Update 5/6/20. Keto Energy by the It Works company is a supplement capitalizing on the popularity of the ketogenic diet. This product is part of their “KetoWorks” line of supplements. The supplement is said to provide the result of “instant energy” using something called “melt technology.” In this It Works Keto Energy review, I'll break down each ingredient and reveal what the active ingredients are. Does It Works Keto Energy work or is it a scam? By the end of this review, you'll know if It Works Keto Energy is right for you.
What Are Ketones?
The prefix “keto” refers to ketones. Ketones (ketone bodies) are metabolic acids. You make them in small amounts all the time. Normally your body uses a mixture of carbs and fats to make energy (called ATP). Carbohydrates are needed to burn fat.
When you eat fewer carbs than you need (less than 50 grams per day) your body increases the production of ketones. The abnormal elevation of ketones is called ketosis.
Ketones can be thought of as an alternative energy source. When you have to, you can use them for energy. This switching from one fuel source to another is called metabolic flexibility. The body is flexible in what it can use for energy. That's actually a good thing.
Two ways to boosts your ketone levels are :
- Eat a ketogenic diet
- Take a ketone supplement
Ketones supplements contain “exogenous ketones.” For example, many supplements will contain a ketone called beta-hydroxy butyrate (BHB).
A ketogenic diet is an eating program that promotes the natural genesis (formation) of ketones. How do you eat a ketogenic diet?
- Eat lots of fat and very little carbs and protein
While ketones can suppress appetite, whether or not a ketogenic diet is long-term healthy or promotes sustainable weight loss is unknown.
See the videos above for more information on ketosis and the ketogenic diet.
The rest of this review will focus on the It Works Keto Energy Supplement.
It Works Keto Supplements
The It Works company has 4 different products that form its “KetoWorks” line. They are:
- It Works Ketones (powdered ketone supplement)
- Keto Energy
- Keto Coffee (contains MCTs, caffeine and green coffee bean)
- Keto Creamer (MCTs, Coconut oil, Himalayan pink sea salt)
- Keto Go (liquid ketone supplement)
This review I'll focus only on the Energy supplement.
Keto Energy Benefits
As the name implies, the supplement is supposed to provide you with a burst of instant energy. This jolt of energy is provided by what the company calls “melt technology” – the ability of the supplements caffeine to be absorbed directly through the tongue.
I understand why a supplement like this would be popular with those doing the keto lifestyle: it might help counteract the keto flu.
The Keto Flu
When you start a low carb/high-fat diet, you will probably experience low energy and brain fog after a couple of days. This is sometimes called the “keto flu.” The keto flu is not cold/flu/infection. Rather, it's your body trying to adjust to not having carbohydrates. Your brain uses carbs (glucose) for fuel.
Reduce the brain's carb supply and things start to not work so well.
The idea is caffeine will compensate for this so-called keto flu and improve your energy and mental focus which are reduced by eating fewer carbohydrates. The same can be said for any other low carb/low-calorie diet too.
Keto Energy Clinical Research
Despite the name, clinical evidence showing the supplement significantly raises ketone levels in humans cannot be found. Despite this, some of the ingredients have been noted to elevate ketone levels. I'll highlight those ingredients below. I'll also reveal the ingredients which improve energy levels too.
Keto Energy Supplement Facts
Each packet (2 grams) has the following nutrition information.
|Per Serving||Percent Daily Value|
|Total Carbs||2g||1% DV|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCL)||1 mg||50% DV|
|Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)||1000 mcg||16,667% DV|
|Calcium||10 mg||1% DV|
|Iron||1.2 mg||7% DV|
|Chromium (chromium picolinate)||500 mcg||417% DV|
|Encapsulated Caffeine (providing 120 mg caffeine)||200 mg||N/A|
|It Works Proprietary Energy Blend||1600 mg||N/A|
The Supplement Facts label has a typo for calories. Each packet has 5 calories, not “5 grams.” I'm sure this typo will eventually be corrected.
There's a LOT of Vitamin B12
Like most energy supplements, Keto Energy contains a lot of vitamin B12 – 16,667% of the recommended daily value. Vitamin B12 helps us make red blood cells. When we are lacking this vitamin, it causes anemia. A symptom of anemia is feeling tired.
So, on the surface, adding vitamin B12 to energy supplements makes sense – except most people are not deficient.
Those at risk of B12 deficiency include:
- Vegans (most vegetables don't have B12)
- Older folks (some may not absorb B12)
Some medications which can increase B12 deficiency include:
- Diabetes drug metformin / Glucophage
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
- Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs
While this may sound scary, remember we store vitamin B12. Healthy people have 2-3 years worth stockpiled. It's probably also in other supplements you take too.
