What Are Keto Headaches?
How to Cure this Dreaded Condition
Keto diet headaches! Brain fog, a pounding head, dreams of quitting keto and diving into a bowl of ice cream with a side of soda—chances are you’ve got them just like the rest of us did. Here’s what’s causing them, how to cure them FAST, and how to prevent them moving forward.
WARNING: If you don’t understand the root cause and follow the directions of the diet, you WILL NOT stop experiencing headaches.
Keto headaches are the most dreaded side effect of ketosis. The vast majority of dieters who go low-carb, experience them in some form within the first few days or weeks. Let’s get one thing out of the way first: DO NOT LET THEM DISCOURAGE YOU. Eventually, your body will learn to deal with the new routine, and your symptoms will disappear altogether. Trust us.
Until they do, we’ve got some lifestyle and dietary hacks to help you cure them quickly and stop them from happening again. Keep reading to learn:
Are You Experiencing Mental Fog? What Is It?
When you start a keto diet, you can experience metal fog which is a mental state where you find it difficult to concentrate and stay motivated. It is very similar to feelings of being overwhelmed with work and getting into a state of stress.
This will often be accompanied by severe headaches that are difficult to get rid of, almost like a migraine (more on this in the next section).
For many people who start, this is the psychological brick wall they hit where many people give up.
What’s happening is that after being reliant on high levels of carbs for most of your life, you’re now switching to a diet where that removes practically all carbs. Your body sees this as a signal that it is being starved, and it starts to release a stress hormone called cortisol.
When this stress hormone is released for a prolonged time, it can result in mental stress and a foggy brain. Simple tasks can often become difficult as you struggle to concentrate your mind and focus on one thing.
It’s something to keep in mind as you plan your diet, as this can be a bit of a problem if you’ve got an important presentation at work or a college exam coming up.
Can Ketosis Cause Headaches?
Getting to a state of ketosis can initially cause headaches, as your body adjusts to the sudden lack of carbs that are interpreted as starvation.The goal of the lifestyle is to trigger ketosis.
Burning fats achieve this for energy rather than carbs.
But your body is so used to using carbohydrates as fuel that it goes into shock when you don’t give it the fuel it loves.
The transition from carbs to fats inevitably triggers an adoption or “induction phase” that comes with some nasty side-effects (called the “keto flu”).
Here’s a bit of a breakdown on each of the 4 leading causes:
How Long Do These Keto Headaches Last?
Keto headaches can last anywhere from a few hours to over a week. Unfortunately, there is no way of telling for sure how long it will last for you, but there are a few indications you can use to set your expectations better.
One of the leading causes of the headaches is the body’s response to the sudden drop in carbohydrates and readily available blood glucose.
You suddenly feel tired and drained, find it difficult to concentrate, and your body will see this as a danger of starvation.
The natural reaction is to release a hormone called cortisol which increases stress levels. And this heightened stress and increased cortisol can result in headaches.
However, many people found that they hardly suffered any headaches at all. What these people generally have in common is that their pre-keto diet was already low in carbs like sugar and processed grains.
For them there wasn’t the same sudden drop, so the body doesn’t misunderstand the intentions of the dietary change. Now you could take a gradual approach to reduce carb intake, but that doesn’t mean you will eliminate the headaches altogether.
It’s better to be prepared for them, and know what to do if they do appear so that you avoid the temptation to quit.
Let’s find out about some treatments.
How to Treat Keto Headaches:
1. The Best Solution: Water and Salt
The simplest solution is to drink warm water with salt. Add half a teaspoon of salt to a 24-oz glass of warm water and your headache should be gone within 30 minutes. Most keto pros have learned to have a glass of warm salt water next to their bed ready to go at night.
2) Drink Bone Broth or Veggie Bouillon
Salt not your thing? Either organic bone broth or vegetable bouillon will do the trick (and taste great). Personally, we think it’s the most delicious solution. Mix it in with two cups of hot water and you’re good to go.
3) Coffee with Some Salt
This sounds crazy but some people on keto who were big coffee drinkers swear that putting some coconut oil and salt into coffee helps ease their headaches.
4) Pickle Juice
Pickle juice is the unsung hero of everyone suffering keto headaches or leg cramps. It’s so rich in electrolytes that it can get rid of your headaches or cramps within a half hour….if you can stomach it.
How to Prevent Headaches on Keto:
As we said before, headaches are common symptoms in the induction phase of the diet.
Eventually, your body will adjust, and they SHOULD go away. But there is something you need to be aware of moving forward:
As long as you are on a low-carb lifestyle, you must take care of your body in regards to electrolytes—sodium, potassium, and magnesium, etc.—or you will always experience fatigue, spasms, headaches, and other keto side effects.
It sounds scary, but there's no need to worry. There are plenty of ways to prevent headaches (and other symptoms). There are even some supplements that promote healthy electrolyte intake designed explicitly for keto-ers like you. We’ll cover that below. First, let’s cover some natural ways:
A balanced diet is a key to avoiding any side effects of a low-carb lifestyle; however, keeping track of all of the different foods, nutrients, and ratios is time-consuming. It’s next to impossible without daily dedication. If you want a simpler, more efficient, and more importantly, more effective solution, the best thing you can do is get a keto diet headache supplement.
They are a game changer. Designed explicitly for headache sufferers, they will pack your body full of everything it needs to get rid of your keto headaches and keep them away for good.
Are there Any Supplements That Help?
When we took into account reviews, results, and the opinion of the community, the consensus was that KetoVitals High-Dose Electrolytes is probably the best supplement on the market for eliminating your headaches (and other “keto flu” symptoms).
Designed specifically for people on a low-carb diet suffering from flu-like symptoms, it promotes:
It is power packed with everything your body is missing out on with the keto diet: magnesium, sodium, potassium, and calcium. With a more balanced diet, you’ll stop experiencing your symptoms for good.
If you want to be at your peak performance and make the transition to the low-carb life easier than ever, KetoVitals is the right product for you.