ADJUSTING TO KETO
Electrolytes are the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to adjust to the keto way of life. Without them, your body is going to fight you through the entire process of becoming keto ready.
You’re here because you’ve decided to join keto or are doing your research to see if keto is right for you, good work. Like many who join the lifestyle, the success stories and amazing results people have achieved on keto are probably what brought you here. The good news is that all of those positives you’ve been hearing about are absolutely true and attainable. Woo Hoo! But there are some hard truths you need to know about now that your toe is on the starting line.
Our bodies have been bombarded by carbs for most of our lives. You’ve likely been getting a steady stream of them since childhood and your brain and body have come to depend on them. (Remember that word, ‘depend’) The problem is, and we’re just figuring this out and studying it more in depth in the past decade, carbs aren’t the optimal fuel for your body. Carbs lead to energy spikes and crashes, they lead to fat being stored instead of burned and they contribute in a major way to the diabetes epidemic that’s gripping the nation.
But your brain has been using carbs for so long that it has come to depend (there’s that word again) on them; dependence on a substance that’s not doing your body any favors? Sounds a little like a drug, doesn’t it? Well, that’s how your body tends to see carbohydrates. It’s so used to getting a steady stream of them that when you turn off the spigot and stop their flow, the brain fights back and you find yourself in a withdrawal situation.
This is what’s known as the Keto Flu. Symptoms of the flu can be:
It’s important to remember that the flu is a byproduct of kicking the carbs out of your diet. Too often people blame the discomfort of the induction chapter of the keto story on the keto diet lifestyle. But it’s not keto’s fault. The purging of carbs is what causes the flu, not the foods or way you eat on keto. It should really be called the Carb Flu.
THE GOOD NEWS
You can combat carb and sugar withdrawals.
First things first, ease into the carb purge. The problem many keto first-timers have is that they hear “low carb” and they cut the carbs out completely. The ketogenic state can be reached with a diet consisting of 20-30 grams of carbs per day. In the beginning especially, you need to take advantage of this wiggle room to help your system gradually wean off of the carbs, rather than cutting them off completely, leaving your system in a state of carb shock. Start by eating a healthy 30 grams of carbs per day and decrease your intake to something manageable by the 2 week mark. That will greatly improve your odds of a smooth transition to the ketogenic state..
Step two is to drink plenty of water. Keto acts like a diuretic, you are going to pee a lot. This characteristic of keto is what’s responsible for the “Whoosh” effect. When first starting keto, it’s normal for most people to drop 5 or more pounds within the first week, hence the “whoosh.” That quick drop is all water weight as you urinate out the excess fluids that the glycogen in your body was holding onto. All of a sudden, your body is carrying less water and -not being used to drinking more liquids- you find yourself closer to dehydration which only adds to your chances of not feeling great when beginning keto. So DRINK MORE WATER! It’s imperative on keto.
Electrolytes are your big guns. These are the minerals that you lose with all that urinating. They also happen to be the keys to stopping the symptoms of a tough keto adjustment.
Here they are in order of the amount you should be getting every day, in mg.
SODIUM (plain ol’ salt) - 5000mg per day recommended
POTASSIUM - 1000mg per day recommended
MAGNESIUM - 300mg per day recommended
None of these minerals are hard to come by if you’ve optimized your fridge and pantry for keto.
Sodium is the mineral you need in the largest amount; luckily, it’s the easiest to get. Ordinary table salt can be added to anything to help your close in on that 5000mg per day goal. It’s suggested that you try to spread the amount throughout the day so you can keep a steady stream feeding your muscles and nervous system.
(note: some very smart folks did the math and figured out that 5 shakes of a standard, five-hole salt shaker is approximately 200mg of sodium).
Potassium is especially important for the muscle cells in your heart. Sadly, potassium is lost though urination at the same rate as sodium. The issue there is, sodium is usually present in our systems in higher amounts to begin with. So losing potassium at the same rate as the already more abundant sodium can lead to hypokalemia which is a major factor in the symptoms of the keto flu.
Eating 1000mg of potassium isn’t difficult. Leafy greens, nuts, avocados, and mushrooms are full of potassium and low in carbs.
Magnesium is a must for bone health, proper nerve behavior, maintaining a normal heart rhythm, and brain function. Magnesium is easily found in fatty fish, nuts and seeds, and those leafy greens that you’re already eating to get the potassium you need.
As a little bonus, a square of dark chocolate has about 65mg of magnesium and only 1 carb. Dark chocolate is no longer just an indulgence, chocolate really is life!
The jumpstart meal plan here can help you naturally get the minerals you need to make keto a quick success.
If you find yourself unable to hit the electrolyte goals with food alone, supplements are your best option.
niKETO offers the HYDRATE electrolyte supplement to help balance your electrolyte levels.
Your electrolytes are typically depleted as you restrict carbohydrates in your diet. Take this supplement to combat symptoms of the keto flu, dehydration, and to keep your body’s systems running like they should -- note: this supplement is highly recommended for anyone just starting the keto diet.
This supplement is known to:
Increase natural energy and improve sleep
Balance depleted mineral levels caused by dehydration
Decrease or eliminate “keto flu” symptoms at onset of ketosis
Decrease headaches, muscle tension, and depression
Also found in this supplement:
Vitamin D: associated with healthy bones, positive mental health, and immune system support
Calcium: associated with strong bones, heart & muscle health, and healthy blood pressure
Phosophorus: associated with strong bones, improved digestion, and whole-body detoxification
Being prepared and educated on how to correctly adjust to keto is the best way to avoid carb withdrawal and keto sickness.