Keto Headache: 4 Effective Ways to Get Rid of the Pain

What Are Keto Headaches?
How to Cure this Dreaded Condition

headache on keto

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:

  • Mental Fog
  • What's Causing your headaches
  • Natural remedies to cure them in as little as 30 minutes
  • A few secrets of the community that can get rid of them instantly!
  • How to stop them from coming back again

Are You Experiencing Mental Fog? What Is It?

man experiencing brain fog

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.

Electric effect on headaching

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:

  • Dehydration: Without going into too much detail, ​the diet often causes dehydration in the early stages. This is because your body is desperately searching for fuel (glycogen). For every gram of glycogen your body stores, it stores 3 grams of water. Ever wonder why you’re always going to the bathroom?
  • Electrolyte deficiency: When on this lifestyle, you require far more electrolytes (ions responsible for everything in the body) than average. This is because you are excreting a lot of water and reducing the intake of calcium, magnesium, and sodium. Also, on a low-carb diet, you are producing less insulin than others. Sodium deficit is one of the leading causes and can be cured with supplementation (more on how to supplement your intake later).
  • ​Sugar withdrawals: Sugar is in everything. Chances are that you were addicted to it before ​starting on this new diet and didn’t even know. Sugary drinks, bread, alcohol, and even fruit all contain it in some form. Cutting your sugar intake drastically will make your brain cranky.
  • ​Caffeine Withdrawals: If you were a caffeine addict before ​going down this road, whether from soda or from cappuccinos, cutting those sources will also cause your body to experience withdrawal-like symptoms.

How Long Do These Keto Headaches Last?

Lady wearing blue long sleeves

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:

headache with sou and water

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:

man drinking water after a workout

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:

  • Always stay hydrated: Drink roughly half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
  • ​Ramp up your sodium: Supplement your sodium intake with roughly 500 mg of salt per day. Put it on your food, in your water, and even in your coffee.
  • Eat more magnesium: Almonds, spinach, and salmon are all healthy sources of magnesium. Try to get 400mg per day.
  • Eat more fats: Fats aren’t always bad. When on keto, you are burning them for energy rather than carbs. Roughly 65% of your total calories should be from fats. When was the last time your diet let you eat BACON? Keto rocks!
  • ​Eat less protein: Try to keep your fat-to-protein ratio around 2:1.

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:

  • ​Sound sleep
  • ​Headache relief
  • ​Healthier moods
  • ​Regular energy levels

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.

Aside from taking the above steps, make sure you don't get kicked out of ketosis so you don't have to go through this keto symptom again. If, however, you got out of ketosis by chance, try supplements like E'ryday Keto to get back on track again!