Water is crucial for multiple processes in our bodies. After all, more than 60% of the human body is made up of water. This means that dehydration can be detrimental to your well-being.
When you’re on a keto diet, your body’s water demands increase significantly. This is because you’ll be losing more water than usual, and you’ll not be able to retain as much as before you began your diet.
In this article, we’ll look at how much water you should drink on keto. This is important to sure that you have a comfortable experience with the diet.
Drinking enough water will also ensure that you benefit from the various health-improving effects of the keto diet.
How Keto Affects Body Water
When you begin a keto diet, you get rid of all glucose in your body and restrict your carb intake. The carbohydrates that you eat are not enough to provide energy to the body, so your liver breaks down fatty acids into ketone bodies. Ketones are then used as fuel.
The restriction of carbohydrates is what directly affects your water weight. In the body, carbohydrate molecules are stored alongside water molecules.
For every carbohydrate molecule, there are at least two water molecules retained in the body. Around 2-3 grams of water are retained with every gram of carbohydrate stored in the body as glycogen.
Therefore, you need carbohydrates in order to retain water in your body and remain hydrated. However, the keto diet does away with the glycogen stores. This means that your body’s ability to hold water is drastically lowered.
This is why dehydration is one of the main side effects of a ketogenic diet. Many people notice that they’re constantly thirsty. Other symptoms of dehydration include:
- Constant headaches.
If your dehydration becomes severe, the symptoms escalate to:
- Elevated heart rate.
- Low blood pressure.
- Excessive thirst.
- The color of your urine turns dark yellow.
Electrolytes and Hydration on Keto
Besides the reduced carbohydrate intake, reduced levels of electrolytes in the body when you’re on keto also affects your body water. Electrolytes are minerals such as sodium, calcium, and magnesium that have various uses in the body.
One of their functions is to ensure fluid balance in the body. When there’s an electrolyte imbalance, your cells might become dehydrated or retain too much water.
Switching to a keto diet depletes your electrolytes. They’re lost through increased urination, which happens when the body uses up its glycogen stores and releases the water molecules.
Therefore, in order to maintain proper hydration while on keto, you also have to pay attention to your body’s electrolyte levels. Once you balance these, you’ll be able to benefit from drinking more water.
To solve both dehydration and electrolyte depletion simultaneously, you can use mineral water. This’ll keep your body well hydrated, with optimal fluid balance inside and outside your cells.
How Much Water Should You Drink on Keto?
To keep hydrated on a keto diet, you need to drink more water than usual. But, there’s no definite amount of water that can be recommended to everyone on the keto diet.
Instead, you should pay attention to your body’s fluid demands to decide how much water you should drink.
We’ve already looked at the common symptoms of dehydration. When you start feeling fatigued or getting constant headaches, dehydration could be the cause. Drinking water can provide fast relief.
The best way to ensure that you’re drinking enough water on keto is by adhering to your thirst cues. By drinking water each time you feel thirsty, you’ll be able to avoid other symptoms of dehydration.
Many health experts recommend at least 2 liters of water per day for adults. This can be a good amount to prevent dehydration and support various body processes. Since this is the normal recommended amount, it means that while you’re on keto, you’ll need to drink more than that.
So, what are the benefits of drinking enough water while on keto? It’s clear that it’ll help prevent dehydration and its unpleasant effects, but what else can keeping hydrated help with, especially when you’re on a ketogenic diet?
Benefits of Drinking More Water on Keto
Your overall health will benefit in several ways when you drink enough water while on keto. Some of these benefits are:
Increased Weight Loss
Drinking water can help increase satiety, especially when taken before meals. This will help you decrease your calorie intake, leading to more weight loss.
Staying hydrated also boosts your metabolic rate, which increases fat burning in the body. This reduces the amount of fats stored in the body, promoting weight loss. At the same time, this enhances the production of energy in the body.
Protection From Kidney Stones
When you start following the keto diet, your risk of developing kidney stones increases. This is because of the large amount of electrolytes passing through your urinary tract.
There’s a higher chance of the minerals clamping together and forming painful kidney stones. But, when you drink enough water, this risk is minimized.
This is because water will decrease the concentration of the electrolytes, keeping them from clamping together. If you’ve had kidney stones before, improving your water intake can also keep them from recurring.
Constipation is another common side effect of a keto diet. It happens as the gut struggles to switch from digesting lots of carbs to large amounts of fats. Before your body gets used to this, you’ll likely experience constipation.
It can also occur due to an inadequate supply of fiber in your diet, which happens due to low carb intake. Dehydration is also a risk factor for constipation.
Drinking more water can help improve digestion and improve bowel movements, preventing constipation. For better results, you can use mineral water, which also relieves constipation by enabling frequent bowel movements.
Enhanced Mental Performance
Dehydration can affect your mental performance negatively, even when it’s mild. When you’re dehydrated, you’re likely to feel anxious, moody, and have poor concentration.
You’ll also feel mentally fatigued quickly and experience frequent headaches. This happens because low water consumption limits energy levels in the brain, thereby impairing many of its functions.
All of these symptoms can be eliminated by drinking more water while on a keto diet. When you’re hydrated, your brain will be replenished with nutrients, oxygen, and energy for optimal performance.
Tips to Drink More Water on Keto
Drinking enough water is a tough task for most people on any day, which means it’s more challenging when you’re on a keto diet. Here are a few tips to help you drink enough water each day:
- Make a routine and stick with it. You can decide to drink water immediately after waking up, before every meal, and before going to bed. By ensuring that you drink at least a glass of water each of these times, you’ll be able to improve your water intake tremendously.
- Set reminders on your smartphone or smartwatch if you tend to forget to drink water. You can use these to remind you to take water several times during the day.
- Keep a water bottle with you, and you’ll find yourself drinking more water throughout the day. By keeping it with you, you’ll feel more motivated to take an occasional sip, and it’ll also serve as a reminder.
- If you don’t like the taste of plain water, add natural flavors to make it more fun to drink. You can do this by adding slices of fruits such as oranges, lemon, or kiwi.
Other than these tips, there are products that can help you stay hydrated while on a keto diet. Here are some that you can find Amazon:
Electrolyte Hydration Powder, Ultimate Replenisher
Containing 6 electrolytes and trace minerals, this hydration powder from Ultimate Replenisher is a great supplement to solve dehydration on keto. It supports hydration and helps replenish electrolytes in the body.
This powder contains no carbs, sugars, or calories. It’s sweetened with natural fruit flavors and organic stevia leaf to make it easy to ingest when added to beverages.
Buoy Easy Squeezy Electrolytes
Formulated with electrolytes, B vitamins, and antioxidants, Buoy Easy Squeezy Electrolytes is an ideal hydration supplement. The ingredients will keep you energized and focused when added to any drink, including coffee, wine, water, or shakes.
This product works by improving the hydration power of any drink that you use, so it’s a handy keto-friendly product to always have with you.
Drinking enough water on keto will ensure that you reap several health benefits. It’ll also protect you from side effects such as dehydration, headaches, brain fog, and kidney stones.
It’ll enhance weight loss, metabolism, and leave you feeling more energized and focused. While drinking more water, also make sure to replenish your body’s electrolyte levels.
Since electrolytes play an important role in fluid balance and hydration, they’ll help ensure that you don’t slip into severe dehydration. If you need a little help to hydrate, you can look for keto-friendly hydration products.