"But every keto supplement company advocates fat loss"!
We’ve had a few customers recently write in to support with questions about testing their ketone levels via ketosis strips after taking our KetoAF Superfuel. Through these conversations, we’ve realized that there is a lot of misinformation out there (likely spread by supplement companies with the agenda of pushing their own ketone products) about not only the use ketosis strips, but also the use of exogenous ketones in general.
As a manufacturer of these types of supplements ourselves – we felt compelled for an honest review on the proper use of our exogenous ketone products in order to educate potential customers who are interested in these types of products.
Specifically, we will address who should be using them, how they are most effectively used, and what they are not.
First off, Let’s just get this out there:
1). The correct primary motivation of using exogenous ketones products should NOT be to get a higher ketone reading on ketosis urinalysis strips (Gasp!)
2). Exogenous ketones do NOT (directly) cause fat loss.
I know – this is probably in complete contradiction to every marketing material you’ve ever read from any company that sells exogenous ketone products. And at this point you’re probably asking what exactly exogenous ketones are for then? And If we believe the above 2 statements, then why in the world did we start a company that sells exogenous ketone products? We will get to that and the proper use of ketone products. But first, we need some background information on the above 2 statements.
Urine Ketone Strips to test your “pee-tones” is ridiculous
Really, the only use case I can rationalize for using ketostix is for the first time keto dieter. This would be as a directional tool and trying to get a hang of how what types of foods are affecting your progress.
For starters, they are one of the least accurate ways to test ketone levels  
As you become keto adapted (3-4 weeks after starting the ketogenic diet), less ketones are excreted via urine
Readings are influenced by your hydration levels, resulting in either false positives or false negatives.
Influenced by a number of other factors including your diet, last time you ate, exercised (and for how long), etc
And if that wasn’t enough, ketostix only show excess ketone bodies excreted via urine. These excess ketones are, in fact, wasted as they were not absorbed into the blood stream to be utilized as energy.
So if they are showing on a urine test, then these ketones are not and were not used by brain. How can one verify if the body is using ketones as an energy source if the only ketones being tested are not being utilized?
Let’s say that again – if you are taking exogenous ketones and then using urinalysis strips to measure their effectiveness, you are only measuring unused ketones that being passed through your body instead of used as energy. Basically, you’re paying money to have some really expensive pee!
(Besides, peeing on a stick is gross)
Ironically, take a quick browse through top selling Exogenous Ketones products on Amazon and notice how many of them also will sell you their own ketone strips to go along with your purchase and “prove” that you are increasing your ketone levels.
As a company, we have chosen to not sell ketostix. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it is unethical for supplement companies to sell BHB products and then sell you urine strips to go along with it to test their “effectiveness”.
These companies love to prey on our obsessiveness with ketone levels.
I get it, checking ketone levels is addictive, and that is what these companies are hoping on.
It really is the perfect scheme:
A user base taking exogenous ketones for the percieved benefits of increased ketone levels (even if they are just being passed in urine).
Ketosis analysis strips that are cheap to private label and imported from China.
Sell the two together: it’s a guaranteed positive feedback loop!
Personally, I stopped checking ketone levels altogether early on in my keto journey. Ketogains has a great read on the reasons why. 
Weight loss only occurs when running in a nutritional deficit.
That is to say that you are eating less calories than you are expending.
Regardless of any diet type, weather HFLC or LFHC, the formula is the same.
So we should be skeptical of any supplement product – keto friendly or otherwise – with any claims of fat or weight loss.
That simply will not happen unless you are expending more energy through exercise than the amount of calories that you are eating in your diet.
With that said, where exogenous ketones can help with fat loss – at least indirectly – is through appetite control and as a potential appetite suppressant.
In order to eat less, hunger suppression and appetite control are key. This precisely is what makes the ketogenic diet so effective in weight loss.
A 2015 article in Frontiers in Psychology  examines how endogenous ketones created in the body via nutritional ketosis can help control important hormones related to weight loss, including:
Ghrelin, also known as the “hunger hormone”, which causes increased appetite, and feeling of hunger.
Cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that causes you to feel full
Ketones also appear to have a positive effect on leptin signals and the brain’s hypothalamus region, which can prevent the slowing of our metabolism like what happens in other diets.
More nutrient-dense, low-glycemic foods means less of the blood sugar spikes and dips that the average person experiences on a standard carb-heavy diet. Fluctuations in blood sugar can lead to an intense appetite, even soon after eating, making it hard to ever feel satisfied.
To be clear, these are benefits that can be realized nutritionally through a standard ketogenic diet. However, taking ketones exogenously (from outside of the body) from sources such as BHB and MCT oils also appear to help keep appetite at bay, as they provide a quick and efficient source of energy for the brain – which can help curb cravings for carbs.
How to Use Exogenous Ketones
Ok so we’ve addressed the 2 most common misconceptions of exogenous ketones. So let’s take a look at the most beneficial uses of ketones as a supplement:
1. Pre Workout
Endurance & maximizing human performance
One of the most promising areas of studies and research around the use of ketone supplements as performance maximizer for hard training endurance and power/strength athletes.
