How to replace electrolytes on keto?

Replacing electrolytes on the keto diet is crucial to maintain overall health and prevent potential deficiencies. Here are some key points to consider, supported by scientific research and academic papers: - Importance of electrolyte balance on keto: The ketogenic diet, being low in carbohydrates, can lead to increased water and electrolyte loss through urine due to reduced insulin levels and the body's shift to burning fat for fuel. This highlights the significance of maintaining proper electrolyte balance on the keto diet to avoid symptoms like muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, and constipation. - Sodium: Adequate sodium intake is essential to replenish electrolytes on the keto diet. While higher sodium intake may contradict conventional nutritional advice, several studies have indicated that low-carbohydrate diets like keto require higher sodium intakes to compensate for increased urinary excretion and support optimal hydration levels (Volek et al., 2017). Consuming sodium-rich foods like salt, broth, pickles, and olives can help meet the increased demands. - Potassium: On a typical Western diet, potassium intake is generally low. However, the keto diet can further reduce potassium levels due to lower fruit and vegetable consumption. Boosting potassium intake is important to prevent electrolyte imbalances. Potassium-rich foods such as avocado, spinach, salmon, and nuts should be included in the diet (Volek et al., 2009). - Magnesium: Magnesium is another vital electrolyte, and deficiencies are common among ketogenic diet enthusiasts. Magnesium plays a role in more than 600 enzymatic reactions in the body, and low levels can lead to issues like muscle cramps and poor sleep quality. Including magnesium-rich foods like dark chocolate, spinach, almonds, and pumpkin seeds is recommended. Additionally, supplementation might be necessary in some cases (DiNicolantonio et al., 2018). - Other electrolytes: Calcium and phosphorus are two additional electrolytes to be mindful of on the ketogenic diet. Fortunately, calcium can be obtained from keto-friendly sources such as dairy products, leafy greens, and nuts, while phosphorus is prevalent in high-protein foods like meat, fish, and poultry. - Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is key to maintaining electrolyte balance. Consuming sufficient fluids throughout the day, especially water, can support proper hydration levels and prevent electrolyte imbalances. It's important to note that individual electrolyte needs may vary based on factors such as activity level, climate, and personal health considerations. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian is advised to personalize electrolyte replacement strategies on the keto diet.

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