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9 Top Ketone Supplements For Weight Loss, Energy & Brain Health (2024 Review)

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Best Exogenous Ketones Reviewed
Best Exogenous Ketones Reviewed

What do Fortune 100 CEOs, record-breaking marathoners, Tour de France cyclists, Chess Grandmasters, Olympians, and hard-charging performers have in common?

For one, they use something dubbed rocket fuel for the brain (and body). It quickly induces peak performance by saturating the brain with a powerful fuel source.

To induce peak performance, however, many of the world’s elite turn to a special type of supplement called exogenous ketones.

The catch?

Exogenous ketone supplements are a relatively new market. Few manufacturers create high-quality products and the label claims are often outlandish.

I’ve curated, reviewed, compared, and contrasted the best ketone boosters. Whether you’re keto and looking to reduce appetite, an athlete looking to improve performance, or a high-powered executive needing brain fuel, these products will give you the edge.

Top Exogenous Ketone Supplements in 2023:

Best Overall Ketone Esters: KetoneAid KE4
Best Value Ketone Ester Blend: KetoneAid KE1
Best C8 MCT Oil: LevelUp Clean C8 MCT Oil
Best Ketones For Travel: Real Ketones Prime D+ Exogenous Ketones D BHB + MCT

On to the background and product comparison.

What are Ketones & How Do They Relate to Ketosis?

Ketones are a class of chemical by-products produced by breaking down body fat. Your liver naturally generates this super fuel, but only in the absence of insulin (carbohydrates). The primary ketone is called beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). Tissues like muscle and the brain prefer the high-octane ketones over glucose found in most foods.

There are three widely recognized macronutrients:

  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates

Some researchers consider ketones a crucial fourth.

There are two ways to boost ketone levels.

Endogenous vs Exogenous Ketones

Endogenous ketones: dieters following keto usually report incredible mental clarity, energy, and focus. By severely restricting carbohydrates, keto stimulates the body’s ability to produce ketones on its own (endogenously). Over two to four weeks of complete restriction, the body ramps up the cellular machinery needed to make this alternate fuel.

The problem?

Carbohydrate withdrawals. In the early stages, fully eliminating dietary carbohydrates causes unpleasant side effects like headaches, fatigue, weakness, and symptoms resembling a sickness. Earning the nickname the keto flu (you can hack it though). And few people can experience the deepest, most beneficial level of ketosis without additional help.

Exogenous ketones: special powders, drinks, and pills can help induce ketosis even if you’ve consumed carbohydrates. Instead of waiting for your body to generate ketones on its own, you can take a shortcut. These products supply the brain and body with exactly what it wants. A boon during extreme physical or mental exertion.

In case you’re wondering, many of today’s top performers combine the two. Living their days mostly low-carb to produce ketones around the clock. Then they take exogenous ketones and add small amounts of carbs on big days. Resulting in unparalleled output.

Today, exogenous ketone products come in multiple forms:

  • Ketone esters
  • Ketone salts
  • Ketone salt/ester blends
  • MCT oils

Each has unique properties:

  • Ketone esters boost ketone levels the highest but cost the most (and taste like jet fuel).
  • Ketone salts are cheaper, have been around longer, and are more effective than MCT oil. But they contain large amounts of sodium
  • Ketone ester and salt blends are a good balance between potency, price, and taste. However, few companies make them.
  • MCT oil is the cheapest, and while still effective, less so than ketone salts or esters. It’s also known for GI distress so new users should slowly increase to the recommended dose. About 15 percent converts into BHB.

How to Choose a Ketone Product

When evaluating ketone boosters, there are a few things to notice.

Beware of “fake” ketones. Some products and ingredients with the word ketone in the ingredients don’t work like real ketones. Raspberry ketones, for example, have benefited from heavy marketing but do nothing to improve human performance. Don’t waste money on them, thinking you found a cheap product.

Racemic vs. Non-Racemic (D-BHB). Exogenous ketone salts and esters come in these two forms. For simplicity’s sake, you can imagine that the same molecule (say a ketone) has two different configurations. Left, and right. Racemic mixtures are an even combination of both. In the case of exogenous ketones, the body can only use D-BHB. Making 50 percent of most ketone salts and esters useless.Virtually all products (except KetoneAid’s) are “racemic”. Since producing pure D-BHB costs considerably more, any brand doing it will proudly and boldly announce its non-racemic formula.

Benefits of Exogenous Ketone Supplementation

Now that you understand what they are, you’re probably wondering how ketone supplements work and all the reasons you’d take them.

New research on therapeutic ketones come on daily.

Some of the most promising benefits of exogenous ketones include:

  • Speeding up weight loss by reducing hunger
  • Maximizing cognition
  • Improving fat-burning (and sparing muscle)
  • Increasing focus
  • Protecting against oxidative free radicals
  • Enhanced energy
  • Improving sleep
  • Elevating mood
  • Boosting athletic performance
  • Suppressing appetite
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Suppressing inflammation

The folks most commonly using ketones do it for either medical health reasons, or to elevate their performance

The Best Ketone Salts, Ketone Esters, & Supplements to Elevate Your Ketone Levels

Your use case and situation determine the best form for you.

