Ketogenic diet – Importance of Electrolytes and Hydration
Importance of Electrolytes on Keto
When following a keto diet, it’s critical to maintain electrolytes balanced as your body transitions from a sugar to a fat burner. Because most people are unaware of what they require, this article deconstructs electrolytes and explains what is required.
If you’re on a keto diet, you could notice that you’re deficient in vital electrolytes like magnesium, potassium, and salt. Because you’re not eating as much sugar and carbs, your body produces less insulin, which depletes glycogen stores.
As this process begins, you should see a greater reduction of weight in the first week as your body releases water weight. When you eat a conventional American diet, your body keeps salt, however when you eat keto, your body loses sodium.
Electrolytes can help with things like the Keto flu and salt deficiency. You’ll also notice that some electrolytes, such as magnesium and potassium, are deficient in your diet
What are Electrolytes, and What do they do?
Electrolytes are minerals in our bodies that are derived from foods and drinks and are responsible for normal body function. They may wreak havoc on our bodies and make us feel icky when they are out of balance.
Electrolytes have a variety of roles in the body, including:
- Keeping a proper fluid balance
- Facilitating the smooth operation of involuntary muscles (this includes keeping your heart beating and digestive tract moving)
- Nerve impulse transmission
- Acid/base balance (also known as pH balance) is the process of balancing the pH level of the body.
- Getting nutrients into cells and getting waste out is a two-step process.
Most of these minerals, including calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate, are probably familiar to you but you may not realize they are electrolytes.
Each of these electrolytes must remain within a certain range in order for your body to work at its best. Concentrations that are too high or too low can have negative consequences. Too high or too low concentrations might make you feel sluggish, cause headaches, and cause other more significant health concerns.
Your food, any medications you may be taking, your kidney function, and any fluid losses you may be experiencing (ex. sweating after an exercise, vomiting when you’re sick, diarrhea, etc.) all influence your body’s electrolyte balance
On the Keto Diet, Signs of Electrolyte Imbalance
The keto diet alters the body’s metabolism dramatically. The switch from burning carbs to fat for energy is the characteristic of ketosis, and it’s why so many people report weight loss, more energy, and improved cognitive function. However, the initial weight loss isn’t all fat; in fact, due to changes in fluid balance, much of it is water.
- Problems with Blood Pressure
- Muscle spasms
- Palpitations in the heart
- Fog in the head
- Trouble Sleeping
Sodium, potassium, and magnesium are important electrolytes for Keto.
In a typical American diet, processed foods and restaurant foods contain the most sodium. So it’s no surprise that on a keto diet, where most highly processed foods are avoided and restaurant options are limited, sodium intake is naturally lowered.
Role of sodium
Sodium is required for appropriate cell function, fluid equilibrium, and nerve impulse transmission and is hence vital for human health.
Normal sodium consumption for healthy people who aren’t on a low-carb diet is less than 2300 mg per day. On a keto diet, salt intake should be increased to 3-5 grammes per day.
Reasons of intaking sodium
Hyponatremia is a fancy phrase meaning low blood sodium, and it’s a potentially fatal illness. The following are some indicators of a sodium deficiency
- Salty cravings
- Muscle deterioration
Stop taking sodium if
- Thirst That Doesn’t Go Away
- Food has a dull flavor.
- Blood pressure that is too high
Foods That Are sodium-Friendly
Table salt is a sodium chloride combination. 2300 mg are contained in one teaspoon (about the size of a thumbnail). Broth, unsweetened coconut water, low carb condiments like hot sauce and salad dressing, pickles, olives, salted snacks like nuts, seeds, and kale chips, jerky (search for wild raised/caught and nitrate free), cheese, and snacks with cheese are some other keto-friendly sodium sources.
Role of potassium
The majority of potassium is found within the cell. Consider potassium to be an effective bouncer at your favorite concert; its main function in maintaining good health is to keep nutrients in and waste products out of the cell. But potassium’s role isn’t limited to that; it also keeps the heartbeat regular and counteracts the effects of too much sodium in the diet.
