Keto flu is common flu-like-symptoms experience when starting off on keto. In this post I’ll give you some tips on what you can do to avoid these nasty symptoms.
What Is Keto Flu & Why Do You Get It?
Keto flu is common flu-like-symptoms people experience when their body’s metabolism starts switching from using glucose as a fuel source to producing ketones as a fuel source. It usually happens in the first week of starting out on keto.
It is thought that these symptoms arise because of the change in your metabolism. It is also believed that these symptoms are due to a carbohydrate withdrawal. The body has been so accustomed to using glucose as a fuel source, that it responds to the absense of glucose with withdrawal-like symptoms.
The actual reason why some people experience keto-flu symptoms is due to an electrolyte imbalance. As a keto beginner, you start off your first week reducing your carb intake to below 20 grams per day. The body then starts producing ketones as an energy source as you are no longer consuming any carbohydrates for energy. Because you are not eating any carbohydrates insulin also starts lowering. As insulin lowers your kidneys also start excreting water. With the water, comes a loss of electrolytes.
This is also why you visit the bathroom frequently in the first couple of days when you start keto. Basically, as you no longer consume carbohydrates, your body gets rid of all the water it usually retains from these carbohydrates, and this diuretic effect causes all your electrolytes to be flushed out.
Common Keto Flu Symptoms
Keto-flu symptoms are exactly what it sounds like. Flu-like symptoms. Here are a few things people commonly experience.
- Dizziness – although very rare
- Headaches / Brain Fog – very common
- Fatigue / Weakness – very common
- Nausea – rare
- Heart racing/palpitations – rare
- Increased urination – very common
- Joint aches – common
- Leg cramps – common
- Muscle twitches – common
How to avoid (survive) these symptoms
Unfortunately, these symptoms are often too severe for some people and this is where they then quit the diet.
It is so important to know that these symptoms are temporary and can be avoided by taking in enough fluids as well as adequate electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and sodium.
Here are 5 Tips to Avoid these symptoms:
- Drink lots of water. I cannot emphasise this enough.
- Eat foods rich in potassium and magnesium such as green leafy veg and avocados.
- Add EXTRA Pink Himalayan salt over your food.
- If you are feeling really ill, try adding a little Pink Himalayan salt to a glass of water and drinking it or sipping on it througout the day.
- Use exogenous ketones. Exogenous Ketones can get you into ketosis quickly and help your body adjust and transition into ketosis.
I want to end off this post by saying hang in there! Give your body a chance to adjust and know that it is only in the first week that keto flu happens.