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The keto diet gets results. The weight loss and the impact on your overall health and wellness make it sound like the best diet ever.
However, every diet has its downside. For example, the keto diet often causes bad breath during the first few weeks.
Known as keto breath, it leaves a foul, fruity smell and taste in the mouth.
Although this is a good sign of ketosis, the symptoms can be annoying and embarrassing. This makes you question, does keto breath go away?
We share with you how long keto breath lasts and how to get rid of it.
Is Keto Breath Normal?
Yes, keto breath is perfectly normal and common among many keto dieters.
It produces a certain taste or odor in the mouth that is different from bad breath. This means that the keto breath, unlike halitosis, does not smell rotten or fetid.
The usual bad breath is usually caused by the following:
- poor dental hygiene
- dental problems
- foods like onion, coffee, and garlic
- health conditions
- oral infections
While halitosis causes rotten or decayed-smelling breath, keto breath smells and tastes sweet, metallic, and fruity.
Some even describe it as a metallic taste that is like nail polish remover.
Does Keto Breath Go Away?
Keto breath is not your typical bad breath, and it is temporary.
Your keto breath will go away eventually.
To understand how and why, you need to know how your metabolism works.
The body gets fuel from carbs, fats, and proteins, the macronutrients. Then, carbs are broken down first for energy, followed by the fats.
Because the keto diet restricts carb consumption, fat is used for energy as your body depletes its stored carb. This metabolic process is called ketosis.
Even when you’re not in ketosis, the body produces ketones, just not as much.
The broken-down fats are converted to ketones, which are chemicals that your body produces when you burn fat for energy. Ketones include beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone.
Too much ketone production circulates around your bloodstream instead of simply being released. This explains why your breath smells like acetone or nail polish remover.
They interact with the air in your lungs before they are released through your mouth.
The keto breath is temporary and harmless. It occurs as a result of ketones being released from the body through urination and exhalation.
You should take it as a good sign that your body is transitioning to the state of ketosis.
How Long Does Keto Breath Last?
The keto breath is temporary. How long it lasts depends on your body and how quickly you can transition into ketosis.
We all have different metabolisms, so some may experience it for a few weeks while others may only have it for a few days..
Some people on the ketogenic diet don’t even experience keto breath at all.
The keto breath is likely to last as long as your other keto flu symptoms, which is usually only one or two weeks.
Watch as this video explains some keto flu remedies.
Acetone comes out through the mouth because it is small. It can get into the air spaces of lungs and be released through breath,
You may notice a change in your breath within a few days of starting keto. But it will subside as your body adjusts.
Once you have adapted to the keto diet, your keto breath will go away.
How to Get Rid of Keto Breath
Tips to avoid or eliminate your keto breath.
Eat Less Protein
The standard ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet.
Eating too much protein can worsen your bad breath because broken-down protein produces ammonia.
Ammonia is eliminated through urination and breath, creating a strong odor that smells like chemical cleaning products.
Find out your macronutrient ratio on the keto diet so you don’t eat too much protein.
If you are not trying to build your muscles, stick to the low end of the protein scale.
Brush and Floss
To avoid further odor, brush your teeth twice a day and floss.
Bacteria can accumulate in your mouth when you don’t practice good oral hygiene regularly, triggering a worse breath on keto.
Drink More Water
Your body not only flushes acetone through the breath but also through urine. When you drink more than the recommended water intake, the ketones get flushed through more easily.
Drinking more water can also help you with your weight loss goals.
Most importantly, ketosis causes dehydration, which may be one of the reasons why your breath smells bad.
When you’re eating carbs, your body holds excess glucose and water. Therefore, you lose so much water weight at the beginning of keto.
Once the glycogen stores are burned, your body can’t hold on to water when you’re in ketosis.
You can experience headaches, thirst, fatigue, and dark-colored urine.
A dry mouth produces less saliva, responsible for the bacteria in your mouth.
Drink more water to combat these side effects of ketosis!
Mints and gum are a short-term solution to keto breath. You can use them until your body adjusts to the keto diet.
Remember that gum and mints may contain a small number of carbs, so choose one that is sugar-free, like Altoids Smalls Wintergreen Sugarfree Mints.
If you chew on too many pieces a day, it could kick you out of ketosis.
Start Your Keto Diet Slowly
Your body can have a hard time adjusting to the use of fat for fuel, so gradually decrease your carb intake rather than hitting the brakes instantly.
If your keto breath is affecting your quality of life, slightly increasing your carb intake can eliminate it.
Do this only in small amounts if you don’t want to get kicked out of ketosis.
Keto breath may seem inevitable when you’re on the ketogenic diet, but you can bump up your carb intake and test your ketone levels to find your sweet spot with the amount of carbs you can eat.
If you add more carbs and eat less protein, this might eliminate your bad breath. Use a breathalyzer or blood testing kit to make sure you’re still in fat-burning mode.
FAQ Keto Diet and Keto Flu
Does Ketosis Cause Dry Mouth?
Ketosis makes you thirsty as you lose more water when you use up your carb stores.
You become thirsty on keto, hence the dry mouth. This may also be a contributing factor to bad breath on the diet.
Find out more about keto dry mouth!
Does Ketosis Make You Sweat?
Ketosis makes you sweat because water is stored along with glycogen. If the body burns the remaining carb stores, water is also released.
This explains why you may perspire more on the ketogenic diet. But like with keto breath, sweating is also temporary.
Here’s more on why ketosis makes you sweat.
Do Electrolyte Supplements Help with Dehydration?
Electrolyte supplements can help you replenish the lost water and minerals when you’re in ketosis.
While drinking water is more recommended than electrolytes, you still need these supplements to avoid some symptoms of the keto flu.
Learn the best electrolyte supplements on keto to help you achieve more optimal ketosis!
What Do Ketone Supplements Do?
Ketone supplements can help you get into ketosis more quickly with few to no symptoms of the keto flu.
These supplements help you maintain a healthy level of ketosis without some side effects of the keto flu.
Some exogenous ketones help you speed up weight loss, keep you satiated, and reduce the risk of diseases.
Learn more about what ketone supplements do.
Be Patient as You Transition to Ketosis!
Keto breath is a side effect of entering ketosis when you stitch to a low-carb diet.
Not everyone experiences it on the keto diet, but those who do will only go through it short time.
However, you can try eating less protein, brushing and flossing, and staying hydrated.
To stay hydrated, drink more water and consume electrolyte supplements on the keto diet.