Today’s review will cover the top exogenous ketone salts, ketone esters, and MCT oils to maximize your blood ketones.

Best Overall Ketone Ester: KetoneAid KE4

KetoneAid KE4 Ketone Ester & Salt Supplements


Form: Drink

Servings: 6 per bottle (3 bottles)

Manufactured: USA

Bioavailability: Maximum (99%)

Best For: World’s strongest ketone drink

KetoneAid is the pioneer in exogenous ketone supplements. The owner, Frank, is a wealth of knowledge. Top wellness experts defer to him for all things ketones. You’ll often hear him or KetoneAid mentioned in biohacking podcast shows.

He cares about his customers and is willing to walk you through making the right choice. Before anyone else, KetoneAid released exogenous salts and esters in varying concentrations.

Their products are manufactured (not just designed) in the USA and backed by a clinical trial showing effectiveness in humans. Likely due to their potent non-racemic formula. Somewhat of a rarity in the supplement world. On one site alone, KE4 has a 4.3-star average rating with over 459 users weighing in.

I bring a bottle of KetoneAid’s KE4 with me to mitigate the harms of EMFs and international travel.

Buy KetoneAid KE4

Use the exclusive code OUTLIYR to save

Best Value Ketone Ester Blend: KetoneAid KE1

KetoneAid KE1 Ketone Ester & Salt Supplements Review


Form: Drink

Servings: 1 per bottle (18 bottles)

Manufactured: USA

Bioavailability: Maximum (99%)

Best For: Quality ketone drink for the price

Next on the list is another KetoneAid product. KE1 is their best-value product. A 60/40 combination of ketone esters and salts. These bottles feature a patent-pending mix of ketone esters and salts called BioBHB. Esters are more powerful but taste horrible and are pricey. Salts are cheaper, slightly less effective, and high in sodium. KE1 gives you the best of both worlds.

As with their KE4, this formulation contains non-racemic BHB. Ensuring you get maximum potency and don’t “waste” nearly 50 percent.

With this product, you can expect a 1mm increase in blood ketone levels within 30 minutes of consumption. For the best value, tastiest, and most effective ketone product for the price, KE1 is your drink.

Buy KetoneAid KE1

Use the exclusive code OUTLIYR to save

Best Ketone Salt: Perfect Keto Base BHB Salts

Base Chocolate


Form: Powder

Servings: 15

Manufactured: China

Bioavailability: High (50%)

Best For: Pleasing chocolate flavor

Iconic in the world of keto supplements and nutrition, Perfect Keto also sells a highly regarded exogenous ketone powder. Their reformulation now includes better-tasting and less bitter monk fruit sweetener.

Most products on the market only use a single form and your body’s ability to use the supplement suffers. Keto Base features three: Sodium Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, Calcium Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, and Magnesium Beta-Hydroxybutyrate.

Unfortunately, Perfect Keto uses a racemic blend of BHB. Ideal for situations where pre-mixed liquids can’t go like travel. Keto Base wins in terms of chocolate taste, portability, and convenience.

Buy Perfect Keto BHB Salts

Runner Up Ketone Salt: Zhou Nutrition Keto Drive BHB Salts

zhounutrition ketosalts img


Form: Powder

Servings: 16

Manufactured: China

Bioavailability: High (50%)

Best For: Unique flavors

Zhou Nutrition created a keto complex of beta-hydroxybutyrates called goBHB. So powerful that Zhou backs their powder with a 60-day money-back guarantee. Keto Drive contains zero carbs, zero caffeine, and zero sugar to keep you performing at your peak. Enjoy 3 unique flavors: Orange Mango, Matcha Lemonade, or Black Cherry.

Each product undergoes laboratory testing in Utah. Zhou also uses a less-optimal racemic blend of BHB. Mix it in water or add to drinks for a refreshing boost.

Smoothie lovers rejoice, Keto Drive delivers great flavor in addition to a patented blend of ketogenic BHB salts.

Buy Zhou Keto Drive

Best Value Ketone Capsules: Zeal Naturals Ketone Electrolytes

zealnaturals keto img


Form: Capsules

Servings: 120

Manufactured: Unknown

Bioavailability: High (50%)

Best For: Budget exogenous ketone electrolytes

Another brand that uses the patented form of ketone called GoBHB. They used to have a powder option which contained 13 grams of beta-hydroxybutyrates. They’re so confident that they offer “if it’s not the best tasting keto supplement you’ve ever tried we’ll refund every penny of your order“.

They now only have the capsule form which is definitely helpful to ease muscle cramping or mitigate the infamous keto flu. It’s also the only one on the list that’s delivered in capsule form.

If you prefer to take capsules or can’t stomach the taste of powders or drinks, go for Zeal Ketone Electrolytes for maximum value.

