The benefits of the keto diet are widely documented—weight loss, increased energy levels, and improved mental clarity are just a few of the advantages of ketosis.
But like any diet or lifestyle change, there can be some downsides to the keto diet. One of the more common side effects is dehydration. Another is electrolyte imbalance which shows up as leg cramps, headaches, and fatigue (1).
In this article we’ll explore how much water you should be drinking on keto, and how to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Why Is Drinking Water On Keto Important?
Dehydration on the keto diet is caused by a combination of factors. First, when you cut carbs out of your diet, your body loses its main source of energy. This can lead to fatigue and make it harder to stay hydrated.
In addition, the keto diet causes your body to excrete more water than usual. This is because when your body burns fat for energy, it produces ketones. These ketones are then excreted through your urine, which can lead to increased urination and dehydration.
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How Much Water Should You Drink On Keto?
The general rule of thumb is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. However, you may need to drink more water than this if you’re on the keto diet.
Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water per day.
You may also want to consider investing in a quality electrolyte supplement. This will help replenish the electrolytes that you’re losing through increased urination and sweating.
Pink Himalayan salt is a good option, as it contains 84 minerals and electrolytes. You don’t need too much, just a pinch added to your water each day.
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Tips For Staying Hydrated On Keto
In addition to drinking plenty of water, there are a few other things you can do to stay hydrated on keto:
- Eat plenty of low-carb vegetables, which are high in water content. Good choices include broccoli, cucumber, and zucchini.
- Drink unsweetened tea or coffee.
- Avoid alcohol, which can dehydrate you.
If you’re struggling to drink enough water, try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime for flavor. You can also make yourself a keto-friendly electrolyte drink by adding a pinch of salt and potassium to your water.
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The Bottom Line
Dehydration is a common side effect of the keto diet. To avoid it, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and eating enough low-carb vegetables. You may also want to consider investing in a quality electrolyte supplement.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ketogenic Diet: A Review Article (2020, nih.gov)
- Water and Electrolytes (1989, nih.gov)