What is a Ketones Drink? (and do they work?)

The category of ketones drink is all the rage these days. With the popularity of the keto diet exploding, a cottage industry of drinks purporting to help people stay keto longer and get fitter has popped up.

So what exactly are ketones drinks, do they even work and are they all created equal? It’s time to find out:

What is a Ketones Drink?

A Ketones drink is a category of beverages that contain ketones either bonded to esters or salts and help your fuel your body through ketones - an alternative energy source to carbs and fats.

Many ketones drinks promise to also jump you automatically into ketosis - and while this can happen if the circumstances are perfect - this is not specifically guaranteed.

There’s a lot of nuance when it comes to ketones drinks so you need to make sure you do the research on the brands and the types of ketones drink that you’re purchasing before you go too wild.

ketones-drink-guide

Exogenous Ketones vs. Ketone Salts

Before we get too deep into ketones - you should know that exogenous ketones are different from ketone salts - although both may be considered “drinks.”

Ketone salts are usually a powder containing BHB with a salt or amino acid. Consumers then dissolve them in liquid in order to drink them. Keto salts are not usually considered GRAS and ketones salt seem to not be the optimal way to raise ketone levels.

Ketone esters unlike ketone sales are salt-free liquids contain BHB without anything else bound to a ketone precursor with an ester bond. They deliver the ketones immediately and can raise your ketone levels relatively quickly with a single shot.

Most people do not drink ketone esters because of their taste, but they do seem to the be the better option for performance and with such a small volume needed - ketone ester drinks seem like the better choice.

Benefits of Ketones Drink

People are turning to ketones drinks for a myriad of reason, but the primary benefits ketones drinks offer are:

Can Help Imitate Ketosis

While ketones won’t explicitly put you into ketosis, they will mimic some of the states you experience in ketosis due to higher ketone levels (including better clarity, and energy).

Help During Keto Flu

When your body is experiencing keto flu, it’s because your body is “bonking” on energy. It’s reduced the carbohydrate intake but isn’t efficient at producing ketones or fat yet. Exogenous ketones can help as it gives your body the fuel directly and can alleviate some of the dreaded keto flu symptoms.

Improve Cognitive Function & Focus

Become ketones are the primary fuel of your brain, many users experience a “ketone buzz” 15-30 minutes after ingesting ketone esters as their brain really starts humming.

Endurance & Recovery

Higher ketone levels can improve power output, endurance output and overall recovery - which means you can train even harder, continue to adapt, and get stronger by using smarter fuel.

Appetite Control

Like when you’re in ketosis, higher ketone levels will help reduce your appetite which can help you towards your weight loss goals.

Longevity

Metabolic health is a long-known precursor to longevity. Ketone drinks can help by helping improve metabolic flexibility and general health and lead to greater longevity for it’s users. 

How to Use Ketones Drink Effectively

Like any new supplement, introduce ketones drinks slowly into your life - in controlled environments where you know how you’ll typically react. This way you’ll have a baseline to measure from.

For athletic performance - you can take 1-3 servings about 30 minutes before your workout.

For focus, you can typically drink just one and get a keto focus buzz that will help you lock in and get into “flow state.”

Can I use Ketones Drinks for Weight Loss?

It’s important to note that ketones will not just make you automatically lose weight. It doesn’t work like that - in fact nothing works like that.

However, if you’re active and using ketones as fuel instead of carbs and fat, it can help improve metabolic flexibility and sustain energy while not relying on such a high carbohydrate or fat count which can improve performance and eventually lose weight.

Just taking a drink alongside an unchanged routine won’t do anything. It’s called a supplement, because properly used - it supplements the new lifestyle changes you’re already making.

The Best Ketones Drinks

We scoured the internet for the best ketones drinks and there are two that have stood above the rest. HVMN & Perfect Keto.

HVMN

Cost: $120 for 3 bottles ($4/serving)

Type: Ketone Ester

HVMN provides the leading ketone ester drink on the market. And they’ve come a long way.

hvmn-ketone-ester-drink
image via HVMN

I remember trying this originally when it first came out. - and the flavor was rough. Now, keep in mind - with all ketone ester drinks - the flavor is gonna be something you need to get past - but in this latest iteration - it’s gotten passable to - dare I say - maybe even quite good?

At 35ml, it’s no worse tasting than a tequila shot and at least 2x as good for you.

Buy HVMN at their Online Store

Perfect Keto

Cost: $44.99 for 15 servings ($2.99/serving)

Type: Ketone Salts

perfect-keto-ketones
image via Perfect Keto

Perfect Keto has a lineup of solid ketone salt options. While we typically prefer the ketone ester drinks due to the bioavailaibity, these are a great secondary option.

Not only is Perfect Keto transparent about their ingredients and formula, the flavors are top notch.

You’re looking at $45 for about 15 servings, so $3/serving isn’t cheap, but ti is worth it.

Strawberry Lemonade and Vanilla are our favorite flavors.

Buy Perfect Keto Here

What About Pruvit Ketones?

Pruvit Ketones provides a stick pack of ketone drinks available to people nationwide and is actually relatively well know. Unfortunately, we can’t recommend Privet for a few reasons.

Lack of Label Transparency

Their label has a proprietary blend on it. We hate proprietary blends. It tells us nothing about the actual ingredients and while companies that use them tend to sweat about “trade secrets” - we find the best trade secret is honesty. Especially when it comes to effective doses - just tell us what’s init!

MLM Structure

Pruvit is a MLM structure - where members not only sell the product, but recruit other people to sell the product. As a rule, we don’t recommend companies that are structured like this. If you do, more power to you.

Pruvit Pun

Okay, this is me personally, but I can’t stand misspelled word puns. This is a personal pet peeve (man it sounds like I’m extra grumpy here, huh?). Just spell the name out "prove it."

If they were to alleviate these things, we’d reconsider the product, but given the current reality - there are better options on the market.

How To Get More Out Of Your Ketones Drinks

If you want to get the most out of your ketones drinks - here are a few tips:

Try intermittent fasting. It might be the best way to help improve your metabolic flexibility and flirt with ketosis.

Follow a keto diet. We have easy keto meal plans here, and you can print out a comprehensive list of keto-friendly foods.

Play around with lowering your carbohydrates - at or lower than 50g/day. You should be able to get into ketosis around that mark. Watch out, you might experience the keto flu unless you’re fat adapted.

FAQs on Ketone Drinks

Some frequently asked questions we get about ketones:

When’s the best to drink ketones?

It depends on the product, bug generally speaking - take ketones about 30 minutes before your workout.

How often can you drink ketones?

Most people drink their ketones drink 1-3x / day depending on their energy needs.

What is ketones drinks?

Ketones drinks are a class of drinks that deliver ketones to your body through either ketone ester or ketone salt delivery methods.

Ketones Drinks Citations & Sources

Ketone articles + reference we referenced:

Other Articles You Might Like

Other keto related articles you might like:

By Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Joel Runyon

About the Author

Joel Runyon

Joel Runyon is the founder of Ultimate Meal Plans. Joel is an ultra endurance athlete and entrepreneur. He's also the founder of Ultimate Paleo Guide, MoveWell and is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE ® - a lifestyle performance brand helping people push their limits in fitness and life.

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