What are ketones?: Benefits & How They are Produced

What are ketones?: Benefits & How They are Produced

We’ve been talking nonstop about ketones but, what are ketones? They are chemicals made in your liver. When your body can’t turn glucose into energy, your liver turns fat into ketones, a type of acid, and then sends them into your bloodstream so it can be used as fuel.

In today’s article, we want to talk about what ketones are, what their benefits are, where they are produced, and how we get more. So if you want to learn more about this subject, keep reading!

What are ketones? 

As we’ve mentioned, ketones are chemicals or energy molecules created by the liver from the breakdown of fats. Your body produces ketones when you don’t have access to carbs or enough glucose stores. This happens, for example when following a ketogenic diet.

Unless you have diabetes, it’s been proven that burning fats (ketones) for energy is healthier than running on carbohydrates (glucose).

Where are ketones produced?

As we’ve previously mentioned, ketones are made in the liver when glucose is in short supply. They’re made in the liver from the breakdown of fats.

As we’ve said, ketones are formed when there’s not enough sugar or glucose to supply the body’s fuel needs. This naturally happens overnight, and during fasting or when following a keto or a low-carb lifestyle. During these periods, insulin levels are low which causes fat to be released from the fat cells. These fat cells travel through the bloodstream till they reach the liver where they’re processed into ketone units. These ketone units then circulate back into the bloodstream and are picked up by the muscle and other tissues to fuel your body’s metabolism.

Your liver produces 3 types of ketones:

  • Beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB). This is the one that your body can use most effectively for energy.
  • Acetoacetate (AcAc). This ketone body makes up around 20% of the ketones in the blood.
  • Acetone (Ace). This one is the least abundant of the ketones. It makes up about only 2% of the blood.

MCT oil also helps boost the production of ketones and works as an instant energy source for your body and brain as it’s packed with healthy fats. Being a medium-chain triglyceride, your body turns it quickly into ketones and a steady source of energy. That’s why we add it to our Funky Fat Chocolate bars to make them functional.

Health Benefits of ketones

The only way to be in ketosis is by doing intermittent fasting or by following a low-carb lifestyle or a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet in particular has gained a lot of popularity since it helps reverse the symptoms of several chronic issues, besides helping get in shape as well as not only achieve ketosis but stay in that state.

Ketosis is a state wherein your body turns fats into energy as it runs out of carbohydrates. When your body is in that state, it goes through a lot of changes. One of them is witnessing your liver making ketone bodies. Ketones are natural super fuels proven to support energy, focus, endurance, and more.

Following a keto lifestyle, an intermittent fasting plan, or even a low-carb diet to stay in ketosis doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy food and enjoy delicious snacks. There are plenty of food and snacks that won’t get you out of ketosis but still are delicious, like the Funky Fat Chocs. Let’s get into the health benefits.

1- Mental clarity

If you suffer from poor energy, reduced mental clarity, or have trouble focusing, know that ketosis may improve these symptoms by reducing oxidative stress in the brain. This will give your neurons more energy and will boost neurotransmitters that will benefit mental health and function.

2- Sustained energy

A high intake of carbs can be detrimental to your energy levels due to insulin spikes. However, if you cut carbs from your diet and start using fat as fuel, your body can use its fat stores at any time. This means that you’ll enjoy a constant, steady stream of keto energy because you won’t be spiking your blood sugar levels.

3- Help endurance and recovery

Getting into ketosis may have a lot of great benefits for your energy. Endurance training and a ketogenic diet are a good match, that’s for sure. Relying on ketones means you can store more energy and may not need to work as hard to get it, which will help you go for longer. Fat provides twice as many calories as carbs per gram and you’re able to store more fat than other sources of fuel, like carbs. So this will help you have more energy for your workouts and endurance practices and will encourage a faster and better recovery. 

Although you need to keep in mind that you still need to keep a nutritional balance, so remember to have an electrolyte balance, proper hydration, and cover your calorie needs.

4- Weight management

When your body is in ketosis, it begins to burn stored fats for energy, and this results in the build-up of ketones in your blood. It also has been shown that ketones directly help suppress appetite by balancing the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin. They also reduce the amount of fat that your body stores, while simultaneously increasing the amount of fat that your body burns.

5- Metabolic health

When your body uses fat as fuel, it optimizes your mitochondria to metabolize fat more efficiently in between meals while utilizing energy that’s currently stored as fat. In addition, following a low-carb diet decreases blood sugar and insulin levels. Keeping your insulin levels low will help increase your fat metabolism.

If you're currently on a high-carbohydrate diet and you’re not feeling your best, you might want to try and change to a ketogenic diet to see positive changes in your lifestyle. Ketones transform the way your metabolism works so you can optimize your health and well-being as well as prevent or improve chronic diseases. 

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