Your body functions differently on a ketogenic diet, and you shift from primarily burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel to using fat and ketones! When you switch to ketosis, your body loses stored electrolytes, including sodium (salt). Your body can’t live without this essential mineral that often gets depleted on keto. Sodium is needed for regulating water retention and more.
Sodium is abundant on the standard American diet, but sodium consumption is naturally decreased on a keto diet. Most people on a standard American diet also usually consume heavily processed table salts, as opposed to more natural healthy sources of salt like Celtic sea salt.
In recent decades, salt has been demonized, despite contradictory research on the subject. If your sodium levels drop too low, you can feel unpleasant symptoms of the keto flu, like fatigue, brain fog, and dizziness. Fortunately, keto flu is short-lived and can be prevented with the right steps, such as replenishing electrolytes and staying hydrated.
Low sodium levels can also cause problems like digestive issues because the muscles in your digestive tract require sodium to function properly. Some people experience nausea, constipation, and other digestive issues with low sodium levels. Low electrolyte levels, in general, heightens your risk of muscle cramps.