Okay now… what if there was a way to make the keto flu history? Or better, yet stop it from ever happening?
The good news is…
You can. With these 7 simple, effective methods.
Listen up, following these from the start can put you in a lucky group – those who never get the keto flu in the first place.
1) Hydrate like crazy
Hydrating on keto is essential. If you don’t, you’ll experience dehydration and all the nasty feelings that come with it.
Studies show it only takes a 2% loss of water (by bodyweight) to experience physical impairment. And at a 2.8% loss, your cognitive abilities suffer. Yikes!
How much water are we talking? Take your bodyweight (in lbs) and divide by two. That’s how many fluid ounces you should drink each day. For example, a 150 lb person should drink 75 ounces of water per day (~1.25 gallons).
2) Supplement Electrolytes
Sodium. Potassium. Magnesium. All these essential minerals will leave your body on keto.
Your best defense is to eat a diet rich in electrolytes. Foods like leafy greens (spinach), avocados, and nuts. Supplementing is also a great idea.
Salt. Don’t be afraid of it. Without all those processed and packaged foods, you’ll more salt than you think. Experts recommend 5,000 - 7,000 mg of sodium per day as you transition. Season your meals generously with salt and try salty drinks like bone broth.
Potassium and magnesium can be harder. Find an affordable source on Amazon like Potassium Gluconate and Magnesium Citrate (magnesium is a laxative.... you’ve been warned).
Daily Recommended Amounts for each:
Sodium: 5,000 to 7,000 mg per day
Potassium: 3,500 mg per day
Magnesium: 400 mg per day for men, 310 mg per day for women
3) Eat. More. Fat. (especially MCTs)
Starting on keto, many people remove carbs but don’t replace them with enough fat. Losing the guilt of pigging out on bacon takes time. We get it! But don’t make this mistake.
Adding fats will speed up the adaptation process. But know not all fats are created equal.
Animals fats must travel your entire lymphatic system before converting to energy in your liver.
MCTs – that’s medium-chain triglycerides – are different. They process directly in the liver and quickly convert energy. They’re everything carbs wish they were.
Grab an MCT supplement and add it to your favorite shake or morning coffee. Coconuts are also a good natural source of MCTs.
4) Get Plenty of Sleep
This is the one week you might want to ditch that alarm clock. Getting enough sleep will lower cortisol levels and help with fatigue and brain fog.
Aim for 7-9 hours per night of quality sleep. Drinking sleepy-time tea (lime chamomile) and taking pro-slumber supplements like melatonin and magnesium will help you get damn good sleep.
5) Get the Right Kind of Exercise (No Crossfit!)
Exercise is lowers stress and increases energy levels.
But you may ask… how the heck am I supposed to exercise when I’m bedridden with the keto flu!? Great question – your body is in no condition for extreme workouts.
Your best bet is stress-relieving exercise like yoga. Brisk walks in the morning are also a great way to get the blood flowing and kick your metabolism into gear.
An intense workout will raise cortisol levels and could make your symptoms worse. Killer workouts will come soon once your fat-adapted.
Meditation is a powerful way to reduce stress. And naturally lowering stress is your best defense against cortisol.
You might think meditation is this crazy ritual practiced only by monks in the Himalayas. Think again.
At its core, meditation is sitting still and breathing for 15 minutes. Focus on your breath, and try not to let your mind wonder. Sounds simple, but it’s worth a try.
Yoga often has a meditation component (two birds with one stone!) or you can try a meditation app like Headspace.
7) Eat Carbs (WHAT!?)
Yep. We said it.
Much like addicts are trained not to quit “cold turkey,” you may do better easing into an ultra-low carb lifestyle. The more your diet runs on processed carbs and sugars, the harder your transition will be.
You can keep nutrient-dense, “clean” carbs in your diet as you transition.
- A baked sweet potato
- Half a banana
- Handful of berries.
In time, your body will adapt. And those carb cravings will go away. We promise.
The Bottom Line
As Benjamin Franklin once said,
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Follow these 7 simple steps and your keto flu will be over before it began.
And all the benefits of keto – the steady energy, fat burning and sense of well being – will be yours.
To your health,
Ben & Brandon
Disclaimer: This website provides general information and discussions about health, nutrition and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Ben & Brandon are not doctors, registered dieticians or registered nutritionists.