Does Ketosis Make You Thirsty? Are You Drinking Enough Water?
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When you’re getting started on the keto diet, you may notice changes in your body, good and bad.
Carb restriction does a lot to your body, but does ketosis make you thirsty?
You might be wondering if your increased need for water is normal on the keto diet.
The great news is, it’s normal and temporary. The body loses more water during the initial stage of ketosis because of your shift in metabolism.
Find out why ketosis is making you thirsty and why you should drink more water on keto!
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state where there is a high concentration of ketones in your blood. This metabolic state happens when fat becomes the main source of fuel instead of carbs.
When the body has limited access to glucose, ketosis occurs. This is why the process is linked with low-carb diets, such as the keto diet.
Ketosis can also occur when you are pregnant or fasting.
For ketosis to occur, you need to eat fewer than 50g carbs per day. Your limit varies depending on your body composition, activity levels, metabolism, and nutrition goals.
To reach ketosis, you need to eliminate grains, starches, and sugar from your diet.
Is Thirst a Sign of Ketosis?
Ketosis makes you thirstier because as you switch to fat for energy instead of glucose, your body transitions and tries to adjust by losing a significant amount of water.
Here’s a more detailed list of reasons for thirst on ketosis.
Glycogen Loss is Water Loss
When you reduce your carb intake, the excessive glucose in your body called glycogen is depleted. Every gram of glycogen is stored with about 3 grams of water around it.
When the stored glycogen is depleted, so is the water that surrounds it. This is why the rapid depletion of glycogen usually makes you lose weight.
But it’s just the water weight being shredded off. After some time, your weight may plateau or even increase, especially if you go high-carb again.
Over time, your glycogen stores are renewed, and the water weight begins to return, unless you cope well with the symptoms and continue sticking to a low-carb diet.
The thirst you’re experiencing may be because you’ve eaten too many carbs before starting keto.
The sudden switch to a low-carb diet will make you want to drink more to compensate for the rapid fluid loss.
Sometimes, thirst is a result of sugar withdrawal that usually causes sweat and water loss.
Insulin Levels Drop
Carb and sugar intake leads to the release of insulin from the pancreas to combat the spike in your blood sugar.
But when blood sugar levels are low, your pancreas releases less insulin and releases the stored sodium and water.
Your kidney, then, is trying to hold on to water and sodium.
This usually happens when blood sugar levels are below 70 milligrams per delimiter, according to the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
As more fluids are released, you naturally feel dehydrated and thirsty.
This is normal, as long as you still follow the daily carb intake on keto. Remember that the recommendation is 20-50g of carbs daily, not zero.
What Keto Dry Mouth Feels Like
Dry mouth refers to a condition where the salivary glands in the mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet.
A dry mouth makes you thirsty, especially on keto. However, it is a good sign that you are on your way to or have reached the state of ketosis.
But being on ketosis is not the end goal. You want to make sure you’re staying hydrated and replenishing on electrolytes.
Other symptoms of dehydration on keto include:
- muscle aches and cramps
- blood pressure changes.
Why You Need to Drink More Water on Keto
Water weight fluctuation is common in the first few weeks of keto. Again, it is normal and temporary, so it should not be a cause of concern.
Just make sure you are drinking more water on keto. Here’s why.
Replaces Water Loss
As mentioned, your body stores water along with carbs. Once you suddenly go low-carb, both carbs and water are released as remaining energy to transition to the use of fats.
You need to listen to your body and hydrate whenever you’re thirsty,
Less Stress on Kidneys
Ketones are acidic, and some of these are excreted instead of being used for fuel. Drink more water so your kidney can filter out unnecessary toxins better.
You may also try electrolyte supplements to maintain the balance of fluids in your body.
Keppi Store has Keto Electrolyte Powders that are packed with potassium citrate, magnesium, calcium, and other minerals to replenish your body quickly.
It keeps the body hydrated and full of energy, so it’s also recommended for athletes and those on intermittent fasting.
