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The Importance of Electrolytes on a Ketogenic Diet

by Charles Weller February 04, 2018

The Importance of Electrolytes on a Ketogenic Diet

Have you ever heard of or experienced the keto flu? Electrolytes may be one of the major reasons for symptoms of the keto-flu. Here’s how to stay prepared.

Many people who start a ketogenic diet often experience the dreaded “keto-flu”, which is the name for the experience of one or a combination of the following symptoms:

Even if you're following a well-formulated ketogenic diet, with a very low quantity of carbohydrate, a moderate quantity of protein, and higher quantity of fat as indicated, it's very likely that you might still experience some of these symptoms.

The reason being while your macronutrients might be in line, there's another important element to think about, ensuring that you keep your body hydrated and working well. That key element is that the balance of electrolytes in the body.

In this guide, we'll cover the value of electrolytes on a ketogenic diet.

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals in the body which are the electrical signaling molecules used for keeping functions inside the body such as regulating your pulse and allowing muscles to contract for operational movement.

The most important electrolytes in this circumstance are potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium.

Why Tracking Your Electrolytes is Crucial.

importance of electrolytes

When you change to a ketogenic diet, your body will release more water rather than store it.

The reason being that there is less insulin generated as a consequence of the composition of the diet. This contributes to hormonal signals through the renin--angiotensin--aldosterone system, signaling your kidneys to excrete MORE water and keep LESS.

Together with increased excretion of water, the minerals found because water is lost at a greater speed. In the long run, you may quickly become tired of the crucial electrolytes that your body needs to work properly.

Because of this, you can experience some of the negative symptoms associated with the "keto flu”.

Getting The Right Amount of Each Electrolyte

keto diet and electrolytes

Sodium

More than likely, you've probably heard that you need to avoid adding sodium to your diet.

For the majority of the populace, especially those that are metabolically unhealthy, higher sodium intake typically comes together with a high calorie, high carbohydrate diet, which over the long run, has led to increasing rates of obesity and hypertension.

But for individuals on a low carbohydrate diet or athletes that are training hard, the fact remains that your body really needs extra sodium.

Potassium

Just like with sodium, potassium is excreted at a higher rate with a very low carbohydrate intake.

When you say the word potassium, many people would probably tend to believe first of peanuts and potatoes. Not precisely keto-friendly, right?

Fortunately, there are ways to get more potassium in your diet while staying ketogenic:

Magnesium

Generally speaking, magnesium deficiency is becoming a more prevalent nutrition deficiency for the entire U.S. population.

Don’t Forget The Water

While you will need to make it a priority to maintain your electrolyte intake escalated, it's also important to boost your water intake too.

With the change to a ketogenic diet, you will most likely encounter increased bleeding during the first two or three days. Additionally, as mentioned previously, your body doesn't retain water also. Thus, it's necessary to maintain your water intake high to ensure proper hydration.

If it's a light yellow or clear color, like lemonade, then the chances are that you're well hydrated.

Overview of Electrolytes on a Ketogenic Diet

what is a keto diet

Whether you're getting ready to embark on a ketogenic diet, or are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, be certain that you are aware of your electrolytes and not simply the macronutrients of these foods you're consuming.

Keto Conclusions

  • Proper micronutrient intake is at least as significant as a well-formulated macronutrient intake.
  • Important electrolytes to concentrate on through a ketogenic diet include sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Upping your water intake is important on a ketogenic diet to keep hydrated.

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Charles Weller
Charles Weller

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