keto

How to Stay Hydrated on the Keto Diet

If you follow a ketogenic or “keto” diet, it’s valuable to understand the importance of hydration. When the body goes into “ketosis” on the keto diet, the liver produces ketones resulting in increased loss in body fluids. This can result in loss of water, electrolytes, and nutrients and may lead to dehydration. Drinking water, eating water-rich foods like watermelon or lettuce, and adding electrolyte replenishing drinks into your routine can help support ongoing hydration while practicing a keto diet. 

In this article, we dive into tips for staying hydrated on the keto diet. Let's first take a deeper look at the keto diet and why it can cause dehydration in the first place. We recommend consulting with your primary care provider before starting a new diet to understand what best fits your needs and lifestyle.  

Hydrant hydrate line - pink grapefruit 

 

What's the Keto Diet? 

According to a survey of registered dietitian nutritionists, the Keto diet is the most popular diet in the United States. [1] The keto diet—short for "ketogenic" diet—is low in carbs and high in fat.[2] The ketogenic diet is named as such because it puts the person on it into a bodily state called ketosis. 

Ketosis occurs when the body isn't receiving large amounts of carbohydrates, so it burns stored fat instead.[3] During this process, the liver makes an acid called ketones that the body uses as fuel. Ketosis occurs when people adhere to the keto diet.

The keto diet consists of foods that are low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein. One group of researchers defines the keto diet as one that involves dividing total calories consuming across these macronutrient categories as follows [4]:

 

  • Fat: 55% to 60%
  • Protein: 30% to 35%
  • Carbohydrates: 5% to 10%

As long as a person adheres to a diet that contains a high percentage of fats followed by protein and carbohydrates, they are on the keto diet. Beyond that, there are no specific foods people must eat (or avoid) to be considered "eating keto." That said, because of the keto diet's popularity, many high-fat, low-carb foods are now marketed as "keto" or "keto-friendly" foods to help customers quickly identify foods to consume.

Multiple variations of the keto diet exist. If you begin exploring the keto diet, you'll find that different people claim that different ratios of fats, protein, and carbohydrates define it. 

One team of researchers breaks the keto diet up into the following sub-types [5]:

 

  • Standard ketogenic diet: 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbohydrates
  • Cyclical ketogenic diet: Multiple days of eating a ketogenic diet followed by days of eating a standard higher carb diet, repeated on a cycle
  • Targeted ketogenic diet: Normally eating the ketogenic diet, but eating a higher-carb diet before intensive workouts
  • High-protein ketogenic diet: 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbohydrates

 

 

Does the Keto Diet Have Medical Benefits? 

Originally, doctors formulated the keto diet in the 1920s as a way to manage epilepsy.[6] While medication has greatly improved since the 1920s in treating epilepsy, it’s an interesting history of the diet. 

Research trials show that the keto diet has potential health benefits in other areas as well. For example, the keto diet improved type 2 diabetes in one study so much that 95% of participants were able to reduce or discontinue their medication.[8] The keto diet can also promote weight loss in obese individuals, as well as improves their cholesterol and blood sugar levels. [9]

Unfortunately, most keto diet studies only followed participants for weeks or months. Experts aren't certain what negative effects might occur in people who stay on the keto diet for extended periods of time.[4] Anyone wanting to use the keto diet to treat a medical condition should only do so under the care of a doctor.

 

 

Why Can the Keto Diet Contribute to Dehydration? 

Unfortunately, some people experience side effects while on the keto diet. There's even a name for them: the "keto flu." [10] People have reported headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms as they try the diet. In fact, U.S. News & World Reports ranked the keto diet second to last (out of 35) because of concerns about how it could negatively affect health. [11]

Some of the symptoms people experience while on the keto diet could be a result of dehydration. [12] Once the body goes into ketosis, the liver begins producing ketones. The body must work to get rid of these ketones. One way it does so is through increased urination. If this liquid isn't replaced, a person can become dehydrated. Ketosis can also lead to an electrolyte imbalance. [12]  

If you're on a keto diet, pay close attention to your body to monitor it for signs of dehydration. Ask yourself the following questions:

 

  • Do you feel increased thirst? 
  • Is your urine darker? 
  • Does your mouth feel dry? 
  • Are you experiencing headaches, fatigue, or constipation? 

If any of those questions apply to you while you're on the keto diet, you are likely either dehydrated or becoming dehydrated. You don't necessarily need to go off the diet, but you do need to rehydrate your body, fast. 

stay hydrated - hydrant no sugar

 

 

How Can I Stay Hydrated on the Keto Diet?

There are a few ways to stay hydrated on the keto diet. If you're already experiencing the effects of dehydration, it's probably best if you try to rehydrate yourself in every way available to you.

 

Drink Water

You probably won't be surprised to learn that drinking water is one of the best ways to stay hydrated or rehydrate yourself if you're beginning to experience dehydration. It's probably also one of the cheapest and most accessible ways to hydrate.

