The keto flu is a collection of symptoms that appear when someone starts a low carb, high fat ketogenic diet.
Symptoms can be similar to the flu and include:
- Muscle soreness
- Poor concentration
- Sugar or carb cravings
These are caused by a combination of mild dehydration, carbohydrate withdrawal, and the adaptation of burning ketones instead of carbohydrates for energy.
Symptoms last a few days to 2 weeks and can vary in severity.
Ways to Beat the Keto Flu
There is a lot you can do to reduce the symptoms of the keto flu and make the transition easier.
Stay hydrated. Transitioning into ketosis causes the body to lose water leading to mild dehydration. Aim to drink at least 8-12 cups of water a day to stay hydrated.
Replace electrolytes. When the body loses water, it also loses electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Replacing electrolytes with products like Keto BCAA can slow this loss.
Rest. The first two weeks of keto are not the time to start training for a marathon or for skimping on sleep. Moderate exercise is fine, but listen to your body. Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Eat enough fat and calories. When you first start keto, you may be eager to lose weight, which makes it appealing to try to eat less. But, to help your body transition, you need to eat enough to help you stay satisfied, ease the adaptation to keto, and help reduce cravings. Listen to your hunger signals and eat keto-friendly foods.
Following these tips can help you get into ketosis effortlessly and minimize the effects of the keto flu.