The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet with a variety of benefits, including weight loss, reduced food cravings, increased mental clarity, and steady energy levels.
The goal of the keto diet is to shift your metabolism into a state of ketosis: Instead of burning carbs for fuel, you can turn to fat as your main source of energy.
When you are in ketosis, your body changes in many ways. As you transition into keto, you burn off carbohydrates stored in your liver and muscle tissue. Carbs take a lot of water to store, which is why many people lose several pounds of water weight during the first week of keto.
But when you lose that water, you also lose electrolytes—the minerals that keep you hydrated and regulate your body’s muscle function, nerve function, pH level, and more.[*].
In addition, you release less insulin on a low-carb diet, which causes your kidneys to release electrolytes at a higher rate.[*].
If you don’t increase your electrolyte intake on the keto diet, you may develop symptoms keto flu, including brain fog, muscle cramps, dehydration, and fatigue.
Here are the benefits of increasing keto electrolyte levels, as well as a good option for a sugar-free electrolyte supplement.
Your body needs four main electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
If you are experiencing keto diet side effects, there is a good chance you may have an electrolyte imbalance. Replenishing electrolytes will improve your performance in several ways.
Electrolytes play an essential role in hydration. You want to have enough electrolytes in your system to maintain fluid balance – the proper level of minerals in the water that surrounds and fills cells.
Dehydration causes your brain to shrink temporarily and interferes with cognitive function[*]. If you’re on a keto diet, you’ll retain less water (and fewer electrolytes) than you would otherwise.
Maintaining your electrolyte levels will eliminate brain fog so you stay mentally sharp throughout the day.
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Electrolytes are also an essential part of muscle function.
Magnesium and calcium tell your muscles when to contract and when to relax[*]. But if your electrolyte balance is out of order, you are prone to muscle cramps and weaker muscle contractions[*], which will affect your performance in the gym.
A 2019 study found that drinking electrolyte-enhanced water improved hydration and muscle torque in dehydrated athletes[*].
Magnesium from an electrolyte is important for sleep. Research shows that taking a magnesium supplement before bed improves overall sleep quality and response time (how long it takes you to fall asleep) and reduces early morning awakenings.[*]. Magnesium also reduces cortisol, which relieves stress and improves sleep[*][*].
4. There is no keto flu
When you go into ketosis for the first time, you may experience keto flu. Symptoms of keto flu include headache, daytime fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and muscle cramps.
The keto flu occurs because your body shifts its primary energy source from carbohydrates to fats. During this transition, you burn your glycogen stores (carbs stored in your muscles and liver), as well as water and electrolytes that were used to store that glycogen.
As a result, you end up dehydrated and low on energy—but a keto-friendly electrolyte drink can keep electrolytes balanced, and prevent most or all of the keto flu symptoms.
Eating electrolytes may also help you maintain a strong cardiovascular system.
A recent national study found that 97% of Americans are deficient in potassium[*]. Even if you eat a lot of leafy greens and potassium-rich foods, it is very difficult to get the potassium your body needs (for reference, you’ll need to eat 5-6 whole avocados per day to get the recommended daily value of potassium).
That can be a problem when it comes to long-term cardiovascular health. Potassium and sodium work closely together to regulate blood pressure and heart function.
Low potassium is also a common cause of heart palpitations. Taking a potassium chloride supplement can improve long-term heart health by regulating heart contractions[*].
Best keto supplement
Electrolyte supplementation can be tough on keto.
Many electrolyte supplements contain added sugar that spikes blood sugar and insulin levels and gets you out of ketosis. Even sugar-free options often contain artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, and other ingredients you may want to avoid.
Our electrolytes come in four delicious flavors: Pink Lemonade, Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, and Watermelon. It is sweetened with stevia and is in powder form for easy transportation; Just add a ladle to the water and mix.
Keeping your electrolyte levels high and balanced will help you get the most out of your body and mind, especially if you live a keto lifestyle. It’s worth your time to try a file electrolyte supplement and see how you feel.