If you’re following the keto diet, a lower-carb diet, or intermittent fasting, exogenous ketone supplementation can make a big difference in your results. This is because ketones help you achieve ketosis quickly and easily.
Being in a state of ketosis means that the body is burning fat for fuel. This has several practical applications. If you’re using exogenous ketone products, it means you can ultimately stay true to your ketogenic diet even if you cheat.
Of course, while an occasional cheat meal is OK, you have to be dedicated to your weight loss goals.
This guide will help you choose the best exogenous ketones supplement for you. Let’s go!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Quick Answer – The 11 Best Exogenous Ketone Supplements
- Perfect Keto Base – Best Overall
- 5% Nutrition Keto aSalt – Best For Fat Metabolism
- Nutricost Keto BHB Exogenous Ketones – Best BHB Complex
- Giant Sports Giant Keto-Exogenous Ketones Supplement – Best Potency
- KetoSports KetoCaNa BHB Exogenous Ketone Supplement – Best For Athletes
- Sports Research Keto Plus Exogenous Ketones – Best Budget
- KEPPI Keto – Best For Beginners
- Kiss My Keto Base Exogenous Ketones – Best For Any Lower Carb Diet
- MCM Nutrition Exogenous Ketones – Best For Mental Focus
- Keto Function Ignite Keto – Best For Energy
- HVMN Ketone I.Q. – Best Ketone Ester
Reviews – The 11 Best Exogenous Ketones Supplements
1. Perfect Keto Base – Best Overall
Perfect Keto Base is designed to get you into a state of ketosis quickly.
It contains 3.8g each of Calcium BHB, Sodium BHB, and Magnesium BHB. These are BHB salts. BHB stands for beta-hydroxybutyrate. As a point of reference, BHB salts are often referred to as ketone salts or ketone salt. This guide will use these terms interchangeably.
Perfect Keto is naturally flavored and sweetened with monk fruit and stevia. You won’t find any sugar in this!
This weight loss supplement is designed to mix easily and taste good. Plus, there are several flavor choices available.
Perfect Keto is doctor-designed and can be used to support ketosis at any time of the day. You can add it to your morning coffee or use it in recipes.
Perfect Keto increases energy levels, athletic performance, and cognitive function. All of these are important when you’re losing weight.
While Perfect Keto can be used by anyone, it’s meant for individuals on a weight loss program. Specifically, anyone following the Ketogenic diet or similar lower-carb diet.
These features make Perfect Keto Base our best overall exogenous ketone supplement.
- Perfect Keto Base Mixes With Any Beverage – Add It To Your Coffee
- All-Natural, Clean Ingredients
- Use Perfect Keto Any Time During The Day
- Despite The Ads, Some Users May Not Like The Taste
2. 5% Nutrition Keto aSalt – Best For Fat Metabolism
5% Nutrition Keto aSalt provides a total of 11.7g of patented goBHB™ salts per serving. goBHB™ is a patented form of beta-hydroxybutyrate powder. Any patented ingredient will have superior quality and improved absorption over non-patented ingredients.
This formula also contains l-carnitine l-tartrate to support fat metabolism. It does this by transporting stored fat to the mitochondria to be burned as energy. This is how the body uses stored fat when you’re in ketosis.
Plus, there’s CoQ10, an antioxidant that supports mitochondria function. Clearly, this is the best formula for optimizing fat metabolism.
BHB salts are said to have a strong taste. In response, this all-natural product is designed to mix easily and taste good so there’s no overwhelming BHB taste.
Keto aSalt supports ketosis, endurance, and mental performance. If there’s a downside to this product, it contains quite a few “other ingredients”, including citric acid and malic acid.
Still, malic acid is used by the body for ATP production. Plus, there are no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Finally, it is made using high-quality active ingredients. It’s also tested for purity.
