When getting started with keto you may notice an increase in thirst. It's almost like you cannot get enough water and you're constantly reaching for something to drink. We are explaining the science behind this thirst and what to do to quench it.
Why Does Keto Cause Thirst?
The main cause of keto thirst simply put is carb restriction. The goal of the keto diet is to restrict carbs enough so that your body transitions from burning glucose as fuel to ketones.
During this transition, two processes occur that cause the body to lose significant amounts of water:
1. Stored glycogen is being burned for fuel
Glycogen (excess glucose stored in the body) is depleted as you significantly reduce your daily carb intake. Every gram of glycogen is stored with approximately 3 grams of water.
So as your body burns up these glycogen stores on its way to ketosis, your body experiences accompanying water loss for the water that is surrounding the glycogen.
2. Insulin levels drop
When you ingest carbohydrates and sugar, your pancreas releases insulin in order to combat the ensuing spike in your blood sugar. High insulin levels in the body, trigger your kidneys to hold onto water and sodium.
When you essentially eliminate carbs/sugar from your diet with keto, your insulin levels lower and your kidneys are subsequently able to release this stored sodium and water.
What is the Thirst Like?
The thirst is noticeable and you can also experience dry mouth.
In general, an increase in thirst it is a good sign that you are headed into ketosis.
But you want to make sure that you are hydrating properly and replenishing your electoytes.
Check Out This Recipe You Can Enjoy on Keto
How Do You Know If You Are Dehydrated?
Listen to your body and look for signs that you are dehydrated and/or have an electrolyte imbalance.
These symptoms can include thirst, dry mouth, dizziness, muscle aches & cramps, headaches, fatigue or blood pressure changes.
How Do I Quench My Thirst and Hydrate?
First things first, up your water intake.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water (at least half an ounce for every pound that you weigh) and opt for water that is rich in electrolytes.
In additional to water intake, replenish essential minerals by consuming foods such as nuts, avocados, bone broth, leafy greens, celery, spinach and salmon.
These mineral rich items will help reload your body with the minerals that it needs.