Can You Take Exogenous Ketones Before Bed?

Can You Take Exogenous Ketones Before Bed?

Do you want to take exogenous ketones before bed? In this post, we will show you how to safely do that.

People often aim to reach a ketotic state for various reasons by following a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet, on the other hand, involves eating more fat (mainly from protein) and fewer carbohydrates. 

However, several people find it difficult to follow a ketogenic diet strictly. There’s always the sharp urge to eat whatever their body yearns for. As a result, people take exogenous ketones as an alternative.

There are so many questions on the use of exogenous ketones. This majorly involves how they work and when best to take them. 

If you take exogenous ketones and you are wondering whether it is safe or right to take them before bed, this post will address that and more. 

To know if you can take exogenous ketones before bed, let’s look at some background information. 

What Are Exogenous Ketones?

To start with, we shall first answer the fundamental question – what are ketones?. 

Ketones are small molecules the body uses when the blood sugar level is low. They are formed by the liver from protein fat when a person is on a carb-free diet.

Ketones offer several benefits to the body, such as improved energy, better mental health, physical endurance, and appetite control. 

Nonetheless, ketones are formed naturally in the body. They are known as endogenous ketones. Endogenous is the direct opposite of exogenous, which implies that exogenous ketones are ketones that are formed outside the body or industrially manufactured. 

Interestingly, exogenous ketones often refer to ketone supplements. They are unnatural ketones formed outside the body by doctors and scientists. Rather than going carb-free, people can take exogenous ketone supplements to build ketones in the body. 

Sometimes, people combine these exogenous ketones with a carb-free diet for quicker results. This implies that their body will take less time to reach ketosis. Besides, there will be fewer side effects to be experienced. 

However, exogenous ketones have different effects than the ketones produced by the body naturally. 

Basically, the liver converts fat to ketones in two major ketone bodies, i.e., the acetoacetate ketone and the beta-hydroxybutyrate ketone. On the other hand, exogenous ketones are made using just the beta-hydroxybutyrate ketone body. 

Furthermore, exogenous ketones are formulated in two primary forms; the ketone esters and the ketone salts. 

Ketone esters are formulated using the ester compound and are mainly in liquid form.

Though you can get them, they are not usually sold as supplements as they are not readily available. Scientists and doctors mostly use ketone esters for research purposes. 

On the other hand, ketone salts are included in the regular ketone supplements you come across. They are formulated with a salt compound, which is usually calcium, potassium, magnesium, or sodium. 

Basic Uses Of Exogenous Ketones

Exogenous ketones have several uses, just like the endogenous ketones. Usually, they are used to suppress appetite, burn fat for weight loss, reduce inflammation, improve performance, and more.

Notably, exogenous ketones are often claimed to help people sleep better. This is one of the primary reasons why people are interested in taking them at night. 

Can You Take Exogenous Ketones Before Bed?

The answer to this question is yes, but there is more to it. Most exogenous ketone supplements are ketone salts formulated using magnesium, calcium, and other mineral salts. You can take them at night without any side effects. 

However, as stated earlier, exogenous ketones work better on an empty stomach. Before bedtime, you are likely to have had dinner, and this will reduce the effectiveness of the ketone supplements.

In fact, you get little results, and it might take longer to attain ketosis. 

If you can avoid eating dinner before bed, which is not recommended, then the effectiveness of these exogenous ketones will be maintained. Otherwise, you can take them in the morning before eating any food. 

Furthermore, endogenous ketone development often comes with specific side effects. Some of these side effects are muscle cramps, bad breath, headache, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects are informally referred to as the keto flu

What causes the keto flu? When you consume carbohydrates, the body derives glucose, which is used as a significant source of energy.

Going on a carb-free diet implies no more glucose and the body changes to using fats for energy. Hence, the process of changing from glucose to fat causes the keto flu. 

Conversely, these side effects are almost the same when you take exogenous ketones. In fact, exogenous ketones often cause more side effects, such as stomach ache and nausea, which may affect your sleep. 

How To Take Exogenous Ketones Before Bed 

Taking exogenous ketones before bed is not very different from taking them during the day time. The significant factor here is that it might affect its effectiveness. However, if you must take exogenous ketones before bed, there are some things you can do.

First of all, you should try to eat a light dinner. Eating a light dinner will enable the supplements to function as if you had an empty stomach. Also, try to have dinner earlier, 1 or 2 hours before bedtime. If possible, take the supplements at the same time. 

Exogenous ketones can help you sleep better but this is on a long term basis. This means that you don’t have to take them right before you sleep. Instead, your sleep will improve over time if you take them. 

How Do Exogenous Ketones Work?

Exogenous ketones provide the body with several health benefits when used, as discussed earlier. Exogenous ketones work similarly to endogenous ketones when taken; they increase blood ketone levels. 

The blood’s ketone levels can be increased by over 300 percent, with about 12g of exogenous ketones. This is the average amount of ketones that most of the exogenous ketone supplements contain in a serving. 