- Features Patented goBHB Salts
- Complete Formula Supports The Use Of Fat For Energy
- Designed To Hide The Naturally Strong Taste Of BHB
- The Flavor May Be Too Strong For Some Users
3. Nutricost Keto BHB Exogenous Ketones – Best BHB Complex
Nutricost Keto BHB Exogenous Ketones provide a 4-in-1 complex of patented goBHB™ salts. This exogenous ketone supplement helps Keto dieters lose weight.
One serving contains 11.7g of BHBs and is lower in sodium than many of the ketone supplements that are currently available. The main advantage of Nutricost Keto is that it helps produce ketone bodies. Then, the ketone body or bodies converts into ATP for increased energy levels.
Another advantage of BHBs is that they promote balanced electrolytes. This is important because a lack of carbs in the diet may cause an electrolyte imbalance. This will lead to dehydration.
This product is naturally sweetened with stevia and naturally flavored but does contain fillers. Still, Nutricost is a company whose products are 3rd party tested for quality.
The unique 4-in-1 BHB salt blend makes Nutricost Keto the Exogenous Ketones with the best BHB complex.
- Provides 4 In 1 BHBs
- 3rd Party Tested For Quality
- All Natural Ingredients
- Contains More Fillers Than Other Ketone Products
4. Giant Sports Giant Keto – Best Potency
Giant Sports Giant Keto exogenous ketones provide 12g of patented goBHB™ salts per serving. This is the highest strength of any product on this list.
There are also several vitamins not always found in a ketone formula. These include vitamins C, D, B6, and B12.
The other ingredient that’s not typically included is 500mg of l-carnitine l-tartrate, which helps carry stored fat to be used as energy. This, in turn, helps you lose weight.
The unique ingredient profile is designed to boost energy, focus, and performance while increasing levels of ketones in the blood.
The label is fully disclosed, and the taste is all-new. The strength of this formula makes Giant Sports Giant Keto the best exogenous ketone supplement for potency.
- Features 12g Of goBHB™ Salts In A Unique Ingredient Profile
- Helps Users Lose Weight
- Increases Energy, Focus, & Performance
- May Not Fully Mix In Water
5. KetoSports KetoCaNa BHB Exogenous Ketone Supplement – Best For Athletes
KetoSports KetoCaNa contains 11.7g of BHB (ketone) salts per serving.
This product features a fully disclosed label and can be used with other supplements, such as your pre-workout. You can also mix it with water or your favorite zero-carb beverage.
This product is not only designed for Ketogenic dieters but also Paleo or any lower-carb diet.
KetoCaNa is suggested for use by endurance athletes before their event for increased energy. Keto CaNa also supports improved mental performance and helps suppress appetite.
These features make KetoSports KetoCaNa the best exogenous ketones for athletes.
- Versatile – Used By Athletes & Keto/Paleo/Lower Carb Dieters
- 11.7g Of BHBs per Serving
- Mix It With Your Pre-workout Or Favorite Beverage
- Some Users Feel It Tastes Too Sweet
6. Sports Research Keto Plus Exogenous Ketones – Best Budget
Sports Research Keto Plus contains a 12g blend of goBHB™ salts per scoop. There’s also MCT powder as goMCT® or medium-chain triglycerides. This is a patented form of MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which enhances the body’s blood ketones.
Keto Plus is designed to provide extended energy for training, your daily job, or school obligations.
Used several times a day, Keto Plus will help users maintain an extended ketosis state.
One of the differences between Keto Plus and other products is that it provides 30 servings at a good price point.
One downside is that the description states that this product contains amino acids and chromium. Yet these ingredients are not listed in the nutritional panel.
However, they are listed on a side label. These ingredients are impressive. Leucine, especially, helps preserve muscle while dieting.
Even so, they should be clearly listed in the nutrient facts panel. One reason is that some descriptions do not show the label that displays these ingredients.
The price point and impressive active ingredient profile make Sports Research Keto Plus the best budget exogenous ketone supplement.
