The Keto Flu

What is Keto Flu?

Your body burns carbohydrates (glucose) for energy by default. But when your carb intake is drastically reduced, like on the ketogenic diet, your body is depleted of stored glucose and instead turns to burning fatty acids for energy. This is the metabolic process of ketosis. The keto flu is a natural reaction when our bodies are entering ketosis and switching to a state of glucose-burning to fat-burning. Your body’s response to entering ketosis can often mimic symptoms of the flu, thus the name “keto flu.”  

Symptoms of the Keto Flu

  • Fatigue

  • Sugar cravings

  • Dizziness

  • Difficulty focusing (or Brain Fog)

  • Nausea

  • Difficulty Getting To Sleep

  • Irritability

  • Stomach Irritability

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • Muscle cramping or soreness

  • Lack of concentration or focus

  • Sugar cravings

  • Heart palpitations

But don’t worry, you may only experience one or two of these symptoms or none at all. The symptoms you get, the severity of your symptoms, and the length of the keto flu will be different depending on the person. Either way, the symptoms shouldn’t last more than a couple weeks and should go away once your body is adapted to burning fat for fuel.

Why does it happen?

The keto flu is essentially the result of three things:  

  1. Becoming “keto-adapted.”

  2. Electrolyte loss and dehydration.

  3. Withdrawal from carbohydrates and sugary foods.

How to get rid of it

Stay Hydrated

The water loss that occurs at the beginning of a ketogenic diet needs to be replenished. This can help reduce keto flu symptoms like headaches, fatigue, or nausea that are often caused by dehydration.

Replenish Electrolytes

  • Increase your salt intake. This will help counteract the water loss that happens when starting a keto diet and replenish sodium. HEYFRIDA bars contain healthy salts to assist you with this.

  • Supplement with magnesium and eat foods high in potassium like leafy green veggies, salmon, nuts, avocados, or mushrooms.

Get plenty of sleep

Getting at least seven hours of sleep a night is important for anyone, and even more so for the keto dieter. Your body is experiencing a lot of changes as it switches fuel sources, so getting plenty of sleep can help reduce stress and fatigue. If you struggle to get enough sleep per night, try incorporating a power nap or two into your day.

Do light exercise

Exercise performance may temporarily suffer while the body is adapting to higher fat and low carb intake. At the same time, getting light exercise 2-3 times per week can help make your body more efficient at switching between carbs and fats for energy[*], helping to decrease keto flu symptoms more quickly.

Increase fats and calories

Your body is no longer getting its energy from carbohydrates and sugars, so it needs plenty of fat for fuel. Make sure the calories from carbs are replaced by eating plenty of keto fats. 

Take exogenous ketones

Be patient and give yourself some extra love

Tessa Wanders