Why Keto Flu happens and what to do about it

The keto flu is one of the most despised keto symptoms. This constellation of symptoms feels a bit like the flu virus, except, instead of being caused by a pathogen, it occurs when your body changes its energy source (from carbs to fat), often between the third and seventh day.

Keto flu symptoms range from headaches and brain fog to perspiration, dizziness, nausea, stomachaches, irritability, diarrhea or constipation, lack of focus, slowed physical and mental response, fitful sleep, sugar cravings, heart palpitations, and muscle aches. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person: Some keto-eaters barely break a sweat, while others are laid up in bed for up to two weeks.

Keto flu is caused by several reactions happening at once: adapting to using fat instead of glycogen for energy, mineral imbalance, dehydration, and lack of micronutrients. There is also the very potent, and often overlooked, factor of carbohydrate withdrawal, a state that is talked about frequently in the keto community. A 2018 study, by University of Michigan researchers, looked at withdrawal symptoms of those who stopped eating refined, processed food (which is high in simple carbohydrates). The study, which was published in the December 2018 issue of Appetite, found that withdrawal symptoms among those who had stopped eating processed food were similar to symptoms experienced by those going through drug withdrawal.

The best way to deal with keto flu is to be prepared. Ease into carb restriction, drink one liter or more of water each day, take a multivitamin-mineral supplement, use pink Himalayan salt and bone broth to help balance electrolytes (more on this in chapter 4 of The Keto Kit’s Diet Book), eat keto-compliant foods high in the electrolyte potassium (including leafy-green veggies, salmon, nuts, avocados, and mushrooms), and be sure to get enough sleep.  

Here are some specific tips and tools that can help you deal with the keto flu:

1. Himalayan Pink Salt: Filled with nutrients that can help keep your elecrolytes balanced so you feeling strong and energetic, Himalayan pink salt is a keto-eater’s go-to ingredient. Cook with it, add it to a bath, and stir a pink into a glass of water for a quick electrolyte-balancing drink.

2. Sleep: Many keto eaters literally “sleep the flu” out. If you are hit with the lethargy and fatigiue associated with the keto flu, going to bed can allow your body to recharge and “check out” through the worst of keto flu’s symptoms.

3. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is essential for any type of flu, including the keto flu! Drinking one or two liters of water each day (small sips often), can keep you hydrated so you don’t feel headachy. It may help for you to get a two-liter water bottle so  you can gauge your water intake.

4. Bone broth: Make your own, mix up a cup from powdered broth, or purchase chicken, beef, or another type of bone broth, which is rich in minerals that can help lessen the symptoms associated with keto flu.

5. Take a keto flu supplement—meant to be taken only when experiencing keto flu symptoms, a keto flu supplement helps balance electrolytes and hydrate the body. These come in drop, powder, liquid and capsule forms.

6. Engage in some light exercise, such as walking or stretching, to increase circulation.

7. Eat some carbs. Yes, this may seem counter-intuitive, but eating a small amount of carbohydrates (such as a small apple or banana) a can allieve symptoms. Just don’t go overboard!

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Created on Dec 9th 2019 22:58. Viewed 242 times.


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