Two of the most common nutrition questions I get are:
1) “Should I do a keto diet?”
2) “Are ketones useful?”
I think ketones can be useful. It just depends on what you’re doing.
The fact that you can take a ketone supplement and get into ketosis (e.g., raise ketone levels is more accurate to say) is amazing to me. Mind-boggling, really, as it would take you days to raise ketone levels otherwise. You can shorten that time to 20 – 30 minutes with an over-the-counter supplement. Fascinating.
Back to that whole goal thing. If you are taking ketone supplements or doing a keto diet (I know they’re not the exact same thing – bear with me) for a pathology (TBI, seizures, etc), I think there is some good preliminary data to support it. Ketones themselves appear to have powerful effects on the brain, both as an alternative fuel source and for its anti-inflammation effects (e.g. HDAC inhibitors for the propeller-heads).
If you don’t exercise much, the keto diet may be useful for improving your body composition, along with a lower-carb approach. I recommend exercise; however, some don’t want or have the time (again, another discussion for another day).
On the flipside, if you want to be a Crossfit games competitor or are a strength/power athlete who is very competitive, you’ll need lots of carbs. It’s a bioenergetic fact that neither ketones nor fat can compete with carbs (glucose) for the rate of ATP (cellular energy) production. Do not do a keto diet unless you don’t want to finish at the top.