Ketosis is a bodily state in which the liver generates ketones, which are subsequently shuttled off into mitochondrial cells in various tissues (e.g., brain, liver, muscle). This process allows the body to harvest energy in order to function, since mitochondrial cells help to produce ATP.

This page serves as the main page for all things ketosis. Explore relevant topics regarding the basics of ketone metabolism, the effects of ketones on cognitive performance, and more via the links below.

Ketone Metabolism

Three main sources of energy exist for cells: sugars, fats, and proteins. In general, as the body uses up fuel it will metabolize sugars, then fats, and finally proteins. Sugars are generally in the form of free glucose molecules, or glycogen, branched chains of glucose that are stored long-term in the liver and muscles. Glycogen stores are depleted after 16-24 hours of fasting, depending on your level of physical activity. When glycogen and glucose are used up, ketones are an important source of energy in the body, particularly for tissues that require large amounts of energy, such as muscles and the brain. (Learn more)

Ketogenic Diets

A ketogenic diet is aimed to promote ketosis, which is the state in which the body burns ketones for energy rather than the typically used glucose. (Learn more)

Exogenous Ketones

While it is normally quite difficult to maintain a ketogenic diet due to the limited food items one is restricted to eating, exogenous ketones can function as an effective supplement to help induce ketosis. Exogenous ketones refer to ketone sources that are ingested in order to raise ketone levels in the body. Exogenous ketones for the purpose of cognition and physical performance enhancement is being researched widely recently in animals and humans. (Learn more)

Ketones for Cognitive Performance

Some people follow ketogenic diets, in which they ingest large amounts of fat and protein, but minimal amounts of carbohydrates. While a "keto" diet is not a mainstream diet among healthy adults, there are various draws to doing a ketogenic diet when it comes to improving cognitive performance. There is a growing body of scientific knowledge indicating that a ketogenic diet has neuroprotective potential and thus may enhance cognitive processes such as working memory. (Learn more)

Ketone-esters and Physical Performance

For years, ketogenic diets, MCT oils, and other methods to increase metabolism through ketogenic pathways have been touted for weight loss benefits and improved general health. However, in the past few years, new evidence shows that ingesting ketone precursor has significant effects on athletic performance, in particular, improved endurance. There are a variety of different types of ketone precursors, but by far, ketone-ester formulations have the best evidence behind them, and recent evidence demonstrates that ketone-esters, supplemented with carbohydrates, can have dramatic benefits for endurance athletes. (Learn more)

Ketogenic Diets and Metabolic Benefits

There is a large amount of evidence suggesting that ketosis may be beneficial for weight loss and for improving metabolic state. It has been shown in a multitude of studies that a ketogenic diet is not only effective for losing weight, but also for improving your metabolic biomarker profiles with respect to lipid levels, glucose levels and body mass index. (Learn more)

The Ethics of Ketone Supplementation

Whenever it comes to new athletic performance-enhancing supplements, the substances are carefully scrutized. Sports drinks containing ketone formulations are one of the latest trends amongst elite endurance athletes. Although the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has stated that ketones are currently not on the list of banned substances, there remains some controversy around them. Ketones shouldn't be banned because they are safe for use and can provide exciting performance gains. Consumers should be careful not to confuse ketone formulations meant for athletic supplementation with "raspberry ketone" weight loss products sold online. (Learn more)

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For informational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.