Monday, July 31, 2017

Benefits of KetoCoffee & How It Can Maximize Your Ketosis

Why is there such a fascination with coffee and ketosis?
Can drinking coffee improve your ability to enter a ketogenic state?
Or does coffee do the opposite, that is, break you out of ketosis?

Whether you are just starting your ketogenic diet or you’ve been following it for months, there’s a great chance that you’ve already run into the idea of mixing coffee with ketogenic dietary choices.

Let’s review what ketosis is along with the role that coffee and ketogenic supplements can play in your ketogenic diet.

What is Ketosis?

When you achieve a state of ketosis, your body begins to rely on fatty acids and ketone bodies for energy. Ketone bodies are produced in the liver as a response to a very low carbohydrate diet. 

Ketone bodies and fatty acids have been suggested in numerous studies to be a beneficial form of energy for the body that avoids the free-radical footprint commonly found with glucose uptake. When your body breaks down nutrients for energy, there is waste that gets left behind on a cellular level. 

In other words, using ketone bodes for fuel is more energy efficient and produces less waste than when you use glucose. (1)

Why You Need to Achieve Ketosis

Entering a state of ketosis brings with it a number of scientifically proven benefits including weight loss, enhanced exercise performance, and cognitive boosting.

Click here to read my article on the benefits of ketosis and how it can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Supplements Can Help Achieve Ketosis

Entering a state of ketosis relies primarily on whole food nutritional choices. As mentioned above, you will be drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake while increasing your consumption of healthy fats. Protein consumption will remain moderate.

When you begin your ketogenic diet, the transition into ketosis is not immediate. You won’t enter a state of ketosis immediately. It usually takes several days to a couple of weeks depending on your lifestyle and nutritional choices before you began.

Your body needs to burn through the remaining glucose. A high activity level and fat-focused nutritional choices will help to encourage your body to enter ketosis faster. Ketogenic supplements can also help to facilitate a faster transition.

In particular, healthy fatty acid supplements such as MCT oil can help provide your body with an increased consumption of tasty and easy-to-swallow fats that will promote ketosis.

MCT Oil & Ketosis

As I mentioned above, when you enter a state of ketosis, your body is utilizing fatty acids and ketone bodies as its primary fuel source. For those few instances when your body needs glucose, it can easily make glucose from protein through a process called gluconeogenesis.

MCT oil is one of the best supplements that you can use on a ketogenic diet as it contains the ideal blend of fatty acids to promote entering a state of ketosis.

Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil, or MCT oil, is made from one of two sources: coconut or palm kernel. There are four types of fatty acids found within MCT oil including:

  • Caproic acid
  • Caprylic acid
  • Capric acid
  • Lauric acid

These four fatty acids, in particular, have been the subject of numerous studies, revealing their health benefits. Regardless of whether your mission is ketosis or not, it has been shown that ingesting medium chain triglycerides as a part of healthy diet and exercise plan can significantly improve health. 

Benefits of medium chain triglycerides include healthier cholesterol levels, weight loss, and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. (2)

The MCT Oil That I Use

Personally, I was opposed to MCT oil supplements for a while. Not because they didn’t work but because of the digestion-based side effects that some of my clients reported.

After plenty of research along with trial and error experiments, I found an MCT oil that is not only effective at putting you into a state of ketosis but it comes with none of the common side effects associated with MCT oils supplements.

I use Keto 8 by KetoSports. Keto8 is made from palm kernel and it contains all of the fatty acids you need to push you into ketosis without the digestive issues. Click here to check out Keto8 on the official KetoSports website.

Like many on the ketogenic diet, I find that the best way to ingest and absorb Keto8 is with my morning coffee.

Benefits of Coffee for Ketosis

Why all the rage with coffee and MCT oil? Aside from being a delicious way to start the day and support your ketogenic diet, coffee may be able to promote a faster transition into ketosis.

Studies show that the caffeine in coffee is considered a thermogenic ingredient. A thermogenic ingredient directly increases the body’s metabolic response. In other words, caffeine is a known metabolism booster that supports fat loss. This is important for entering ketosis as you will want to burn through remaining carbohydrate stores to encourage the body to use ketone bodies, not glucose, as fuel. (3)

Some studies point out that caffeine usage increases glucose levels in the body. While no studies have yet to take an in-depth look at the relationship between coffee and ketosis, the explanation for the increase in glucose levels may be due to what caffeine does once it’s inside your body. 

