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5 Ways to Prevent the Keto Flu

What are the best ways to prevent the keto flu?

Whats the best keto flu cure?

An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. But if you really have a bad case of the keto flu, the best cure might be to just up your intake of carbohydrates for a while by eating large quantities of green leafy vegetables and focus on fixing your digestion for a while.

What is the Keto Flu?

The Keto flu is not really the “flu,” but a combination of metabolic conditions that can make one feel uncomfortable or drained in the beginning phase of a ketogenic diet.

It is due to the adaptation of the body as it is being forced to switch fuel sources from carbohydrates and glucose to fat and ketones.

It is also caused by the flushing of glycogen and electrolytes from muscle cells. There is also the theory that some people have withdrawals due to the elimination of sugar from their diet (sugar addiction).

What are the symptoms of the keto flu?

Difficulty sleeping, body aches, constipation, digestive issues, chills, fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, irritability, lethargy, and lack of focus, nausea, drowsiness, sugar cravings, cramps, brain fog, dizziness, and lightheartedness.

One of the best ways to prevent the keto flu is to drink a keto flu electrolyte drink or tonic.

*Instruction on how to make a Keto Flu electrolyte drink (tonic) listed below.

Keto Flu Remedy
Keto Flu Tonic

Not everyone that starts the ketogenic diet gets the keto flu.

The keto flu is definitely one of the hazards of the keto diet, but it can definitely be mitigated.

Exogenous ketones is also an effective keto flu cure.

When you’re feeling down and out your cells might not be getting enough energy. You’re used to using glucose as energy and now since you’re lowering your carbohydrate intake the glucose (blood sugar) isn’t there.

In the perfect world, your body would just seamlessly start breaking down fat into ketones, but that ability has to be “learned”.

That’s what’s called keto-adaptation, but that takes time.

So while your body is adjusting to using ketones as an energy you might feel crappy (keto flu). It can become a powerful keto flu remedy to orally take keto BHB (exogenous ketones) which will almost instantly put you into a state of ketosis.

Be advised however that while you are taking BHB pills or drinks orally, you won’t be burning as much of your own fat. Since you’ll have ketones circulating in your blood your body won’t need to generate any more.

The extra energy from the ketones will definitely reduce the symptoms of the keto flu and give you a needed boost of clean energy without raising blood sugar.

You can read a comprehensive review of keto BHB (exogenous ketones) here.

 There is a combination of causes of the keto flu:

Sugar and carbohydrate addiction from years of eating refined carbs and especially sugar can become very addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Just like a drug abuser that can’t get any drugs, the sugar addict feels ill. Here is an interesting study that shows sugar is more addictive than cocaine.

Do you get “hangry” between meals? You could be metabolically inflexible.

The other likely cause is metabolic inflexibility. Your body has not adapted to using fat as energy and has not yet become efficient at it. The mitochondria, liver, and gallbladder haven’t developed the ability to convert all that fat to energy yet.

Metabolic inflexibility is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Learn how keto can potentially put type 2 diabetes in remission here.

Your body and cells need time to “learn” how to do it. You have burned glucose for energy your entire life and now, all of a sudden, you are trying to make it burn fat as energy. It’s going to take some time and patience for that to happen.

Eating a ketogenic diet can force your body to start burning fat and the fat-adaptation process can take approximately 3 to 4 weeks. Expect to feel drained with a lack of energy until you become fat adapted.

The biggest reason for the Keto flu though is the flushing of the electrolytes out of our cells. One of the first outcomes of the ketogenic diet is the release of excess water weight.

You are probably retaining a lot of excess water weight and you can expect an approximate 10-pound weight loss in the first 10-14 days due to the ketogenic diuretic effect. When I started Keto my fingers, face, and ankles lost their swelling almost immediately.

Salt your food as a remedy for the keto flu
Salt your food and eat greens

When we are consuming a high carbohydrate diet, our body stores lots of glycogen.

Glycogen is a form of sugar that is stored in our muscles and liver to use as energy. With every gram of glycogen, the body stores approximately 3 grams of water.

When restricting carbohydrates while on the ketogenic diet, our glycogen stores progressively deplete and at the same time flush the excess stored water. As we lose this water, we also lose electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium.

This ketogenic fat burning effect can also improve the conditions of a fatty liver.

A low glucose environment also means a low insulin environment and remember insulin is the master storage hormone. So we also lose water due to a reduction in insulin levels.

Higher insulin levels stimulate our kidneys to retain sodium (salt), so when our insulin levels drop, the stored sodium is excreted.

We lose even more water as we excrete our electrolytes through urination. Also, if we are sweating we lose even more electrolytes through our sweat glands.

What is the keto flu remedy?

Cut the carbohydrates slowly.

The first thing to remember is to ease into the ketogenic diet gradually. You don’t have to start fasting on the first day and you don’t need to go extremely low carb on the second day. Slowly lower your carbohydrate intake over a few days or even weeks.

Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables and gradually reduce other carbohydrates. Flaxseed meal is a good addition to your diet as the fiber makes you feel full and helps with regularity.

Start counting your daily carbohydrate intake. As an example, lower your carbohydrate intake to 150 grams the first week, then 100 grams the 2nd week, and then by the start of the 3rd week you can begin full Keto with 30 grams a day. Lack of patience is one of the reasons people are not successful on the Ketogenic Diet.

Some people feel symptoms of the keto flu because of sugar withdrawals. Sugar is a dangerous, mood-altering chemical similar to other addictive drugs. It is commonly referred to as having a “sweet tooth” and is not taken seriously enough.

The spike of blood sugar creates a euphoria similar to cocaine and methamphetamine. Some people actually have physical withdrawals from cutting out sugar and that withdrawal can feel like a flu-like symptom. The only “cure” is just abstinence. Over time the addiction will subside.

The best keto flu cure is to eat more vegetables and salt your food.

Eat greens to prevent cramps on keto
Eating green is a great keto flu cure

Drink water, add extra salt to your food, and eat green leafy vegetables.  World-renowned pro-ketogenic Doctors Phinney and Volek recommend 3-5 grams of sodium per day which averages around 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of salt. Bacon, by the way, has a lot of salt in it.

Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage are all great food choices. The vegetables will help with your keto digestion (prebiotics), give you slow-release, low glycemic carbohydrates, and most importantly,  vitamins and minerals.

You might be wondering if fruits are OK to eat on a keto diet? While berries are acceptable in moderation, be careful because the fruit sugar (fructose) can slow down your ability to reach the state of ketosis. Here is a complete explanation of fruits and keto.

Take extra electrolytes for keto cellular balance.

Keto flu tonic and electrolyte drink
Keto flu tonic

Take a sugar-free, calorie-free electrolyte supplement.  Take supplemental magnesium citrate. If your potassium levels become to low, you could develop a condition known as hypokalemia.  It can cause fatigue, insomnia, depression, muscle fatigue, and cramping.

It can also cause cardiovascular complications such as an abnormal heartbeat. Spinach has 800 mg of potassium per cup and milk kefir has about 400 mg per cup.

Put salt on avocados and eat them for an effective keto flu cure

Eat plenty of avocados and sprinkle some salt on them, avocados are high in potassium. Use a little cream of tartar and salt, it (cream of tartar) has 495 mg of potassium in one teaspoon.

Here is a keto flu drink (tonic) remedy.

Time needed: 15 minutes

How to make keto flu electrolyte tonic:

  1. Add one cup filtered water

    pour in quart sized container

  2. Add one serving sugar free electrolyte powder

    stir well

  3. Add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.

    Stir again.

  4. Add one serving magnesium citrate.

    200-400 mg.

  5. Add 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt.

    Mix well.

  6. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

  7. Add 1 squirt of lemon juice

    Mix well and refrigerate. Drink as needed for a keto flu remedy.

*If you develop night cramps, get up and drink some keto flu tonic. You can keep some in the refrigerator ready to go.

To prevent the keto flu focus on getting keto adapted in the beginning

Make sure you are eating enough fat so you become fat-adapted.
MCT oil can help with the fat-adaptation process.

Your body has to adjust to a new fuel source (ketones) and your liver has to heal before you can get fully adapted. The adaptation process can take between 3-6 weeks.

Sometimes while you are “adapting” you have flu-like symptoms (keto flu) where you feel drained and exhausted. Don’t give up though, it will be worth it in the long run. If you start dragging you can snack on:

Nutritional yeast is a good keto flu remedy
Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is also a recommended keto flu cure because the extra B vitamins will help with energy metabolism. Additional supplementation of good a B-complex vitamin will help, especially the bio-available form of B-12 (Methylcobalamin).

These supplements are a good keto flu remedy:

Matcha green tea and avocado
Matcha green tea and avocado

Make improving your digestive health a priority.

Constipation and difficult bowel movements can sometimes be associated with Keto flu. You are taking in less waste and energizing your body with a new fuel source,  so you should expect to have less frequent to your bowel movements.

In time you will get used to it and adapt as you increase your intake of vegetables, prebiotics, and probiotics. You can read how to improve your Keto Digestion here.

Here is a good source for information to prevent keto constipation.

In conclusion, don’t let the “keto flu” scare you away from the Ketogenic Diet. I didn’t even get it and many people don’t. If you follow the above steps, you probably won’t get it and if you do, it will be very mild.


You might not really need a keto flu cure. The feeling you have might just be part of the keto adaptation process. Stick with it because once you get adapted to the low carbohydrate lifestyle there are health-span advantages that go much deeper than just losing weight.

If you need any help with a keto flu cure, you can get support on our Ketogenicinfo Facebook Group.

Robert Bryant
Robert Bryant

I researched the keto flu quite extensively even before I started eating low carb. I wanted to understand the science behind it and come up with a effective keto flu cure that can help people stick to the keto diet long term.

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