Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How To Prevent Keto Flu

Incorporate Potassium And Magnesium Into Your Diet

Thomas DeLauer on How to AVOID KETO FLU | Thrive Market

The bad news is that bananas arent keto. The good news is that bananas arent the only food in the world that have a lot of potassium. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale have a decent amount of potassium, and avocados contain a decent amount of potassium as well. You must have potassium in your diet. Your blood needs potassium, and your muscles need potassium! But, if you cant have spinach and avocados every night for dinner, you may need to consider taking a potassium supplement. You definitely cant skip out on the potassium!

Magnesium is another important mineral that your body absolutely needs! Magnesium is important for muscle function, the immune system, and the heart, just to name a few. Spinach is full of magnesium, as well as potassium! But again, if you cant eat spinach with every meal, you may need to consider taking a magnesium supplement.

A Take An Electrolyte Supplement

Taking adequate amount of electrolytes can reduce keto-flu symptoms.

When you start a keto diet your body insulin which is an important hormone, its level decreases.

Due to the fall of insulin level, the kidneys discharge excess sodium from the body.

Also, the low carb diet restricts many foods which have essential electrolytes like potassium.

So consuming an adequate amount of electrolytes is a healthy way to make your transition period less stressful.

You can add essential electrolytes by adding keto-friendly foods like green leafy vegetables and avocados.

What Is Keto Flu

The experience of keto flu is often discouraging and can lead many people to fall off their nutrition plan completely. Due to a number of physiological changes that occur during the initial stages of a lower-carb diet, some people experience sluggishness, intense cravings, and many other flu-like symptoms.

When many people think that maybe their body just doesnt respond well to a ketogenic diet, there are typically three underlying causes: hypoglycemia, HPA Axis Dysfunction, and electrolyte imbalance.

By addressing these three underlying causes, keto flu can be significantly reduced to improve your keto adaptation process and get you on your way to becoming a fat-burning machine!

Also Check: Can You Eat Carrots On Keto

Top 5 Ways To Reduce Or Eliminate Keto Flu

Now that you have resisted those temptations and learned to cope with the symptoms, it is now time to do something about them so you can go about your daily life uninterrupted. Start looking forward to the wonderful feeling of having lots of energy, shaving off those pounds and having no sugar cravings at all!

Ease Into The Keto Diet

7 Ways To Prevent Keto Flu

Another reason why you may feel icky for the first few days of being in ketosis is because your body is in shock.

If cutting carbs is a drastic change for you, you will likely feel worse than if your carb intake was somewhat minimal before you started.

The solution for this is to take a more gradual approach by easing into ketosis.

If you have a macro tracker app, that may help. If the macro goal is 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates, perhaps you can start with 50% fat, 25% protein, and 25% carbohydrates and work your way down for a week or two. This should help prevent shocking your system and experiencing the keto flu.

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Getting Rid Of The Keto Flu

Step 1: Take On Keto Gradually

Dont cut out the carbs too quickly, but rather start with a low-carb diet before you go head-first into keto. By doing too much too early, dieters will have to deal with a serious bout of keto flu that can put them off of the regimen for good.

Another mistake is that people dont eat enough food. Its not enough to reduce the number of carbs you eat you have to eat, too. Getting enough healthy fats will reduce your cravings and give you enough energy to combat fatigue. Meal planning and preparation will prevent you from ever starving yourself from a perceived lack of options.

Step 2: Drink Plenty Of Water

Many keto dieters report having to go to the bathroom more frequently. Ketosis rapidly sheds the bodys stores of water as it uses fat, and this can increase the risk of dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water.

Step 3: Get Enough Keto-Friendly Electrolytes

When you hear electrolytes your first thought is probably a sweet, brightly-coloured sports drink. These drinks are off-limits in the keto diet, but its very important to get enough electrolytes from your diet. This is because as your insulin levels decrease with ketosis, the kidneys naturally remove sodium from the body.

Foods high in salt, magnesium, and potassium will prevent you from cramping up and getting headaches. Youll find these minerals in avocados and leafy greens, and dont be afraid to reach for the salt!

Step 4: Dont Do Any Strenuous Exercise

Eating Fats For Ketosis

Adjusting to eating fats can be tough. The more fat you eat, the more it helps your body to acclimatize to fat burning at a fast rate.

Worrying about fat intake is a slip that many people do. Dietary fats are absolutely necessary to keto-adapt.

Dont make the mistake of eating chicken breasts, fat-free cans of tuna, or any other lean portions of meat and fish.

If carbs are low, fat also needs to be high. This is ketogenic, not Atkins.

Be sure to eat fatty meats such as chicken thighs, ribeye steak, bacon oily fish, especially salmon, sardines, and mackerel.

Fruit such as olives and avocado are some of the best high-fat foods out there.

Check out our keto diet food list for a more extensive guide.

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Drink More Water Than You Think You Need

Because of the change in your diet, you are also at a higher risk for dehydration. Your system is busy flushing the fats out, which takes a higher level of water content.

