The Keto diet is a trending high-fat, low-carb diet. Keto diet results in the breakdown of fats for energy in the absence of carbohydrates. Fat loss helps attain the ultimate goal- weight loss!
The body reaches a state of ketosis as a result and starts secreting ketones. High levels of ketones are directly proportional to water and electrolyte loss. To maintain a healthy electrolyte balance, you need to supplement your diet with additional electrolytes.
What electrolytes do you need on a ketogenic diet?
Keto electrolytes are an important component in the diet, as they are responsible for normal body functions. Moreover, electrolytes are essential for regulating fluid balance and maintaining pH levels in the body.
The main electrolytes required are:
How do you know if the level of electrolytes is dropping in the keto diet?
Decreased levels of electrolytes will exhibit certain symptoms. Noticing certain changes might help you recognize and cater to the specific situation. Different electrolytes can exhibit different signs and symptoms.
Below is the list enumerating the functions and signs:
1) Sodium – Sodium plays an important role in maintaining the volume of blood and proper functioning of the nervous system with many others. Losing water can lead to sodium deficiency and can have indications like-
o Muscle cramps
o Brain fog
It is commonly propagated to minimize salt consumption in the diet but is actually the opposite in the keto diet. Keto diet restricts most of the sodium-containing foods and to cover up for the sodium loss, add table salt whenever possible.
2) Potassium – Potassium is generally linked with cramps but it has so many other roles too. Deficiency of Potassium can cause
o Adverse effect on kidneys
o Adverse effects on heart
3) Calcium – Calcium is not only vital for the bones as commonly known, but also for other functions like proper muscular and nervous actions. Deficiency of Calcium can cause
o Muscle cramps
o Muscle twitching
4) Magnesium – As with other electrolytes, it also has specific contributions and it aids in cellular components formation, protein synthesis as well as the normal functioning of the nervous system. The deficiency of magnesium can have –
o Adverse effects on heart
o Adverse effects on the nervous system
o Adverse effects on the muscular system
o Adverse effects on mental health
To avoid disagreeable symptoms like these, you need to focus on increasing the consumption of the viable nutrients via diet.
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How to replenish electrolytes?
You need to understand the sources of the required nutrients. Electrolyte-rich foods will help in filling up the lost minerals.
Keto electrolyte drinks are a powerful way to combat electrolyte deficiency. These drinks are made from natural herbs and vegetables that can help to replenish the important minerals in the body.
Few examples of electrolyte drinks–
1) Electrolyte-infused waters
Electrolyte-infused water is one of the best drinks to consume as it is full of necessary electrolytes and also keeps the body hydrated.
These electrolytes may contain sugar which is not keto-friendly. Consider switching to stevia for added sweetness.
2) Watermelon Juice
Watermelon juice is a great source to pump up the body with electrolytes. It has a calming effect on the body on hot summer days. It helps in hydration along with being a source of potassium and magnesium.
3) Incorporate Keto-friendly food items
Practice consuming nutrient-rich foods instead of processed foods readily available in the market. Some of the options are listed below:
- Fatty fish – Fatty fish is an amazing source of protein and omega 3. It keeps the electrolyte balance in check.
- Vegetables – Green leafy and low-starch vegetables are a boon for people on a Keto diet. Along with being extremely low on carbs, they are a reliable source of all essential electrolytes.
- Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds are low-carb and high-energy snacks. Some examples are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds.
How To Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Electrolytes On Keto?
While on the keto diet, you need to be aware of the diet you are consuming. Make sure you are ingesting the right amount and right type of food.
Have a diet rich in sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
If your diet cannot fulfill the requirements, consider taking certain supplements.
Keto-friendly supplements are now available and can make up for the lost electrolytes.
Although, you cannot rely just on supplements, adding them to your diet can be beneficial.
How to maintain electrolyte balance?
- Drink enough water – Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water regularly during the day. Try mixing some salt or electrolyte mix with plain water.
- Drink keto electrolyte drinks – You can have keto electrolyte drinks available on the market. Make sure to read the label and do not consume more sugar than advised.
- Have nuts and seeds – Almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds are good options for snacks.
- Eat fruits like avocados and tomatoes
- Have vegetables, including mushrooms, green leafy vegetables like spinach
- If you are a non-vegetarian have salmon fish and meat
- Have cacao or dark chocolate for dessert.
- Make sure your meals have enough salt, top up your fruits and vegetables with table salt
- Add supplements to your diet to make up for the deficiency if required
Try to inculcate at least a few options from the list. But if you still experience dehydration, headaches, or any of the keto flu symptoms, visit a doctor to find the reason behind it and its treatment.
Keto-diet has been around for quite a while now and has been scientifically proven to be an efficient weight-loss technique. On keto, the body turns into a fat-burning machine that tends to cause dehydration as a consequence.
Thus, if you want to lead a healthy and robust life, electrolytes are a great addition to the diet.