When you don't get enough electrolytes on keto, it impacts your health, too.
If you feel a little confused about what exactly electrolytes are and why you need them on keto, we are here to guide you.
Get ready to become the master of your electrolyte supply.
What Are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals that are responsible for keeping our bodies functioning.
In short, electrolytes:
- Keep the body hydrated
- Enable muscle contractions, including the heartbeat
- Help blood clot
- Help build tissue
Common electrolytes include sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, as well as chloride, and phosphorus. We usually absorb these minerals through a healthy diet and lose them through urine or sweat.
You will need to pay more attention to your electrolytes on keto. Here's why.
Electrolytes on Keto: Why You Need More
On a low-carb diet, the body processes electrolytes differently. It does not absorb as many of them as it should. Thus many healthy minerals are flushed out.
That's because water – and the electrolytes it contains – usually are tied to the stored carbohydrates in your body.
When there are no carbs left, the water has nothing left to hold onto. That’s when you begin to lose water quickly.
Then your insulin levels drop. Your kidneys excrete more sodium. Sodium is also flushed out of your body with water.
As you lose sodium, the level of other vital electrolytes goes out of whack. You start feeling sluggish. Keto flu begins.
This is why you need to keep a closer eye on your electrolyte balance on the keto diet.
Signs You Need More Electrolytes
Symptoms of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium deficiencies are very similar – and equally unpleasant.
Let us take a look at them, electrolyte by electrolyte.
#1 – Sodium
Low sodium is the most common deficiency for low-carb dieters.
To get enough sodium with your diet, shoot for around two teaspoons of salt every day. Add some to your meals. Bone broth is an excellent source of sodium, too!
Bumping up sodium will likely fix many cases of keto flu.
#2 – Potassium
Potassium is the mineral found in meat, fruit, and vegetables. This electrolyte is the one balancing fluids in your body and keeping you hydrated.
To avoid these symptoms, aim for at least 4.7 grams of potassium per day.
Potassium-rich foods like avocados, fish, beef, eggplant, and leafy greens will help you reach your daily target faster.
#3 – Magnesium
Magnesium plays many essential roles in the body, such as supporting muscle and nerve function and energy production.
Unfortunately, many people don't get enough of it during the day.
Get enough magnesium through foods like dark chocolate, avocados, low-carb nuts, fish, and leafy greens. Luckily, these foods are also rich in potassium.
Ways to Get Enough Electrolytes on Keto
To get enough electrolytes on keto, you have two options: eating the right foods or trying supplements.
Learn a little more about each of these options next.
Choosing electrolyte-rich foods
Almost all keto-friendly foods are rich in electrolytes.
The important thing is to make sure that you eat the right amounts of these foods.
Here are the top 8 keto foods you should eat often:
- Nuts: almonds, cashews, brazil nuts
- Seeds: pumpkin, hemp, flax, chia seeds
- Fatty fish: mackerel, tuna, salmon
- Leafy greens: spinach, kale, swiss chard
- Bone broth
- Meat: turkey, beef, pork
- Himalayan salt
Choosing electrolyte supplements
Of course, it would be ideal to get everything you need from a balanced diet. But sometimes, your body might need a little help.
For this reason, electrolyte supplements are a great option.
Replenishing electrolytes with supplements will help you feel better faster. Depending on what kind you get, it can also be pretty tasty.
To make it work, you should choose a product that suits your preferences and needs. Make sure it contains plenty of potassium and sodium. Also, make sure that it doesn’t have any sugar.
Yes, optimizing your electrolytes requires some planning upfront.
But once you put in the work, your body will function like it used to – and you'll feel better than ever.
And that's when you'll feel the most amazing keto benefits.