Does Going Low Carb Really Cause You To Have The ‘Flu’?

Yes the keto flu or ‘low carb’ flu is a real thing. It’s the reaction your body has when switching from burning glucose for fuel to fat instead. Consider it a carbohydrate withdrawal.

Your body primarily burns glucose (carbs) for fuel so when you switch to a low carb diet, your body turns to its backup source, fatty acids. This process actually throws your body into the metabolic state known as ketosis which is just that; burning fatty acids instead of glucose for fuel.

Because this is new for your body, you can experience several symptoms including:

  • Brain Fog
  • Dizziness
  • Sugar Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Poor focus and concentration
  • Stomach pains
  • Confusion
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Muscle soreness
  • Difficulty falling asleep

Symptoms begin quickly after starting a low carb diet. Many begin within only 1-2 days and can continue for up to a week although some individuals have experienced the keto flu for up to a month.

If your diet was relatively void of processed sugars and carbs before embarking on the diet, you are less likely to have severe keto flu symptoms.

Is there any way to manage these symptoms you ask? Why, yes there is.

The starchy fruits and vegetables you cut out actually contain electrolytes that would normally help in a situation like this. We recommend an electrolyte supplement that contains sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium as a way to replenish and ease cramping.

Stay away from sports drinks unless they are made with stevia.

Also, make sure you’re properly hydrated. A diet high in protein requires plenty of fluids so make sure you have plenty of water nearby.

If you’re struggling with sugar cravings we also recommend adding a bit more fat into your diet which can help speed up the process. If you’re still struggling, add a few more carbs back into your diet and wean yourself off gradually.

Finally, you may need a ketone supplement like this one that can boost your energy levels while helping you stay in ketosis throughout the day.

Trying to stay in ketosis but craving one of our smoothies? Ask for a 16oz. made with two pumps of peanut butter and one scoop of chocolate protein. You’ll get healthy fats, 20g of protein and feel full for hours.


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