If you’ve ever poked around the keto diet or thought about doing a low carb diet – you might have heard of keto flu. It sounds bad – really bad – but is it something you should be worried about? We’ll break down the mystique so you know exactly what to expect
What Is Keto Flu?
Keto Flu Symptoms
Some of the common symptoms you can expect during keto flu include:
- low energy
- lack of focus
- poor concentration
- poor sleep
- “brain fog”
- general sense of dread about the world
We’re kidding about the last one, but you can see why people call it the keto flu – it’s not fun!
Why The Keto Flu Happens
The keto flu happens because you’re moving from a carbohydrate rich environment to a fat-focused diet. When you do this, your body has to adapt by getting energy from ketones rather than carbohydrates.
Long-term, this is great because ketones are slower burning, longer-lasting sources of energy. They can give you sustained energy over hours and often make you feel like you have more energy than ever.
However, when you first start to make the adjustment, your body is not very good at using ketones – so you’re both not getting fuel from carbohydrates and not getting fuel (efficiently yet) from ketones.
This means you’re going to have a lack of energy and usually feel like you’re “dragging.” Not great!
So what should you expect timeline wise and what can you do to mitigate this?
The Keto Flu Timeline
Most people want to know what to expect about the keto flu, so we broke it down to an easy-to-understand timeline.
When Does Keto Flu Hit?
You’ll typically notice the onset of keto flu to happen within 24-72 hours of removing your carbohydrate source. It may hit sooner or later, but usually arrives consistently within 2-7 days of starting keto.
How Long Does Keto Flu Last?
The keto flue can last anywhere from a couple days up until a month. It all depends on how much you’ve experimented with keto before, how adaptable your body is and how well you are implementing some of keto flu cures we’ll talk about below.
Some people see huge changes in their ability to adapt to ketosis with the addition of a simple routine.
The Cure for Keto Flu
Again, keto flu is part of your body’s adaptation process as it becomes more metabolically flexible – being able to slide between burning carbs and burning fat for energy.
Keto flu may go away on it’s own as your body adapts over time, but if you want to help accellerate the process, here are some solid “cures” (your mileage with these may vary).
Stay hydrated. When you go low carb, you may notice that you flush out a bunch of water. This can cause you to be dehydrated without knowing it. Make sure you replenish yourself with plenty of liquids and hydration throughout the day.
Consume some more Salt
If you’re struggling with naseau or cramps – adding salt into your diet can help with these symptoms. Water alone won’t replace many of the nutrients your body needs to adapt – so make sure you’re getting enough electrolytes – and specifically salt!
Our favorite electrolyte supplement is LMNT
Consume More Fat
Often when people cut out carbs, they also cut out calories – don’t do this! You want to become fat adapted – not starve yourself. Try consuming more fat so your body has the proper amount of calories to function and you might be surprised as how much better you feel.
Sleep is when your body recovers the most. Good recovery is going to be the key to making sure your body continues to perform at it’s best.
Take Exogenous ketones
Part of the reason your body is going through a “flu” is it’s sturggling to adapt to using ketones. By supplementing with exogenous ketones – you give your body the ability to ingest the ketones without having to break them down yourself. This helps “bridge” you over until your body is better able to more efficiently extract ketones.
Even if the idea of a workout makes you want to lose your lunch, sometimes a decent walk, some time in the sun and some movement is all your body needs in order to “reset” and start feeling better. You don’t have to do a level100 Crossfit metcon – but a little movement might be good for your soul.
How to Avoid Keto Flu in the First Place
The best way to avoid the keto flu is to start the “keto flu cure” methods as soon as you can when starting keto.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
- Consume electrolytes – especially salt.
- Consume more fat
- Try exogenous ketones
- Get outside and move
- Make sure you’re sleeping well
FAQs on Keto Flu
Keto Flu Threads on Reddit
We combed reddit for the best keto flu threads – check these three out.
- thread 1
Does Keto Flu give you diarrhea
Yes, one of the side effects of keto flu can be diarrhea. If this happens to you, make sure you’re properly hydrating and drinking enough electrolytes.l
Can you get a headache during keto flu?
Yes, in fact, the term “keto headache” is sometimes commonly used instead of “keto flu.”
Do I Have Keto Flu Naseau?
Yes, sometimes one of the primary symptoms people have during keto flu is nasaeu.
Other Articles That Help With Keto Flu
Some Keto Products That Might Help
- LMNT Electrolytes
- Ketone IQ from HVMN
- Other delicious keto snacks
- Our favorite keto drink mixes
- More about ketones drink