Custom Keto Diet
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Low Carb Ketogenic Diets & Dehydration: Water Weight- Thomas DeLauer… For every gram of glycogen about 3 grams (2.7g) of water are stored as well.

As those stores are depleted, our kidneys go from retaining water to excreting more of it. When we are on a higher carb diet, we naturally have higher insulin levels – insulin affects our kidneys in such a way to retain sodium which can lead to a higher sodium/potassium ratio. Excess insulin shifts metabolism into storage mode, converting dietary sugar and fat into stored body fat – this leads to weight gain. But, too much insulin also makes the kidneys retain sodium, causing water retention and high blood pressure when insulin levels are high. When we are on a low carb, ketogenic diet we have lower insulin levels and therefore our kidneys excrete more sodium, which can lead to a lower sodium/potassium ratio and a greater need for sodium in the diet – leads to dehydration.

Water makes up more than 50% of your body and is simply needed for survival. By drastically restricting carbs, this leads to the body shedding water weight rapidly, which is why dehydration is the most common side effect of a ketogenic diet that you will likely experience in the first few weeks. This can result in an electrolyte deficiency and what many refer to as the “keto flu” – since the main reason for electrolyte depletion on keto is excess water excretion and less water retention.

Dehydration & electrolyte deficiency is also a cause of constipation and is a problem people on the keto diet face. Our stools are largely composed of water – 75% of the feces is composed of water, while only 25% is attributed to solids. These solids are composed of cellulose or other indigestible fibers, bacteria, fat, mucosal cells, and small amounts of digestive enzymes. The colon is highly capable of absorbing fluid – it is where the final phase of reabsorption takes place. Normally, sodium ions are being actively transported inward from the colon, and since water follows sodium, then water is also reabsorbed. This is why the colon is a practical route for pharmacologic interventions in the form of suppositories, anesthetics, sedatives, and the like. When the body is depleted of water, the colon’s capacity for water reabsorption is enhanced. Normally, the colon removes about 90% of the fluid, converting approximately one to two liters of chyme that enters it into a semisolid fecal matter. However, this is increased further when dehydration ensues. As a result, the chyme temporarily stored in the colon loses a great deal of water, and therefore the stools lose a great amount of bulk. This results to slower passage of stools down the colon, and therefore constipation.

Increasing water and electrolyte intake (potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium) is the best way to prevent issues with imbalances – not consuming enough fibrous vegetables and fermented foods can also cause issues. In keto, consuming 3-5g of sodium per day (either from foods or sea salt) can help to decrease the risk of dehydration and constipation. **1 tsp of pink salt is equivalent to about 2g of sodium**

1) Common Low-Carb Side Effects & How to Cure Them ? Diet Doctor. (n.d.). Retrieved from

2) Dehydration and Ketosis – Eaton M. MacKay, Arne N. Wick, Frank E. Visscher, 1941. (2016, November 26). Retrieved from

3) How to Avoid Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalances on Keto | BioKeto. (2018, January 31). Retrieved from

4) Keto Electrolytes 101: How to Avoid Imbalances & Dehydration on Keto. (2018, January 16). Retrieved from

Custom Keto Diet



  1. I consume close to 4L of water per day (weigh 150lb) and roughly 1 tbsp of Pink Salt and 400mg Magnesium but after peeing throughout the night I wake up dehydrated in the morning and my workouts are suffering. Any pointers? I've cycled off of Creatine Monohydrate but wondering if the water storing affect would help out (especially during workouts). Any insight is much appreciate!

