The keto diet is all about minimizing carbs and increasing healthy fats. Nevertheless, how much water should you drink while on keto? Is there a specific amount of water you need to drink each day to stay in ketosis?
When you are on a fitness journey, drinking enough water is a no-brainer. Once you get on keto, it is recommended to take at least 2 liters of water to prevent dehydration and boost metabolism.
Everyone knows the importance of diet and exercise during weight loss. However, during a low-carb diet, water is more important. In this keto series, we will be discussing why you need to drink lots of water on keto. Read more!
What Is Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a term for a very low-carb diet. The keto is when you get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You reduce consumption of carbs such as soda, sugar, pastries, and white bread.
It has become very popular recently for its ability to help you lose excess body weight — specifically excessive fat — and control blood sugar in people with diabetes.
The keto diet was primarily designed to manage and treat an infant’s epilepsy. Today, however, many doctors recommend this dietary regimen to effectively lose weight and reduce the risk factors associated with certain lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
How Does Keto Diet Work?
When you consume less than 45 grams of carbs a day, your body will eventually run out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes around 3 to 4 days. Then you will begin to break down proteins and stored fats for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is known as ketosis.
When your body is in a state of ketosis, the liver produces small organic compounds called ketones and begins breaking down stored fat into fatty acids and glycerol — which are then converted into glucose and released into your bloodstream. This process makes you feel energized as your metabolism runs faster.
It is important to know that a ketogenic diet is not a long-term diet. Therefore, it is more focused on a fast weight loss goal.
Importance of Water on Keto Diet
Your body goes through major metabolic changes, as you burn fat. Here is why drinking enough water is highly crucial on the keto diet.
1. Replaces Lost Water
As stated previously, the body stores water when carbs are present. However, when carbs are eliminated, water is also eliminated out. Drinking enough water will replace any lost water and increase metabolism.
2. Curbs Cravings and Regulates Appetite
When you get hunger bites or instant sugar cravings on the keto diet, it is most likely because you are dehydrated. Always reach out for water instead of a cookie when these cravings arise. By doing this, you can be able to curb cravings.
Another way to curb cravings is by taking a pre-workout. While pre-workout supplements are intended to give you an energy boost and focus, some people find that they also help with weight gain.
3. Reduces Stress on Your Kidneys
Ketones are considered more acidic, and some of these ketone bodies are removed out to ensure they do not accumulate in the body. Taking much water will support the kidneys’ role of filtering out any unnecessary toxins and chemicals that may be lingering.
4. Water Helps Fat Metabolize Faster
The process of beta-oxidation requires water molecules. Burning fat requires more water during the keto process when compared to carbs which mean that more water consumption will help your body break fats down faster and more effectively.
Watch more benefits of drinking water on keto here.
How Much Water Should You Drink on Keto?
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 3 liters for men and 2 liters for women. This amount can vary depending on lifestyle factors such as age, diet, weight, and activity level.
For example, if you exercise frequently and work in hot weather, you will require more water than someone who works and lives in cold weather.
In addition, on keto, you will need to take at least 2 liters of water more water in a day because of the fluid excretion resulting from low carb eating.
A general rule of thumb is to take water when you are thirsty. If your urine is clear form or light yellow in color, you are drinking the correct amount. If your urine is a darker yellow, consider drinking more water throughout the day.
Tips for Drinking More Water
- Under 154 pounds / 70 kilograms: 0.6 liters (17 ounces) per day, up to 1.7 liters (50 ounces) for strenuous activities
- Over 154 pounds / 70 kilograms: 1 liter (34 ounces) per day, up to 3 liters (101 ounces) for strenuous activities
If staying hydrated is a struggle for you during your keto journey, here are some of our favorite tips to ensure you maintain good fluid levels.
Drink a water bottle immediately after waking up. The body is more dehydrated after a night’s rest. Drinking a couple of glasses of water right as you wake up is a great way to start your day hydrated and kick start a day.
Flavor your water. If you cannot stand flavorless water, consider getting a zero-calorie flavoring such as lemon, ginger to add to your water. Avoid anything that contains any sugar or calories.
Keep a water bottle closer to you. It is much easier to drink water if it is always within reach.
Stay Hydrated to Get the Most Out of Keto Diet
Since carbohydrates are responsible for retaining water in the body, you must drink more water after following the keto diet. If you are showing signs of fatigue, dizziness, flu and your urine is dark yellow, there is a good chance you are dehydrated.
How to Avoid Dehydration When on Keto Diet
Not monitoring your water intake can lead to headaches and fatigue. Chronic dehydration can deter you from getting the results you are after on the keto diet and lead to long-term health problems. Here is what to do to void these risks.