- Unique Blend Of Patented BHB Salts, Amino Acids & Minerals
- 30 Servings Per Container
- Long-Lasting Energy
- Amino Acids And Some Minerals Not Displayed In The Nutrient Panel
7. KEPPI Keto – Best For Beginners
KEPPI Keto provides 11.8g of patented BHB (ketone) salts per serving. It’s naturally flavored and sweetened with stevia. This product is designed to help stimulate ketosis and is appropriate for all lower-carb dieters.
There’s nothing extra added to this fully disclosed formula, it’s just BHBs.
Like similar products, this product will support energy, focus, and endurance. Of course, it will also help weight loss. Another
benefit of KEPPI Keto is that it helps users avoid keto flu symptoms.
This is a simple, no-frills, high-quality formula. It can be used by itself or paired with other KEPPI products. These include KEPPI Multi Collagen or MCT Oil.
The features and ease of use make KEPPI Keto the best exogenous ketones supplement for beginners.
- 11.8g goBHBs Per Serving
- No Frills Formula
- All Natural
- Not For Value-Conscious Users
8. Kiss My Keto Base Exogenous Ketones – Best For Any Lower Carb Diet
Kiss My Keto Base Exogenous Ketones contain 6.1g of Calcium BHB, 4.3g of Sodium BHB, and 736mg of Magnesium BHB.
The label is fully disclosed. This is one of the few ketone supplements in this guide that discloses individual BHB dosing.
Plus, this formula contains only natural ingredients, including natural fruit flavors. It’s also available in capsules, however, the dosages are significantly lower.
Keto Base stimulates ketosis and supports energy as well as focus. It also helps suppress appetite. These benefits help users lose weight and perform at their best.
It’s designed for Keto, paleo, Atkins, or any similar lower-carb diet. That makes Kiss My Keto Base the best exogenous ketones for any diet that’s low in carbs.
- Fully Disclosed Label
- All Natural Ingredients
- No Extra Ingredients, Only BHBs
- May Be Too Much Sodium For Some Users
9. MCM Nutrition Exogenous Ketones – Best For Mental Focus
MCM Nutrition Exogenous Ketones contain an 11.1g blend of BHB (ketone) salts and theanine.
The rest of the label is fully disclosed and includes vitamin C, B6, and B12. It contains all-natural ingredients and is sweetened with stevia.
This product helps the body achieve ketosis. It also improves clarity and keeps blood sugar in balance. This helps users lose weight and perform better.
The downside to this product is that the BHB complex is a proprietary blend. With theanine added, the BHB complex may be dosed a little light, but you can’t tell by how much.
Still, the profile of BHBs plus theanine and vitamins is a solid one. With the addition of theanine, mental focus is improved.
Evert serving supplies 150mg of caffeine. That means focus and alertness will be even better due to the synergism between theanine and caffeine. That makes MCM Nutrition Exogenous Ketones the best choice for mental focus.
- 11.1g BHB/Caffeine/Theanine Complex
- All Natural
- Contains Extra Vitamins
- BHB Complex Is A Proprietary Blend, You Don’t Know How Much BHB You’re Getting
10. Keto Function Ignite Keto – Best For Energy
Keto Function Ignite Keto contains 12g of patented BHB (ketone) salts plus 40mg of organic caffeine.
This is a well-chosen amount of caffeine since many users may not want a high dosage. Plus, this product contains all-natural ingredients and uses stevia as a sweetener.
It stimulates ketosis to help users lose weight. Also, it adds caffeine. This increases energy levels and supports brain function for your daily obligations. Specifically, it improves mood and elevates focus.
Ignite Keto is a good choice for athletes and fits well with the Keto or any lower-carb diet. It’s designed to mix easily and tastes good with water, sparkling water, or the beverage of your choice.
Keto Function Ignite Keto is formulated with pure ketones. There are zero carbs, sugars, fillers, or gums.
The addition of caffeine makes Keto Function Ignite Keto the best exogenous ketone supplement for energy.
