Cramps, headaches, dizziness and dehydration are commonly experienced when your body’s electrolytes are depleted
Magnesium, potassium and sodium are essential electrolytes for the body to function properly. In particular, when following a ketogenic or very low carb diet, the importance of replenishing your electrolytes cannot be underestimated. In some respects, the first rule of keto should be top up your electrolytes! Himalayan pink salt and magnesium should be to hand at any hour of the day.
an Electrolyte Deficiency equals keto flu and trouble sleeping
Having followed the ketogenic diet for about 15 months now I have always ensured to consume extra salt and magnesium – particularly during the initial transition into ketosis in which your body flushes out a tremendous amount of water. You lose the ‘bloatedness’ from the water that the glycogen stores need to be stored in the body.
When you cut out carbs your body’s first reaction is to use up all the body’s glycogen stores and it is only after this point that your liver begins to convert nutritional fat and body fat into ketones for energy. It’s desperately looking for an alternative fuel source – one that is far superior for your health than glucose – from an inflammation and energy efficient perspective. This is when you achieve ketosis.
However, as you lose all this water—the hydration from the carbohydrates—you also flush out and dilute your electrolytes. So you’re left thirsty and electrolyte deficient.
This electrolyte deficiency causes fatigue, cramps, headaches, muscle spasms and a general feeling of a lack of energy and lethargy. These symptoms are often referred to as ‘Keto Flu’; your body just cannot function properly without electrolytes.
can't sleep on keto?
I am always advising people to increase their magnesium intake, yet after eating carbs over the holiday period and switching back to keto for the new year, I suddenly felt really tired. Even if I slept for 7-9 hours I struggled to get up in the morning and felt lethargic and drained all day. I couldn’t go to sleep at night no matter how tired I was. I didn’t get it. And I was supplementing with magnesium and having extra salt too.
Taking My own advice
As I was researching magnesium in more detail for a new blog post it occurred to me that I had all the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency! It was time that I took some of my own advice! So I doubled up on my magnesium intake –taking the Quinton Cellnutrition Hypertonic in the morning and the Lifestream Magnesium or Prizmag Magnesium Bisglycinate in the evening (which is amazing for suppoerting relaxation and deep sleep!). And at around midmorning I’d have a serving of Exogenous Ketones—I’m really loving the refreshing taste of Ketologic BHB right now—and it also contains potassium, calcium and magnesium, so further replenishes your electrolytes.
After just one day of doing this I slept well and felt refreshed in the morning. I’ve kept it up and my energy has rocketed and my sleep is sublime! I couldn’t believe that just two little tweaks have had such an immediate impact on my wellbeing. I have to admit, I am dismayed that I let this happen to me, especially as I tell literally everyone to take extra magnesium and salt!
Here's how to replenish your electrolytes
So, do not underestimate the importance of your electrolytes and if you’re feeling tired, you know what to do!
Here’s our favourite electrolyte replenishing tonic
- 1/3 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt, Volcanic, Himalayan or Andean pink salt
- 1 teaspoon of powdered magnesium
- 1/4 juice of a freshly squeezed lemon or lime
- Large glass of water
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia or erythritol for those with a sweet tooth!
Let us know how you replenish your electrolytes!