Buy Zeal Naturals Ketone Electrolytes

Cheapest Ketone Salts: Sports Research Keto Plus

sportsresearch keto img


Form: Powder

Servings: 30

Manufactured: Unknown

Bioavailability: High (50%)

Best For: Lowest cost BHB

Sports Research’s ketone salts have quickly risen the rankings primarily due to one factor. Unbeatable price. At less than $1.50 per serving, you won’t find a cheaper ketone supplement. Their goBHB formulation comes in two flavors: Raspberry Lemonade, and Fruit Punch. It includes amino acids too.

Unfortunately, Keto Plus includes fillers and excipients. Upon further inspection, you’ll notice that a single serving contains about half the ketone salts as the others on the list. Making it deceptive but a decent pick when on sale. Keto Plus is the cheapest BHB ketone salt (but lacks potency).

Buy Keto Plus

Best Ketone Salt Pouches: Real Ketones Prime D+ Exogenous Ketones BHB + MCT

realketones elevate img


Form: Powder

Servings: 30

Manufactured: China

Bioavailability: High (50%)

Best For: Sports, travel, and on-the-go use

Few companies make high-quality, portable powder BHB ketone salts. Real Ketones Prime D+ Exogenous Ketones is perfect for athletes. Combining 13 grams of BHB, with energy-producing B-vitamins, and ample electrolytes.

It comes in three flavors: Orange Blast, Grape Tart, and Lemon Twist. Prime D+ is also the only product combining both ketone salts and C8 MCT powder, giving you two different fuel sources.

Each packet contains zero sugar. The price has gone up slightly to keep up with the demand of 940+ satisfied buyers. Use Real Ketones Prime D+ for maximum athletic performance and ultra-convenient ready-to-use single-serving packets.

Buy Real Ketones Prime D+ MCT

Best MCT Oil: LevelUp Clean C8 MCT Oil

levelup mct ketone img


Form: Oil

Servings: 64

Manufactured: USA

Bioavailability: Medium (15%)

Best For: Cheap daily ketone booster

MCT oil reliably boosts ketone levels at a fraction of the price of other exogenous ketones. This special oil comes in multiple forms, with C8 having the greatest performance enhancement. Amazon MCT sellers come and go.

Since 2017, LevelUp has stood the test of time. Their Clean MCT undergoes 100% natural extraction from coconut. It’s non-GMO; doesn’t contain palm oil; comes in a BPA-Free bottle; is gluten-free, vegan, and lactose-free. Clean MCT is sustainably sourced and triple steam filtered for purity. Resulting in 99.2% – 99.6% pure C8.

One of few MCT oils that don’t induce “disaster pants.” I take C8 almost daily for noticeable energy and mental clarity improvements.

Buy LevelUp C8 MCT Oil

Best Value MCT Oil: Kiss My Keto C8 MCT Oil

kissmyketo mct oil img


Form: Oil

Servings: 63

Manufactured: USA

Bioavailability: Medium (15%)

Best For: Frequent sales, convenient bottle

Another huge name in the world of products supporting ketosis and the ketogenic diet, Kiss My Keto (KMK) has sold premium MCT oils since 2017. Most oils are packaged in plastic bottles that contain various chemicals. KMK C8 comes in a unique glass bottle with a special pump for precise dosing. No teaspoon or other measuring equipment necessary. Pouring MCT oil makes a mess, so this little feature saves time and wasted oil.

Their product is free of additives, free of flavors, made from 100% fresh coconuts, and 99.2% pure C8 (the most potent form of MCT). Unlike LevelUp, unfortunately, Kiss My Keto’s C8 is derived from both coconuts and palm sources, making it unsuitable for those with sensitivities.

Choose Kiss My Keto for great customer service, the best-in-class glass bottle, or great value C8 MCT oil.

Buy Kiss My Keto C8 MCT

Frequently Asked Questions About Exogenous Ketone Supplements

Are MCT oil and exogenous ketones the same thing?

No, MCT is a subset of exogenous ketone products. While both increase blood ketone levels, exogenous ketones are more effective. A special form of MCT oil called C8, on the other hand, is a better value and still increases blood ketones significantly.

The Best Exogenous Ketones for Your Lifestyle

Exogenous ketones won’t replace a bad diet, too little sleep, or inactivity.

The right supplements, however, can help get your health back on track. From staving off hunger for easier weight loss, to enhancing athletic performance before important events.

These products have become popular amongst certain doctors for supporting optimal health. In preventative medicine, ketones can augment extended fasts.

Biohackers use ketones for:

  • Enhanced cognition
  • Increased athleticism
  • Appetite reduction
  • Weight loss
  • Improving focus
  • Protecting the brain against degeneration
  • Better sleep
  • Boosted energy
  • Mood enhancement

And much more.

Multiple types of boosters can increase the levels of ketones in your bloodstream. Which you choose depends on your lifestyle, use case, and budget:

  • Best overall ketone booster: KetoneAid KE4
  • Greatest value ketone booster: KetoneAid KE1
  • Cheapest ketone booster: C8 MCT Oil

You can’t go wrong with any of the products listed above. Have you tried taking a ketone booster?

Let me know your experience in the comments below!


Post Tags: Athletes, Brain & Cognition, Performance

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