Ketone salts represent the most popular and widely available exogenous ketone supplements. This type of ketone supplement delivers the ketone body, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) bound to an electrolyte mineral such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, often formulated with a blend of electrolytes. But these electrolytes aren’t simply a carrier for ketones, they offer their own unique benefits too that often complement ketosis nicely!
Electrolytes are essential minerals vital for maintaining the body's hydration level, acid-base balance, and muscle and nerve function, ultimately necessary for normal body functions, including heartbeat, brain function, muscle contraction and relaxation, and so much more. Sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium all play unique and essential roles in the body, and their supplementation with ketone salts can offer a lot of benefits!
When taken alongside a ketogenic diet, ketone salts can make the transition to a keto-adaptation more pleasant by mitigating some of the side effects of a ketogenic diet, such as low blood sugar prior to ketosis while the body gets comfortable with a fat-based metabolism. At this very same stage, supplementing electrolytes is often critical. This is because the increased water loss that can occur in the beginning stages of a ketogenic diet increases the risk of electrolyte imbalances. Electrolyte imbalances can manifest as symptoms of the infamous “keto-flu”, such as headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue. So, not only are the ketones helping with the transition to ketosis, but the electrolytes are preventing the potential side effects of a ketogenic diet. However, many people may be taking exogenous ketones as an alternative to a ketogenic diet for therapeutic purposes or with carbohydrates to improve athletic performance. In these cases, the added electrolytes can help with neuromuscular function, prevent dehydration, and prevent muscle cramping which may be especially applicable to athletes. Sweating is one way we lose electrolytes, so in any situation where you are losing a lot of fluids through sweat, supplementing electrolytes can be helpful!
Ultimately, the combination of ketones + electrolytes helps ensure the maintenance of proper electrolyte levels, replace lost electrolytes, and prevent the symptoms of electrolyte imbalances.