Dehydration can be one of the most common side effects of the Keto diet. Many people new to the diet get obsessive over how many carbs they should be eating, but forget to ask, ‘How much water should I be drinking on a keto diet?’ Not drinking enough can be detrimental to your health and weight loss goals. Learn how to spot if you are not drinking enough, and exactly how much you should be drinking.
- Why do you need to Drink More on a Keto Diet?
- What are the Side Effects of Dehydration?
- Important reasons to drink more water on Keto
- Water helps you lose weight! How Much Water Should I be Drinking on Keto?
- Top Tips to Drink More Water on Keto
- Other than water, what can you drink?
- Final Thoughts
Why do you need to Drink More on a Keto Diet?
Here comes the science bit!
Glucose from carbohydrates (carbs) is stored in the liver and in the muscle cells as glycogen.
Glycogen is basically a number of glucose molecules held together with water. For every gram of glucose, there are 3 grams of water.
Also, higher consumption of carbs, which is common in a Western diet, causes insulin secretion – it tells your kidneys to hold onto sodium (salt), as you are holding onto the sodium, you will not need to urinate as frequently and you will retain water.
Eating fewer carbs does the opposite to your body, insulin is not released as frequently (as your insulin is balanced, however, your kidneys will then get rid of the sodium it has been holding onto. In turn, this will see you urinating more and therefore, you will be losing more water from your body.
Excreting this water is not a negative as we will go into below, but consideration needs to be given to replacing the water that you have lost so you do not become dehydrated on a ketogenic diet.
How these changes will impact on You
As we have discussed above, your body is changing how it functions on a very fundamental level.
During your first few weeks of keto, as your body is adapting, you are likely to see significant weight fluctuations. This is due to the body adapting and finding its balance again. In the first week of a keto diet, a lot of people will see a dramatic weight loss, this is likely water weight as the body is not holding onto the sodium (and water) anymore, as discussed above.
This initial dramatic weight loss may then stall, people can become disheartened at this point, however, it’s important not to, instead, understand that this is all part of your body reprogramming itself and working out what ‘normal’ is to it again.
This is why it is important to understand the key role that dehydration plays in succeeding on a keto diet and how much water you should be drinking on a keto diet.
Check out this article if you want to know some crazy keto fact and keto myths?
What are the Side Effects of Dehydration?
You need to be aware of your hydration levels, especially when new to keto as you won’t have a ‘routine’ as such yet.
Here are some quick indicators that you may be dehydrated and in need of some H2O.
- Flu-Like Symptoms
- Darker than Normal Urine
Important reasons to drink more water on Keto
There are a number of important reasons why you should drink more water on keto.
- Replace lost water
- Curbs cravings and regulates appetite
- Less stress on your kidneys
- Reduce Inflammation
- Aid Muscle Recovery
- Ease Digestion
- Impairs Memory and Cognitive Function
- Relieve Fatigue
- Prevent Muscle Cramps
- Prevent Headaches
- Water helps you lose weight!
Water helps you lose weight! How Much Water Should I be Drinking on Keto?
So we’ve learned why you may be feeling dehydrated on keto, and the important reasons to increase the amount of water that you are drinking, but how much water should you be drinking?
There are a number of different methods of working out how much water you should consume in a day some suggest that you should calculate 75% of your body weight in pounds and drink that in ounces.
EXAMPLE: If you Weight 120 pound, 75% of this would be 90, therefore, you would need to drink around 90 ounces (2661 ml) of water
However, this does not take into account factors such as age, the country you live in and activity level. If you live in a particularly hot or dry country, you may need to consume more liquids, also, if you work out and sweat a lot, this will increase the volume of water that you need to be drinking.
What we recommend
Here, we recommend calculating 75% of your body weight as we have discussed above. Then buy a water bottle, most are 750 ml or 26.5 oz, divide the size of the water bottle by the amount you should be drinking as worked out above. Round this up to the nearest full bottle.
EXAMPLE: If you Weight 120 pound, 75% of this would be 90, therefore, you would need to drink around 90 ounces (2661 ml) of water. If you have a 750 ml bottle, divide the ml you should be drinking, by the size of the bottle – in this example; 2661 divided by 750 = 3.5. Round this number up to the nearest whole number = 4. Aim to drink 4 bottles of water a day.
Use this formula as a starting guide as to how much water per day to drink. After this, listen to your body, if you are feeling thirsty, drink, if you have done any excessive exercise, consider drinking more.
Can I drink tap water, or does it have to be mineral water?
Mineral water is always cited as the ‘holy grail’ of water. It contains magnesium and calcium; both of which are beneficial on a keto diet. Magnesium will help prevent muscle cramps, and calcium is essential for persons who don’t eat dairy on keto.
Mineral water is expensive though. Normal tap water, filtered or not, will be sufficient, there is no need to spend money when it’s not necessary.
Top Tips to Drink More Water on Keto
If you are not used to drinking a lot of water in a day, you may need a strategy to ensure that you are drinking enough.
Split your day into sections and aim to drink a bottle of water per section. For example, drink a bottle between 06:00 – 10:00 hours, a bottle between 10:00 -13:00 hours, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
This can be adapted depending on how your day is structured, and how many bottles of water you need to drink in a day.
Other than water, what can you drink?
If you get bored by drinking water, why not try adding some sugar-free flavouring to your water?
If this is not for you why not consider trying some of the below;
- Tea (Iced or Hot)
- Green Tea
- Coffee (Iced or Hot)
- Sparkling Water
If you’re trying to lose weight while on the keto diet, it’s important to pay attention to how much water you’re drinking. Hopefully, by now you have an idea of how much water you should be drinking, and tactics for how to drink enough. The most important thing when understanding how much water to drink on keto is listening to your body.