The ability to easily shift between using carbohydrate and fat for energy is strongly linked with markers of good metabolic health, such as normal cholesterol and blood glucose levels, normal blood pressure, healthy liver function, and smaller waist size.
If fasting for 16 – 20 hours causes unpleasant symptoms such as headache, fatigue, or excessive hunger, this is a sign of low metabolic flexibility.
To increase metabolic flexibility, one simply needs to practice intermittent fasting and increase one’s level of physical exercise. If either of these are too unpleasant in the beginning, supplementation with exogenous ketones can make the process easier.
In people with high metabolic flexibility, intermittent fasting does not cause unpleasant symptoms because the body readily produces a low level of endogenous ketones that serve as an alternate fuel source for the brain when muscle and liver glycogen stores have been depleted.
But in people who rarely ever deplete their glycogen stores because they never go longer than 8 hours or so without food, the body may have “forgotten” how to produce its own ketones. Exogenous ketone supplementation mimics the body’s natural production of ketones during fasting and can be detected in the bloodstream within minutes of supplementation.
Some of the benefits of exogenous ketone supplementation include enhanced mental focus, decreased physical fatigue, and less hunger during fasting.
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