Vital Info For Keto Dieters
Two personally experienced cases on low electrolytes, salt being the most important. Starting a very strict Ketogenic Diet, keeping my carbs very low, almost to Carnivore (only animal product) and something started to happen. I was having a very foggy feeling, not sleeping well and the scariest thing was my hands started shaking. Not wanting to alarm anyone I kept this to myself but I was worried something grave was happening. The gentleman that helped me to open and establish, LeoFit Labs, noticed I was off and asked what was wrong. Explaining my symptoms to him and he asked, “Are you taking electrolytes?” I had never had to before so my answer was, “No.” He said that I should! This had totally slipped by me!
I was working out very hard, though only about 20 minutes twice a week but I didn’t feel good.
Why and the Solution
I was sitting there, foggy, shaking and worried that I have some major problem coming on. But after seeing that salt was the first electrolyte on the list, I took 3/4 tablespoon in water. It sounds amazing but I was feeling better in a couple hours.
Never having experienced anything out of the ordinary on Keto so I just forgot this tidbit I had read many times before. These symptoms had been going on, and getting worse, for a week. I quickly looked up electrolytes and found that the main two are Salt and potassium. Followed by calcium and magnesium. (Almost everyone is short on magnesium and vitamin d, by the way).
The Second Case
The second story, the same gentleman started a strict diet, again Keto, and one day soon he said to me, “Leo, I have been getting awful headaches and I normally don’t.” I asked, “Have you been taking electrolytes?” He had forgotten as well! He took some sea salt in water and the headaches stopped that afternoon.
Where to get electrolytes? One may be tempted to buy a premixed version but they ARE expensive. A quick look at Amazon and I see a well advertised brand at $45 for 30 servings and another (with 5000 reviews) at $42 for 90 servings.
I have nothing against pre-mixed supplements except that each tries to make you feel that their version is worth the extra money. And they often do this by putting in a “proprietary blend” which is meaningless in my opinion. The proprietary blend is suggested as being their “secret ingredient.” (Other supplements do this as well and it is often trickery.)
Regular Sea Salt
Personally I just take 1/2 to one teaspoon of sea salt, one capsule of potassium, a small pinch of manessium and a teaspoon/tablespoon of apple cider vinegar every morning as soon as I wake up. Yeah, it is gross but I just swallow it. The premixed are much more expensive and almost every one is just salt, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Zinc is usually added to so I take a zinc supplement. Premixed is fine, but costs more. I am no expert in supplementation but in both the ab0ve cases, plain sea salt (possibly ANY salt) solved our problems.
Either way, moderately expensive or a little work and mix yourself. Either way works.
A side note on salt. Even though I was salting my meat at every meal, on Keto/Carnivore, you can lose more than you eat. You see this above, because your body is going through a restructuring and rebalance when you change your diet.
Is salt really "bad" for you?
Then there is the connotation that salt is “bad” for you. My cardiologist once told me that of all the things you can do for high blood pressure/heart health, cutting back on salt is the least important for health.
For weight loss, diet, sleep and exercise are 95% of the game. As my friend Dr. Ben Bocchicchio once said, “You cannot outrun a bad diet!”
And the first two are the most important.
I have found him to be correct.