Caffeine triggers our fight-or-flight mechanisms. In response, our bodies may release liver glycogen to provide the body will usable energy to make quick decisions. Once the glycogen is released, insulin is also released as a response. This is beneficial as the more glucose is used up, the faster you’ll enter a state of ketosis. (4)

Looking for great brands of coffee to go with your MCT oil? I personally use these two brands:

Conclusion

Are you currently on a ketogenic diet?
Do you drink KetoCoffee every day?
What benefits have you noticed?

Stay up to date with all of the latest information on ketosis including ketogenic meal planners and workout programs. Subscribe to my newsletter and be sure to follow me on YouTube.




References

1. Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Hussein T, et al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology. 2004;9(3):200-205.

2. Dean, Ward, and Jim English. “Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs): Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging.” Nutrition Review. 20 June 2016. Web.

3. Kim, TW., Shin, YO., Lee, JB. et al. Effect of caffeine on the metabolic responses of lipolysis and activated sweat gland density in human during physical activity. Food Sci Biotechnol (2010) 19: 1077. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-010-0151-6.


4. Lane, James D., et al. “Caffeine Impairs Glucose Metabolism in Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. American Diabetes Association, 1 Aug. 2004. Web.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Top 7 Ways to Prevent Keto Flu

If you’ve been considering the Keto Diet and you’ve been roaming around on Google, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across the term Keto Flu

Is this some new age health scare like Swine Flu?
No, of course not.

Isn’t the Keto Flu just a myth?
Not even close.

There’s no doubt that you want to be successful when starting your Keto Diet. One of the best ways to ensure compliance on the Keto Diet is to learn how to avoid the dreaded Keto Flu. 

Let’s take a look at what the Keto Flu is and the top 7 ways to prevent the Keto Flu.

What is the “Keto Flu?”

Before you decided to jump on this Keto Diet, your body was happily using carbohydrates as its primary source of fuel. All of a sudden, your body is starting to notice a huge lack of the carbs it loves. In between cutting carbohydrates and the body realizing that it needs to start using fat as fuel, there is that grey area where the Keto Flu lives.

When you make a drastic change to your diet, like trying to eliminate all carbohydrates at once, your body is going to have a natural reaction. With the Keto Diet, your body may experience the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion / Clouded thoughts
  • Aches
  • Mood swings
  • Extreme cravings

These symptoms are a reaction to your body learning to make the change to switch fuel sources. The severity of the Keto Flu will vary from person to person. One thing that seems to be common: Those people who had a lot of sugar in their diets pre-Keto are going to be hit the hardest. This is because the body is essentially going through sugar withdraw.

Studies show that sugar dependency is a real thing and the more sugar your body is accustomed to, the harder it may be to come down from the sugar high. (1)

Don’t let that scare you. Here are the top 8 ways to prevent the Keto Flu and have a successful weight loss.

7. Avoid Cold Turkey Method

First and foremost, do NOT try to eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet in one shot. This is a sure way to get Keto Flu. Instead, slowly ween yourself off of carbohydrates over the course of a few weeks. A good first step is to cut out sugar-based carbohydrates while eating healthier options like brown rice and sweet potatoes.

After the sugar is gone, you can start to slowly eliminate healthy carbohydrates from your diet. This month-long process will ensure you avoid the Keto Flu and help your body transition into Ketosis.

6. Fats First

While slowly cutting out carbohydrates over the course of a month, you need to increase your intake of healthy fats. Some of the best options to begin including in your diet are as follows:

  • Avocados
  • Coconut oil
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Butter (grass fed)
  • Grass fed lean meats such as chicken, beef, and fish

Healthy fats should begin to make up the bulk of your diet paired alongside lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables.

5. Hydrate

To help your body make the transition from carb-happy to fat-focused, you need to make sure that you are consistently properly hydrated. For the sugar addicted, this will help to flush out sugar and toxins from processed foods.

There is no set amount of water to drink as the amount will vary from person to person. Be sure to sip water throughout the day and especially when you are thirsty. There’s a catch: Hydrate daily but you have to make sure that your hydration options aren’t limited to only water.

4. Electrolytes

The need for different ways to hydrate is because you need electrolyte-focused beverages.

Electrolytes are extremely important for overall health. When you are running low on electrolytes, you tend to experience a variety of symptoms. The less electrolytes you have, the worse your symptoms. You may feel light-headed, fatigue, and nausea, which is a big part of the Keto Flu.