Potassium requirements differ by age, gender, and life stage. Pregnant and nursing women, for example, have different demands than women of the same age. Every day, healthy adults require roughly 2600 mg (women) – 3400 mg (men).
Even when eating potassium-rich meals and taking potassium supplements, the majority of people in the United States do not obtain enough potassium
Reason of intaking potassium
Hypokalemia is a fancy phrase for low potassium. The symptoms are moderate at first, but if not treated, they can escalate to more serious problems.
- Blood pressure has risen
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle deterioration
Stop intaking potassium if
- Bad kidneys
Excess dietary potassium is usually not a concern in healthy persons with good renal function because the kidneys perform an excellent job of filtering it out.
Foods That Are potassium-Friendly
Potassium can be found in a variety of foods, including non-starchy, low-carb vegetables, nuts, seeds and animal protein like chicken, beef and fish
Role of magnesium
Magnesium is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function, immune system function, strong bones, and blood sugar and blood pressure control.
Magnesium requirements change with age and stage of life. Healthy individuals require between 310 mg (females) and 420 mg (males) of calcium each day (males).
Reasons of magnesium intake
Magnesium deficiency in healthy persons is quite uncommon. Those with malabsorption, type II diabetes, and elderly persons are more likely to be deficient. Low magnesium symptoms are minor at first, but they become more severe as the deficit progresses, and they can be dangerous.
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle deterioration
- Appetite loss.
- Tingling and numbness
Avoid magnesium if
In healthy people, too much magnesium from food sources is unlikely because the kidneys can filter out excess magnesium. Too much magnesium in supplements can cause digestive problems such as cramping, gas, and diarrhea. Supplemental doses that are too high might cause dangerous side effects such as erratic pulse, trouble breathing, and low blood pressure.
Foods That Are magnesium-Friendly
Avocados, nuts, seeds, cacao powder, and tofu are the greatest low carb magnesium foods
Sources of Electrolytes during keto diet
Electrolytes can be added to a keto diet in a variety of ways. If you’re thinking about going keto or have been on it for a while, you’re probably used to being picky about what you eat and drink. Electrolytes are still another consideration. The following are the important points:
Electrolyte imbalances are caused by drinking too little or too much water. Dehydration can be caused by electrolyte abnormalities. The amount of water you should drink is determined by your body size, the present weather, and how active you are..
Increase the amount of salt in your diet
Adding salt to your diet is the simplest way to increase your sodium intake. Around 2,400 milligrammes of sodium are contained in just 6 grammes of salt. But be careful: too much salt can create difficulties such as dehydration in the near term and long-term issues such as elevated blood pressure.
Eat meals that are high in potassium.
Potassium is a bigger concern than salt, and Americans eat less potassium than they need. Avocado is the best source of potassium, with 975 mg per fruit, and is followed by raw spinach, chicken breast, tomatoes, broccoli, and asparagus. Make it a point to include a variety of these items in your keto diet.
Consume foods that are high in magnesium.
If you want to acquire enough magnesium in your diet, it’s not just about what you eat, but also about the quality of what you eat. Food produced by modern farming methods tends to be lower in this electrolyte than food produced previously. So, if at all possible, think organic. Almonds, spinach, peanut butter, plain yoghurt, and salmon are the foods with the highest magnesium content.
Electrolyte supplements should be taken.
Supplements are a quick and easy way to replenish electrolytes. For your keto diet, you’ll want to look for sugar-free options. Food is undoubtedly the best source of electrolytes, but in today’s fast-paced world, it’s not always easy to eat fresh, high-quality vegetables. Electrolyte supplements can be beneficial to you.
Frequently asked questions
What is a good electrolyte drink for Keto?
Ultima Replenisher – This choice has at least six electrolytes and no artificial flavors or sweeteners. You also get phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and chloride, as well as an injection of vitamin C, in addition to potassium, magnesium, and calcium. There wasn’t a single carb to be found.
Keeping the electrolyte level in check is very necessary during keto diet. You will get the best results from it.