The ketogenic (keto) diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many benefits, from weight loss to improved brain health. But as a diet that emphasizes low-carb intake, it’s easy to become dehydrated.
There are a few reasons for this, which we’ll cover shortly, but the good news is that there’s a simple solution to this problem—keto drink mixes!
Not all keto drink mixes are created equal, however, and with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the optimal one.
That’s where we come in! In this blog, we’ll share why IQMIX is the best keto drink mix on the market and how it can support hydration and overall well-being.
Why Keto Dieters Are Prone to Dehydration
The goal of the keto diet is to enter a state of ketosis—a metabolic state in which your body shifts from burning carbohydrates for fuel to burning fat. Ketosis and its far-reaching effects are the main reason keto dieters are more prone to dehydration. Let’s break this down.
When your body shifts into ketosis and starts burning fat for fuel, the liver produces ketones—a chemical that’s used for energy when carbohydrates are scarce. The production and release of ketones into the bloodstream have a diuretic effect, causing you to urinate more frequently and lose more water than usual.[*] This is why some people experience quick weight loss in the beginning stages of the keto diet (aka “water weight”).
Meanwhile, as your body shifts away from using carbohydrates as fuel, the liver releases its glycogen stores. This form of glucose is stored with large amounts of water, which also leaves the body through urine, causing further dehydration.
The low-carb nature of the ketogenic diet leads to lower insulin levels in the bloodstream, signaling the kidneys to excrete sodium at a higher rate, which also contributes to dehydration.[*]
On top of that, the keto diet often involves a lower salt (sodium) intake than a standard American diet. Since sodium helps the body retain water, consuming less of this mineral can reduce fluid retention and, consequently, contribute to dehydration.
Lastly, the keto diet eliminates high-carb foods like legumes and (most) fruits, which are top sources of water and electrolytes, both of which are needed for hydration (more on this later).
Risks and Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration is a serious health concern that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Prolonged dehydration can significantly impact your body’s functions and lead to several negative consequences, including increased risk of heat exhaustion and stroke, urinary and kidney problems, and elevated blood pressure.[*]
As such, it’s important to be aware of the signs of dehydration, especially when following a ketogenic diet, so that you can quickly nip them in the bud. Here are the most common signs to look for:[*]
- Thirst: The most obvious sign of dehydration is feeling thirsty. It’s your body’s way of telling you it’s time to reach for a drink.
- Dry mouth and skin: Dehydration can cause your mouth and skin to feel dry and sticky.
- Fatigue and weakness: Dehydration can lead to fatigue and weakness, making it more difficult to perform physical and mental activities.
- Headaches: Dehydration can cause headaches, especially in the front of the head.
- Dark urine: If you’re dehydrated, your urine will become darker and have a strong odor.
- Constipation: As your body tries to conserve water, dehydration can lead to constipation.
- Dizziness and confusion: Dehydration can cause dizziness and confusion, especially when standing up from a sitting or lying position.
Symptoms like headaches and fatigue are particularly common when first adopting a keto diet, and are often referred to as the “keto flu.” The keto flu is actually caused by dehydration and can be reduced or even eliminated with proper hydration.
The Recipe for Hydration: Water Plus Electrolytes
Many people think that proper hydration is solely about drinking water. While water is undoubtedly a piece of the hydration puzzle, it’s not the only necessary ingredient.
Electrolytes also play a crucial role in hydration. Electrolytes are minerals, such as sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, that are responsible for maintaining fluid balance, transmitting electrical signals, and supporting muscle and nerve function.[*] Like water, these minerals are lost daily through sweat and urine, and must be obtained from the foods and drinks you consume.
Drinking plain water isn’t enough to replenish lost electrolytes and prevent dehydration, especially on a keto diet. Additionally, drinking too much plain water can further deplete electrolyte levels in your body, causing further symptoms.
To properly hydrate and maintain fluid balance, it’s important to drink electrolyte water to thirst. The three key electrolytes to focus on include sodium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which play an essential role in hydration.
What to Look for in a Keto Drink Mix
While you can (and should) get electrolytes through salt and certain veggies like leafy greens and celery, you might not be able to get the amount you need for proper hydration, especially if you’re active or live in a warm climate. That’s where a keto drink mix comes in!
A keto drink mix should have the following features:
- Very low sugar and carbs: One of the main principles of the keto diet is to limit carbohydrate intake, so it’s important to choose a drink mix that is very low in sugar and carbs. Ideally, the drink mix should have no sugar and very few carbohydrates (3 grams or less per serving). Natural sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia are A-OK.
- Adequate amounts of key electrolytes: Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, are essential for maintaining fluid balance and preventing dehydration. When choosing a keto drink mix, look for one that contains these critical electrolytes to support proper hydration and prevent any health problems associated with dehydration.
- No artificial ingredients or flavors: Choose a drink mix that is free from artificial ingredients. Artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners can contain harmful chemicals that can negatively impact your health. Opt for a drink mix that is made with natural ingredients, and is free from any artificial preservatives or additives.
The Best Keto Drink Mix: IQMIX
If you’re looking for a drink mix for your keto lifestyle that meets the above criteria and has an added bonus, consider IQMIX.
IQMIX is a sugar-free, keto-friendly electrolyte supplement that’s very low carb and low calorie, containing only 1 gram of carbohydrates and 10-15 calories per packet.
It contains the key electrolytes needed for proper hydration, including:
- 500 mg sodium
- 380 mg potassium
- 750 mg Magtein®, a clinically studied form of magnesium (magnesium L-threonate) that supports cognition and mood
IQMIX is available in delicious flavors, including Peach Mango, Lemon Lime, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Blood Orange, and is lightly sweetened with stevia. If you’re unsure what flavors to pick, try our 8-Stick Sampler.Simply mix a packet of IQMIX into water to make an instant hydration drink that won’t cause blood sugar spikes or kick you out of ketosis!