Here at Axis Labs, we’re fans of the ketosis diet. It’s obvious why. By cutting carbs and sugars, and eating more meats, natural fats, and vegetables, it’s helped some people lose weight and reach their fitness goals. By putting your body into a state of ketosis, your body becomes a fat burning machine, efficiently using the energy you provide it. However, the ketosis diet may not always be everything it’s cracked up to be. For some, after a few days on the ketosis diet, they start to experience what is colloquially called “keto flu.” But what is it? More importantly, how do you avoid it? As a leading provider of ketogenic products, like FAT BOMB, Axis Labs has spent a lot of time researching the ketogenic process and its effects. Let’s explore this phenomenon.
So, What is the Keto Flu?
For those new to the ketosis diet, or who are restarting the diet after a break, they may experience a suite of symptoms that leave them feeling sluggish and drained. Many have described these symptoms as akin to what many experience when they have the flu. The ketosis diet relies on you to cut your carbohydrate intake dramatically. By reducing the number of ready-to-burn carbs in your body, you are forcing your body to burn fat to give you energy. But your body undergoes changes when making the switch from burning glucose to burning fat. In some cases, your body may react by going into a sort of withdrawal from no longer having the readily available energy carbs provide.
What are the Symptoms of Keto Flu?The symptoms of keto flu begin to appear anywhere from two to seven days after you begin a ketogenic diet plan. Those experiencing keto flu describe the following symptoms:
- Headache and nausea
- Chills and shivering
- Dizziness, disorientation, confusion, and irritability
- Sore muscles and fatigue
- Difficulty focusing
- Stomach pains
- Intense sugar cravings
These symptoms make it very difficult for some people on a ketogenic diet to stay with the plan, as the symptoms can range in intensity from mild to severe. Typically, these symptoms last for about a week, but others have reported having these symptoms for longer than that. While the symptoms of keto flu may sound distressing, there are ways to reduce them, and even avoid them entirely.
Curing the Keto Flu
If you experience keto flu, it can keep you from your other healthcare and exercise routines. It’s best to follow these steps if you start to feel the keto flu taking hold
Hydration is an important part of any diet, but especially so when you’re starting the ketosis diet. When you’re dehydrated, your keto flu symptoms could worsen. That’s because your body is shedding its water stores while in ketosis and you aren’t offering your body the micronutrients it needs to run properly. Without adequate hydration, you might experience intense cramping during the keto flu.
Replenish Your Electrolytes
When you switch from a carb-rich diet to one that lacks them entirely, your body’s balance of electrolytes may shift, and you may lose many of your electrolytes. As you start the keto diet, it’s important to offer your body the electrolytes it needs. You can do that easily by increasing your sodium intake. Alongside increasing your hydration, more sodium will help to prevent further water loss. The addition of magnesium keeps your body from cramping and experiencing headaches. Potassium ensures that your body’s vital functions, like heartbeat regulation, energy production, bladder control, and even body temperature control, all run smoothly. Calcium is necessary to help your heart keep beating and keep your bones strong.
Change Up Your Exercises
When you first start the ketosis diet, you may be tempted to continue with your vigorous gym sessions. While you might get away with this at first, you won’t be able to sustain that program while experiencing keto flu. While you start the ketosis diet, it’s important to recognize that your performance may change temporarily. To reduce the symptoms of keto flu, change your routines include more low-intensity aerobic exercises, like walking, swimming, or yoga. Your body naturally relies on fat stores during these kinds of exercises, so you’re compounding on the effects of your diet when you perform them. Also, taking it easy during your transition away from carbs helps your body decrease the symptoms of keto flu more quickly.
Increase Your Fats and CaloriesIt’s not uncommon for those new to the ketosis diet to not get enough fats or calories. Your body needs these resources in order to transition away from carbs successfully. Look for fats like grass-fed butter, coconut oil, eggs, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, fatty fish, and even lard and bacon fat. Your body will need these extra fats when it starts burning more fat. Additionally, you may need to simply eat more of these fats than you would ordinarily. Going no-carb, low-fat, and low-calorie may help you lose weight fast, but the resulting keto flu isn’t worth it.
Consider Using Exogenous Ketones
Keto flu is the result of your body becoming reliant on fats to create energy. Part of that process means using ketones to help create energy. You can add exogenous ketones to your morning routines to offer your body what it needs. Ketones can help your body adapt to the ketogenic process more quickly.