- 12g BHB Ketones Per Serving
- 40mg Organic Caffeine
- Stimulates Ketosis, Energy & Focus
- BHB Complex Is A Proprietary Blend
- The Taste may Not Appeal To All Users
11. HVMN Ketone I.Q. – Best Ketone Ester
HVMN Ketone I.Q. is a ketone ester supplement. It’s liquid and comes in a 10-serving bottle. There is a pre-measured dose cup included for ease of use. Often, powders clump up. Plus, there is no messy powder to mix up.
Ketone I.Q. helps users lose weight. It also supports brain function, improved energy levels, and better athletic performance.
HVMN Ketone ester supports rapid ketosis. It’s FDA compliant and World Anti-Doping Agency compliant. It’s also used by the NFL, NBA, Olympic athletes, and the US military.
You only drink one dose per day, by itself, mixed with a beverage, with or without food. HVMN Ketone I.Q. supports the active keto lifestyle.
There is no caffeine, sugar, or artificial ingredients. HVMN Ketone I.Q. is also vegan.
- Liquid Ketone Ester
- One-Dose Per Day
- Mix It With Your favorite Keto-Friendly Beverage Or Drink It By Itself
- Some Users Do Not Like The Taste
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Exogenous Ketone Supplements?
What Are Ketones?
Before we look at ketones, let’s define ketosis. As defined by Medical News Today, it is “a metabolic process that occurs when the body does not have enough blood glucose levels for energy”.
As noted, ketones are compounds that come from stored body fat. They are synthesized in the liver. Your body then uses stored fat as fuel in the absence of glucose. As you know, this happens when carbohydrate intake is extremely restricted, even to the point of zero carbs. (1, 2)
How Many Types Of Ketones Are There?
There are three different types. They are beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone. The most abundant is beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate. Acetone is made in very small amounts. It’s ultimately excreted as waste through respiration.
Typically, beta-hydroxybutyrate is the main type used in supplements.
Exogenous Vs Endogenous Ketones
There are two types of ketones:
- Endogenous ketones – These are made by the body and are the result of fasting and low carb intake.
- Exogenous ketones – These, of course, are provided by supplements.
What Are Exogenous Ketone Supplements?
As noted, exogenous ketones are supplements that contain the compounds your body uses for energy when it’s in a state of ketosis.
As we have seen, the best exogenous ketones provide these compounds, or ketones, directly, which will rapidly increase blood ketone levels.
Since they come from outside of your body, taking the best exogenous ketones allows you to achieve a ketosis state quickly, even when your diet doesn’t always support it. For example, if you are carb-loading in the hours around a workout or eating a cheat meal.
Ketone Salts And Ketone Esters
The above types of ketone products are available in two main forms — ketone salts and ketone esters.
Ketone ester supplements are designed to mimic many of the benefits of Ketogenic diets.
Ketone esters are a newer form of exogenous ketones supplements. In fact, HVMN Ketone I.Q. is one of the few companies and keto products that offer them. Plus, they have become the favorite exogenous ketone supplement of many Keto dieters.
BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate) salts are ketone bodies attached to a mineral, namely calcium, magnesium, or sodium.
They were the original form of ketone supplementation and are still very common.
The bottom line with both types of ketones is to get you into ketosis faster. This ketone boost is essential to losing weight if you’re following the keto diet or any lower-carb diet.
Benefits Of Exogenous Ketones
Here are the benefits of taking exogenous ketones:
- Weight (Fat) Loss
- Increased Energy & Focus
- Control Cravings
- Appetite Suppression
- Helps Control Blood Sugar
What Is The Keto Diet?
Also as noted, the Ketogenic diet has become one of the more popular lower-carb diets. The point of this or any lower-carb approach is to force the body to use stored fat for energy. The combination of this approach plus cardio-based activity is one of the best ways to lose weight.
The Keto diet advocates that 10% or less of your total daily calories come from carbohydrates.