Keto Energy Proprietary Blend
It Works Keto contains 1600 mg (1.6 grams) of a proprietary blend which consists of the following 11 ingredients:
- Palatinose Isomaltulose
- Banaba leaf extract (1% corosolic acid)
- Medium-chain triglyceride concentrate (50% MCTs)
- Guarana seed extract
- Ashwagandha root
- Eleuthero root extract
- Green tea leaf extract
- Matcha (Tencha) green tea leaf
- TMG (Trimethylglycine)
- Vanadium (sodium metavanadate)/ provides 100 mcg vanadium
When it comes to proprietary blends, remember the ingredients listed first make up the most while ingredients listed toward the end, are present in the smallest amounts. So in the Keto Proprietary blend, Palatinose is present in the highest concentration while vanadium is present in the lowest amount.
These other ingredients are also listed:
- color (from turmeric root and spirulina)
- natural flavors
- citric acid
- monk fruit extract
These ingredients play no role in the results you'd experience when taking this supplement. Let's now look at some of the ingredients in the proprietary blend and try to make sense of of them:
This is a sugar so it adds to the taste of the supplement. It's composed of both glucose and fructose. It's is a sugar substitute that comes from beet sugar. Palatinose and Isomaltulose mean the same thing. The Palatinose name comes from the Palatinate region of Germany where it's produced.
Palatinose is a low glycemic sweetener. This means it doesn't raise blood sugar or insulin as much as table sugar. Researchers tested this when they gave 13 men either isomaltulose or a high GI sweetener beverage and saw lower insulin levels when the men used an isomaltulose beverage.
Other human studies have noted isomaltulose might:
While this appears to make sense from the ketogenic perspective, one question is does the It Works Keto Energy supplement have enough isomaltulose? For example, one study showing improved fat oxidation during/after exercise used 75 grams of isomaltulose. Another investigation showing improvements in memory and attention span in kids used 40 grams of isomaltulose.
This is MORE than in the entire Keto Energy proprietary blend (just 1.6 grams).
Taurine is an amino acid. It's sometimes used in energy drinks, likely because of research it helps combat fatigue levels. To counter this, at least one study noted neither caffeine or taurine helped cycling performance – and even they seemed to cause greater fatigue.
One problem with taurine research is much of it involves the combination of taurine and caffeine. This makes it difficult to know which effects are due to taurine alone. Taurine may also have a blood sugar lowering effect.
Banaba Leaf Extract
Banaba has been studied to lower blood sugar levels. It works tells us their extract is standardized to contain 1% corosolic acid. This tells us it's a major player in the effects of banaba.
Corosolic acid is a substance in banaba. One investigation noted a 1% Corosolic acid banaba extract lowered blood sugar by 30%. That study used a specific product called Glucosol.
Banaba /Cortisolic acid supplements can be readily found online and at health food stores.
Medium Chain Triglycerides
All this sounds promising but do the small amount of MCTs in It Works Keto Energy lead to meaningful elevations in ketones or weight loss?
Guarana Seed Extract
The extract is probably caffeine.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is very popular in supplements. Other supplements which contain it include:
Preliminary evidence suggests ashwagandha might lower blood sugar levels.
Eleuthero Root Extract
Also called Siberian ginseng, eleuthero is a popular supplement. The active molecules in the herb are called “eleutherosides.” A few products previously reviewed which contain this substance include:
Siberian ginseng has been studied to improve exercise performance and energy levels although the evidence is shaky. Eleuthero has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels.
Green Tea Leaf Extract
Matcha (Tencha) Green Tea Leaf
Tencha is what the Matcha green tea is called before it is ground into a powder. Matcha tea is said to be more concentrated than regular green tea. Green tea is great and it has a lot of healthy compounds. It's also a source of caffeine.
This is an amino acid and also goes by its other popular name, Betaine. Trimethylglycine is a non-essential amino acid. This means our bodies can make it. It's also found in foods like spinach and beets.
While TMG has been studied for many reasons, what it seems to be most noted for is lowering homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine levels are linked to heart disease. Some might even use it in place of folic acid which can also reduce homocysteine levels. Other studies suggest TMG betaine might help depression and improve strength too.
In high doses (6000 mg) betaine seems to increase triglyceride and LDL levels. Those with elevated levels should consider this.
The mineral vanadium, also known as vanadyl sulfate, was popular in the 1990s with bodybuilders who hoped it would boost their testosterone levels.
These days, vanadium is mostly considered for its blood sugar-lowering effects. To be honest, I've never been a fan of vanadium. I never thought it worked too well. It's also less effective than other things like taking a walk. There's not much vanadium, in this supplement and I'm OK with that.
Which Ingredients Are Ketones?
Despite the name, It Works Keto Energy doesn't contain any exogenous ketones. This is a different approach than other keto supplements, which contain actual ketones like beta-hydroxy-butyrate (BHB). The idea with the It Works supplement is to give you ingredients that can raise your natural ketone production.
Which Ingredients Raise Ketone Levels?
- Medium Chain Triglycerides
This supplement also contains caffeine. Some research suggests caffeine can increase ketone levels in humans. In one study, caffeine significantly raised levels of a ketone called beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) for 4 hours when it was given to 10 people. This study used 2.5 mg/kg and 5 mg/ kg of caffeine, which is a bit more than It Works Keto Energy contains.
