Review of exogenous ketones aka beta-hydroxybutyrates (BHB)
I’d been wanting to try BHB salts for a while because I always see them in my Instagram feeds: all my keto friends are taking them religiously. What are they anyway? They are turned into ketones very quickly so that you are immediately fueled. Wow, that sounds cool. I wanted to order them in Amazon.com but they don’t ship these products to Thailand so I kind of gave up at one point.
However, I have been observing which products seem to be good. Every year there are more and more new brands, but they are more or less the same. You can only make variations by changing: 1) serving size 2) bonded minerals (sodium, calcium, magnesium or potassium) 3) flavors 4) additives (MCT oil powder, amino acids etc). I found this table while doing some research.
As far as what I have seen in internet, Perfect Keto seems to be very popular. Ok, they are quite good at marketing, they put a lot of resources on their website AND people seem to like how they taste. Their products have great reviews on Amazon, but one thing I find it strange is that the serving only has 15 kcal. They say this low calorie nature of their product makes it more special, but ketones are energy, and it is just impossible to have BHB salts to have only 15 kcal. I sent a DM to Dr. Anthony Gustin on Instagram but he does not answered me. It seems that the company has also deleted their remarks on ‘low calorie’ from their unique selling points. In Amazon questions and answers, someone did question this, but no answer from the company.
They have a blog on Perfect Keto’s website comparing Perfect Keto to KetoSports’ BHB salts – well, a lot less calories. But they don’t go on to say why this is the case. Why can’t they just say how it was measured?
Anyway, I totally forgot about BHB salts for a while but one day I saw a free global shipping offer in iHerb, so I decided to order one. There aren’t many choices, I just chose Keto-Life BHB from Zenwise Health. 57 USD for 232g, 16 servings! Holy cow. Expensive! So one surge of ketones would cost me… $3.6? Actually cheaper than Starbucks!
This one is a cocktail of 3 kinds of BHB salts, calcium BHB, magnesium BHB and sodium. And it said it had ‘natural flavor’ without much fillers, this is why I ordered this product.
How was it? Well, it really did give me a buzz! I was sweating, my head was going really BOOM. Yap, the ketones were hitting me hard!
But the taste of this ‘natural flavor’ is horrible. There is nothing natural about it. Can’t you be more specific about this please? It’s probably something they extracted from beavers’ anal glands or something like that!
- Paleo Robbie sells InstaKetones (Bursting Orange flavor) from Julian Bakery, with Amino Acid Blend (L-Taurine, L-Tyrosine, L-Leucine), sweetened with monk fruit extract. 524g bag costs 2695 THB.
- Healtholicious offers BHB salts under their own brand with light citrus flavor without additives, just citrus acid and certified organic monk fruit extract. 30 servings (400g) costs 2999 THB. There are also 15 servings (200g) for 1599 THB.
Both brands use Calcium BHB and Sodium BHB, but InstaKetones products are 67% BHB salts, whilst Healtholicious BHB salts are 74% BHB salts. It is not just about the total weight – many ‘good tasting’ BHBs contain flavors and other additives, which makes the product heavier.
Many try to compare the products by looking at the amount of BHB inside, but this is slightly biased because that depends on how much is in one serving by the company. Approx. 12g of BHB salts are sufficient to have noticeable effects, which translates to 9.7 grams of BHB.
Regards taste: Healtholicious’s BHB salts uses the minimal amount of flavor and sweetener: just citric acid and organic monk fruit extract. Keto-goers need to be careful with carb counts so mixing BHB salts with fresh lemon juice is not a good idea, as one lime yield can have up to 4g of carb! Citric acid is what makes lime sour, so it is enough to mask the unpleasant flavor of the BHB salts. They also added just the right amount that it tastes like water with a dash of lemon juice, that is all, nothing too overwhelming.
In my opinion, it is just wrong to try to mask unpleasant flavor with something fake. I think drinking it with strong coffee or green tea would be also fine. But BHB salt solution is not to be enjoyed! So just drink it up quickly, and get over it!
So what does Julian Bakery’s Instaketones taste like? Found this blog some time ago, check this out! This face says it all! A very funny article by RACHEL VRABEL.
It seems that the company is facing several lawsuits for misrepresenting their products… not so sure if I can trust their products.
What is your favourite BHB salts?