Let’s look at the various ways in which exogenous ketones can affect the body:

Reduced Appetite 

People often drink sugary beverages to help suppress appetite, but exogenous ketones have shown to be more effective than them. 

For instance, there are three hormones responsible for hunger, i.e., Leptin, Cholecystokinin, and Ghrelin. When exogenous ketones are taken, they reduce the Ghrelin hormone levels in two to four hours’ time. This will, in turn, eliminate food yearnings within that period.

Conversely, exogenous ketones are more effective in reducing appetite when taken on an empty stomach i.e., before meals. By consuming food already, the ketones will be less effective, and as such, the blood ketone levels will decrease. 

Fat Inhibition 

Typically, the liver produces endogenous ketones by using fat from protein diets in the absence of glucose. However, the case is different for exogenous ketones. 

Exogenous ketones are produced outside the body, which eliminates the need for the liver to produce ketones.

If you are on a keto diet as well, then the liver will be forced to work, and this can be risky health-wise. 

Combining exogenous ketones and a keto diet might lead to very high blood ketone levels, which might make the blood acidic.

Fortunately, the body prevents this scenario by slowing down ketone production with a process known as the feedback mechanism

This implies that the body is less likely to use fat for ketones when you use exogenous ketones even if you’re on a keto diet. Hence, fats from protein can be stored in the body, which indirectly means more weight. 


Since endogenous ketones produced by the liver are used to fuel the body; as a result, these ketones supply the body with energy. Precisely, a gram of ketones contains up to 4 calories of energy. 

If your exogenous ketone intake is coupled with a keto diet, you can gain more energy. However, for optimal ketosis, it is essential that you take multiple servings of exogenous ketone supplements every day.

They are only effective for about two to four hours, as stated earlier. 

Weight Loss

Typically, exogenous ketones are perfect for weight loss. This is linked to the fact that it can suppress appetite. However, if you stick to a ketogenic diet plan, more endogenic ketones will be produced, which will enable you to lose weight faster. 

Additionally, exogenous ketones can supply the body with sufficient energy for robust workout sessions to shed some weight. In the same vein, you may consider keto meal replacement shakes, exogenous ketone supplements, and exercises for your desired weight loss.

What Are The Best Exogenous Ketone Supplements?

There are several exogenous ketone supplements in the market; however, the best ones are determined by factors such as price, effectiveness, and recommendations by previous users.

Listed below are some of the best exogenous ketone supplements you should consider.

Keto BHB Exogenous Ketones Pills

Keto BHB Exogenous Ketones Pills (2720mg | 120 Capsules) Keto Pills w. goBHB® Salts, Natural Caffeine & L-Carnitine - Keto BHB Capsules Beta Hydroxybutyrate for Ketosis Keto Vitamins Keto Salts

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Nutricost BHB Exogenous Ketones 4-in-1

Nutricost Keto BHB Exogenous Ketones 4-in-1 (30 Serv) 12g Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) Per Serving, (Unflavored) - Ketone Salts

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Codeage BHB Exogenous Ketones Supplement Pills 

Codeage Instant Keto BHB Supplement Pills for Women and Men, BHB Salts as Exogenous Ketones, 180 Capsules, 90 Day Supply

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Keto Drive Exogenous Ketone Performance Complex

Zhou Nutrition Keto Drive Exogenous Ketone Performance Complex - BHB Salts - Formulated for Ketosis, Energy and Focus - Patented Beta-Hydroxybutyrates (Calcium, Sodium, Magnesium) - Orange Mango

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KetoLogic BHB Ketone Supplement

KetoLogic BHB Exogenous Ketones Powder Supplement: Patriot Pop (30 Servings) - Boosts Ketosis, Increases Energy & Focus - Supports Keto Diet with Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Keto BHB Salts

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COCOFLY Ultra Fast Advanced Weight Loss Exogenous Ketones

Premium Keto Pills 1200 mg - 120 VCAPS KetoGirl Ultra Fast Boost Burn for Women, Use Fat for Energy, Rapid Ketosis, Enhanced Pure BHB Salts, 6X Advanced Supplement, Exogenous Ketones

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Keto Pure BHB Advanced Ketogenic Supplement

(3 Pack) Keto Pure BHB Max 1200mg Pills Ketogenic Supplement Includes goBHB Exogenous Ketones Apple Cider Vinegar Macadamia Nut Oil and Green Tea Advanced Ketosis Support Men Women 3 Bottles

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Ancient Nutrition KetoFIRE Capsules

Ancient Nutrition KetoFIRE Capsules, Keto Supplement with BHB Salts as Exogenous Ketones, Electrolytes and Caffeine, Keto Diet, Ketosis Booster, 180 Count…

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Instant Pure Keto Supplement

Instant Pure Keto Pills Advanced BHB Boost Ketogenic Supplement Exogenous Ketones Ketosis for Men Women 60 Capsules 2 Bottle

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Keto Genius Ketogenic Energy & Focus Supplement

Keto Genius (BHB Exogenous Ketones + Nootropics) – Ketogenic Energy & Focus Supplement - Perfect Nootropic Brain Fuel to Spark Ketosis & Boost Clarity – Pure Ketone Drink Powder w/Alpha GPC –15sv

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When Is The Best Time To Take Exogenous Ketones? 

