Why electrolytes are so important on a ketogenic diet
Electrolytes are minerals found in the human body, important for body functions including muscle contraction, heart function, energy, brain activity and regulation systems. When you are going on a ketogenic diet the first thing you remove is almost every carb-heavy food. As a result, your body will produce less insulin and the glycogen stores are empty. According to this your body will make a transition to excreting water instead of retaining it. Most people lose a lot of water weight in their first time of doing the ketogenic diet. With that process the body also loses important vitamins and minerals (electrolytes) through the urine, sweat and breath. If you don’t make sure to get enough electrolytes into your diet, you may experience some negative symptoms, including headaches, brain fog, loss of focus, sugar cravings, lack of quality sleep and fatigue because of the electrolyte imbalance.
What are the most important electrolytes
Sodium is the most important mineral for all body functions. When your body excretes water sodium always excretes with it. Your body can‘t produce sodium by itself, so you have to make sure, to get enough sodium over the day to fill the electrolyte storage. Sodium chloride absorbs and transports nutrients, maintains the right balance of fluid in the body, contracts and relaxes muscles, transmits nerve signals and maintains blood pressure.
Potassium is another important mineral, important for many regulating body functions. A normal level of potassium in the blood is important for helping cells, kidneys, heart, muscles, and nerves work properly. If you dont get enough potassium along your diet or lose minerals and vitamins according to excreting water while cutting out carbs, you may experience signs and symptoms of potassium deficiency, including muscle cramps, muscle aches and stiffness, digestive symptoms, mood changes and weakness and fatigue.
Magnesium is one of the three most important nutrient minerals to human health, responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including the muscle and nerve function, regulation systems of blood sugar and blood pressure and essential to the production of DNA, protein and bone mineral. Especially for active people the lack of magnesium often leads to muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness and headaches. Taking magnesium malate can help overcome magnesium deficiency and improve health and overall physiological function. It may also helps with reducing food cravings, sleep, and digestive issues.
A ketogenic diet requires a much higher intake of water
According to the increased water excreting it is highly recommend to make sure, that you drink enough water, to fuel your water storage and compensate the water loss while losing huge amounts of water. Electrolytes are always connected with the water excretion and that can causes disrupted levels. It’s really important to focus on the balance of electrolytes in a ketogenic diet, for reducing negative side effects and improve physiological functions.
Benefits of taking an electrolyte supplement
During the ketogenic diet its hard to fill the electrolyte storage with real food and ensure the right balance. A supplement with the right amount of sodium chloride, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride helps to boost the electrolytes your body is probably lacking on a low carb diet. It is very effective to avoid the ‚keto-flu‘ and ensure the right levels of electrolytes into your body.
In summary, try to stay hydrated and get the sodium, potassium and magnesium your body needs to continue functioning at its optimum.