HomeDietHow To Steadiness Electrolytes When You Go Low-Carb

How To Steadiness Electrolytes When You Go Low-Carb

How To Steadiness Electrolytes When You Go Low-Carb

Fast Abstract tl;dr

Sustaining the appropriate steadiness of sodium, magnesium, and potassium is essential for stopping signs of the keto-flu, together with complications, muscle cramps, fatigue, and temper swings. Correct hydration and monitoring your physique’s indicators will help handle and keep this steadiness successfully.

Sodium: Purpose for 4-6 grams (4,000 to six,000 mg) of sodium per day utilizing mineral-rich salts.

Magnesium: Purpose for no less than 400 mg of magnesium each day. To satisfy this purpose, think about supplementing with 200-400 mg of magnesium glycinate or citrate. A deficiency in magnesium can result in muscle spasms, insomnia, and elevated meals cravings.

Potassium: Embody potassium-rich meals like avocados, meat, and fish in your food plan. Seek the advice of a health care provider earlier than taking potassium dietary supplements, particularly if on blood strain medicines. Attempt to get no less than 2,000 mg, or ideally 4,700 mg a day.

Hydration: Drink no less than 8-10 cups of water each day to stop dehydration and assist electrolyte steadiness. Take note of your physique's indicators corresponding to complications, muscle cramps, and fatigue, and regulate your electrolyte consumption as wanted.

Desk of Contents

Switching to a low-carb or keto food plan can carry nice advantages like weight reduction and higher blood sugar management. Nevertheless, it’s important to concentrate to your electrolyte steadiness to keep away from widespread points just like the "keto flu." Many individuals expertise signs like muscle cramps and complications, which will be demotivating and even make them quit.

Electrolytes, corresponding to sodium, magnesium, and potassium, are essential on your physique’s capabilities, together with nerve signaling, muscle contractions, and hydration. Whenever you reduce down on carbs, your physique loses extra sodium, which may throw off your electrolyte steadiness and result in signs like complications, fatigue, and muscle cramps.

On this put up, we’ll discover why retaining your electrolytes balanced is so vital on a low-carb food plan, spotlight the important thing electrolytes to observe, and provide recommendations on the right way to keep the appropriate ranges to remain wholesome and really feel your finest.

Why Electrolytes Are Important on a Low-Carb Food plan

Electrolytes are essential minerals for a lot of bodily capabilities. Whenever you swap to a low-carb or keto food plan, your physique undergoes modifications that make electrolyte steadiness much more vital.

Decrease carb consumption reduces insulin ranges, inflicting your kidneys to excrete extra sodium. This loss can disrupt the steadiness of different electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, resulting in signs often called the "keto flu" – complications, fatigue, muscle cramps, and temper swings.

Correct electrolyte consumption helps mitigate these signs. Sodium aids in nerve operate and fluid steadiness, magnesium helps muscle and nerve operate, and potassium is significant for coronary heart well being and muscle contractions. By sustaining these electrolytes, you possibly can forestall the keto flu and guarantee a smoother transition into ketosis.


Sodium is important for nerve operate, fluid steadiness, and muscle contractions. Whenever you cut back carbs, your physique loses extra sodium by means of urine. Low sodium can result in complications, fatigue, and nausea.

To keep up sodium ranges, use mineral-rich salts like sea salt or pink Himalayan salt as an alternative of extremely processed iodized desk salt. Purpose for 4-6 grams (4,000 to six,000 mg) of sodium per day, roughly 2-2.5 teaspoons of sea salt. Dr Volek and Phinney suggest to not exceed 8,000 mg of sodium per day.


  • Significance: Important for nerve operate, fluid steadiness, and muscle contractions.
  • Signs of Deficiency: Complications, nausea, fatigue.
  • Tips on how to Get Sufficient: Use mineral-rich salts like sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, keep away from extremely processed desk salt.
  • Really useful Consumption: 4-6 grams (4,000 to six,000 mg) of sodium per day (about 2-2.5 teaspoons of sea salt). Add as much as 2,000 mg when you sweat quite a bit, you're lively or dwell in scorching climates.


Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve operate, coronary heart well being, and bone power. Trendy water provides typically lack magnesium, making deficiencies widespread, particularly on a low-carb food plan. Signs of low magnesium embrace muscle cramps, insomnia, and fatigue.

One attention-grabbing side of magnesium is its position in calcium regulation. Magnesium helps management how calcium is transported and used within the physique. With out sufficient magnesium, calcium can construct up in delicate tissues, resulting in muscle cramps and spasms.

Analysis signifies that magnesium will help cut back meals cravings; deficiencies on this mineral are linked to elevated cravings. Taking a each day complement of 600 milligrams of magnesium has been proven to considerably cut back these cravings. (<sturdy><i class='fa fa-check-circle'></i> Trusted supply</sturdy></a>” data-content=”<h5>Nationwide Heart for Biotechnology Data</h5><p>NCBI's mission is to develop new data applied sciences to assist within the understanding of basic molecular and genetic processes that management well being and illness.</p><p><a goal='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer' class='btn btn-primary' href='https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32654500/'><sturdy>Open hyperlink</sturdy></a></p>”> Askari et al, 2021) Both means, you need to be getting no less than 400 milligrams of magnesium day-after-day.

Be certain that to incorporate magnesium-rich meals, and think about supplementing magnesium. Right here's an inventory of one of the best magnesium dietary supplements,. Magnesium glycinate, citrate, chloride, malate, taurate, transdermal and salts/baths are finest choices. Keep away from magnesium oxide and aspartate.

Magnesium Citrate: An Efficient and Typically Missed Possibility

Many individuals keep away from magnesium citrate attributable to its potential laxative results, however when used accurately, it’s a extremely efficient magnesium complement. Magnesium citrate is well-absorbed, helps muscle and nerve operate, regulates blood sugar, , aids in higher sleep, and gives constipation aid by drawing water into the intestines.

To keep away from the laxative results, it's essential to stay to the advisable dosage of 200-400 mg each day. Inside this vary, you possibly can profit from its excessive absorption and well being benefits with out important gastrointestinal discomfort.


  • Significance: Very important for muscle and nerve operate, coronary heart well being, and bone power.
  • Signs of Deficiency: Muscle spasms, insomnia, fatigue, elevated meals cravings.
  • Magnesium-Wealthy Meals: Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and darkish chocolate.
  • Tips on how to Get Sufficient: Complement with 200-400 mg of magnesium each day, keep away from dietary supplements with fillers like maltodextrin. Magnesium glycinate and citrate are a few of the finest choices.


Potassium is essential for sustaining muscle mass, stopping cramps, and regulating coronary heart operate. Low potassium ranges can result in signs together with low power, heavy legs, salt cravings, and dizziness. Dehydration from sweating or diarrhea may also decrease potassium ranges. Enough potassium consumption is important for preserving lean muscle mass throughout weight reduction.

The Enough Consumption (AI) for potassium is 4,700 milligrams per day for adults, which is similar because the Really useful Dietary Allowance (RDA). This quantity meets the dietary wants of most wholesome people. The Estimated Minimal Requirement (EMR) is 2,000 mg, representing the minimal wanted to stop deficiency signs, although this could differ based mostly on particular person well being situations and dietary components.

To keep up potassium steadiness, embrace potassium-rich meals in your food plan. Dietary supplements could also be wanted for some, however seek the advice of your physician first, particularly when you're on blood strain remedy, as excessive potassium consumption can work together with these medicines.


  • Significance: Helps keep muscle mass, prevents cramps, regulates coronary heart operate.
  • Signs of Deficiency: Low power, heavy legs, dizziness, salt cravings.
  • Potassium-Wealthy Meals: Avocados, meat, fish, and sure greens.
  • Tips on how to Get Sufficient: Take into account dietary supplements if dietary consumption is inadequate. Attempt to get no less than 2,000 mg, or ideally 4,700 mg a day.
  • Warning: Seek the advice of a health care provider earlier than considerably rising potassium consumption, particularly if on blood strain medicines.

