Adjusting to Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is amazing because it switches your body’s fuel source from using glucose to using fat. As amazing as this is, it can take some time to get used to, especially if you were previously getting the majority of your calories from carbohydrates. As your body adjusts to this new fuel source, there can be some discomfort. As we talked about in our last blog post, many people experience what is known as the keto flu. Whatever your body is going through, supplements can play an important role in supporting your body and helping it adjust to being in ketosis.
Supporting Your Body
Just like with the Keto flu, supplements can help your body ease into ketosis, and support you along the way. As keto is a very individual experience, some may do fine without any, while others will benefit from supplementation.
Here are our top five supplements to consider taking when starting Keto!1. Magnesium
4. Digestive Enzymes
5. MCT oil
Magnesium is an electrolyte that controls a number important functions in the body, including muscle and nerve function. Eating a low-carb diet causes the body to excrete excess water, and consequently electrolytes like magnesium are lost through urine. Replenishing magnesium stores on the keto diet can be critical to preventing negative side effects like headaches, constipation and fatigue. Signs you may be deficient in magnesium are muscle cramping at night or after exercise. You can increase foods in the diet which contain magnesium such as leafy greens, pumpkin seeds or chia seeds, but supplementation can be an easy way to ensure you’re getting enough. We need at least 400 mg per day to maintain optimal body functioning.
Like Magnesium, Potassium is an electrolyte that controls muscle and nerve function in the body. Similarly, it is also lost through urine excretion on a low-carb diet. Signs you may be deficient in this mineral are cramping, twitching, or heart palpitations. Similar to magnesium, you can increase keto friendly food in your diet containing potassium like avocado, or mushrooms, as well as taking a supplement to prevent side effects. A daily dose of 3,000 – 4,700 mg is recommended for healthy adults. Those not acquiring enough from food sources are recommend to supplement with potassium. Starting with 100 - 300 mg per day.
Salt is also an electrolyte that contributes to optimal body functioning. When you start the keto diet you’re likely cutting out all processed foods and eating out less, which is where a lot of the salt in the diet usually comes from. If you’re starting to cook more at home, you’re naturally reducing you salt intake. To prevent keto flu and other side-effects caused by electrolyte loss, try adding salt to more foods. Adding salt to bone broth is an easy way to get a sufficient dose in without making foods taste too salty.
Depending on the person, supporting your digestive system while switching to the keto diet can be critical. For those with impaired digestion, taking a digestive supplement can reduce discomfort, ensure proper breakdown of food, and allow for an easier transition. Digestive enzymes usually contain a combination of animal and plant enzymes that are used to break down our food. People who have difficulty breaking down fat (those without a gall bladder) would greatly benefit from using a digestive enzyme with bile salts to help emulsify the fats. Not everyone may need digestive aid, but if you’re experiencing discomfort or have gall bladder issues, it is something to consider!
On a ketogenic diet, eating lots of fat is the key to keeping satiated, energized, and in fat burning mode. MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides) are a concentrated form of saturated fatty acids that can be quickly absorbed by the liver for fuel rather than being stored. Coconut oil contains MCT’s but in a less concentrated form (about 60%). MCT oil is a great addition to the keto diet because it can help increase your fat intake, provide you with energy, and curb cravings. Try enjoying blended with your morning coffee or a keto smoothie!
Remember - different supplements can be taken for different reasons, and it’s always important to listen to your body whenever introducing something new! If it doesn’t agree, it might not be the one for you. Read more on keto friendly supplements and keto flu prevention here!
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