Keto Flu can be a serious bummer.
Fatigue. Headache. Sugar cravings. Nausea. Irritability. Difficulty focusing (“brain fog”). Dizziness.
It is VERY common in keto, especially in the beginning when your body is transitioning from a high-carb (sugar burning) to low-carb (fat burning) diet.
But those symptoms can be something that stops you in your tracks and you stop keto before you ever really began.
The good news?
It’s pretty simple (and quick) to cure. Take a listen to this video to find out how.
Hint: Electrolytes are the #1 way to avoid keto flu completely. That’s why we (Tyler and Luis from Ketogains and me) created the first grab-and-go packets with all the electrolytes you need, and none of the crap you don’t.
Nicki: So Robb, talk to me about the Keto flu, what’s going on in that scenario and what can folks do?
Robb: The Keto flu, the Atkins flu, the freshman 15. I guess that last one is something different. So when folks go on the low carb diet, you see this even with standard Paleo. Oftentimes people feel really weak, lethargic. If they go from sitting to standing, they can feel light headed, and what’s going on in that scene is that under a baseline of consuming a kind of a typical amount of carbohydrate, our insulin levels are fairly high. When insulin is high we tend to release a hormone called aldosterone, and aldosterone causes us to retain sodium.
If we drop our carbohydrate intake, drop our insulin production and then we drop aldosterone, and we tend to excrete sodium, and it tends to go in kind of a nasty downward spiral, the kind of scientific term for this is the natriuresis of fasting and it can be a really nasty process. People can feel terrible, high heart rate, difficulty sleeping. What’s happening in this scene is that the body starts trying to compensate. One of the compensation mechanisms is a release of epinephrine and cortisol, which can also kind of enhance sodium retention. But that’s one of the worst things that you can possibly do if you’re wanting to get good, sound sleep.
So oftentimes people will report all manner of problems with a low carb, ketogenic diet. Sleep disturbances, things that look like thyroid or kind of like adrenal fatigue type stuff. I’m not saying that low carb and Keto is the right thing for everybody to do, but a massive number of people, the problem isn’t necessarily that it’s low carb, it’s that they’re inadequately supplementing electrolytes, in particular sodium.
So if you increase your sodium intake and the increase can be kind of aggressive compared to what the kind of standard, recommended levels are, but if you do that then it largely puts these problems to bed because we’re kind of quieting that stress response that’s coming out of the body due to this kind of spiraling process of losing sodium which then causes the body to shed potassium and it’s kind of a downward spiral.