What Is Beta Hydroxybutyrate and Why Do You Need It?
Beta-hydroxybutyrate or BHB is known as one of the go-to exogenous ketone supplements. Discover how they can benefit your diet.
After years of trying to lose weight to no avail, you've spotted your favorite celebrity Halle Berry touting the Keto Diet. Or perhaps you've read about how it's one of the top 10 diets people Googled the most back in 2017.
So long as they supplement with beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and follow the rules, they can keep seeing results without endangering themselves.
Regardless of what prompted you to try the diet out, it's important to understand that it's not a miracle weight loss technique. There's a science behind it, which is why doctors use it as an epilepsy treatment.
It's also why you should learn more about BHB. In this post, we'll delve into its crucial roles in the keto diet.
What the Beta Hydroxybutyrate Is All About
When the body is in a fasting state (one of the only two states the body can exist in), it turns to stored fat for energy sources. This is the fat made inaccessible when the body is in the fed state (the other one of the two previously-mentioned states).
During the fasting state, the body still needs access to an energy fuel source. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is one such source. It's a byproduct of the fat breakdown process typical in a body that has low carbohydrate intake.
In other words, it's a naturally-occurring body chemical (endogenous). However, since the body rarely enters the complete fasting state, keto dieters opt to take BHB supplements. These products are also called exogenous BHB.
Although not technically a ketone because of its chemical composition, in keto diet, BHB falls under one of the three ketone classifications.
A Closer Look at Ketone Bodies
Beta-hydroxybutyrate, as a type of ketone body in keto diet, forms when you have limited to no carbohydrate intake. To fully understand why it's best you supplement with exogenous BHB, it's important to understand how ketones work in the first place.
Let's take a closer look at the process:
- When your body doesn't have enough glucose - the main fuel source of the body - your blood sugar, glycogen, and insulin levels all go down.
- This makes the body look for another source of fuel, and in a keto diet, this means fat.
- Aside from the low-carb ketogenic diet, the body can also use fat as a source of fuel during the fasting state, in a starved state, or after extended periods of exercise.
- Once it begins converting fat into energy, the process results in the formation of ketones. This process, called ketosis, is where the keto diet is based on.
Keep in mind though that ketosis isn't solely for weight loss.
As mentioned above, doctors use it as a form of treatment for their epileptic patients. Aside from this, the reduced reliance on carbohydrates and increased fat burning can also help in bringing blood pressure levels down, curb hunger pangs and cravings, boost energy, and even improve cholesterol.
A Dietary Supplement Improving Keto Diet Results
Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), beta-hydroxybutyrate supplements are popular amongst keto dieters because the diet itself puts them in a prolonged low-carb state. You'll find exogenous BHB in various mineral salt forms, including calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
Think about BHB this way.
If glucose is to carbohydrates and/or sugar and amino acids are to protein, BHB is to fat. It's an energy-dense fat byproduct naturally fueling the crucial organs (think heart, brain, lungs, etc.) when you put your body in a fasting state. Or when you considerably restrict your intake of carbohydrates.
More on the BHB-Keto Diet Link
BHB supplementation can help improve the results of the keto diet. It can also help boost the effects of other diets involving a significant reduction of carbohydrate intake, such as the paleo diet.
Remember, as you go through your low-carb diet regimen, your BHB blood levels go up. This is actually a critical monitoring component of a keto diet since a rise in blood ketones means that you've successfully reached the stage wherein your body burns fat rather than sugar or glucose.
In other words, the blood ketone boost means that your body uses ketones as its source of fuel, your blood glucose, and insulin levels have gone down, and that you're burning through stored body fat.
How BHB Supplementation Helps
When you supplement with exogenous beta-hydroxybutyrate, you can lower your risk of side effects typical in those suddenly transitioning from a regular carb-filled diet to a ketogenic diet. In addition to supplementing your keto diet, BHB can also help boost your physical performance. And this can even help you retain muscle mass as you go through weight loss.
Minimizing the Risks of Gastrointestinal Discomfort (GI)
A common problem that many keto dieters experience is gastrointestinal discomfort. After all, when the body derives energy from fats, this means consumption of huge quantities of fats. Burning through all these can result in GI discomfort, not to mention just bringing a modest rise in blood ketone levels.
With the right beta-hydroxybutyrate supplements, you can quickly increase your blood ketone levels, while also avoiding unpleasant GI symptoms.
A Rundown of the Benefits of Supplementing with BHB
In a nutshell, here's what BHB supplementation can do for you and your keto diet regimen:
- Naturally-fuel your brain and muscles
- Reduce your blood glucose, resulting in more optimal levels
- Boost the muscle protein synthesis
- Lower the fatty acid content of the blood
- Better control over the physical effects of low blood sugar
- Normalize your blood sugar levels that help in preventing carb crashes
- Avoid unpleasant GI symptoms
Note that BHB supplements can also help you improve your mental alertness while it aids in curbing appetite and cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods.
Ready to Supplement with Quality Exogenous BHB?
Now that you're aware of just how beta-hydroxybutyrate can help not just with your keto diet but in general, you should start stocking on supplements now.
Need help making the right choice? We can help. Learn more about our team and how we can help you during your search for quality BHB supplements.