Keto focuses on eating a high fat, low carb diet to help you shed unwanted body fat by getting the body to burn fat instead of carbs for energy. But something that often gets overlooked with keto is hydration.
People on the ketogenic diet tend to retain less water, meaning that drinking enough water is essential for preventing dehydration. How much water should you drink on keto? Read on to find out.
Many carbs are also high in salt and cause the body to retain water. So, when you’re on a keto diet, your body won’t hold onto as much water because you’re eating no or low-carb foods. Most of these foods are also unprocessed, so they’re low in salt.
When you drink water on keto, it tends to go right through you. Since your body isn’t doing as much water retention, the water doesn’t have anything holding it in your tissues, so you need to be sure you’re giving your body the water it needs.
There’s no set amount of water everyone on keto should drink. The amount is different for everyone, and depends on your age, weight, how much you’re restricting carbs, how much you sweat, and how much you exercise.
To figure out how much water you need as a keto dieter, use the following calculation. Choose a number that’s somewhere between 50 and 100 percent of your body weight. If you live in a hot climate where you sweat a lot or if you exercise regularly, choose a higher number. Then, drink that many ounces of water.
So, if you weigh 200 pounds and don’t sweat a lot, you might choose 50%, which means you’ll drink 100 ounces of water every day. If you weigh 200 pounds, live in a hot climate, and sweat a lot, you might choose a higher number and drink between 150 and 200 ounces of water every day.
If you’re worried that you’re not getting enough water on keto, here are some signs to look for to determine if you’re experiencing dehydration.
Dizziness can be a side effect of dehydration. When your body doesn’t have enough water, it’s not as easy for the blood to flow into your brain. This can cause many problems, including dizziness when standing up too fast or making any sudden movements.
If you feel dizzy and ignore it by not hydrating, you may faint. This results from a drop in blood pressure that causes a lack of oxygen to the brain.
Headaches are a sign of mild dehydration and can be a result of not enough water or a lack of electrolytes.
If you’re feeling sluggish, it might be because you’re not drinking enough water. When your body struggles to cope with dehydration, it not only tires you out but can also lead to nausea and muscle weakness that make you feel like you don’t want to do anything.
Drinking enough water can help you lose water in other ways. Thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger, and sometimes we grab for a snack when we should be reaching for our water bottle. Drinking a glass of water before meals can help you eat less.
Water can also help satisfy some of the cravings that come with keto. Try adding a teaspoon of salt if you’re having salty cravings and are struggling to stay away from chips or pretzels, or add some keto-friendly sweetener to fight cravings for sweets.
When you switch to burning fat more metabolism, it can be hard on your kidneys. Drinking a lot of water can help alleviate some of the stress, diluting the acidic ketones as they pass through.
Drinking water is the easiest way to stay hydrated, but some people don’t like the taste or have a hard time getting enough water in. Here are some other ways to make sure you’re getting enough hydration.
- Eat foods with high water content. Dark leafy vegetables, celery, and bone broth are all hydrating foods that can help you meet your water goals
- When you start to feel hungry, drink a glass of water.
- Choose another keto friendly drink that will hydrate but won’t add any total carbs. For example, add lemon juice or artificial sweetener or try sugar-free carbonated water, green tea, and black coffee.
Staying hydrated is an important part of staying healthy on keto. If you don’t like plain water, there are plenty of other ways to make sure you’re giving your body what it needs while shedding pounds.