What is beta hydroxybutyrate?
That might be one of the biggest questions on your mind while trying to pronounce this complex term. Well, believe it or not, it’s not that hard of a concept at all.
Beta hydroxybutyrate (or BHB) is commonly discussed in the fitness and diet community. But what exactly is it? Below, we’ll go over:
- What beta hydroxybutyrate is
- Whether or not BHB is safe to consume
- What BHB does to your body
- What side effects BHB can cause
So, what are you waiting around for? Let’s start learning more about the fat burning power of beta hydroxybutyrate!
So, what is beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB)?
Beta hydroxybutyrate is also commonly referred to as BHB. This type of molecule is defined as a ketone body, and one of the primary molecules that helps the body produce energy when there’s no glucose around. It is made by the liver from fat, to be used by your body as energy.
The liver naturally produces BHB during ketosis. This process, however, can take time and cause temporary side effects, like lowered energy levels. Especially for people looking to use their fat for fuel, using BHB as a supplement can help boost energy, which is essential for ketosis.
BHB is a very popular supplement that you can take before a workout to help you lose weight. If you’re on a ketogenic diet, this supplement promotes ketosis and can help you boost your energy levels.
This means you can reach your weight and fitness goals with little to no risk or side effects.
Is beta hydroxybutyrate safe to consume?
Beta hydroxybutyrate is entirely safe for you to consume.
Because BHB is naturally produced by your body, you will not experience any negative effects as long as you use the correct dosage. Although there are a few minimal side effects you could experience (which we’ll talk about later), taking BHB isn’t harmful to your body.
Keep in mind that BHB is a tool to help promote ketosis. Taking this supplement alone to lose weight won’t be enough to sustain yourself.
Note: As with anything diet or exercise-related, it’s important you follow what your personal trainer, dietician, or other fitness and health professional instruct you while taking this supplement.
This type of supplement may not be safe to take in all cases. If you are diabetic or have a history of pancreas problems, we highly suggest consulting a doctor before taking BHB. With these sorts of health issues, a keto diet and taking a BHB may not be the safest idea.
What does beta hydroxybutyrate do?
Now that you know what beta hydroxybutyrate or BHB actually is and how it’s safe to consume, let’s talk about what it does for you and your body.
BHB is an essential molecule that you can take to actually get ketosis to start working in your body. Although you can start doing this by being on a ketogenic diet, taking BHB can give ketosis the jump start it needs to start burning fat to make energy.
However, don’t just assume that BHB turns your fat into energy.
In fact, BHB enters your bloodstream and can turn into energy a few different ways. One of the most crucial areas where it makes energy is in your brain, more specifically, the blood-brain barrier or BBB. This is also one of the biggest reasons BHB can cause improved focus and mental capacity.
The actual method in which BHB turns into energy is a simple process in itself:
- BHB starts by entering a cell, going in the mitochondria, and becomes acetoacetate, which is another ketone body.
- From acetoacetate, BHB turns into acetoacetyl-CoA, which is another ketone body, and
- It finally turns into ATP, which is the energy currency of the cells in your body.
This process if what makes beta hydroxybutyrate so helpful to your body. It can move around in your body, even in areas where most molecules can’t go, to process into energy for your body.
So, the next time someone asks you what BHB is, you have an entire lecture to not only make yourself look smart, but to influence others to use BHB to improve their body as well.
Are there side effects to taking beta hydroxybutyrate?
There are some side effects associated with both your body producing BHB and taking it supplementally.
When your body produces beta hydroxybutyrate, you are encouraging it to use fat metabolism instead of carbohydrate metabolism. This can take a few days for your body to get used to.
During the time when your body is getting adjusted to using fat metabolism, you may experience fatigue, mood swings, sugar cravings, and mental fogginess. However, you can avoid these side effects simply by taking a BHB supplement.
While taking BHB supplements are generally safe, there can be a few side effects if you take too much of it. Because your body is not accustomed to processing so many ketones, you may experience gastrointestinal distress.
If you notice any gastrointestinal issues, you can use the stair step method of measuring out BHB. For the first few days, only use 1/4 scoop. The next few days, 1/2 scoop and so on until you reach the full dosage. This will help your body to get gradually adjusted to the BHB. You can also take BHB with other fats to slow absorption and go easier on your gastrointestinal system.
Will you start taking beta hydroxybutyrate?
Beta hydroxybutyrate of BHB is a safe supplement to consume when you’re on a ketogenic diet or looking to lose some weight with the help of a fitness and health professional. Plus, it’s a molecule that already exists in your body.
Although not everyone may be on board with taking a supplement, the minimal side effects are pretty good evidence that BHB is safe for you to try. Keep in mind, if you have a long history of health problems, you will want to consider speaking with a doctor before taking BHB.
On the whole, however, BHB is entirely safe and typically has only positive effects.
Got any thoughts on BHB? Leave them in the comments!