According to scientific studies, a carbohydrate-free keto diet is one of the best ways to lose weight and lose weight quickly. The key rule of nutrition on this diet is the almost complete elimination of carbohydrates from the diet – this is necessary for the transition to ketosis.
However, abruptly avoiding carbohydrates in the early days of adhering to the keto diet leads to a number of unpleasant symptoms – including weakness, dry mouth and stomach problems. This condition is called “keto flu”. How to deal with it correctly?
// Keto flu – what is it?
The keto flu is the body’s response to the elimination of carbohydrates from the diet required on a keto diet. Symptoms appear on the second or fourth day after starting the diet and last for about a week – and their degree varies significantly from person to person.
The cause of the keto flu is not a virus at all, but a restructuring of the metabolism. First of all, excluding carbohydrates leads to dehydration – which leads to dry mouth. Plus, not eating enough fiber can lead to digestive problems.
A decrease in blood glucose levels leads to a slowdown in cognitive functions – which results in general weakness and a decrease in the ability to concentrate. In some people, the keto flu can be characterized by a fever, chills, or even a cough (in rare cases).
- difficulty concentrating
- increased irritability
- digestive problems (diarrhea, constipation)
- general weakness and drowsiness
- muscle pain
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How long does it last?
The duration (and severity) of keto flu symptoms depends primarily on how well the person is prepared for a carbohydrate-free diet and overall physical condition. For example, sweet lovers new to the keto diet experience much more noticeable symptoms.
In turn, regular sports people who followed a diet with a moderate amount of low and medium glycemic index carbohydrates may not experience any unpleasant symptoms at all – especially if they follow the keto diet again.
How can symptoms be relieved?
In order to relieve the symptoms of the keto flu and successfully survive the early days of cutting out carbohydrates, it is important to follow a few basic rules. First, it is recommended to avoid strenuous physical activity, replacing them with breathing exercises or yoga (this will help reduce stress levels).
Second, the keto flu requires adequate fluid intake as well as electrolyte minerals. We are talking, first of all, about calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium – they are found in cottage cheese and other dairy products, green vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients in a carb-free keto diet. It is necessary for the body both for the functioning of the nervous system and for the normal functioning of the muscles. Lack of magnesium is associated with cramps and headaches, common symptoms of the keto flu.
Magnesium-rich foods include chia seeds, caviar, pine nuts, and real dark chocolate. Eating these foods (in moderation) is one of the main ways to survive entering the keto diet without unpleasant symptoms.
Can the keto flu be avoided?
You can avoid the keto flu by consuming moderate amounts of carbohydrates with a low glycemic index and high fiber content. In fact, a daily intake of 50 grams of carbohydrates spread over several meals does not harm the body’s transition to ketosis.
In addition, especially when following a keto diet for the first time, you must first give up sweet and other fast carbohydrates, and only then move on to a full-fledged keto diet – this will help the body adapt gradually.
Plus, you can fight each of the symptoms of keto flu separately – from dry mouth will help abundant fluid intake, from difficulty concentrating – a contrast shower. Taking paracetamol, in turn, can treat headaches and chills.
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The keto flu is the generalized name for the symptoms that occur when you suddenly switch to a carbohydrate-free keto diet. Most often they occur on the second or fourth day and completely disappear after a week. In order to avoid them, it is important to ensure adequate intake of electrolytes and water.
Date of the last update of the material – July 28, 2020