Ketone bodies are a super fuel that can be efficiently used by the muscles and the brain, where they generate more energy (ATP) per unit of oxygen consumed than do carbohydrates, protein, or fat.
A study published in August 2016 by Peter Cox  on BHB esters + dextrose gives us great insight about Ketones and human cognitive and physical performance. Below are some of those insights:
Metabolically, the skeletal muscle will oxidize and burn ketone bodies preferentially over glycogen & glucose. Hence, it is glycogen sparing. The data show 18-22% less glycogen utilized compared to the carb only group.
Simultaneously, the presence of BHB also shifts metabolism to more efficiently oxidize fatty acids in mitochondria via TCA cycle. Over a 30% uptick here was seen in trained endurance cyclists vs. carb only group.
Previous data has shown that Ketones/ BHB allow cells to generate about 36% more ATP per unit oxygen used in energy metabolism in a model looking at heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) And 25% more ATP with Ketone bodies alone . Hence the analogy of Ketones being a "higher octane", "cleaner," more efficient fuel versus carb, or even fat.
It demonstrated simultaneously an efficient flux through both glycolytic (albeit BHB slows down glycolysis) in cytosol + aerobic, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation; allowing for less lactate at same exercise workload, and increase in performance (exercise capacity, max distance cycled) in time trial after a 2 hour steady state ride at 75% VO2 max.
Peter Attia, an MD and one of the most brilliant minds in the keto scene who now focuses on longevity medicine at his private practice in San Diego and New York City, has also chronicled his amazing transition  from sugar burner to fat adapted cyclist.
KetoAF is a keto friendly pre workout that combines exogenous ketones from both BHB salts (beta hydroxybutyrate) and MCT (medium chain triglycerides), on top of industry leading preworkout ingredients backed by science.
This insane formula is made for the serious athlete looking to maximize human potential.
Energy, Endurance, Focus, Strength, Muscle Pumps
It's all there in this All-In-One keto friendly, and zero net carb, pre workout.
When we set out to create KetoAF, we wanted to create the best pre workout available, focused on only the best and most effective ingredients.
While most supplement companies today sell ketone supplements as a weight loss product, scientific studies and independent research shows the best potential use for exogenous ketones is maximizing human performance!
In fact, even athletes not on a low carb or keto diet can benefit from taking ketones before exercise!
2. Appetite Suppressant
Again, this benefit can be obtained through nutritional ketosis but is an extra benefit when also taking exogenous ketones for a boost in clean energy.
To maximize appetite suppression benefits and to keep blood sugar low, we formulate our Superfuel with a special combination of goBHB, MCT, and Cinnamon.
GoBHB™ is a patented ketone body called beta-hydroxybutyrate, a breakthrough energy supplement. When eating a low-carb diet, the liver converts fats to ketones, which satiate and serve as an alternative energy source for the brain, heart and muscles. With goBHB™, you are ingesting a ready-to-use ketone body, giving athletes and busy professionals more energy, performance, and focus.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are an extremely healthy fat. These fats convert to ketone bodies, increased levels of energy, focus and performance.
Keto AF Superfuel - Cinnamon Latte
KetoAF ™ only uses C8 MCTs - which is more expensive to manufacture, but as the shortest of all MCTs, is the easiest for your body to break down into fuel
The addition of cinnamon inhibits enzymes that block insulin receptors. This not only regulates blood sugar levels for those already on the Keto diet but can also help burn fat*.
We think that the addition of cinnamon tastes great with your morning coffee - hot or iced, especially with a little almond or coconut milk.
Cinnamon is also a very powerful antioxidant that prevents inflammatory conditions that can damage cell membranes and insulin receptors.
3. Easing into ketosis for the first time and getting over “keto flu"
For those supplement products which the only active is ingredient is BHB, it is important to note that this is likely the only viable application (regardless of what other supplement companies tell you).
Admittedly a subjective experience, many users report clearing of brain fog, better mental clarity, and generally higher energy after consuming BHB. During the first few weeks of starting a ketogenic diet for the first time, the brain hasn’t quite re-learned to get energy from fat. You’re having carb withdrawals.
The absence of carbs for energy can leave one feeling lethargic, a symptom referred to as the “keto flu”. While not everyone experiences this, symptoms can last for the first 1-3 weeks of starting the keto diet. During this time, many users report that taking exogenous ketones via BHB help alleviate symptoms as they provide a carb-free source of energy for the brain.
Usually within 2-3 weeks of a full keto diet, most people become “fat adapted”, aka “keto adapted” Meaning your body can now efficiently run off of fat without the symptoms of low blood sugar.
Once fat/keto adapted, the mental and mood boosting effects benefits of exogenous ketons/BHB wain greatly – you already get these benefits from nutritional kesosis!
But it’s not nearly as profitable for a company to sell you a product which you can only use for a few weeks at the beginning of a new diet. Much better for sales to tell you that you need to take it every day, and while they’re at it, sell you some pee sticks so that you can “prove” to yourself that it’s “working”.
Your favorite tasting BHB product
And fair warning, most BHB products don’t taste all that appetizing, just ask Peter Attia