Carbohydrates are responsible for holding water and sodium in your body. When you restrict carbs, they are excreted, which means you retain less water. This means people eating keto need to drink more water compared to other diets.
When your body stores carbs, it holds onto water. For every 1 gram of carbs you store, you will store an average of 4 grams of water. Once these carbs are removed from your diet, water will come along with it, so it’s important to maintain proper fluid levels during this period.
Side Effects of Dehydration
If you are not carefully monitoring your water intake, mild dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, dry mouth, and flu-like symptoms. Chronic dehydration can deter you from getting the results you are after on the ketogenic diet and lead to long-term health problems.
Electrolytes are Crucial
On keto, you are eliminating various salty processed carbohydrates, so it’s crucial that you increase your sodium intake more than if you were following a diet that consisted of carbs. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are essential electrolytes that are key for proper hydration.
Why You Should Drink More Water on Keto
Your body goes through major metabolic transitions as you become a fat burner. Here’s why adequate fluid levels are crucial on the ketogenic diet.
#1. Replaces lost water
As mentioned previously, your body stores water when carbohydrates are present. When carbs are eliminated, water is also flushed out.
#2. Curbs cravings and regulates appetite
Often, when you experience hunger pangs or sugar cravings on keto, it is most likely because you’re dehydrated. Make it a habit to reach for a glass of water instead of a sugary treat when these cravings arise.
#3. Less stress on your kidneys
Ketones are acidic and some of these ketone bodies are flushed out instead of used for fuel to ensure they don’t accumulate in the body. Drinking more water supports the kidneys’ role of filtering out any unnecessary toxins that may be lingering.
#4. Water helps fat metabolize faster
The process of beta oxidation (where fats are broken down) requires water molecules. Burning fat costs more water during the process compared to carbs which means more water consumption will help your body break fats down more effectively.
How Much Water Should You Drink on Keto?
The Institute of Medicine recommends consuming between 91 and 125 fluid ounces of water per day as an adult. As a ketogenic dieter, you’ll need to drink even more water because of the fluid excretion that occurs as a result of low carb eating.
If staying hydrated is a struggle for you during your ketogenic journey, here are a few of our favorite tips to ensure you maintain proper fluid levels.
- Drink a water bottle immediately upon waking up. Your body is most dehydrated after a full night’s rest. Drinking a couple glasses of water right as you wake up is a great way to start your day hydrated.
- Flavor your water. If you cannot stand flavorless water, consider getting a zero-calorie flavoring to add to your water. Avoid anything that contains sugar or calories.
- Keep a water bottle next to you. It is much easier to drink water if it is always within reach.