Take Enough Electrolytes
Sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium are essential electrolytes important for proper hydration. You are eliminating various salty processed carbohydrates on keto, so you must increase your sodium intake more than if you were following a diet that consisted of carbs.
Since keto helps maintain low insulin levels, your body flushes out more sodium than any other diet. Ensure to replenish these essential electrolytes, especially sodium, to get the most out of the low-carb, high-fat lifestyle.
Keto-Adaptation Will Cause Water Weight Fluctuations
During the first week of keto, you will experience a drastic water weight fluctuation. This is completely normal and should not be a cause for alarm.
When your body stores carbs, it holds onto water. For every 1 gram of carbs you store, you will store an average of 4 grams of water. Once these carbs are removed from your diet, water will come along with it, so it is crucial to maintain proper fluid levels during this period.
Take your proper supplements: Because a keto diet will cause you to expel more urine from your kidneys than normal, you need to supplement your mineral intake, mainly magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
The keto flu is primarily caused by a lack of magnesium, and your body is also converting fat to ketones. The zinc deficiency will cause your hair to fall out, turn gray, and your nails will break.
Avoid Sweet Things for About 3 Months
You cannot have anything sweet for about 2 or 3 months because it will interrupt the diet, even if it is zero calories. A phenomenon known as Cephalic Phase Insulin Release (CPIR) causes this.
Basically, your tongue tastes something sweet, and your pancreas squirts out insulin. When insulin spikes, glucagon lowers, and this stops ketosis. This can also cause hypoglycemia.
This is actually a learned metabolic response to sugar, and it takes time for your body to “forget” it. This is also what is meant by being “fully fat-adapted,” which means your body prefers to burn fat rather than carbs.
Do not cheat your diet: For this diet to actually work, you cannot have a cheat day once a week or even once a month. It will reset you for at least a week, possibly longer, and you will never get fully fat-adapted doing that.
Think of this diet like a marriage. If you cheat on it, it will leave you obese and alone.
This is a high-fat diet, NOT a high protein diet. Too much protein will hinder this diet because your body will try to turn that into sugar too. The small number of carbs you eat should be either high fiber, such as vegetables, or high fiber seeds, chia, and almond.
Lift equipment: There is no excuse for you to miss your daily dose of exercise. Whether you require to perform squats, tone legs, or activate the gluteus, the Fusion Motion Portable Gym will help you hit every major muscle group for the best outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can do keto?
You may be wondering who can follow a ketogenic diet. The truth is, everyone can benefit from these healthy fats by including them in the right ratios into their daily diet. The general recommendation for adults over age 18 looking to lose weight or simply lead a healthier lifestyle is usually around 70-75% of daily calories coming from fat sources. This leaves about 25% coming from protein and 5% coming from carbs.
Can I do keto when sick?
A ketogenic diet can be beneficial when you are sick. Still, it is important to speak with a doctor before starting any new diet plan. Depending on the illness, you may need more or fewer carbs and proteins. If you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, you will need to drink plenty of fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration. You can also try consuming bone broth, which is high in protein and electrolytes.
People use a keto diet most often to lose weight. Still, it can help manage certain medical conditions, like epilepsy, too. It may also help people with heart disease and brain diseases, but more research in those areas needs to be done.
Which foods are allowed on keto?
Vegetables are great to eat on keto because they are low in carbs yet high in essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins A & C, and potassium. Try eating leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and dark lettuces instead of starchy veggies like potatoes.
Can I eat fruits on keto?
Fruits are best to eat in small amounts on keto because they contain sugar. However, if you want to include them into your daily diet, try to choose lower-sugar options like Raspberries and blackberries (4 grams net carbs per ½ cup) and Cranberries and rhubarb (5 grams net carbs per ½ cup).
You should avoid consuming fruits that are high in sugar, such as pineapple, mango, and papaya. These can cause an increase in blood sugar levels, which may impede weight loss.
How much fat should I eat on keto?
This varies from person to person, depending on how many calories they need to consume each day. Generally speaking, on a ketogenic diet, 70% of your daily calories should come from fat sources. That leaves approximately 25% coming from protein sources and 5% coming from carbohydrates.
Water is a major essential chemical substance for the human body. Water has no calories, no fat, no carb, and no protein. With regards to this, it will not weigh in anyway. Therefore, you can take as much or as little water as you please on keto. Your body always has a natural response of thirst to make sure it gets the water it needs.
As a side note, low protein is not required for those following a ketogenic diet. It is a choice, and it has disadvantages. However, the biggest disadvantage of high proteins on keto is liver strain. It is advised to follow a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb diet when on keto.
To particularly answer your question: commonly, people who follow a keto diet will /can still drink water. They do not restrict themselves to drinking less water; rather the opposite.
The proponents recommend that you should drink water while burning fat.