Regardless if you have been doing keto or you are brand new to the keto lifestyle, keto diet hydration is constantly and always will be a struggle for most. Your body is made of approximately 60 percent water making water the single most important ingredient to not only the keto diet, but every diet that you could go on. There are even diets that involve only water (if you want to call that a diet.)
Why is it so difficult to stay hydrated on the keto diet?
While on the keto diet, the fat stores in your body are being eaten away. One of the duties of carbohydrates in your body is to retain water. This is where a lot of your water weight comes from (if you have fat, you have water weight.) It is so important to keep your body topped off while you are getting rid of all of this extra fat. Does no good to diet if you are passing out from dehydration.
How do I stay hydrated on keto? I am here to help!
Packing Water with You
The thing that helped me stay hydrated most while on the keto diet was carrying a gallon jug of water with me almost all the time. The jug was either in my car or on my person where ever I went. I know this may not seem plausible but once you get used to having it you will not want to be without it.
Regardless if you do not feel comfortable carrying around a bulky gallon jug all the time there are other options. You can carry a smaller refillable water bottle with you. A lot of water bottles have caps that snap onto belt loops making carrying it effortless. Regardless if you aren’t into that option you can always just keep a case of water in your vehicle so you always have a bottle of water just a short walk away.
It’s not really how you have access to the water, the more important thing is that you DO have access to water everywhere you go. Be it that you carry water with you or that you buy a bottle of water everywhere you stop or from every store you pass. Regardless if you don’t have water with you all the time you will not remember to drink as much as you need to keep yourself hydrated.
Foods to Help Hydration
There are a lot of foods that you can eat while on the keto diet that can help you stay hydrated. Eating foods with a high water content can ease the burden of having to drink water constantly. Sounds good after that bit of information doesn’t it? So what are these hydration super foods?
- Cauliflower – This little treat has an astounding 93 percent water content. This is one of the more important hydration foods in my opinion due to the abundance of recipes that it is included in. These range from mashed cauliflower and rice to Pizza and bread sticks. I do not believe I would have been able to stay on the keto any time at all if I could not have had pizza.
- Cucumbers – At 96 percent water content, this super food is one of the most hydrating foods that you can eat while on any diet.
- Leafy Greens – These can vary from 92 to 96 percent water content. Regardless if you are a salad guru I do not believe you will have any problems staying hydrated while on the keto diet.
- Celery – At 95 percent water, this super food is basically a bottle of juice with a crunch. Celery makes a great snack and serves for a filler when you are between meals.
- Tomatoes – We use tomatoes in so many recipes its not even funny. While this food is typically a love or hate food, if you do love it, it can be a great asset when trying to stay hydrated.
- Berries – Berries are one of my favorite diet foods. A lot of people do not typically think of berries as a diet food because of the appealing taste. I mean what diet food tastes good, right? Berries are actually full of antioxidants and vitamins that we need and can struggle to find while on the keto diet. Given that you must eat berries in moderation because they are full of naturally occurring sugar, they are a great source of water for your body.
Common Keto Dehydrators
There are two big foods that a lot people gravitate towards while on the keto diet that can actually be detrimental to your hydration.
High Protein Meats:
A lot of people have the misconception that the keto diet requires a high amount of protein. While a lot of protein is filling and probably easier to eat to a lot of vegetables, a high protein diet changes the way that your kidneys function. This can cause frequent urination which leads to dehydration. This is a big reason to study the diet before you make the decision to embark on this journey. You are better to stick to the macro ratio of 75:20:5 (fat:protein:carbs) while on this diet. Adding a lot of protein can be bad for your keto experience.
I know all to well that it is difficult to work every day, spend time with your family and still cook for this diet. This being a fact, a lot of people turn to frozen dinners to alleviate the burden. We all know how much sodium is in anything processed and frozen. There are a lot of frozen dinners that contain all of our daily value of sodium in just the one serving. While our body processes differently while in ketosis, too much salt is still too much salt and you are subjecting yourself to dehydration and other side effects if you make frozen dinners a daily ritual. Cook in bulk a few days of the week and stay away from frozen dinners.
Effects of Dehydration on the Body
According to emedicinehealth.com moderate dehydration effects can include: increased thirst, dry mouth, tiredness, decreased urination, headaches, and dizziness.
More sever dehydration can have worsening effects such as: dizziness leading to falling and not being able to stand; low blood pressure; rapid heart rate; fever; lethargy; seizures, shock; and vomiting.
You should always consult a doctor before you start any diet to make sure your body can handle the change. Regardless if you do start the keto diet and start having moderate symptoms of dehydration you should make increasing your water intake a focus. Even if it means discontinuing the diet. Regardless if you start having more severe symptoms you should always seek medical attention. This diet is not worth your life. Stay hydrated!
I cannot stress it enough. Regardless if you are trying this diet keep hydration in your mind and water by your side. There are ways to make hydrating easier and foods that can assist you in your journey if you just take advantage of them.