If you want to lose weight fast, the ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to do it. On keto, you limit your carb intake to about 50 grams per day and eat more protein and fat. This forces your body to burn more stored body fat for fuel.
However, as effective as keto is for fat and weight loss, it normally comes with a few less desirable side effects, which ketogenic dieters call the keto flu.
Some of these side effects are the result of carb withdrawal, while others are caused by dehydration. Because of this, it’s crucial to know how much water to drink.
How Much Water to Drink on Keto
Why Is It Important to Drink Water on Keto?
At the start of a ketogenic diet, your body is loaded with stored carbohydrates. These carbs are in the form of glycogen, which is glucose bound to water. When you reduce your dietary carb intake to less than 50 grams per day, your body releases the stored glycogen and uses it for energy.
For every gram of glycogen, your body also releases two grams of water, which is then excreted via the urinary system. That’s why new keto dieters a) pee more than usual and b) lose weight quickly. Water is a heavy substance, and a single pint weighs around one pound.
If you don’t drink water to replace what you are excreting, you will soon become dehydrated. The symptoms of dehydration include muscle cramps, headaches, and fatigue – all of which are part and parcel of the dreaded keto flu.
Drinking enough water will ensure you avoid dehydration and reduce the severity and duration of the keto flu. Water is also filling and can help ward off hunger pangs and cravings. Drinking more water is a win-win!
The good news is that once your glycogen stores are depleted, you’ll start to pee less, and you won’t need to drink as much water to maintain your fluid levels.
Does Drinking Water Reduce Ketones?
If you test your ketone levels using keto sticks, you may notice that the more water you drink, the lower your ketone levels appear. This suggests that your diet is not working as well as it should do.
However, the reality is that ketones are still being produced in abundance; they’re just more diluted than usual.
Avoid confusion by testing your urine ketone levels on waking and before you start drinking water. This will give you a more accurate and consistent picture of ketone concentration, whereas, later in the day, your levels will be more diluted.
How Much Water Should I Drink to Lose Weight on Keto?
Water is calorie and carb-free, and you should drink it in abundance on keto. How much is up for debate, but most experts agree that you need to drink more during your first two weeks as your body becomes keto-adapted. After that, you can reduce your water intake as you won’t be peeing as much.
As a guide, try to drink 2.5-3.0 liters of water during your first two weeks of ketogenic dieting and 2.0 liters after that. Keep track of your water intake using an app or simply by tracking how many cups or water bottles you get through per day.
The good news is that it’s quite hard to drink too much water, so it doesn’t matter if you consume more than the recommended amount. In fact, it’s better to be overhydrated than dehydrated, as dehydration will make many of the symptoms of keto flu worse.
Don’t Forget the Electrolytes!
While your body needs water, it also needs minerals called electrolytes. Electrolytes help maintain cell fluid balance and play a part in regulating nervous system function and muscle contractions. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are the main electrolyte minerals.
You excrete these minerals along with ketones when you pee. Low levels of electrolytes can contribute to the keto flu.
As well as drinking more water, you should also consume more electrolytes. These crucial minerals can be found in vegetables, but the easiest way to make sure you are getting enough is by taking an electrolyte supplement.
You need a constant supply of water to live. In fact, just three days without water could kill you. A lot of people are chronically dehydrated and suffer numerous health issues because of it, including joint pain, kidney disease, constipation, and fatigue. Chronic dehydration can also affect your skin.
Water is crucial at all times, and especially during keto. Not drinking enough will make the symptoms of keto flu much worse, and that could mean you end up quitting what is one of the best weight-loss diets around.
Beat the keto flu and lose weight faster by drinking plenty of water. Aim for 2.5-3.0 liters of water during your first two weeks of low-carb dieting and 2.0 liters per day after that. Keep track of your water intake to ensure you hit these targets every day.