Many people following a ketogenic diet focus on meal planning and neglect the importance of hydration planning. Overlooking the importance to hydrate when eating keto is one of the biggest mistakes you could make. Proper hydration can make or break your keto experience!
When your body is in ketosis, it processes water and electrolytes differently. You also excrete more salt on keto. The more salt you consume, the less water you retain. This is why dehydration is a common side effect of a keto diet. If you’ve ever followed a keto diet and felt dehydrated or experienced the symptoms of keto flu, you understand what we’re talking about!
Keto flu refers to the symptoms you may feel two to seven days after starting keto. Headache, brain fog, fatigue, irritability, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and constipation are just some of the symptoms of keto flu. Although researchers aren’t aware of the exact cause of keto flu, dehydration is thought to be one of the main causes of these symptoms.
Even mild dehydration can cause impaired memory, reasoning, and cognitive function, fatigue, and causing you to feel less than your best. Whether you follow a ketogenic diet or not, staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and wellbeing.
Staying hydrated involves more than drinking water. Electrolytes are essential to proper hydration. Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electric charge. They’re found in your blood, urine, and sweat and are involved in many essential processes in your body. One of the main functions of electrolytes is to keep you hydrated.
Many overlook their need for electrolytes while on a keto diet. Instead, they focus on consuming as much water as possible. The truth is, too much water can deplete your body of electrolytes, giving you the opposite effect.
While following a keto diet, you’re eliminating most of the ultra-salty foods that make up your daily sodium intake. While staying away from processed snacks is important for a healthy lifestyle, salt itself isn’t all bad! The key is using seal salt, which contains electrolytes your body needs to stay properly hydrated, especially on keto.
Sea salt is not only high in Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, and Sodium, it contains 84 traces of minerals. While kosher salt and table salt have zero electrolytes and minerals other than sodium.
Aim to drink half your body weight in water each day or until your urine is light yellow. Start the day with one glass of water before your morning coffee to give your body a boost of hydration. Keep a water bottle with you on the go, so you’re consistently sipping throughout the day.
Tea is a great way to switch things up if you want something different to drink and still hydrate. Note that coffee is a mild diuretic. Enjoy your tea hot or iced, but avoid adding sugar unless it's an alternative sweetener like stevia.
It may sound counterintuitive, but remember, your body handles salt differently when in ketosis. Salt provides the electrolytes your body needs to stay hydrated while on keto. Don’t be afraid to salt your food!
Hydration powders can be a great way to get your electrolytes. Be aware though, they are high in sugars which will go against the keto diet and spike your blood sugar. Keep in mind if you do want to use an electrolyte product, use those sweetened with low-carb alternatives to sugar such as stevia, xylitol, sucralose, erythritol, monk fruit sweetener, or yacon syrup.
Are you looking for an easy way to hydrate while on Keto? Try our keto-friendly Recovery Chewables!