This happens because as you take out carbohydrates from your diet, your insulin levels drop. When insulin levels decrease, your body will flush out key electrolytes. What’s more, if you’re only drinking water, you are flushing out even more electrolytes. (2, 3)

Try the following to ensure you have optimal electrolyte levels:


3. Get Moving 

Although it may be the last thing you are thinking about doing, getting up and moving is very effective in helping with Keto Flu AND supporting your body’s transition from carbohydrates to fats.

It doesn’t have to be anything extreme. Simply taking 30 to 60-minute walks during the week you begin your Keto Diet can be very effective.

Gradually, as your body settles into the diet, you can begin to increase your exercise routine. In fact, at that point, you may want to jump right back into your old routine. No need to rush though. Base your activity level on how you feel.

2. Supplements

While the bulk of your transition into Ketosis should be based on the whole food nutritional choices that you make, supplements can play an important role in making things much easier. Not only can supplements help you transition into Ketosis faster but they may also be able to help you avoid the Keto Flu.

I recommend and personally use the following supplements to assist with my Ketosis:

  • Exogenous Ketones
  • Electrolyte Blend
  • Vitamin B Complex

Click here to read my article on why you should take these supplements in order to achieve a successful and effective Ketogenic state.

1. Sleep Well

Finally, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get enough sleep.

Many of us wear our lack of sleep like a badge of honor but when it comes to achieving a successful Ketogenic state, you must consistently get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

Sleep is when your body gets to work to repair, recover, and rebuild. It’s essential for you to sleep 7 to 9 hours each night because a dietary transition can take a lot out of you. Sleep is going to be vital for ensuring you can effectively achieve Ketosis while avoiding symptoms of the Keto Flu.

Conclusion

The health benefits of Ketosis are clear but there may be a rocky road you have to cross the get there. Thankfully, you can take an alternate route. By following the top 7 ways listed above, you’ll be able to avoid the Keto Flu and successfully reach a Ketogenic state.

Have questions about some of the tips and tricks above?
Leave your questions below and I’ll be happy to answer them!
References

1. Nicole M. Avena, Pedro Rada, and Bartley G. Hoebel. Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008; 32(1): 20–39.

2. Tiwari, Swasti, Shahla Riazi, and Carolyn A. Ecelbarger. "Insulin9s Impact on Renal Sodium Transport and Blood Pressure in Health, Obesity, and Diabetes." American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology. American Physiological Society, 01 Oct. 2007. Web. 17 July 2017.


3. Chatterjee, Ranee, Hsin-Chieh Yeh, David Edelman, and Frederick Brancati. "Potassium and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes." Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2011. Web. 17 July 2017.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Top 4 Supplements You Must Take on a Ketogenic Diet

If you’ve just started your ketogenic diet, you know all too well the impatience that comes with waiting for your body to switch into a ketogenic, or fat burning, state. While a ketogenic diet comprised of whole foods should be the foundation upon which you make the transition into ketosis, you can also utilize several key supplements.

Supplementation is important during a ketogenic diet and not just for helping you reach a ketogenic state faster. As the body transitions into using ketones and fatty acids for fuel, some nutrients may get lost along the way, which may delay ketosis or result in a nutrient deficiency.

Let’s take a look at the top 4 supplements you must take on a ketogenic diet to ensure success.

Exogenous Ketones

The ultimate goal of entering a ketogenic state is to have the body relying on ketone bodies and fatty acids as fuel instead of glucose via carbohydrates. As you make the changes in your diet, your body must begin to burn off glucose and switch to producing ketones and using them as fuel. 

Want the ideal workout for promoting a faster rate of ketosis?
Click here to read my article on the best exercise program for a ketogenic state!

Another way to succesfully encourage this transition is with exogenous ketones, or ketones in supplement form.

There are three ketones that are used as fuel in the body:
  • Acetone
  • Acetoacetic Acid
  • Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid (Beta Hydroxybuyrate)

Beta Hydroxybuyrate is the most commonly used ketone body for supplements because of how well it responds during ingestion and assimilation in the body. When you take Beta Hydroxybuyrate in supplement form, your body immediately enters a ketogenic state, even if you still have high levels of glucose in your system.

A study published in Nutrition and Metabolism, featuring famous ketogenic-focused scientist, Dominic D’Agostino, demonstrated that the use of exogenous ketones was successful in elevating levels of Beta Hydroxybuyrate (ketone bodies) while reducing levels of glucose. (1)

Which Exogenous Ketone Supplement Do I Use?
  • Personally, I use KetoBlitz from KetoSports.