The best time for you to take exogenous ketones depends on your intention for ketosis, whether weight loss, exercise, brain health, etc. 

Listed below are the best times to take exogenous ketones for various benefits.

For Mental Health

If your sole reason for taking exogenous ketones is to improve your mental health, then the best time is in the morning before taking any meal. Alternatively, you can mix the supplement in your morning drink, coffee, or tea. 

The morning time is ideal because you are just waking up and getting revved up for the day. When taken, they improve your mental energy for 2 to 4 hours. This will help you stay focused for the rest of the day. 

For Athletic Performance and Workouts

Exogenous ketones supply the body with energy that can help you to exercise for hours without getting tired. For this purpose, the best time to take the exogenous ketone supplements is an hour or at least 30 minutes before starting your workout session. 

It does not matter what time your workout session is, whether morning, afternoon, or night. If you are an athlete going out on the field, the same time is ideal. 

For Weight Loss

You can take exogenous ketones for weight loss at any given time. However, you should avoid eating for at least 2 hours before then. When you take the exogenous ketone supplements on an empty stomach, your appetite will be suppressed significantly. 

Nevertheless, you should ensure that you take exogenous ketone supplements in the morning hours if you are unable to control your food yearnings at other times.

Besides, you need multiple servings of the supplement daily to achieve your goal. The focus is to refrain from overeating all round the clock.

For Streamlined Ketosis

When you begin your journey to ketosis, you are likely to experience the keto flu. You can minimize the risk by not taking too much of the exogenous ketone supplements. 

Since you are just starting out, you can take half servings multiple times a day and increase the pace as time goes on.

This will ensure that your body gradually adjusts from utilizing glucose to fats for energy. Although this might not eliminate the keto flu; instead, it will help to alleviate its symptoms.

Can Exogenous Ketones Cause Ketoacidosis?

Ketoacidosis is a medical condition that is often related to uncontrolled diabetes. In fact, it is one of the significant symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes. Nonetheless, exogenous ketones do not cause ketoacidosis, but taking them when you have uncontrolled diabetes can be very dangerous.

Since exogenous ketones can increase the body’s ketone level, it can also result in an unhealthy ketone build-up since there are high ketone levels already.

To prevent that, it is recommended that you see a doctor first before taking exogenous ketone supplements.

On the other hand, you can still get ketoacidosis even when not diabetic but not from exogenous ketones. You can get it from excess alcohol intake and unhealthy eating habits. 

Are Exogenous Ketones Safe During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, a lot of changes happen to the women’s body. However, taking exogenous ketones during pregnancy will not be a problem if taken correctly. There are many benefits that pregnant women can gain from being in a ketotic state.

According to an NIH study, about 70 to 80 percent of women usually experience morning sickness while pregnant. Some symptoms of morning sickness include low appetite, nausea, which are similar symptoms you can experience when you start ketosis. 

Likewise, endogenous ketones are formed when fewer carbs are consumed, and this usually occurs during pregnancy as women often have food aversions.

This implies that pregnant women can experience natural ketosis even without taking exogenous ketones. 

During pregnancy, women often experience high blood ketone levels, especially when they undergo an overnight fast. The increase is about three times more than non-pregnant women.

This is because ketones are vital for fetal brain development. It is majorly derived from the mother though sometimes, they produce ketones independently as well. 

As a pregnant woman, your body needs more ketones, especially in the third-trimester phase, and taking exogenous ketones might help. However, certain precautions need to be taken to be on the safe side. 

First of all, you shouldn’t take exogenous ketones without seeking your doctor’s advice.

Also, you should take exogenous ketones to assist your body in ketone production, which the fetus needs rather than for other reasons like weight loss, workouts, etc. 

Additionally, pregnant women should apply a balanced diet plan, which is essential for fetal development. Most importantly, the nutrients should be from whole foods and not processed ones. 

Final Thoughts

If you desire a ketotic state without following a ketogenic diet, an exogenous ketone supplement can be beneficial.

These supplements increase the blood ketone levels, like the endogenous ketones produced by the liver. 

However, these supplements are to be taken with caution since they are not natural ketone sources. Exogenous ketones should be used based on your intention, whether for weight loss, athletic performance, etc. as mentioned earlier.

Apart from their minor side effects, exogenous ketone supplements are safe to use. While you can take them before bed, it is ideal that you take them in the morning on an empty stomach. 

Lastly, if you intend to take exogenous ketones when you are taking other medications or are pregnant, it is best that you first consult your doctor. These ketone supplements contain minerals in relatively high amounts, and the wrong dosage can be unavoidably dangerous.