When you start a ketogenic diet, you will find yourself urinating more often. This happens because your body uses up glycogen stores, the storage form of carbohydrates.
Glycogen retains water in your body, so when you lose it, water is released when you urinate. Why is that important? Frequent urination can be a problem because it can lead to dehydration. You can also lose electrolytes in the process.
Read on to find out the causes and consequences of urinating a lot on the ketogenic diet and what to do when you have frequent urination.
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Causes and consequences of urinating a lot on the keto die
To answer why we pee a lot while on the keto diet, let’s look at some of the biology of the ketogenic state. When you are a glucose burner, your body stores excess sugar in various places. You will store it in your liver, in your fat cells, and in your muscles.
In turn, carbohydrates retain water, so limiting them from the diet can promote weight loss simply by elimination through the urine.
As you begin to transition to a high-fat diet, your body begins to use stored sugar in various places in your body. Then, it will remove glycogen from the liver and then from the muscles.
As glycogen levels decline, water is released into the bloodstream and then into the body through the kidneys and urinary tract. The result when all that water leaves your body, you end up in the bathroom urinating a lot.
Some people report going to the bathroom up to a dozen times a day, but usually only for 3-5 days. Once those glycogen stores are depleted, so is the water, so don’t worry. it doesn’t last forever.
Solution to stay hydrated on the ketogenic diet
To stay hydrated even if you urinate a lot when doing the keto diet, the most important thing is to maintain a high intake of water and electrolytes .
Make sure you drink at least 2.8 L of water per day and include foods rich in minerals. You can also add supplements and a little extra salt to your meals.
A useful tip to know your hydration status is to check the color of your urine. In general, a light or pale color means that you are well hydrated. Dark urine means you need to drink more water.
Avoid electrolyte imbalances by eating low-carbohydrate foods that contain electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Some examples are salty snacks, green leafy vegetables, salmon, and cheese.
The main reason you urinate a lot on the ketogenic diet is because the carbohydrates and glycogen in your body hold water in your body.
When doing the keto diet you must remember that as the water leaves the body, it must be replaced. So especially during the first weeks it is necessary to drink more water.
It is also a good idea to increase your salt and electrolyte intake to avoid dehydration. In fact, most of what people call the keto flu is actually dehydration.