Why Do You Need Electrolytes on Keto [All Your Keto Electrolyte Questions Answered]

  • Date: April 30, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

The electrolyte is an important mineral responsible for affecting body functions differently. It affects the acidity of the blood and the amount of water in the body. Sodium, chlorine, and potassium are the major electrolytes.  A person needs more electrolytes than the average person if they follow a low-carb diet, like the keto diet. Read on to find out why you need electrolytes on keto.

The number of electrolytes in a low-carb diet is limited. In addition, the keto diet makes a person lose more sodium and potassium through urine. 

Therefore, it’s important to check for this mineral regularly in the body. This post will help you understand the side effects of low electrolytes and how to increase electrolytes in the body. 

In this article, we will take you through why you need electrolytes on keto, whether you need to take electrolyte supplements, what your optimal electrolyte intake is, as well as natural, keto-friendly ways to add electrolytes into your keto diet.

Why May You Need Electrolytes on Keto?

If you’re new to keto and want a bit more information, check out our keto beginners guide.

As a quick summary, if you need it, the keto (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF).

The whole concept of the keto diet is that your body transitions from burning glucose, in simple terms, sugars or carbohydrates, to burning fat as its primary fuel source.

For a keto diet, people will restrict their macros to eating;

  • 70% of their calories are from fat
  • 25% from protein
  • 5% from carbohydrates

Sticking to these macros for a period of time will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body has transitioned from burning carbohydrates as its primary fuel source to burning fat for fuel. It is at this point that you will start to see and feel the benefits of the keto diet. More importantly, blood sugar levels will become regulated.

It is the role of the liver to convert amino acids into small amounts of glucose. This process is called glucogenesis. This is when ketone bodies (ketones) are created.

Eventually, your body will become what is known as ‘fat adapted‘. In simple terms, this means that your body is accustomed to burning fat as its primary fuel source and it will function this way as its default setting.

There are a lot of new terms and abbreviations that you may come across, sometimes it can feel like a new language that you need to learn. In order to help you out and keep you on the right track, we have created a keto terms and keto abbreviations guide, bookmark these to make your keto journey easier.

Some people can be put off the keto diet because of the side effects, however, these are only short-lived and the health benefits of keto far outweigh the side effects.

There is no doubt that the process of getting into ketosis and remaining there is a massive change to the way your body is used to functioning.

Supplements may be able to assist your body with this transition and speed up your journey to your health goals. So, let’s get into, Why Do You Need Electrolytes on Keto?

What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals found in our bodies that help regulate fluid balance and maintain proper acid/base levels. They include sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, phosphate, and sulfate. The body needs these minerals to function properly.

Electrolytes maintain normal heart rhythm,  blood pressure, fluid balance, and muscle contractions. Imbalance in electrolytes to keto beginners can cause keto flu.

Keto flu is when you feel tired after reducing your carb intake on a keto diet. This happens because your body has been used to burning fat for fuel, and now it needs to adapt to using glucose instead. The first week to three are the hardest, and then you’ll be fine.

Our bodies can only perform at their best when the electrolytes are kept within the healthy range. But a ketogenic diet can make it different to keep the electrolytes at the desired, optimal level

Why Do You Need Electrolytes on Keto?

People following a keto diet need to consume more electrolytes because when the body enters the ketosis stage, it produces electrolytes differently.

Kidneys are made to excrete more sodium as less insulin is released in the keto diet. When the body loses more sodium, it disturbs the electrolytes balance in the body. 

An increase of electrolytes through supplements and diet can keep the electrolyte level balanced. 

You can do this by drinking plenty of water and electrolyte drinks. These drinks contain sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chloride, sulfate, and other minerals that help maintain fluid balance in the body.  

Another cheap electrolyte option is to add Himalayan salt to your water.

Yes, pink Himalayan salt contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, sulfate, silica, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, fluoride, and other minerals.

Pink Himalayan salt has been used for thousands of years to purify water and treat diseases as well as add electrolytes to your keto diet.

What Are the Side Effects of Having Too Few Electrolytes?

If your body does not get enough electrolytes, you will experience muscle cramps, headaches, low energy, brain fog, insomnia, weakness, and keto flu. 

