Low-carbohydrate diets can be great for weight loss. However, when not done properly, low-carb diets can have adverse effects, as you may have personally experienced. Headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps. Sound familiar?
The number one mistake people usually make on the low carb diet?
Not replenishing their sodium and minerals!
Proper hydration is absolutely critical for weight loss - and health in general! Not only this, but hydration doesn’t stop at just drinking enough water- adequate sodium and mineral content plays an equal role in staying hydrated and combating fatigue and muscle weakness.
Low-carbohydrate diets can sometimes cause people to experience the “keto flu”- these symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, irritably and weakness. What people sometimes get wrong is that these symptoms can actually more often than not be caused by low sodium - not being on a low-carbohydrate diet. Replenishing lost minerals can dramatically improve energy levels and help with any lightheadedness or fatigue that you may experience when eating low carb.
In my practice, I see so many mineral deficient clients, and I’ve seen their energy and pain symptoms improve dramatically when adding in a supplementation of minerals and sodium - specifically LMNT, into their daily routine.
Here’s the research behind why you need to replenish salt and minerals when on a low-carb diet:
Low-carbohydrate diets can increase the chance of having sodium deficiency.
Because most sodium comes from processed foods, a whole foods, low-carb diet tends to be significantly lower in sodium. A low carb diet also tells your kidneys to excrete more sodium - causing issues like fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, and mood swings. Increasing your sodium consumption by replenishing with LMNT electrolytes can help prevent these symptoms.
Supplementing sodium means maintaining your weight loss.
When you fast, your body breaks down stored sugar (glycogen) to meet caloric needs while also releasing water, which in turn causes weight loss. In general, when you start eating again, glycogen reforms and the weight can come back quickly. Salt and mineral supplementation can lessen this effect.1
Electrolytes increase exercise performance.
When you sweat through exercise, you lose electrolytes in addition to water. Supplementing them back can improve performance and decrease dehydration. Drinking water is important - but you don’t want to drink too much or it will actually further dilute the sodium levels in the body. Adding in sodium/electrolytes ensures you are keeping a balance and reduces the adverse feelings of “keto flu” or low-carbohydrate diets.
Electrolytes also regulate fluid balance, help you produce energy, and strengthen your bones!
Here is how I use LMNT daily:
The first thing I do every morning is grab my LMNT pack and pour it into a liter of water. I drink it while I take my morning supplements and make my collagen coffee. It has helped so much with my energy levels while eating a lower-carbohydrate, mostly carnivore-ish diet. It’s so important to replace these lost minerals and I can feel a significant difference in how my body feels, my energy levels, and my mood.
Additionally, when I travel to higher altitude locations or if I’ve been extra active, I sneak in an extra packet to help with any adverse symptoms (lightheadedness, fatigue) I might otherwise experience.
I’m a huge fan of LMNT because I can replenish my vital electrolytes without any added sugar, food dyes, or artificial flavors. LMNT is a clean, natural product that can support you on your low-carb diet. My favorite is the variety flavor pack, perfect for on the go.
1. Weinsier, R., M.D. (1971). Fasting—A review with emphasis on the electrolytes. The American Journal of Medicine, 50(2). Retrieved 1971, from https://www.amjmed.com/article/0002-9343(71)90152-5/fulltext#articleInformation