Natural Minerals: Sodium, Potassium, & Magnesium

Sodium is an essential electrolyte that is critical for supporting a neuro-network between cells. Potassium, just as important, keeps sodium levels in check while promoting heart health. Magnesium, consider a super mineral, ties everything together. It supports immunity, hormone levels, and much more all while being necessary to literally move sodium and potassium.

If your body is depleted of these critical electrolytes, you’ll experience a variety of symptoms, ranging in severity. You may feel light-headed and you may pass out. You may even need to be hospitalized to avoid long term consequences.

Natural, not processed, forms of sodium, potassium, and magnesium are essential for optimal health. This is why there is a concern about ketogenic diets and levels of these electrolytes. There is a direct connection between insulin levels and these three electrolytes. As you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, insulin levels drop. When insulin levels decrease, your body will flush out sodium, potassium, and magnesium. (2, 3)

To avoid dangerously low levels of sodium, potassium, and magnesium, an electrolyte supplement is key. Supplementing with a product that contains a natural form of pink Himalayan salt or natural sea salt, for example, ensures you get plenty of electrolytes as well as trace minerals that are also important.

Which Electrolyte Supplement Do I Use?

Vitamin B Complex

When you severely limit one macronutrient, it becomes vital to find and utilize food choices to make up the difference in nutrients.  With a low-carbohydrate or no-carbohydrate diet, there is a particular risk of a deficiency in B-vitamins, specifically Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B7.

Panothenic Acid, or Vitamin B5, is responsible for helping the body metabolize macronutrients while promoting overall health, especially for your heart.

Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is commonly marketed as the nutrient for optimal skin, hair, and nail health. It also plays an important role in muscle and cognitive health. 

When you are deficient in Vitamin B5 or Vitamin B7, you may experience hair loss, fatigue, muscle pain, increased levels of stress, and confusion.

Obviously, the last thing you want is to be confused, agitated, and fatigued while your body is transitioning into a ketogenic state. It’s best to play it safe with a Vitamin B complex supplement so that you can ensure you’re getting all the necessary water-soluble B-vitamins. 

Which Vitamin B Complex Supplement Do I Use?

Bone Broth

Let’s say you want to go as hardcore as you can with this ketogenic diet. You know the risks of nutrient deficiency but you’re confident that you can find whole foods to combat that risk. If there’s one natural supplementary food that you should be adding into your ketogenic diet, it’s bone broth.

Bone broth is the perfect ketogenic supplement as it’s extremely low in carbohydrates while being rich in protein and fat. It packs the perfect electrolyte punch, providing you with plenty of magnesium, potassium, and sodium. It also contains those B-vitamins you need. A few other benefits include being great for your immunity, joints, and energy levels. (4)

In other words, bone broth is like having several supplements in one. Best part about it: Bone broth is all natural. 

Which Bone Broth Do I Use?

Conclusion

The benefits of the ketogenic are numerous. From igniting your fat loss to protecting your brain, a ketogenic diet is becoming one of the best ways to support your overall health. Understandably, getting yourself into a state of ketosis is the first step. If you want some extra support to make the transition as smooth as possible, try the supplements I mentioned above.

Have any questions about the supplements for a ketogenic diet?
Ask me in the comments below!


References

1. Kesl, Shannon L., Angela M. Poff, Nathan P. Ward, Tina N. Fiorelli, Csilla Ari, Ashley J. Van Putten, Jacob W. Sherwood, Patrick Arnold, and Dominic P. D’Agostino. "Effects of Exogenous Ketone Supplementation on Blood Ketone, Glucose, Triglyceride, and Lipoprotein Levels in Sprague–Dawley Rats." Nutrition & Metabolism. BioMed Central, 04 Feb. 2016. Web. 17 July 2017.

2. Tiwari, Swasti, Shahla Riazi, and Carolyn A. Ecelbarger. "Insulin9s Impact on Renal Sodium Transport and Blood Pressure in Health, Obesity, and Diabetes." American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology. American Physiological Society, 01 Oct. 2007. Web. 17 July 2017.

3. Chatterjee, Ranee, Hsin-Chieh Yeh, David Edelman, and Frederick Brancati. "Potassium and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes." Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2011. Web. 17 July 2017.

4. Smith, Michael A., MD. "Can Chicken Broth Treat Painful Joints?" The Life Extension Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2017.