Ketosis is a tricky thing...one minute you’re in it and the next you may not be.
As frustrating as it may be, being in a state of ketosis takes precision.
Because after all, it’s all about finding that perfect carb intake that keeps your body producing ketones.
And while most of us know that if you down an entire pizza or a bowl of pasta, chances are you’re not going to stay in ketosis.
But what about things like vitamins and minerals? Will they kick you out of ketosis?
This article is here to give you the run down on what you need to know about ketosis.
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state whereby levels of blood ketones are high and the body relies on fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates; it produces ketone bodies from fat to supply energy due to limited access to glucose.
Here’s how it happens:
After a prolonged period with reduced dietary carbohydrate intake, glucose levels become depleted and are no longer sufficient for normal fat oxidation to occur or to supply the brain and nervous system with fuel.
Because free fatty acids are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, they cannot supply a source of energy for the brain. Thus glucose is the preferred source of fuel.
With minimal glucose coming in through diet, the body has to find another source: fats.
Energy is supplied to the body through three main ketone bodies: acetoacetate beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone, which are generated through a process called ketogenesis that occurs mainly in the liver .
When blood sugar levels decrease, insulin levels do as well, which triggers the release of stored fatty acids. These fatty acids are what are converted to ketones by the liver and supply the body with energy.
And interestingly enough, using ketone bodies creates greater amounts of energy than glucose anyways because of greater mitochondrial ATP production!
That’s why increased energy is one of the benefits of being in ketosis.
How Do I Get Into Ketosis?
Getting into ketosis can be challenging for some people and easy for others.
It’s primarily dependant on diet, but other things like exercise, stress, and supplementation can also play a role.
Here are the best ways to get into ketosis:
1. Cut back on carbs
Carbs are the single biggest factor in your ability to get into ketosis.
If you’re consuming too many carbs—even in the form of vegetables—your glucose levels are going to be too high for your body to switch over to burning fat for fuel.
But keep in mind that net carb values aren’t going to be the same for everyone. Your carb intake is going to depend on 3 factors:
- Your activity levels
- Your current body composition (body fat %)
- Overall caloric needs
As a general rule, carbs should comprise around 5-10% of your total calories, which should be anywhere from 20-50g net carbs; net carbs is total carbohydrate content minus fiber content.
Physical activity can speed up your entry into ketosis because it depletes existing glucose stores that much faster.
Prolonged exercise or slower-paced endurance activities like cycling, swimming, or running are a great way to deplete glycogen stores.
Keep in mind that some exercises, like power lifting or any heavy resistance training, may require a more substantial intake of carbs. In situations like these, cyclical low-carb may be more suitable that full on ketosis.
*Check out our 4 Tips for Working Out at Home here.
3. Take some MCTs
As we’ve talked about before, MCT is a staple for people on keto or low-carb. Because of its ability to bypass the digestive system and directly enter portal circulation, it can be converted to ketones immediately and used to supply energy.
And unlike carbohydrates, MCT doesn’t impact your blood sugar and insulin levels.
This rapid conversion may just give you the boost you need to get into ketosis.
*If you're interested, check out our article on the Best MCT Oil here.
4. Try intermittent fasting
Need to deplete your glycogen stores quickly? Fasting will do it.
Fasting anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days is the ultimate way to deplete glycogen stores and help your body switch to ketone production.
However, if you’ve ever tried fasting for more than one day, you know how challenging it can be.
Fasting for shorter period of time (up to 24 hours) is just as effective to deplete glycogen if you’re starting a low-carb or ketogenic diet .
What Prevents you From Getting Into Ketosis?
Of course, the single biggest thing that prevent you from getting into ketosis is carbs.
While carbs aren’t the enemy for a lot of people, if you’re going keto, they are.
Carbs supply glucose and if there is glucose coming into the body, why would it need to switch over to burning fat?
Given a plate of carbs and a plate of glucose, the brain will always choose glucose.
That’s why if you blow past your 50g net carb max (or whatever your carb target is), you’re going to get kicked out of ketosis.
But What About Vitamins...Will They Kick Me Out of Ketosis?
Vitamins and minerals are inherently pure compounds, and because of that, they shouldn’t interfere with ketosis.
However, where the problem lies is cheap, crappy supplements that are loaded with fillers.
And what is that filler you may ask? Carbs.
Things like dextrin and maltodextrin are the most common carb-based fillers you’ll see in capsules, which are a form of simple sugars. Other options are things like vitamin gummies or protein powders, which often contain added sugars or added carbs.
But be mindful that even if your supplement capsules do contain carbs as fillers, unless you’re downing an entire bottle—which is never ever recommended—chances are that it’s still not going to be enough to impact being in ketosis or not.
Regardless of the supplements you take—be it vitamins and minerals, protein powders, energy boosters, or the like—thoroughly read the label and understand what’s in it before you take it.
If you aren’t sure what an ingredient is, do your research and see if there’s any potential for it to interfere with ketosis.
Performance Lab Supplements
If you’re taking any of the Performance Lab lineup, being kicked out of ketosis shouldn’t even register on your mind.
Performance Lab supplements adhere to the highest quality standards with the cleanest delivery.
They are always:
- 100% free of gluten
- caffeine free
- free from allergens
- no synthetic additives
- no artificial colors
- zero preservatives.
And if that wasn’t enough, every supplement is encased in our very own ultramodern 100% plant-based capsule made from pullulan (fermented tapioca), so NutriCaps® are clean, prebiotic-infused, and easy to digest.
Performance Lab® also shows all ingredient dosages and forms right on the label.
We never use proprietary blends that hide dosages or sneak in ingredients. We want you to know exactly what you’re putting in your body.
- A Paoli, A Bianco, KA Grimaldi. The Ketogenic Diet and Sport: A Possible Marriage? Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev. 2015; 43(3): 153-162.
- R Collier. Intermittent fasting: the science of going without. CMAJ. 2013; 185(9): E363-E364.