing companies? NOPE! Would I promote it? I personally would only promote BHB as a tool to those beginner individuals, like a “rabbits foot” the lucky charm type mental tool that motives those who need something to believe in. Im not real sure how long the product will remain popular before more real athletes like myself will uncover its false claims and that’s not what I’m set out to do. I just think everyone has the right to know before they invest money and time into BHB.

    1. It seems like you were depleting your body of the fuel that it needs for your extensive workouts with hopes that a supplement powder was going to replace, energize and refuel. In creating the balance that each individual body needs of fat, protein and carbs your body will do the rest. I don’t think you were feeding the muscles, and there in losing it. I’ve had great success with natural ketosis and over time I could increase my carbs while staying in a ketogenic state, as long as I continued to stay within the ratio my body needs. I’ve only just started to experiment with the exogenous ketone powders as more research and knowledge have become available. Personally for me its a boost to put me back where I need to be if i’ve had a bad meal or a weekend away. It’s great not to have to start from scratch and it does provide energy and enhance my brain, but I take it for 2 days on and then let the natural keto work its magic. When i’m in full keto I am hardly ever hungry. Breakfast is my meal of the day with a higher fat/protein ratio and it keeps me satiated all day. As a vegetarian I do lean towards egg whites, tofu, cheeses and nuts (some say dairy isn’t good for ketosis). I think each person is different and needs to find their keto balance, for me it really works and I think everyone should at least give it a chance!

  34. I have been on Keto OS & Keto lifestyle since July 2017. I do IF as well. I have lost 60#, I have used it before work as I am a nurse & crank out 5-7 miles per day at work. I am 52 years old & think this is a life changer! I think the price is expensive but worth my health & well-being!

  35. The first couple months after I started on keto I found that the more brutal CrossFit workouts I do would leave me entirely exhausted for half a day afterwards. I would get home and be so low in energy all I could do was sit in front of the TV and go to bed early.

    I found that taking a scoop of exogenous ketones either before or after these workouts would eliminate this problem.

    Since then I’ve found that without the powder I only get drained from the very hardest workouts, and never like I did at first. In other words, further fat adaptation definitely happened for me.

    I used exogenous ketones for the Open, and a few times since when I went in feeling really tired already and/or the workout was going to be really hard. Normal WODs don’t require them.

    I’m much more interested in being able to effectively live on endogenous ketones, so I minimize the use of the powder, but I’m glad I have it for those occasions that I need an extra measure of energy.

    Note that downing MCT oil might have exactly the same effect. I haven’t done that experiment, because even after months of occasional use MCT oil is best used for me when I need to go sit on My Special Chair, if you know what I mean (TMI).

  36. Haha! Fun, intelligent storytelling while also making your point. Thank you for the journey!

  37. Thanks Mark. So which products do you recommend, also I notice the calcium levels are really high on these products. Most of the the products are systematically derived are their any natural products?

    Thanks ‘