If you are interested in losing body fat, building muscle or generally improving your health, we believe that following a ketogenic or paleo diet - a diet containing foods high in fat and low in carbs - is one of the best ways to achieve this. In fact, you might say that the CEO of Love Life Supplements, Ben Law, is a fat loss expert:
“I managed to reduce my body fat from over 12% to under 6% in under 6 months by switching my diet to a low-carb/high-fat paleo one. I now effortlessly maintain this low body fat whilst packing on lean muscle with resistance training.”
Ben Law, CEO of Love Life Supplements
There is a misconception that the body needs carbohydrates for energy. While it is true that carbs are easier to turn into energy than fats and proteins, the body can still use these latter two food groups for energy.
What is a keto diet?
A ketogenic diet, often referred to as a keto diet, is a high-fat, low-carb diet that includes an adequate amount of protein.
The ultimate aim is to get calories from fat and protein rather than from carbs. It works by minimising the amount of sugar and carbs you consume, so that the body starts to get its energy from breaking down fats instead. This is called ketosis - where the body burns fats instead of carbs - and should result in fat loss.
So which are the best foods and snacks to eat when you’re on a keto diet and want to boost your energy levels? Here we discuss the benefits of low carb foods that give you energy and energy-boosting supplements that are compatible with the ketogenic diet. We’ve also linked to some tasty recipes too, to help you plan your diet.
Low Carb Keto Energy Boosters
Oily fish, such as salmon, trout, sardines and mackerel, is rich in protein, fatty acids and B vitamins. These are therefore a great food to include in a keto diet.
One serving of oily fish will give you your recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 and is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation in the body. This is significant because inflammation can cause fatigue.
Vitamin B12 and folic acid help produce red blood cells, which helps iron work better in the body. Having optimal levels of iron in the blood can also reduce fatigue and boost energy levels.
Have a browse of these keto fish recipes if you’re looking for keto meal ideas that include oily fish.
Eggs can be great as part of a meal or as a snack, as they won’t give you spikes in blood sugar and energy crashes that high-carb foods can cause during digestion.
Eggs are high in protein and are a sustained energy source that will get you through to the next meal.
The B vitamins in eggs help enzymes break down food for energy and the essential amino acid leucine helps cells to absorb sugar in the blood. Leucine also stimulates energy production in cells by increasing the breakdown of fat necessary in a keto diet.
In short, eggs are both tasty, nutritious and filling. They can be enjoyed on their own or included in many different types of keto meals and recipes.
Seeds are a good source of fibre, which means the nutrients from your food will be digested more slowly. This leads to a steady release of energy, helping you to keep up your energy levels between meals, which is important if you're on a low-carb ketogenic diet.
Chia seeds and flaxseeds may give you an energy boost and can be added to salads, blended into smoothies or made into healthy multiseed keto crackers.
These types of seeds are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, making them a suitable energy source for vegans, and can also help reduce inflammation and fatigue. Chia and flax seeds also contain far more omega-3 than omega-6 fatty acids, whereas the opposite is true of most other types of seeds.
This is important to bear in mind, because although omega-6 is an essential fatty acid that your body needs in healthy quantities, most people currently have too much in their daily diet. It’s therefore best to consume seeds in moderation, and stick to seeds that are lower in omega-6.
As the essential fatty acids in seeds are plant-based, this makes them a suitable energy source for vegans. As seeds are also a good source of protein, this makes them an important component in a ketogenic diet.
Chia seeds can be added to smoothies or made into multiseed crackers
When you first start a ketogenic diet, the lack of carbs may leave your energy levels lagging, especially between meals. It's therefore important to keep some healthy, high-energy, low-carb ketogenic snacks on hand.
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and cashews are packed with nutrients and are great as a snack if you’re hungry between meals and need an energy boost.
They are also another great source of healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants that can increase energy levels by helping reduce inflammation in the body.
Like seeds, nuts contain fibre, promoting a slow and sustained release of energy when you need it. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, vitamin E, iron and manganese, which can all help increase energy production and reduce tiredness.
Macadamia nuts can be great healthy high fat energy snacks on the keto diet
This is another way of eating nuts, and it offers the same health and energy benefits. Just make sure you check the ingredients if you're buying from a store instead of making your own. Many brands add a lot of salt, sugar, unhealthy fats and preservatives to their nut butter, which you will want to avoid.