Hunger and sugar cravings are often just dehydration in disguise. When you find you have cravings and want to have a cheat day, try drinking water to see if your cravings pass.
Reach for a glass of water when you’re having sugar cravings so you can stay in ketosis while also being satiated.
How Much Water to Drink on Keto
You get an average of 10% of your water from the food you eat.
The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 11.5 cups a day for women and 15.5 a day for men.
This includes fluids from water, tea, and juice.
However, it comes down to your lifestyle. For keto dieters, you might want to drink a few more cups as you are not just staying hydrated, but also recovering from dehydration.
How much water you need when you’re in ketosis depends on several factors including:
- your stature
- the climate in which you live in
- types of physical activity you do
- amount of physical activity you do.
A good rule of thumb to know that you are drinking just enough water is to make sure your urine is light yellow.
You can also try electrolyte supplements. However, some electrolyte replacements won’t be appropriate because the sugar content is too high.
Try adding some salt to your fluids for a natural electrolyte enhancer.
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals in your blood that carry an electric charge to let your body function.
They help with the following:
- muscle contractions
- heartbeat regulation
- body temperature control
- bladder control
- energy production
- neurological functions.
The most common electrolytes are sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorus.
Other Signs of Ketosis
Aside from thirst, here are other signs of ketosis usually known as the keto flu:
- leg cramps
- bad breath
- heart palpitations.
The keto flu is normal as your body transitions from using glucose to burning fats as the main source of fuel.
Most people feel one or more of these symptoms during the first one or two weeks of starting the keto diet.
Some don’t experience it at all. These responses to keto transition are very individual.
Once your body has adapted and the keto flu has gone, you may have more energy than before you started it.
When you have the keto flu, take it easy with physical activity and just drink more water.
Walking, stretching, and gentle yoga are the best types of exercises you can do. Take the keto diet slowly and give your body time to adjust.
FAQ Keto Diet and Ketosis
Does Ketosis Make You Sweat?
Like with thirst, sweating is also normal on the keto diet. The reasons are remarkably similar.
After switching to a low-carb diet, your body will release the stored carbs in your body along with the water that comes with them.
To avoid sweating on keto, start the diet slowly. Don’t rapidly drop your daily carb intake but do it gradually.
Here are some other reasons why you’re sweating on the keto diet.
What is the Best Electrolyte Supplement for Keto?
The best electrolyte supplement will help you stay in ketosis. Aside from being no-carb, it should also help alleviate the keto flu symptoms.
The best supplement also provides calcium, potassium, sodium, and other minerals that you lack on keto.
Electrolyte imbalance on keto is common. Symptoms include restlessness, muscle aches, anxiety, and insomnia.
Here are our favorite electrolyte supplements on the keto diet.
Can I Drink Alcohol on the Keto Diet?
Speaking of drinking, alcohol on keto is another common issue that many people question.
Alcohol may not kick you out of ketosis, but it can negatively affect it in many ways.
While it won’t knock you out, it may slow your progress and affect the way you burn fat.
Alcohol consumption may make you intoxicated more quickly and may lead you to crave non-keto foods.
Find out how alcohol consumption affects your ketosis.
Can I Drink Protein Shakes on Keto?
If you’re feeling thirsty, a protein shake can quench it, although water is always the best option.
Be careful when choosing a protein powder product on keto. The right protein powder supplement will fit your macro requirements without kicking you out of ketosis.
Find out which protein shakes are ideal on the keto diet.
Stay Hydrated on Keto!
Every gram of glycogen also stores an amount of water. Once you undergo ketosis, your body uses this glycogen first before transitioning into the use of fat for fuel.
Along with the loss of carb comes the loss of water. So, make sure to drink more than the recommended daily fluid intake.
If you are thirsty then drink more water to compensate. Use electrolytes to help with any keto flu symptoms and remember it is only temporary.
Want to know what else you can drink on keto? Check out some other keto drinks besides water.