Last modified on March 16th, 2022 at 3:57 pm
The keto flu is a condition that is caused by the sudden cut of carbs intake. Carbs are the main energy source for your body. When you replace the high-carb food items with a keto chocolate shake, your body needs to find another energy source.
When your body finds an alternative energy source in the fat, your body starts burning the fat instead of carbs. While your body is trying to adjust to this sudden change and enters ketosis, the keto flu can also appear. Keto Flu can last about a week. This state has some of the same symptoms as the regular flu and happens when your body enters ketosis.
The symptoms of keto flu include dizziness, nausea, muscle soreness, insomnia, cramps, stomach pain, low concentration and focus. But don’t panic because not everyone experiences these symptoms. You might experience all of them, some of them, or none of them, depending on your metabolism and body. Regardless of how it affects your body, you need to be prepared for it and try to prevent, or at least, reduce its symptoms. In order to be able to do that, you need to understand why the keto flu happens.
How to Prevent Keto Flu?
In order to prevent the keto flu, you need to understand why it happens in the first place. Apart from the low consumption of carbs, the keto flu happens due to the loss of water in your body, imbalance of electrolytes, lack of micronutrients, and adapting to fat (ketones). In order to prevent the keto flu, you need to replenish the losses and support the adaptation process.
Drink a Lot of Water
When in ketosis, your body releases a large quantity of water and sodium. If you don’t replenish the lost water, you will soon be dehydrated. This will additionally increase the keto flu symptoms. In order to stay hydrated, you should drink plenty of water, about 64 ounces of water per day. It will help you get rid of headaches and fatigue.
During ketosis, your body not only loses water and salt but also other electrolytes, such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Each of those electrolytes is important for a healthy, functioning metabolism. That’s why you need to replenish your electrolytes. You can do that by:
- Consuming more sodium – Use pink Himalayan salt instead of the regular table salt and add it to each meal (when possible). You can also add a pinch of salt to your water.
- Consuming more magnesium – Eat more foods that are rich in magnesium, such as avocado, dark chocolate, salmon, pumpkin seeds, and cooked spinach. You can also take it as a supplement.
- Consuming more potassium – Eat more foods that are rich in potassium, such as zucchini, mushrooms, avocado, and Brussels sprouts.
- Consuming more calcium – Eat more foods that are rich in calcium, such as leafy greens, salmon, broccoli, and chia seeds.
If you don’t feel better, or you need to replenish electrolytes faster, you can take an electrolyte supplement, such as Gatorade. By taking this supplement, the electrolyte levels will quickly increase and balance. It will help you get through the keto flu easier.
Consume More Potassium
Besides bananas, which have a lot of carbs, you can get potassium from beet greens, salmon, spinach and avocado. The potassium will help support the electrolyte needs your body will have on a keto diet without maxing out your carb budget.
Boost Ketones With Coconut Oil
When on a keto diet, your liver is going through some major metabolic shifts. Your liver goes from making glucose to making ketones, and this can sometimes tax the liver. If you already have insulin resistance, your body can take more time to produce ketones as your insulin levels work their way down. Coconut oil contains MCT which is medium-chain-triglycerides. MCTs can be converted into ketones and support weight loss. Adding one or two tablespoons of coconut oil to your tea or coffee will help you to get through the keto flu. Additionally, you can visit Keto bakeries around you to buy keto diet-friendly products.
As with any diet, you should always check with your doctor before you start. They will be able to give you advice that is pertinent to you. If you decide to start on a Keto diet, take the steps outlined in this article to help avoid or minimize the Keto Flu.