Disclaimer: Perfect Keto products have been provided to me for the purpose of this review by Perfect Keto as free samples. This has not influenced my review and the opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Supplements with exogenous ketones have become increasingly popular within the keto community. While exogenous ketones show promising results in certain areas, there has been lot of misinformation that needs clarification. Sadly, some exogenous ketone supplements are sold via what is known as multi-level marketing (MLM).
What bothers me with MLM strategies is that they employ an ever growing army of unqualified distributors that go to great lengths to sell exogenous ketones as a "miraculous weight loss product." Want to know more? Check out the comment section for my replies.
But not all companies follow a MLM strategy and Perfect Keto, who make exogenous ketone supplements and MCT oil powder, is one of them. Are they worth the price tag? I listed all potential benefits and side effects - it's up to you to decide.
What is Perfect Keto made of?
As opposed to endogenous ketones that are produced by the body, exogenous ketones are supplemented. There are two types of exogenous ketones:
- synthetically made ketone esters that are primarily used in research
- commercially available exogenous ketone supplements, such as Perfect Keto, made with naturally derived ketone salts
Each pack of Perfect Keto is made with beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB), calcium, magnesium, natural flavours, citric acid and stevia.
How does it work?
BHB raises blood ketone levels after ingestion, providing the body with extra energy in a similar (but not the same) way endogenous ketones do (see sections below for more info).
How does Perfect Keto taste?
They come in two flavours. Although I love chocolate, I preferred the Peaches & Cream flavour. At first, I tried mixing with water but the taste was much better with almond milk. My partner preferred the Chocolate & Sea Salt flavour.
Exogenous ketones are known to have a specific taste that some people will like, while others will not. If you want to try Perfect Keto, start by trying small single-serving packs to see if you like it. I found that mixing them with almond milk instead of water significantly improves the taste.
How much does Perfect Keto cost?
As you may know, exogenous ketone supplements are fairly pricey. Perfect Keto is more affordable compared to other ketone supplements and works out at about $59 USD per 15 servings.
What are the benefits?
Exogenous ketones may help increase energy levels, improve performance and enhance mental focus. However, more studies to support these claims are needed, as currently most studies focus on the effects of endogenous ketones. My experience: I did notice an increase in energy levels and less tiredness after exercise with exogenous ketones. I like the extra energy boost it gives me and still use it before my workouts.
If you just started following the ketogenic diet, exogenous ketones may help you get through the initial adaptation period, until you get fat-adapted and your body effectively uses body fat and dietary fat for energy. This doesn't mean you need exogenous ketones to get keto-adapted (I didn't use them back then), it simply means they may lessen the negative symptoms of the adaptation period.
If you're following the ketogenic diet for therapeutic purposes, exogenous ketones may help manage your condition. Dr. Dominic D'Agostino has been using exogenous ketones in his research for their therapeutic effects, focusing on cancer. Due to their neuroprotective properties, exogenous ketones may also help patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and epilepsy.
Note: If you're following the ketogenic diet for therapeutic purposes, or you are a type 1 or type 2 diabetic, first consult with your doctor before taking exogenous ketones. Exogenous ketones can significantly alter your blood sugar and you may need an adjustment to your medication.
Will exogenous ketones help me lose weight?
Many people have been wondering if supplements with exogenous ketones can help them lose weight. Although there is anecdotal evidence that exogenous ketones may suppress appetite, there is currently no scientific evidence to support that. Some suggest that the appetite-suppressing effects are only present for a few hours after ingestion.
I have been following a low-carb diet since 2011 and I personally didn't notice any difference in my appetite. I can easily go without a meal until dinner with or without exogenous ketones.
Exogenous ketones may boost your energy levels and improve performance while you exercise. This can potentially help you lose weight if you can control your appetite. Keep in mind that as your energy levels increase and you can exercise more vigorously, your appetite may also increase. My advice: Don't exercise just to burn calories and lose body fat - this approach doesn't work in the long run.
Instead, focus on your diet. Just like you cannot out-exercise a bad diet, you cannot out-supplement a bad diet. Don't confuse endogenous ketones that are produced on a ketogenic diet and combined with a low energy state, with exogenous ketones added to your diet without the necessary changes in your food intake. Supplementing with exogenous ketones doesn't give you a free ticket to splurge on carbs. If you want to give exogenous ketones a try, you should do it while following a well-formulated ketogenic diet.
Exogenous ketones are not a magic tool for weight loss. If you want to lose weight, your macronutrient targets should be your number one priority. In fact, ketone levels that are too high can block the utilisation of body fat via increased insulin levels.
A word of advice: If your goal is to lose weight but you are not willing to change your diet, then exogenous ketones aren't for you.
Are there any side effects?
You may experience stomach discomfort. If you do, start with just half of the recommended serving. I tried a different brand of exogenous ketones in the past and had stomach discomfort to the point that I couldn't leave the house for several hours. Needless to say that I was hesitant when trying Perfect Keto for the first time. To my surprise, I didn't have any digestion issues even after having 1 serving of exogenous ketones and one serving of MCT oil powder in one day. Keep in mind that everyone is different. If you use them for the first time, just be aware that you may experience some stomach discomfort.
Blood ketone & glucose effects
During my experiment I wanted to see how taking the supplement affected my blood sugar and ketone levels. I took measurements before and 100 minutes after taking the supplement.
I took the first readings at 3 pm. This was 5 hours after my first meal (full-fat yogurt with berries and nuts, about 10 grams of net carbs), and 2 hours after my workout (60 minutes of resistance training combined with light cardio and stretching). I took the second reading 100 minutes after taking the exogenous ketone supplement (1 cup of unsweetened almond milk + 1 serving of Peaches & Cream Perfect Keto).
My "before" ketone readings were 1.2 mmol, and my "after" ketone readings increased to 2.2 mmol.
My "before" blood glucose readings were 5 mmol/L (90 mg/dL), and my "after" blood glucose readings dropped slightly to 4.9 mmol/L (88 mg/dL). Although in my case the drop was insignificant, others have reported more significant decrease in their blood sugar levels.
MCT Oil Powder
Finally, I also tried Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder. I often use MCT oil in smoothies and coffee to boost my energy before a workout. What I like about it is that unlike most commercially available products, there are no fillers, such as maltodextrin or soluble corn fibre - just pure powdered MCT oil. Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder is made with 70% C8 (Caprylic Acid) and 30% C10 (Capric Acid).
MCT Oil Powder is easier to digest compared to regular MCT oil - I had no stomach discomfort which I experienced with some MCT oils, and it provided extra energy that kept me going until dinner.
How about blood glucose and ketone readings? One hour after ingesting a serving of Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder (mixed in 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon), my ketone readings were unaffected and stayed at 2.2 mmol/L. My blood glucose slightly increased but the change was insignificant: from 4.9 mmol/L (88 mg/dL) to 5.2 mmol/L (94 mg/dL) - this could be down to the almond milk I used instead of water.
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