For example, if you weighted 165 pounds (75 kg), you'd be taking between 187 mg and 375 mg of caffeine. It's quite possible 120 mg would also raise ketone levels. But, would your levels be raised significantly?
What Are The Stimulant Ingredients?
The following ingredients In It Works Keto Energy contain caffeine:
- Green tea
- Matcha green tea
Blood Sugar Lowering Ingredients
Several ingredients in the It Works Keto Energy supplement can reduce blood sugar levels:
- Banaba leaf extract
- Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng)
What Is Encapsulated Caffeine?
Since there is no actual “capsule” I originally thought this phrase was perplexing. Patent number WO2014150967A1 described “encapsulated caffeine” back in 1998. The way the company describes it is caffeine which dissolves easily on the tongue. The It Works company calls this “melt technology.”
How Much Caffeine Does It Have?
It Works Keto Energy contains 200 total mg of caffeine. Of this, 120 mg is encapsulated caffeine.
So if we do the math, 200mg – 120 mg =80mg. There are 80mg of non-encapsulated caffeine in the supplement.
A product fact sheet states the supplement contains the same amount of caffeine as 1/13 cup of regular brewed coffee.
Where To Buy It Works Keto Energy
Currently, you can only purchase It Works Keto from distributors or on the ItWorks.com website. It Works is a Multi-Level Marketing company (MLM). The supplement is not sold in stores like Walmart, Target, CVS, Costco, etc.
Who Makes Keto Energy
The company is called It Works. Other names include:
- It Works Global
- It Works Marketing
The website is simply “ItWorks.com”.
The company is located at 908 Riverside Dr. Palmetto, FL 34221-5035. The company, which was started in 2001, was originally based in Grand Rapids Michigan but moved to Florida a few years afterward, likely to accommodate its growing business. Their first product was It Works Wraps (that crazy wrap thing) which people used for weight loss.
The company has since expanded and now offers a variety of dietary supplements such as:
It Works Better Business Bureau Rating
The It Works company had a BBB rating of “C+” when this review was updated. The Better Business Bureau states it's received a “pattern of complaints” from people who were having problems canceling their orders. Other complaints include being charged after canceling and continuing to receive products after they canceled orders.
I believe the company is taking steps to correct this. After speaking with customer service, I was asked to complete a survey on how well the customer service person handled my questions.
Contact It Works
If you live in the US, It Works Loyal Customer Service can be reached by calling:
Office hours are:
- Monday-Friday: 6:30 a.m. CST to 8:00 p.m. CST
- Saturday and Sunday: 8:30 a.m. CST 5:00 p.m. CST
If you live outside the US, call these phone numbers:
- Australia: 1-(800) 750-398
- Canada: 1-(855) 560-1020
- United Kingdom: 0-(800) 098-8925
- Sweden: +46-770791808
- Belgium: +32-78480292
How To Return It Works Keto Energy
The first thing to do is to call the company. Their customer service people will have the information you will need when returning your orders. To speak to customer service, call the company at 800-537-2395 or 952-540-5699.
As stated on the company website, If you live in the US, US military bases, or US territories, all returns need to be sent to:
- It Works Inc. 4505 Newpoint Place Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Again, call the company first. Do not return products without speaking to customer service. If you live outside the US and are returning supplements, call the company for the address you should use.
It Works Keto Energy Side Effects
Side effects were unknown when this review was updated. The product fact sheet for this supplement states it's not recommended for:
- pregnant or nursing women
- individuals sensitive to caffeine
These are wise precautions.
In addition, speak to your doctor/pharmacist if:
- You have diabetes or blood sugar control problems
- You have heart disease, liver or kidney problems
- You have elevated homocysteine levels
- Take any medicines.
Stop taking the product at least 2 weeks before having surgery. To see how you respond, start with less than is recommended for the first week. The supplement contains 120 mg of caffeine. Don't take close to bedtime.
How Much Is It Works Keto Energy?
You have two pricing options when purchasing:
- A one-time purchase price is $50/box
- The Loyal Customer fee is $30 / box
There are 2 ways to be a Loyal Customer :
- Pay a $50 membership fee to get Loyal Customer status for life
- Give them permission to enroll you in the auto-shipment program. You must receive 3 months of auto-shipments to become a Loyal Customer.
1 Year Cost Total
Let's assume you used 2 It Works Keto Energy sticks per day. In this case, a box of 30 sticks will last you 15 days (1/2 month). After 1 year, you would spend the following:
- At $50 per box, your cost would be $100 x 12 months = $1200
- At $30 per box, your cost would be $60 x 12 months = $720
These prices do not include shipping/handling or any other It Works products you purchase.
It Works Keto Energy Pro/Con
|Easy to use||Expensive|
|No water needed||Product lacks clinical proof|
|Easy to carry||Keto name may confuse some people|
Does It Works Keto Energy Work?
Keto Energy contains a mixture of energy-boosting and blood sugar lowering ingredients. In my opinion, when it comes to boosting energy, this is basically a powered caffeine supplement. The energy jolt you feel comes from caffeine. The same is also true for coffee, caffeine, soft drinks, and energy shots.