You might be wondering how much water to drink each day. The answer to that is more complex than the traditional "8 glasses" answer that's often repeated. Many factors, such as how much you sweat, determine how much water your body requires.

 

Eat Water-Rich Foods

Water isn't the only source of hydrating liquid. Many foods contain high water content. Since the keto diet doesn't allow many carbohydrates, it's best for you to eat water-rich fruits and veggies for the carbs you are allowed.

Fruits and vegetables that are high in water will help prevent dehydration. They also provide fiber, a substance that can keep you from becoming constipated. [13]

These are the 5 most water-rich fruits [14]: 

 

  • Watermelon (up to 91% water)
  • Strawberries (up to 91% water)
  • Grapefruit (up to 91% water)
  • Cantaloupe (up to 90% water)
  • Peaches (up to 89% water)

These are the 5 most water-rich vegetables [15]:

 

  • Lettuce (up to 96% water)
  • Celery (up to 95% water)
  • Bok choy (up to 95% water)
  • Radishes (up to 95% water)
  • Cucumber (up to 95% water)

 

Hydrant electrolyte drink mix

 

Use Rapid Hydration Drinks

When you need to replenish lost electrolytes and rehydrate fast, one option is to turn to our products. We launched our No Added Sugar products to provide a balanced electrolyte boost—no matter your lifestyle or diet. You’ll still get the same benefits of other Hydrant products, now with zero grams added sugar. Get ahead of dehydration and ease into your daily wellness routine with our new, hydrating products.

 

 

Takeaway 

The keto diet is currently the most popular diet in the United States. Regardless of why a person tries a keto diet, there is a risk of experiencing the symptoms of dehydration while on the diet, which is why staying hydrated while on the keto diet is important.[2] 

Be sure to drink plenty of water, eat water & electrolyte-rich fruits and vegetables, and check out our No Added Sugar Hydrate line of electrolyte mixes to help your body maintain optimal hydration levels throughout the day. 

rapid hydration mix

1

choose a flavor

Lime
caffeine
2

subscribe + save

:) Get Monthly + Save 20% Or Just Buy Once

References

[1] Pollock Communications. "Nutrition Experts Forecast 2020 will Usher in the Ultimate Food Revolution." 2020. Available from: https://www.lpollockpr.com/in-the-news/nutrition-experts-forecast-2020-will-usher-in-the-ultimate-food-revolution/ 
[2] MacKeen, Dawn. "What Is the Keto Diet and Does It Work?" In: The New York Times. 2020. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/style/self-care/keto-diet-explained-benefits.html 
[3] Ludwig, David S. "The Ketogenic Diet: Evidence for Optimism but High-Quality Research Needed." In: The Journal of Nutrition. 2019. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/150/6/1354/5673196 
[4] Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. "Ketogenic Diet." In: StatPearls. 2020.  Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/ 
[5] Shilpa, Joshi and Mohan, Viswanathan. "Keto Diets: Boon or Bane?" In: Indian Journal of Medical Research. 2018. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6251269/ 
[6] Bailey EE, Pfeifer HH, Thiele EA. "The use of diet in the treatment of epilepsy." In:  Epilepsy & Behavior. 2005. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15652725/ 
[7] Freeman JM, Vining EP, Pillas DJ, Pyzik PL, Casey JC, Kelly LM. "The efficacy of the ketogenic diet-1998: a prospective evaluation of intervention in 150 children." In:  Pediatrics. 1998. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9832569/ 
[8] Westman, Eric C.; Yancy Jr., William S.; Mavropoulos, John C.; Marquart, Megan; and McDuffie, Jennifer R. "The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus." In: Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2008. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633336/
[9] Dashti, Hussein M.; Mathew, Thazhumpal C.; Hussein, Talib; Asfar, Sami K.; Behbahani, Abdulla; Khoursheed, Mousa A.; Al-Sayer, Hilal M.; Bo-Abbas, Yousef Y.; and Al-Zaid, Naji S. "Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients." In: Experimental & Clinical Cardiology. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716748/ 
[10] Bostock, Emmanuelle C.S.; Kirkby, Kenneth C.; Taylor, Bruce V.; and Hawrelak, Jason A. "Consumer Reports of “Keto Flu” Associated With the Ketogenic Diet." In: Frontiers in Nutrition. 2020. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7082414/?report=classic 
[11] U.S. News & World Report. "Best Diets Overall." Available from: https://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-diets-overall
[12] MedicalNewsToday. "What Are the Signs of Ketosis?" 2020. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323544 
[13] Yang, Jing, et al. "Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: A meta analysis." In: World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2012. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3544045/ 
[14] Whitbread, Daisy. "17 Fruits Highest in Water." In: MyFoodData. Available from: https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/fruits-high-in-water.php
[15] Whitbread, Daisy. "17 Vegetables Highest in Water." In: MyFood Data. Available from: https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/vegetables-high-in-water.php 

More on keto