Endogenous vs. Exogenous Ketones

What are ketones?

They are simple carbon based (organic) compounds. Ketones have a small molecular structure and weight. Being of such a simple structure makes it easier for the body to process compared to more complex compounds.

Exogenous vs Endogenous Ketones

Ketones are formulated during the process of ketosis where the body turns to fat as an alternative source of energy. This occurs when the body is starved from carbohydrates.

In the human body, there are different ketones that the mitochondria in the liver create. They can also be termed as ketone bodies. They are three in number, they include;

  • Acetoacetic Acid
  • Acetone
  • Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid.

With that understanding, we can then move forward and highlight what endogenous and exogenous ketones are.

What are Endogenous Ketones?

These are the ketones that are freely and naturally produced by the body during the process of ketosis. Endogenous ketones are created when people on keto diets drastically withdraw carbohydrates from their diets and force the body to use fat as a source of energy. Most people do this especially when they want to lose weight and burn excess body fat.

An endogenous process is complicated to cope with. Most people find it very hectic because they have to drop carbohydrate intake drastically. Persons in this bracket should avoid stressing their bodies and introduce exogenous supplements into their diet.

What are the pros and cons of endogenous ketones?


  • Endogenous ketones are not yet proven to give the body all the advantages that ketosis brings in the first place.
  • Endogenous ketones are naturally produced in the body.


  • Observing a different type of diet like Atkins which is not really keto based increases the risk to return back to consume carbs
  • It takes a lot of discipline and time for the body to produce ketones naturally.

What are Exogenous Ketones?

These are primarily beta-hydroxybutyrate. Exogenous ketones are artificially produced and mixed with inert ingredients to formulate a dietary supplement that can be consumed in the form of;

  • Powder
  • Pills or
  • Capsule.

Most people have found themselves fixed onto exogenous supplements as an alternative to getting the benefits of the state without having to deprive their bodies’ carbohydrates.

This can be referred to as “cheating yourself to reach ketosis.” That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. Most users would probably refer to it as taking a shortcut. Many people have opted to consume these supplements to achieve their indescribable state. Consumption of these supplements has led to the emergence of many companies that are producing these supplements.

What are the pros and cons of exogenous ketones?


  • It’s available in different forms powder, pill or capsule.
  • It helps you manage the process of attaining a natural ketosis.
  • It comfortably allows you to consume your carbohydrates consistently.


  • It has not been proven yet that they have the same effectiveness as endogenous ketones provide.

What’s the difference between endogenous and exogenous ketones?

The difference is quite clear; endogenous ketones are naturally produced by the body while exogenous ketones are artificially introduced into a diet inform of a supplement.

Are Exogenous Ketones Effective?

If you keenly observe the benefits that exogenous ketones offer is that they allow you not to experience the difficulty in transitioning to a ketone diet when the body starts to produce endogenous ketones. It’s essential if you get answers to the following questions;

Is achieving ketosis possible while still having carbs in your diet?

Well, yes it’s possible. Even if this is possible, you will not make the process smooth if you keep on consuming carbohydrates unsystematically while still taking your exogenous supplements.

It’s important to understand that part from struggling with the ketosis process is impacted by the consumption of carbohydrates. Ketosis is achieved when the body is forced to use fatty acids and ketones as energy as there are not carbohydrates to use. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates may lead to some ailments like heart disease and diabetes. You should reduce your carbs intake to allow exogenous supplements function efficiently. This way you will be making a significant step towards good health.

Can one just stick to an endogenous ketone?

It’s not yet clear when it comes to exogenous vs. endogenous which way is efficient to achieve ketosis and later enjoy lasting benefits. It’s advisable to stick to a real keto diet that produces endogenous ketones. If you do this, you will be able to maintain a healthy feeding habit that will provide several long-lasting results.

Failure to the above transition, producing an endogenous ketone diet will be awkward and uncomfortable. This may lead to the development of what is called the keto flu. Keto flu causes a collection of symptoms like;

  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sniffles
  • Irritability
  • Stomach upsets; among others.

Are there any side effects when using exogenous Ketones?

Yes, there are minor side effects of consuming this supplement. Most of its side effects are short-lived, so they don’t have to worry you that much. These side effects include;

  • Electrolyte imbalance-Consumption of exogenous supplements causes one to urinate frequently. This can be a significant risk as electrolytes run out of balance. Though the situation is manageable, it can be corrected by consuming drinks that contain electrolytes to restore the balance.
  • Flatulence-This problem occurs as a result of consuming high doses of exogenous supplements which produce flatulence. If it’s taken in recommended portions and moderation, then there is no reason for alarm.
  • Lousy breath-Consumption of exogenous supplements produces halitosis in most people. If you get a bad breath after consuming this supplement, you can freshen your breath by use of breath mints or take a lot of drinking water.


When it comes to endogenous and exogenous ketones, it’s evident that exogenous supplements offer a quick alternative for your weight loss desires. With exogenous supplements, you don’t have to undergo painful workouts and waste time in the gym. All you have to do is remember to use it appropriately for better results.