If you arent careful, you can eliminate too much water, leaving you with all of the symptoms of dehydration, and thus the keto flu .

Again, the solution for this is very simple. Drink more water!

It is helpful to carry a water bottle with you throughout the day so that you dont forget and so that you always have access to it.

We love Hydro Flasks because they are insulated, keeping your water at whatever temperature you pour it at for long periods of time. We know what youre thinking: Who the heck would spend $40 on a water bottle?!

But the proof is in the pudding You can literally leave one of these bad boys in a hot car for days on end and still come back to ice-cold water.

If you are into the Bulletproof coffee regime in the mornings, they are equally as great for keeping beverages hot.

Related:Everything You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting On Keto

Why Does Keto Flu Happen

How to Prevent The Ketogenic Flu and Other Keto Side Effects

Carbohydrates are the bodys main energy source. On the keto diet, a person reduces their carb intake to fewer than 200300 g per day .

When the body does not take in enough carbs to use for energy, the liver begins to produce glucose for energy, using its stores. This process is called glucogenesis.

Eventually, the liver will not be able to produce enough glucose to keep up with the energy demands of the body.

The body will then start to break down fatty acids, which will produce ketone bodies, in a process called . Body tissues then use ketone bodies as fuel, and the body enters a state of ketosis.

The medical community considers nutritional ketosis to be safe for most people. However, people may experience symptoms.

The lack of carbohydrates decreases the amount of insulin in the bloodstream. As a result, people may experience an increase in the amount of sodium, potassium, and water that is released in the urine, which will cause dehydration.

Insulin is also involved in transporting glucose to the brain. Before the brain starts to use ketones for energy, it will have less fuel. This will occur for about the first 3 days of the diet before blood glucose returns to regular levels.

Symptoms may reduce as the body reaches a state of nutritional ketosis. This involves the blood concentration of a particular ketone body, called beta-hydroxybutyrate, being

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When The Going Gets Tough

Still struggling to beat the Keto Flu? Get yourself a slow cooker if you dont have one yet and prepare yourself a good ol classic bowl of bone broth. Bone broth is a staple soup in the ketogenic diet and has a good reputation for its healing properties. It is a fine companion to any keto-friendly meal when it comes to flavor-boosting and it happens to hit many birds with one stone as far as helps reduce the Keto Flu.

Remember your body needs electrolytes and bone broth has the crucial trinity of potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Because it is a soup that you prepare with water, you are quenching your thirst as well. Lets also not forget all the healing properties as it helps strengthen hair and nails, heal your leaky gut, reduces joint pain and fights other types of flu and inflammation.

Dont settle for the infamous practice of taking some hot water and adding a bouillon cube or two. Thats not bone broth and it is certainly not as delicious or nutritious! Just check out the ingredients and take a good look at the junk thats in it.

What Causes Keto Flu

From the desk of Tyler Cartwright

A strange set of symptoms affect low-carb dieters. These symptomsa mix of headaches, fatigue, weakness, irritability, muscle cramps, and insomniahave been dubbed the keto flu. While they are most prominent during the early days of a ketogenic diet, their fingerprints can be felt for a long time if the causes are not addressed.

The keto flu is mysterious in that most medical journals dont mention it. Even the keto community cant agree on what causes it. One article blames dehydration, another carb withdrawal, another still a lack of fiber.

Just give it time is the boilerplate advice.I picture an avuncular GP making this utterance. A kindly old man who hasnt read a scientific paper since 1983.

It is possible that your symptoms will improve with time. But if your keto flu is caused by low sodium, waiting will only make things worse. Sodium will continue to plummet and your body responds by decreasing blood volume and introducing dehydration despite your chugging water. When that is sustained for any length of time, your body will plunder your bones to make up the shortfall.

I dont claim to have the secret cure for keto fluand Im not a doctorbut I am fairly certain of one thing: There isnt just one cause. For instance, dehydration and low-sodium levels cause a near-identical set of symptoms.

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Make Sure You Are Eating Enough Fat

Transitioning to a very low-carb diet can cause you to crave foods that are restricted on the ketogenic diet, such as cookies, bread, pasta and bagels.

However, eating enough fat, the primary fuel source on the ketogenic diet, will help reduce cravings and keep you feeling satisfied.

In fact, research shows that low-carb diets help reduce cravings for sweets and high-carb foods .

Those having a difficult time adapting to the ketogenic diet may have to eliminate carbohydrates gradually, rather than all at once.

Slowly cutting back on carbs, while increasing fat and protein in your diet, may help make the transition smoother and decrease keto-flu symptoms.


You can combat the keto flu by staying hydrated, replacing electrolytes, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding strenuous activities, eating enough fat and cutting out carbs slowly over time.

People adapt to ketogenic diets differently. While some may experience weeks of keto-flu symptoms, others may adjust to the new diet with no adverse side effects.

The symptoms people experience are tied to how their bodies adjust to a new fuel source.