Hydration and Electrolyte Steadiness

Whereas following a low-carb food plan, sustaining correct hydration is essential. Carbohydrates assist retain water, so if you cut back carb consumption, your physique excretes extra water together with electrolytes.

Consuming sufficient water helps forestall dehydration and helps the steadiness of electrolytes. Purpose to drink no less than 8-10 cups of water each day, <sturdy><i class='fa fa-check-circle'></i> Trusted supply</sturdy></a>” data-content=”<h5>Harvard Well being</h5><p>Media and publishing division of the Harvard Medical Faculty of Harvard College.</p><p><a goal='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer' class='btn btn-primary' href='https://www.well being.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink'><sturdy>Open hyperlink</sturdy></a></p>”> though the precise quantity varies for people, or extra in case you are lively or in a scorching local weather.

7 Suggestions for Balancing Electrolytes

1. Incorporate Electrolyte-Wealthy Meals

Embody meals excessive in sodium, magnesium, and potassium in your food plan. Examples embrace:

  • Sodium: Drink bone broth and use mineral-rich salts like sea salt and pink Himalayan salt. Listed here are two recipes you might like: Rooster Inventory and Bone Broth and Bone Broth (produced from oxtails).
  • Magnesium: Meat and fatty fish, avocado, leafy greens (spinach, chard, kale, and many others.), darkish chocolate, coconut water, nuts and seeds, particularly pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds.
  • Potassium: Meat and fatty fish, avocados, spinach, Greek yogurt, mushrooms, broccoli, and coconut water.

2. Monitor Your Physique's Alerts

Take note of signs like complications, muscle cramps, fatigue, and dizziness. These can point out an electrolyte imbalance. Alter your consumption accordingly and think about consulting a healthcare skilled if signs persist.

3. Take it Simple Through the Adaptation Part

Cut back intense bodily exercise in the course of the preliminary section of your low-carb food plan, particularly the primary 4 weeks. This enables your physique to adapt with out extra stress and helps forestall additional electrolyte depletion.

4. Keep away from Frequent Pitfalls

Pay attention to hidden sources of carbs and sugars in meals, which may disrupt your food plan and electrolyte steadiness. Learn labels fastidiously and select entire, unprocessed meals every time doable.

5. Use High quality Dietary supplements

Fill any dietary gaps with high-quality electrolyte dietary supplements. Select merchandise with out components and observe advisable dosages, particularly for magnesium and potassium.

Certainly one of my go-to choices is Excellent Keto Electrolytes (this hyperlink gives you 15% off). They arrive in powders or capsules and are incredible for retaining hydrated and replenishing electrolytes. They’ve acquired a terrific mix of magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium, plus 125% DV of vitamin D to assist with magnesium absorption and immune assist. Better part? No energy, no sugar, and solely pure flavors.

6. DIY Electrolyte Drink

Staying hydrated and retaining your electrolytes in test is essential on keto, particularly when you're tackling the dreaded keto flu. Whereas there are lots of ready-made electrolyte drinks accessible, they could not all the time be clear or inexpensive. Making your individual electrolyte drink is an effective way to make sure you get the appropriate steadiness of minerals with out breaking the financial institution.

For practically a decade, I've been recommending my go-to Do-it-yourself Electrolyte Drink for practically a decade. Sip on 1-2 cups of this each day and say goodbye to the keto flu! Plus, you possibly can get pleasure from variations like Strawberry & Lime, Blueberry & Lemon, Lemon Slurpee, or Strawberry Slushie.

7. Lengthy-Time period Upkeep

As you get used to your low-carb food plan, proceed to watch your electrolyte and hydration ranges. Common check-ups together with your healthcare supplier will help make sure you keep a wholesome steadiness over the long run.

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