A keto diet involves limiting your intake of food from most food groups while making fat around 75% of your daily caloric consumption. But there are dozens of micronutrients, and six of them are essential to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
Although your body requires more macronutrients than micronutrients, these vitamins and minerals play a vital role in maintaining health. Plus, other supplements exist outside of vitamins and minerals that can improve the quality of your keto diet.
So, we’ll help you understand which keto supplements you might want to take, helping you to take advantage of this diet’s fat-burning powers while ensuring you maintain proper nutrition.
Do You Need Supplements on a Keto Diet?
Most people should include supplements in their diet when they’re following a keto regime. The reason is that the keto diet restricts so many types of foods that it’s easy to lack certain micronutrients.
That said, except for one supplement, the options we’ll discuss here won’t boost your weight loss. It won’t harm it, either.
We’re not about to tell you that you need to run out and purchase every supplement on this list. Instead, do your due diligence, assess your personal situation, and speak with your doctor to decide which supplements are the right fit for you.
4 Vitamin and Mineral Keto Supplements
Without further ado, below are some worthwhile supplements to consider for people on the keto diet.
Whole grains, beans, and legumes are high in magnesium, making it challenging for people on a keto diet to get enough of this mineral since these items are higher in carbs.
The recommended amount of magnesium ranges from 310 to 420 milligrams per day, depending on your gender and if you’re pregnant.
Magnesium supports blood sugar regulation, increases energy, and helps your immune system stay strong. Should you be experiencing muscle cramps since starting your keto diet, magnesium may also help alleviate this common symptom.
Taking a high-quality multi-vitamin every day is an excellent way to increase your magnesium intake. You can also incorporate more keto-friendly foods like spinach and pumpkin seeds into your diet.
Folate is one of the eight essential B vitamins and is responsible, in part, for converting carbohydrates into glucose. So, it’s easy to assume that you wouldn’t need as much folate being on a low-carb diet because of keto.
However, folate is also responsible for keeping your skin, liver, and nervous system functioning well. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, fatigue, and depression.
Since B vitamins are water-soluble, your body can’t store them. Therefore, consuming folate often is crucial to ensure your body can use its health-based properties.
It’s best to choose a methyl folate supplement instead of folic acid since some people have a gene mutation that makes it challenging to digest folic acid.
Approximately one billion people around the world don’t get enough vitamin D. The most common cause? A lack of sunlight.
It might sound counterintuitive, but your body can make vitamin D from cholesterol when the sun hits your skin. You don’t need tons of time in the sun to get vitamin D, either—about 10 to 30 minutes of sun a few times per week should do the trick.
The good news is that if you live in a cloudy climate and are on a keto diet, you can get vitamin D via foods like beef liver and cod liver oil.
Alternatively, you can purchase a vitamin D supplement and take it daily.
Vegetable Green Powder
Although the belief that people on keto diets don’t eat any vegetables is false, the reality is that some keto dieters don’t get enough of—or the variety of—veggies they need.
Luckily, it’s easy to boost your vitamin and mineral intake naturally by incorporating dry vegetable green powder into your daily routine. These greens are easy to blend into a smoothie. Alternatively, sprinkle them on a keto salad.
Some of the common ingredients in green veggie powders include:
While most vegetable green powders contain few carbohydrates, double-check the nutrition label to ensure you stay within your daily net carb allowance.
5 Other Keto Supplements
Ensuring your micronutrient intake is on par is vital. But people following the keto diet often choose to incorporate the following supplements as well.
We promised that we’d share a supplement that could support you with weight loss via ketosis, and MCT oil is it. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. It’s a type of fat that breaks down quickly in the bloodstream, increasing ketone levels.
You can get MCT oil naturally by consuming coconut oil. But if you’d like an even more concentrated option, taking an MCT oil supplement is ideal.
As with so many keto foods, MCT oil will help you feel full for longer, helping to thwart cravings.
We recommend supplementing with one teaspoon of MCT oil at first to see how your body reacts to it; some people report stomach issues.
If you’re feeling low on energy, taking an oxaloacetate supplement could help (it’s a mouthful, we know). Oxaloacetate is the last stage of the Krebs Cycle, helping to fuel your cells with energy.
Importantly for keto dieters, it also ensures the heart and brain receive energy when glucose is low in the body. There’s also talk about oxaloacetate helping reduce the appearance of aging. However, researchers need to run more studies on this.
Many oxaloacetate supplements exist on the market, catering to various budgets. So, choose the one that feels the best fit for you if you’re interested in boosting your body’s energy production.
If you’re experiencing an upset stomach from eating such a high-fat diet since starting keto, digestive enzyme supplements could help alleviate your discomfort.
Digestive enzymes are effective for many keto dieters because they aid the breakdown of fats. They also serve to break down protein, which can be another cause of discomfort in dieters, given that you might be consuming more protein than usual.
You can purchase digestive enzymes in capsule form, and you’ll want to ensure this keto supplement contains lipase and protease, which are enzymes that break down fat and protein, respectively.
You can expect to lose water weight quickly during your first weeks on the keto diet. Such a situation is common for anyone starting a weight loss journey, but keto’s high fat intake can augment the problem.
Signs that you could benefit from electrolytes include:
- Muscle cramps
Collectively, people often refer to these symptoms as the “keto flu.”
Potassium, sodium, and magnesium are the cornerstones of electrolytes. So, taking an electrolyte supplement will offer these nutrients in their proper ratios. If you choose to go the electrolyte route, there’s little need to take an additional magnesium supplement.
Creatine and Amino Acids
If you plan on lifting weights while following a keto diet, your muscles might benefit from keto supplements focusing on muscle building.
Some of the most popular strength training supplements include:
- Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
- Essential amino acids (EAAs)
Creatine is a compound that your body naturally produces. However, people can also get it from eating certain foods, including red meat and fish. BCAAs and EAAs are both types of amino acids that you can also get from food, mostly meat.
Although the average keto dieter likely receives enough creatine and amino acids from their food, speak with a nutrition coach to see if you could benefit by adding any of these supplements to your weight lifting routine.
We rounded up some popular questions about keto supplements and have shared the answers below.
Are keto pills good for weight loss?
Currently, no evidence proves that keto pills are effective for weight loss. That said, an MCT oil supplement may help keep you in ketosis, which can help you lose weight. But we recommend being suspicious of anyone guaranteeing weight loss through a keto pill.
What’s the best keto supplement to take?
The best keto supplement to take depends on the individual and the foods you consume. Some keto dieters get enough nutrients from food, while others benefit from supplements such as vegetable greens, magnesium, and electrolytes.
How often should you take keto supplements?
You should follow the label on your supplement for recommendations on how often to take keto supplements. But generally speaking, most supplements are safe to take daily. That said, certain supplements, such as MCT oil, may upset your stomach, so taking it in moderation might be best.
The Bottom Line
Although some dieters can get away without taking keto supplements, most people can benefit by including one or more of them in their diet. If you’re on the fence about what supplements could be the right fit for you, it’s always wise to consult with your doctor.
At the very least, taking a daily multivitamin is smart. That way, you can feel peace of mind knowing you’re receiving some of the vitamins and minerals you might be lacking from your keto diet.