Keto & Electrolytes
How to Avoid Dehydration and the “Keto Flu”

Keto Electrolytes: How to Avoid Dehydration and the “Keto Flu”

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms on your low-carb diet:

  • ​Headaches?
  • ​Fatigue?
  • ​Cramps?
  • ​Weakness?
  • ​Mental Fog?

If so, join the millions of others who’ve contracted the "Keto flu."

Don’t freak out; it’s a natural side effect of the electrolyte imbalance and dehydration caused by the low-carb nature of the diet. Your body is just going through an adjustment phase.

You’re probably frantically searching for a solution. You might even be wondering why anyone would subject themselves to this “torture.” Don’t worry; some great keto electrolyte supplements can help you live a headache, cramp, and fatigue-free.

Below, we’ll cover:

  • ​What electrolytes are
  • ​How a ketogenic diet affects your electrolyte levels (and drives you crazy)
  • ​Why these side effects​ are 100% normal and you shouldn’t quit
  • ​The best ways for staying balanced and avoiding the dreaded keto flu

Electrolytes and Keto: What You Need to Know...

working out girl with drip of water

Saying that electrolytes [1] are important for our bodies is an understatement. Without them, our cells would either shrivel up and die or burst from being too full. These electrical signaling molecules are vital for regulating a ton of internal body processes.

You may have heard of some these functions:

  • ​Your heartbeat
  • ​Breathing
  • ​Muscle movement
  • ​Energy production
  • ​Thinking

Without proper levels of these vital minerals, it’s no wonder it becomes harder to think, move, or do just about anything.

Remember when you just started keto? You cut back on carbs and lost a ton of water weight, right? That’s why it’s such a popular diet—it helps your look GOOD FAST. The downside is that with all of that water weight gone, you’ve excreted a lot of electrolytes too.

If you want to figure out the secret to soldiering through the keto flu and keeping your sanity intact, you’ve got to understand how the diet affects your kidneys.

What Happens to Your Kidneys on Keto?

As you cut back on carbs, your kidneys do a 180: instead of retaining water and sodium [2], they begin to get rid of it as fast as possible to maintain homeostasis (blood volume will shrink to compensate for lack of sodium).

This is the process that leads to a lot of keto/electrolyte imbalance symptoms:

kidney body part sample
  • ​Dizziness
  • ​Racing heart
  • ​Feeling weak or shaky
  • ​Headaches
  • ​Bloating
  • ​Cramps

Your kidneys will also start getting rid of potassium for the same reason (maintaining an adequate balance).

It’s important to remember that this is just an adjustment phase though. Things will get better with time and a few supplements.

How to Get Rid of the Keto Flu...

If you want to get rid of your symptoms and start feeling as good as you look, the solution is pretty simple: supplement everything your body is getting rid of. Since your body is running low on electrolytes, sodium, and potassium, you can either replenish them with good nutrition or a keto electrolyte supplement (we cover an amazing keto electrolyte drink at the end of the article by the way).

Here are the 3 things you need A LOT more of:

  • ​Sodium: AT LEAST 5,000mg daily.
  • ​Potassium: 1000-3500mg daily.
  • ​Magnesium: About 500mg daily.
nutritional meals for body

Bonus: You can never go wrong with a healthy dose of calcium in your diet either. It’s vital for healthy bones, blood flow, and muscle and nerve function.

Sodium Replacement

There are 2 main ways to get enough sodium back in your body to maintain a healthy level of electrolytes:

broth soup for sodium replacement
  • Salt: You might look crazy at first, but straight salt is the best way to get pure sodium back into your system. Mix it into a glass of water [3], salt up you food, or do whatever else you can stomach.
  • ​Soup Broth: Bouillon cubes are compressed stock that are basically the same as soup broth. Boil it up and drink it or make a nice vegetable soup. Kettle and Fire right now is one of the best in the business, you can ​get the best price for it here.

Warning: You need a lot of sodium, so don’t skimp on the salt. About 3 teaspoons or more per day. If you think you can’t stomach it, opt for keto electrolyte replacement supplements which we will go through in just a little bit.

Potassium Replacement

Potassium is another vital nutrient your body needs more of when starting the lifestyle. Thankfully, delicious and healthy sources of it are everywhere.

  • ​Veggies: Spinach, avocados, and mushrooms are packed with vitamin K. You’ll start feeling better the more of these bad boys you eat.
  • ​​​​​Meat: Pork packs a ton of potassium as do most other meats. Add in a little extra here and there to decrease your symptoms.

Warning: Potassium overdose is deadly. DO NOT OVERDO IT.

Magnesium Replacement

Magnesium is best at preventing cramps and regulates over 300 processes in our bodies. It’s readily available in nuts and greens, but the best way to get it is supplementing. Stick to the glycinate and malate forms for the best results.

Our favorite brand right now is the one from Life Extension. It's reliable, and it can get the job done for you, you can also easily buy it from Amazon.

Keto Electrolyte Replacement: Diet or Supplement?

Eating the right foods is a great way to reduce the symptoms of keto flu, but you’ll quickly notice a few things: it’s hard to keep track, and it gets expensive. All of the magnesium supps, extra meat, and potassium-packed meals add up quickly.

Keto electrolyte replacement supplements aren’t necessary, but they make life a lot easier. They’re a great way to live a healthier life and feel better when on a low-carb diet.

If we had to choose, the best option is a keto electrolyte drink. These power-packed drinks contain everything you need to avoid in the diet and fight off your flu symptoms. There are even some recipes for delicious homemade electrolyte replacement drinks you can make before you go to work.

man degydrating after an exercise

But with so many options, how can you be sure you get the perfect fit? We found a lot of sufferers wasted a lot of money on supplements they didn’t need or ones that didn’t work. Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. We did a lot of digging (we even scoured Reddit) and found the absolute best:

What's the Best Keto Electrolyte Drink?

After an exhaustive search, the winner was undoubtedly:

Perfect Keto Electrolytes.

It contains the perfect balance of all the electrolytes that you need and other support minerals. It offers hydration with no sugar or carbs made from 100% clean ingredients. The best part is the natural sweetener that makes it delicious to drink (unlike most other drinks out there).

If you want to fight off the dreaded symptoms, look better, and feel your best, then this is the most reliable keto electrolyte drink out there (in our opinion).

A Summary on Electrolyte Imbalances...

  • ​Electrolyte imbalance is totally normal in the beginning. Don’t freak out. It gets better.
  • ​As you lose carbs, you also lose water and other helpful minerals.
  • ​Replace sodium, potassium, and magnesium to reduce symptoms.
  • ​An electrolyte supplement is the fastest, most effective way to replenish what’s lost in the beginning.

About the Author

Ryan is a personal trainer, athlete, health enthusiast, and entrepreneur. He is researching and expanding his knowledge about the ketogenic diet. He spends most of his time writing content about his new learnings of the ketogenic diet and shares it on Ketogenic Supplement Reviews. You can find me on: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.