If you want to minimise your carb intake as part of your ketogenic diet, macadamia nuts are a lower carbohydrate nut. They also have a perfect omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio, so you won’t be overdoing it with the omega-6 fatty acids. Try making your own macadamia nut butter by adding some to your food processor with some cashews, and coconut MCT oil for an extra energy boost.
If you prefer peanut butter, the healthiest option is to make your own homemade peanut butter.
Now, you may be wondering: how do you eat nut butter if you can't spread it on a slice of bread (which is high in carbs and therefore not suitable for a keto diet)? Simple answer - bake some bread out of your nut butter!
Here's a simple recipe you can try at home - Keto Peanut Butter Bread - and you could also try making your own multiseed keto crackers.
Grass Fed Butter
Butter is high in fat and calories and therefore a useful high-energy food to include in your keto diet. However, grass-fed butter may be more nutritious, as it contains a higher proportion of healthy unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids.
Avocados are a good source of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and fibre. These can be stored in the body and used as a source of energy, and also aid the absorption of nutrients.
80% of an avocado's carb content consists of fibre, which helps to regulate energy levels, as nutrients is absorbed more slowly.
The B vitamins in avocados also help maintain the normal function of cells' mitochondria, from which cells get their energy.
Avocados are great to eat on their own, or can be made into a delicious guacamole dip or added to salads. If you want to make your smoothies creamier without adding milk or a banana, avocado is also a great alternative.
A high protein, low carb smoothie
Smoothies are a great keto or paleo energy drink when you’re looking for something tasty to fill you up quickly and give you that boost you need.
Our Primal One Chocolate powder is ideal if you’re craving a chocolate milkshake without the carbs. The high quality whey protein helps to preserve muscle and the medium chain triglycerides (MCT - healthy fatty acids) we’ve added to it offer an instant yet gradual release of energy. In addition, we’ve also added organic maca root to the powder, which one study has shown may improve stamina. Mix it up with some water and almond milk and enjoy a delicious high energy low carb smoothie.
Alternatively, you can make a coconut smoothie using coconut milk. Add in some Stevia for sweetness and some of our Primal Energy Coconut MCT Oil (read more about MCT oil below) for an extra energy boost. Make it a cinnamon smoothie by adding ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and some chia seeds for extra fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.
If you prefer a fruity flavour, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries contain fewer carbs than other fruits. You can also try our low-carb Bitter Lemon flavoured Adapt Advanced Pre Workout Drink, which will leave you feeling energized before a busy day.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the staples of the Mediterranean diet, widely believed to be the reason many people in southern Europe live longer.
One of the benefits of olive oil is that the oleic acid in it has a satiating effect. It slows down the absorption of nutrients in the body, so that energy will be released more gradually. This means you’ll feel full for longer and won’t feel the need to snack on sugary foods between meals.
So although olive oil is high in calories, this shouldn't put you off, because you'll be less tempted to snack on unhealthy foods throughout the day.
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, a type of fat that occurs naturally in coconut oil. MCT oil is easily absorbed by the body and aren't processed via the lymphatic system; they are in fact transported straight to the liver to be broken down. This produces ketones, which your muscles and other tissues use for fuel instead of sugar for an instant and steady release of energy. This will be useful for your muscles if you're planning a workout, or for your brain if you need an extra boost of concentration at work.
Our Primal Energy MCT C8 Oil is of the highest quality and can be added to smoothies, salad dressings, sauces and even your morning coffee whenever you need a fast, healthy energy boost.
Fatty cuts of red meat and dark poultry meat
If you’re looking for ideas for your high fat low carb meals, unprocessed meat and poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) are some of the staple foods of a ketogenic diet, They contain no carbs and are high in fat and protein. The protein helps to preserve and build muscles (if you're also working out) on a keto diet, and the fat is broken down to produce energy.
Grass-fed meat is preferable over grain-fed meat, if you can get it. This is because it is more nutritious, containing higher quantities of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (important for cell metabolism).
We hope we’ve given you some ideas for boosting your energy. If you’re looking for something extra to supplement your keto diet, here are our top supplements for energy:
Our Energy Boosting Supplements
- Primal Energy Coconut MCT Oil
- Primal Energy C8 MCT Oil
- Primal One products
- Essential Amino Acids tablets
- Essential Aminos Drink
- Adapt Advanced Pre Workout drink
- Maca Root 10:1 Extract capsules
- Panax Ginseng Capsules
- Organic KSM-66® Ashwagandha capsules
If you would like to know more about our energy boosting supplements, click on the chat box in the bottom right of your screen and send us your questions.