  2. OMG, been on keto for three months been great lost 25lbs, back at the gym then hit a brick wall, felt horrible, no energy, sick feeling and no more results. until I found your videos, Now I understand why. thanks so much

  3. Can a firefighter stay on keto and peeform well in emergency high intensity activity. I want to do keto but dont want to get dehydrated or fatigued on a fire. Thx

  4. I live in Dubai and we have 110 degrees temperature regularly in summer. One year ago I went on Keto. Lost a lot of weight, felt great, got my BP down.
    I'm still on Keto, working out and do IF and sometimes OMAD. Lately I sometimes get pretty high BP for no apparent reason.
    Finally, I found I am apparently dehydrated, because if I eat and swallow some electrolytes, my BP returns to normal.
    Should I be taking electrolytes on a daily basis, because I am also jogging and swimming outside in summer (jogging 5 am, swimming 5 pm). Himalayan salt doesn't seem sufficient. Only the electrolytes from the pharmacy work, but they contain sugar too.

  5. Which water is the best? I’ve just bought a bunch of mineral waters rich in sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium… Their composition is very different from each other and, for sure, very different from tap water!

  6. I follow a vegan keto diet and feel great! But I don't understand why I continue to gain weight. I don't eat enough calories in a day for it to be fat so it must be a lot of water weight. Can you give me any feedback on why this could be happening? Thanks!

  7. Your videos are helping me out a ton! Also am really enjoying the learning aspect… Only problem I'm having with Keto is the veggies man, I HATE vegetables lol… I'm working on it though. Keep up the awesome work!

  8. Am in Ketosis, why am I retaining fluid? i take himalayan pink salt and drink 1 gallon water daily. Gained 2 lbs overnight, puffy hands and face. what can I do about it? thanks

  9. That explains why I’m holding water today cheat meal brownies pretzels cookies a slider chocolate bar plus pulled pork and salty fried fish and drank a gallon of water now I’m holding that water damn you Christmas

  10. I get more thirsty when i drink more water is this because i'm flushing out too many electrolytes or should i keep drinking or add something else?

  11. Great video, as always Tom. I've been in nutritional ketosis for over 3.5 years, and experienced exactly what you're talking about. I suffered really bad leg cramps, until I discovered pink Himalayan sole from WellnessMama. Been starting my day w/ my sole drink for 3 years now, and because PH salt is naturally high in magnesium and other electrolytes, I've had no signs of dehydration or leg cramps. I'm all-in for keto, and I LOVE what you're doing. Keep up the keto messaging.

  12. Hey thomas. This video sounds familiar. I have a question. I'm 6'4 and I'm 206 pounds. I eat twice a day. My body holds on to every little thing and I gain fat easily or I retain alot of water and get bloated. How do I fix this? I dont know if I'm gaining muscle or getting fat, This causes me to be inconsistant when it comes to gaining weight or loosing fat because I'm constantly going back and forth. Any Advise?

  13. Hey Thomas just starting out on the Keto journey and I have a small problem I hope you can answer. I have Cardiomyopathy and because of this am limited to 1 and a half litres of fluid a day. I understand the importance of hydration so my question is; do you think this will be enough fluid per day?

  14. Sodium intake before training, widens the veins and increases blood volume going through your body. That's why you feel better while performing physical activity after a sodium intake, because you actively increased the amount of cells carrying oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. Thanks for the video.

  15. I celebrated my one year anniversary with my Gf one evening ( drinks and hibachi) and the next morning I gained 2lbs of water weight . Took me another day of keto and IF to bring it back down . Crazy how much water you can hold just in one day.

  16. I was one of those who had way too much fluid stuck in my fat tissues. One week on the ketogenic diet with 20 gm carbs and I dropped 22 pounds…and the swelling went down. No problem with 'keto flu' but I eat very little in the way of processed meats (no bacon or cold cuts) and use a lot of Himalayan and Celtic sea salt (never had a problem with blood pressure either).

  17. This was sooo helpful my man! I have been struggling for the past week with abdominal pain not truly understanding why with keto. As soon as I started drink a LOT MORE water I felt like a million bucks

  18. Hi! I would like to do OMAD and eat my one meal in the evening, but I have to take some emdicines in the morning, with some food. Will this destroy my OMA efforts?

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