Electrolytes are crucial for your health, and they keep you going throughout the day. However, it may be challenging to get in all of your electrolytes while you're doing keto. Do you need extra electrolytes while doing keto?
So what are electrolytes?
Simply put, electrolytes are minerals. They're crucial to multiple functions in our bodies and are necessary to perform specific functions. Some examples of electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and magnesium. You may often see electrolytes being advertised in commercials for sports drinks like Gatorade. These ads assure you that drinking the product can help replace the electrolytes you lose through your sweat during workouts.
To gain electrolytes, you need to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. This means getting a daily fill of minerals such as sodium or potassium. Drinking a lot of water is also vital to maintain a balance of electrolytes in your system. We lose electrolytes during the day, so it's essential to replenish them through meals and drinks when necessary.
Keto and Electrolytes
So now the question is, what does keto have anything to do with electrolytes? Do you need extra electrolytes while doing keto?
For most people, starting the keto diet means that you're cutting out many foods that you previously ate, including starchy foods like bread and pasta, along with their accompanying foods like lunch meats, pasta sauces, and sweet toppings. You're also cutting out fruits. When you're cutting out these foods, you're losing out on sodium and potassium.
Most people who follow the ketogenic diet strive to keep their daily carbohydrate consumption under twenty carbs a day. Even if someone allows themselves up to fifty carbs per day, they have to cut out most processed foods to hit that goal. That means omitting most processed foods because many processed foods are high in carbohydrates, even if they say they are "keto-" or "low carb-friendly." Most processed foods are also high in sodium. While that excess sodium isn't really good for you, your body has gotten used to having a higher level of that electrolyte available.
When people consume few carbs, the body loses a lot of fluids. That’s one of the reasons that people may experience what seems to be rapid weight loss early on and then their weight loss seems to slow down or even stall later on. That rapid fluid loss can also cause a loss of electrolytes. Not replenishing them can lead to leg cramps or headaches.
Finally, we all know that one of the keys to weight loss success is to increase your water intake. Everyone is dehydrated. Getting enough water is important to keep your body functioning optimally, helping your body age healthily, and keeping toxins flushed out of your system. When most people start keto, they increase their water intake. That’s a great thing, except that it further dilutes the amount of electrolytes in your body. And, of course, if you’re adding exercise to your weight loss journey, you can further deplete your electrolytes. On average, people lose two to six percent of their body weight through sweating during an intense exercise session.
This reduction in electrolytes contributes in part to the symptoms you feel when you have the “keto flu.” Long term, having too few electrolytes can cause medical conditions such as hypokalemia, hyponatremia, and hypomagnesemia.
Supplementing Electrolytes While on the Keto Diet
There are several ways you can supplement your electrolytes while you're on the keto diet. First, it's crucial that you eat a well-rounded and balanced diet. It's really easy to fall into a rut of eating the same things because it gets comfortable. But if those things aren't balanced, then you are missing the same nutrients day after day. Check out my Pinterest for recipes and meal ideas. Active members in my Intentionally Bare Keto Support Group on Facebook post their own recipes, meal plans, and pictures of their dinners on a regular basis. That will help you get some ideas for your own meals.
Next, add an electrolyte drink to your daily water intake. I don’t recommend Gatorade or Powerade. Even the ones without sugar are loaded with artificial ingredients, including GMOs. That’s one of the reasons I developed my Intentionally Bare BHB+Energy drink. I wanted an electrolyte drink that didn’t have the artificial flavors and colors.
You can also supplement with minerals. I recommend that everyone take magnesium glycinate and pink salt. Not only will that help your electrolyte levels, but magnesium will also help keep your bowels regular.
Maintaining your electrolyte levels will not only help you minimize the symptoms of the keto flu, but it will also help you keep your energy levels stable for the long run, help you be better able to complete your workouts, and make it easier to sustain healthy weight loss for the long haul while you're doing the keto diet.
Do you have questions about using the ketogenic diet to promote healthy weight loss in your life? Please don’t hesitate to join my Intentionally Bare Keto Support Group on Facebook! You can join more than 18,000 other members and me as we work towards our health goals using the keto lifestyle. Get all of your questions answered, find recipes, get support, and more! I can't wait to see you there!
You got this!
~ Intentionally Bare
❗️ DISCLAIMER: Health information given here is based on public research and is not meant to take the place of your doctor's advice. Always do your own research and discuss it with your health practitioner before trying a new diet, supplement, or exercise plan.
❗️ DISCLOSURE: I manufacture a line of 100% natural keto products under the brand name, Intentionally Bare. These products will be mentioned from time to time because they are amazingly healthy and fantastic for those on a ketogenic diet or anyone looking to improve their health. I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.** I ONLY ever post a link to products I personally USE and LOVE!