Usually, carbs provide the body with energy in the form of glucose.

When carbs are substantially reduced, the body burns ketones from fat instead of glucose.

Those who typically consume lots of carbs, especially refined carbs like pasta, sugary cereal and soda, may have a more difficult time when beginning the ketogenic diet.

For these individuals, symptoms may last several weeks.

How To Remedy The Keto Flu

7 Ways to Prevent The Keto Flu (Important!)

The easiest way to remedy the keto flu is to take an electrolyte supplement , but you can reduce your symptoms at home as well. Heres how you can reduce the symptoms of the keto flu, become keto adapted more quickly, or both.

1. Drink More Water

Hydration is essential, especially when you are restricting carbs. If you dont drink enough water while you are on the ketogenic diet, you can quickly become dehydrated and experience adverse effects.

All it takes is a water loss of 2% of your bodyweight to impair physical performance and a water loss of 2.8% of your bodyweight to impair cognitive function. This amount of water can easily be lost in the first 5 days of the ketogenic diet, causing keto flu symptoms in those who dont stay hydrated.

The best way to remedy keto flu is by drinking more water with unrefined salt in it. But how much should you drink? Researchers Popkin, DAnci, and Rosenberg dug through the data on hydration and came up with these suggestions:

Daily Water Intake Suggestions For Females:

  • 4-8 years old drink 1.7 liters of water per day
  • 9-13 years old drink 2.1 liters of water per day
  • 14-18 years old drink 2.3 liters of water per day
  • 19+ drink 2.7 liters of water per day

Daily Water Intake Suggestions For Males:

  • 4-8 years old drink 1.7 liters of water per day
  • 9-13 years old drink 2.4 liters of water per day
  • 14-18 years old drink 3.3 liters of water per day
  • 19+ drink 3.7 liters of water per day

Recommended Doses of Minerals:


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Increase Your Intake Of Electrolytes

Often, keto flu is caused by an electrolyte imbalance.

Switching to a keto diet means we stop eating processed foods which are high in added salt. This decreases water retention, but unfortunately we flush electrolytes out of our bodies along with the excess water.

Keep your electrolyte levels topped up to avoid keto flu:

Increase the amount of salt you add to your food.Try and opt for healthy Himalayan Pink Salt if you can.

Consume more bone broth.Either use it as the base for a soup or drink it straight out of a mug.

Take magnesium supplements.

Eat foods which are high in potassium.Like salmon, avocados, nuts, mushrooms and leafy green veggies.

Dont Quit Carbs Cold Turkey

Jumping straight into a strict keto diet can shock the body and cause unpleasant symptoms.

Most keto enthusiasts recommend slowly backing off carbs over the course of a week or two until you reach your desired daily amount.

A trick that I like is to cut out certain types of foods, one-by-one.

For example, for the first couple days, focus on removing processed sugars and grains from your diet.

After that, try removing starchy and high-sugar fruits.

If youre still feeling good, get rid of the high-carb vegetables like potatoes.

A gradual transition into the keto diet gives your body plenty of time to adjust and may help you avoid the keto flu.

Related:How Many Carbs Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?

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Add Some Carbs Back In

If none of the above seem to calm your keto flu woes, you may want to consider a more scaled approach to keto dieting. This means upping your carb intake slightly to give your body more time to adapt to using more fat for fuel.

Depending on what your diet looked like before going keto, dropping your carb goal to less than 5% of your calories can feel pretty drastic for some. If your new lifestyle is feeling a jolt to the system, you can slow down and take your time by cutting back on carbohydrates a little bit at a time.

Start with a more moderate approach. For example, if your old eating habits put your macro ratio somewhere in the ranges of 50% carbs, 20% protein, and 30% fat, try starting out around 20-30% carbs and 40% fat. Then keep adjusting every couple of weeks as your body becomes more fat adapted and metabolically efficient.

Okay But What If I Already Started The Keto Diet And Feel Terrible Is There Anything I Can Do To Ease Keto Flu Symptoms

How to Avoid the Keto Flu

If you dove head-first into keto and are now feeling…ugh, there are some things you can do to lessen the symptoms if you’re willing to be flexible.

  • Eat some carbs. Letting yourself have a few more carbs than a typical keto diet would allow or cutting back on eating all the fats right away might lessen the severity of your keto flu symptoms, so that you aren’t feeling so meh. Sure, it might make your keto journey slower, but it’ll make you feel a lot better, and make the diet more sustainable overall.
  • Make sure you’re consuming electrolytes. “The keto diet puts you at an increased risk for dehydration, so if you do decide to go keto, adequate hydration is essential for the support of your overall body, especially your kidneys,” says Morton. Because keto forces you to cut out certain foods, you might be cutting certain minerals like magnesium and sodium, too. But being vigilant with your hydration and electrolyte intake might help you prevent symptoms of the keto flu. Try some electrolyte drink mixes that you can combine with water to make sure you’re getting the minerals you need.

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