If you consume lots of caffeine while you’re in ketosis you may have experienced making a bunch of trips to the restroom. Those two diuretics working together can make for a rough experience.
Caffeine as a diuretic, and especially while in ketosis, you’re losing lots of sodium. If you don’t replace the lost sodium and maintain its level, you’re probably going to have an unpleasant experience.
Ketosis & Caffeine
If you’re a coffee drinker you know how often you’re heading to the bathroom after drinking a few cups. Caffeine is a natural diuretic and it flushes water out of your body causing the frequent urination trips. Ketosis acts the same way.
In ketosis on a low-carb diet when the body flushes water out of the system the kidneys also flush excess sodium. If however your diet is mostly high carbohydrate, it actually retains sodium and many times to much, leading to, among other unhealthy symptoms, high blood pressure.
On a low-carb diet that leads the body into ketosis your body will flush excess water out and with it excess sodium and other minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Unlike other minerals that can be stored in our bodies, sodium is mostly stored in our blood and we don’t carry much excess. When sodium levels decrease the body naturally reduces blood volume to match the lower level of sodium in our system.
As you might have summarized, if you’re in ketosis and consuming caffeine, you are headed to dehydration and reduced sodium levels if you don’t address the matter by drinking enough water and consuming enough sodium.
Reduced Blood Volume
When blood volume is decreased you may experience the following symptoms:
- Lower blood pressure
- Frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate
- Light headedness when you stand up from sitting
- Fits of dehydration especially if you work out or are an athlete
- Reduced athletic performance because there is insufficient blood to flow oxygen to working muscles and to clear out waste from spent fuel
Overcoming Dehydration Caused by Sodium Deficiency
The good news is this can be easily solved. If you’re in a state of ketosis the body can actually tolerate more sodium than you thought possible. The solution is to consume 1 to 2 extra grams of sodium per day. I use beef bullion cubes mixed with warm water. Each of the bullion cubes I found at Walmart contain 2.2 grams of sodium. I’ll consume this much at least 30 minutes before working out. Then again a half bullion cube sometime later in the day if I’ve worked out in the morning.
Americans generally consume more sodium than they need yet in the state of ketosis, where the kidneys are flushing excess water and the sodium with it, consuming more sodium will eliminate the uncomfortable affects of the flu like symptoms often associated with becoming ketogenic adapted (fat adapted).
With the added sodium and drinking at least the number of ounces of water that equals half your body weight in pounds, your body will begin to replenish blood volume to healthy levels.
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