What are ketones?

Ketones or ketone bodies are water-soluble molecules that are produced by the liver when we are on a low-carb diet like keto. These three types of molecules, created from fatty acids are acetoacetate, its derivatives beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone. The process is called ketogenesis.

When are ketones created?

When the body does not get sufficient carbohydrates from the diet, it eventually depletes its stored glucose (glycogen) and switches from sugar-burning to fat-burning mode, also called ketosis.

What is ketogenesis?

Ketogenesis is when the body is in ketosis, the liver breaks down fat and creates acetoacetate (AcAc: C4H6O3) which it breaks down further to beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB: C4H8O3) and acetone (C3H6O). These ketone bodies can easily enter the cell’s mitochondria and get converted to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which cells use as energy. As not all cells in the body can use ketones for energy, the rest continue using glucose even while in ketosis. This on a low carb diet is usually done by gluconeogenesis.

What are Exogenous Ketones?

Ketones produced by the body, as explained above, are endogenous ketones. Another way to get the body into ketosis is by ingesting an instant supply of ketones called exogenous ketones. Some people use endogenous ketones to help getting into ketosis faster, others already in ketosis to boost performance, fasting, manage hunger better, cognitive performance and for training harder.