Having said that, there are variations of the Ketogenic diet. It’s true that any of these variations are helpful for losing weight. Yet, there will be moments when these variations do not support ketosis. We touched on this above, and during that phase of the diet, keto supplements can help you get back into ketosis very quickly.
- Standard Keto Dieting (SKD)—This is the standard Keto diet: as noted above, it’s an extremely lower to zero carbs, high protein, high-fat eating plan. This version is best for people that have fairly inactive lifestyles. That means that users on this program do exercise, but not to the point that lower or zero carbs significantly affect exercise performance.
- Targeted Keto Dieting (TKD)—This version is better suited for bodybuilders and athletes because it allows carb intake in the hours surrounding the workout for better training energy and improved recovery. The goal, in this case, is to improve exercise performance without affecting ketosis for anything more than the time it takes to workout.
- Cyclical Keto Dieting (CKD)—This version is similar to the TKD approach, except it allows planned carb refeeds every 7th day to replenish muscle glycogen stores. This is the most popular version of the Keto diet among bodybuilders and other athletes. If you train intensely but feel your training performance is not at the level you want after using both the SKD and TKD versions, then the CKD version is the best choice for you.
What Are Raspberry Ketones?
Since the 1990s, ketone supplements have been used in various fat-burning supplements. In contrast, raspberry ketones supplements are not related to ketosis or the supplements in this guide. Raspberry ketones add a fruity flavor and smell to such products as sodas and teas. Also, raspberry ketones increase the amount of adiponectin required in fat and sugar metabolism.
What Is The “Keto Flu” And Its Symptoms
Taking ketone supplements helps alleviate the negative effects caused by extreme lower-carb dieting. This is known as the “keto flu”, and its flu-like symptoms are experienced by some people when they first start the Keto diet.
This is caused by the body adjusting to a lower-carb diet. Instead of not feeling well while going into a state of ketosis, exogenous ketones provide the energy and clarity needed for your daily obligations.
Exogenous ketones do not burn calories, they stimulate more energy and focus without experiencing this unique type of “flu”. So, you feel OK while benefiting from the natural fat-burning state of ketosis.
Having said that, it’s important to understand that by themselves, exogenous ketones are not a fat loss supplement. They burn fat indirectly by helping your body go into ketosis. You must be following a low-carb diet to get long-term weight loss benefits from these products. (3, 4)
How To Use Exogenous Ketones
Read all label directions before using any ketone product. Mix one serving with water or the beverage of your choice. If you are using capsules or a liquid, use it as directed.
The great thing about these products is that blood levels of ketones will increase quickly and should be at maximum levels within an hour.
These ketone supplements will maintain a state of ketosis, even if you are eating a higher-carb meal. For this reason, you should take them within 30 minutes of eating.
As noted, that could mean before a refeed meal if you are following that version of the Keto diet. Or it can be before your first meal if you are following an intermittent fasting program.
In both cases, this supports fat loss because you are still burning fat for fuel even after you begin your eating period.
Athletes can use exogenous ketone supplements within half an hour of starting their event.
A second dose can be used after 3 hours if the event is 4 hours or longer. This is because after three hours, ketone levels decrease, and after about four hours, you’re back to a baseline level.
There are several high-quality ketone supplements available.
The best overall is Perfect Keto Base. This product is designed by a Doctor and features a fully disclosed label with 11.4g of BHBs per serving. You can mix it with anything, there are no clumps and it tastes good.
If you want the best BHB blend, Nutricost Keto BHB Exogenous Ketones take their BHB complex one step farther. This blend includes 4 patented goBHB™ salts per serving. This product is lower in sodium than many other choices and provides a good electrolyte balance.
If you’re new to keto or lower-carb dieting and want to try a ketone supplement, KEPPI Keto is a simple, no-frills formula that contains 11.8g of BHB salts per serving. It’s naturally flavored and naturally sweetened.
There are exogenous ketone supplements for any weight loss goal, use our guide to find your best choice!