BHB Salts Level up your Body Performance
If you had to choose between:
- An inefficient fuel that leaves a trail of smoke and slowly damages your car
- A clean fuel that gives you more mileage and keeps your car running smoothly
It’s a no-brainer to pick option 2, right? Well, you have to make that same decision when it comes to the fuel your body runs on.
What is Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Salt (BHB)?
BHB is found in nature in many foods including eggs and milk. Salts are acids and bases bound by ionic bonds. Salt is a chemistry term used to describe a specific type of chemical compound. Technically, they are defined as ionic compounds formed by the neutralization of an acid and a base. They consist of positively charged and negatively charged components, which typically dissociate in water or water-based solutions (such as blood). In lay terminology, we call table salt, which is actually sodium chloride (NaCl) “salt,” but it is just one of many chemical compounds which are defined as salts.
The “BHB salt” is simply a compound that consists of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), and the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate. In the Keto OS product package, these individual components are being held together by ionic bonds; however, when you eat the product, it is absorbed into the blood where it dissociates into free Na+, K+, and BHB since it is a water-based solution. Thus, consuming the product directly and immediately puts ketones into your blood.
Ketones are naturally slightly acidic, so the combination of BHB with sodium acts as a bit of a buffer to this acidity. Ketones will also naturally act as a diuretic, so you lose salt, potassium calcium and magnesium, and it is generally encouraged to increase sodium intake with ketones. The addition of sodium to the product will replenish this salt loss.
When BHB is Necessary?
Humans in the hunter-gatherer era survived thanks to metabolic flexibility — the body’s ability to use different fuels for energy depending on the nutrients available. This adaptation was vital during a time when the source, quantity, and frequency of food was uncertain.
Most of the time, people were fasting, so their bodies ran on ketones, not glucose. Nowadays, most adults rely on glucose for energy thanks to the abundance of high carb foods, but we’re all born needing and using ketones. Children can produce and use BHB more efficiently than adults because, in the early days of life, ketones (BHB and AcAc) are better than glucose for brain growth and lung function. At this stage, blood ketones can reach 2–3 mmol/L (micromolar per liter), the same levels as in a ketogenic diet
This ability is to burn ketones is never lost. Elderly people are able to generate ketones after a fast or a ketogenic meal at the same levels as younger adults. If we wanted, we could keep using ketones for energy throughout our adult life like we did as infants.
Sadly, our food environment pushes us to ditch ketones and rely on glucose when we grow up. Unless you’re a baby, a regular keto-er, a carnivore, diabetic, or a caveman, your body runs on glucose. The good news is, it’s easy to start using ketones for fuel again. Your body is always making BHB and AcAc, but on a regular carb-based diet, the levels remain below 0.5 mmol/L (micromolar per liter), which isn’t enough to fuel your cells. Only certain conditions can boost BHB levels high enough to make the fuel switch:
- Following a ketogenic diet. On low carb, high fat ketogenic diet, your body will produce consistent ketone levels above 2 mmol/L.
- BHB levels rise above 0.6 mmol/L after 12–16 hours of fasting and reach 1–2 mmol/L after 2 days of fasting.
- Doing Intense Exercise. Doing intense exercise for 90 minutes can boost BHB to 1–2 mmol/L.
In these three circumstances, your body doesn’t have access to enough carbs (glucose) or stored glucose (glycogen), so it turns to stored fat for energy. The fatty acids are metabolized by your liver into ketones (mostly BHB), which can be used by your cells as an efficient fuel source.
Two Types of BHB
Your body can use two forms of BHB: endogenous and exogenous. Endogenous BHB is the one your body makes by itself. “Endo” comes from the Greek éndon, which means “within”.
Exogenous ketones are external BHB molecules you can take as a supplement to kickstart ketosis quickly, usually in the form of BHB salts or esters. “Exo” is the opposite of “endo” and means “external”.
Two Ways to Get Exogenous BHB
Ketone esters are the raw form of BHB, with nothing else added. However, this supplement is expensive, tastes terrible, and can affect the gastrointestinal system.
Enter: BHB salts.
BHB salts are a novel and effective supplement created in a lab to help people enter and sustain ketosis. They’re a mix of:
- Exogenous BHB
- Mineral salts such as potassium, calcium, sodium, or magnesium, or amino acids like lysine and creatine
Ten Benefits of Taking BHB Salt
1. BHB stimulates the expression of various health-promoting genes.
2. BHB reduces inflammation.
3. BHB fights oxidative stress.
4. BHB can increase longevity.
5. BHB enhances cognitive function.
6. BHB can help fight and prevent cancer.
7. BHB boosts insulin sensitivity.
8. BHB is an optimal fuel for the heart.
9. BHB accelerates fat loss.
10. BHB enhances workout performance.
Bonus Benefit: BHB Prevents Bone Deterioration
Research has found that BHB:
Prevents bone degradation by stopping the production of osteoclasts (cells that break down bone) in subjects with osteoporosis.
Prevents bone density decline.
Increases resistance to bone deformation
Improves the volume of internal bone tissue (called cancellous or spongy bone).
Exogenous ketone supplements are generally considered to be a safe and effective way to increase ketone body concentrations, but the long-term effects are unknown.
Reported side effects are more common with ketone salts than ketone esters and include nausea, diarrhea and stomach discomfort.
Taking ketone salts also increases the risk of electrolyte imbalances. Electrolytes are vital for the conduction of electrical signals in the muscles and neurons. For example, electrolytes help the heart maintain a regular rhythm.
Some doctors are concerned that the ketogenic diet decreases blood sugar levels, potentially leading to hypoglycemia, which can make a person feel weak and lethargic. Moreover, ketone salts that contain sodium could be dangerous for people with high blood pressure. The ketogenic diet can also cause dehydration.
The Bottom Line
BHB is far more efficient than glucose. Not only does it provide as much or even more energy, but it does so while fighting oxidative damage, lowering inflammation, and improving the function of your organs.
If you want to burn more fat, increase cognitive function, and extend your lifespan, running on BHB is the way to go. You can optimize your BHB production by following a ketogenic diet, fasting, avoiding hidden carbs, and taking exogenous ketones Exogenous ketones in the form of BHB salts boost your blood BHB in just an hour, so you don’t have to wait the 12+ hours it takes your body to completely switch between fuels.
If you’ve been relying on carbs for energy — as most people do — but don’t feel your best, running on BHB can be just what your brain and metabolism need.