Hydration, Electrolytes and Keto Q+A
Q: What is hydration?
A: Proper hydration means the fluid level in your body is where it should be…balanced. Too little fluids and your body is in a state of dehydration. Too much water and your body can get into a state of hyperhydration. The optimum level is balanced.
Q: How does my body lose fluids?
A: Water is constantly lost through perspiration evaporating from the skin, exhalation - just breathing takes out moisture and out of your body whenever you go to the bathroom.
Q: How do bodies work to try to keep fluids balanced?
A: Your body tries to balance water intake and water loss by the kidneys with a lot of help from the brain and a process called water homeostasis. Here’s how it works. Your body has a special receptor that detect the changes happening inside of you. When the fluids are low, it kicks off a thirst signal. Then you get that signal and respond by drinking.
Q: What happens when you are dehydrated?
A: When you’re dehydrated, your fluid level is off, throwing you off balance. Common symptoms are achiness, headaches, nausea, and constipation. And often we've heard that people genuinely surprised these clear up, once in balance.
Q: Why doesn't plain water work to rehydrate?
A: When the body perspires it not only loses fluids, it loses key electrolytes (salts and essential minerals) that water alone doesn’t contain. In fact drinking too much water can flush even more minerals out of your system.
Q: Does Coffee or Tea count as water intake?
A: No sorry, the cup of water in your coffee or tea does not get added as a cup of water toward your daily water count. This is because the caffeine in the beverage has a mild diuretic effect — meaning they cause the need to urinate. So the one cup you just drank equals the one cup you just peed out. However if you have 5 cups a day of coffee or tea, then you can deduct 2 cups of water from your daily balancing act. And that's because that amount of caffeine would cause more fluid loss than the water volume you drank. It tips the scale toward dehydration.
Q: What are electrolytes?
A: Electrolytes are a mixture of essential minerals mixed with water to create a hydration solution to quickly replace lost fluids.
Q: Why are electrolytes so important when doing a keto diet?
A: Not only to help your body balance the intake and loss, but it's the kidneys that need extra support when doing keto. When you remove carbs from your diet, your blood sugar levels fall and you get lower insulin levels. Your kidneys release more electrolytes out of your body as insulin levels fall. Compounded to this, in the first few weeks of a keto diet, the first dramatic weight loss is what's called "water weight". The sudden change inside your body is what's commonly called "keto flu" and simply put, your kidneys and body desperately needs support to put the electrolytes back in.
Q: What are the symptoms of "keto flu"?
A: Tiredness, headache, feeling weak, dizzy, nauseous or achy and an upset stomach are all symptoms of losing electrolytes with the initial water weight. If you have a fever, a running nose and a cough - these are not from "Keto flu".
Q: There are a confusing amount of different ingredients in electrolytes available. What's in which brand?
A: What will actually work depends on quite a few variables, including your symptoms. So the easiest way to answer this is to break down different hydration solutions into the component that are in them per 100ml. The main observation with commercially pre-made electrolytes is that they don't contain enough sodium and/or very low levels of nutrients and contribute a lot of plastic in the environment.
- Powerade Zero (51mg)
Sodium and Potassium
- Loaded Zero (43.2mg Sodium)
Sodium and Potassium and Vitamin C
- Sqwincher (Sodium 135mg, Potassium 110mg and Vitamin C 140mg)
Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium
- Himalayan Salt
- Powerade Active Water (Sodium 24mg, Potassium 34mg, Magnesium 5.9mg, Calcium 22mg.
- Powerade ION 4 (Sodium 28mg, Potassium 33mg, Magnesium 6mg, Calcium 14.7mg)
Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and Glutamine
- Musashi (Sodium 112mg, Potassium 50mg, Magnesium 32mg, Calcium 80mg, Glutamine 500mg)
Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorous and Chloride
Q: What is each mineral for?
A: Here's what each mineral is famous for:
Calcium: Important for nerve transmission and bone strength.
Chloride: Helps keep tendons and joints healthy.
Magnesium: Magnesium helps convert food to energy.
Phosphorous: Needed for nerve signalling and repair of cells and tissues.
Potassium: Potassium plays a part in how nerves transmit and muscles contract.
Sodium: It works with potassium to help muscle expansion and contraction.
However you choose to get your electrolytes into you, it's really important that you do.
Especially as there are so many negative effects that are completely avoidable and easily remedied once your body fluids are back in balance.
Should you have any other questions about hydration, pop us an email to KetoStoreNZ@gmail.com and we will expand our Q+A for everyone's benefit.