In a general scenario, electrolyte imbalance happens when the body has too much or too little water. Here’s what leads to the loss of electrolytes:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Not eating enough 
  • Not drinking enough 
  • Eating disorder
  • Kidney or liver problems 
  • Congestive heart failure 
  • Medications like diuretics 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Cancer treatment 

How Many Electrolytes Do You Need on Keto?

Whether or not you are following a low-carb ketogenic diet, the body needs to have a balanced electrolytes level.

On average, 3000-5000 mg of sodium and 3000-4000 mg of potassium are needed. 

However, there is no standard number of electrolytes a person needs.

Not only is everybody different, but we all sweat in different amounts and we will all urinate in different volumes depending on what we are drinking.

Both of these are big factors in how many electrolytes we will lose and therefore, need to replace.

How to Increase Electrolytes on Keto

One of the easiest ways to increase the electrolyte level in the body is by consuming food items that are rich in them. There are some great options to help you out if you are looking at how to get electrolytes on keto through.

Keto Friendly Electrolyte Rich Foods

There are a number of keto friendly foods which are packed with electrolytes, adding these to your diet will help replace lost electrolytes.

  • pickle juice
  • spinach
  • sunflower seeds
  • kale
  • avocado 

Or, as we have discussed above, adding some pink Himalayan salt to your water or foods will offer you a cheap alternative to buying expensive keto electrolyte supplements.

Keto Electrolytes Drink

Here’s how you can increase electrolyte levels in the body through electrolyte drinks, all of which provide good sources of electrolytes.

  • Have sugar-free sports drink to replace electrolytes quickly: Sports drinks can instantly increase electrolytes levels in the body. Only pick sugar-free sports drinks to limit the number of carbs that go in your body. *Check the ingredients to ensure they are keto-friendly before purchasing*
  • Make your sugar-free drink: If you do not want to consume packed sports drinks, you can make your drink. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a cup of water. Add a pinch of salt and any sugar-free sweetener to it. Stir well and drink. 
  • Sip unsweetened coconut water: Coconut water is high in electrolytes, which has made it a popular alternative for sports drinks. It tastes refreshing and does not have added sugar. 
  • Drink bone broth: Bone broth contains vitamins and a mixture of electrolytes. You can purchase a bone broth can from the store and add it to hot water. The bone broth tastes the best when it’s hot. 

Keto Electrolytes Tablets

You can increase electrolytes levels in the body by consuming electrolytes tables. There are plenty out there on the market. Please ensure that the ingredients are keto friendly before you part with your hard earned cash.
These can be good if you are on the go, but there are not essential on a keto diet.

Keto Chow Electrolytes

You can also consume electrolyte drops by Keto Chow to increase the electrolyte level. It does not have artificial flavors, ingredients, or colors. It is made using the minerals of Greater Salt Lake.

Keto Chow Electrolyte is an ideal option for people who have a busy lifestyle. It comes in three convenient sizes, making them easy to carry around. You can pour this drop into any beverage of your choice to instantly increase the electrolyte level in your body. 


Will I Need More Electrolytes if I am Working Out?

Yes, you will need more electrolytes when you are working out. Chloride, sodium, and potassium are released through sweat when you exercise. So, when the body loses a good amount of essential minerals, consuming more electrolytes makes sense. 

Will I need more electrolytes if I am intermittent fasting?

When intermittent fasting, you don’t have to increase electrolyte consumption. That’s because electrolytes do not stimulate the pro-growth pathways like mTOR as they don’t have calories. What is the cheapest way to get electrolytes on keto?

The cheapest way to add electrolytes into your keto diet is naturally through foods such as nuts and seeds, or by adding pink Himalayan salt to your meals.

What role do electrolytes play in weight loss?

Electrolytes play a key role in weight loss. They help regulate blood pressure, which helps prevent dehydration. Dehydration causes the body to retain water, which leads to bloating and increased appetite. The best way to lose weight is to drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods.

There you have it, our round up of electrolytes and the keto diet. Now you should know, why you need them, how to recognize when you’re not getting enough electrolytes, as well as how to add them to your diet.

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