If you begin your keto diet and reduce your carb intake drastically, your body can transition into a cycle called ketosis within two to seven days. This means that the body is beginning to produce ketones and burn fat for energy to compensate for the lack of carbs coming in. You are also going through carb withdrawal, which triggers symptoms such as keto headaches.
In the transformation into ketosis, the keto headaches occur. “Headaches may occur as a result of eating fewer carbohydrates, especially sugar,” says Flourish Heights founder Valerie Agyeman, RD, health dietitian. “When you start your diet, your body starts relying on ketones instead of glucose, which can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, but that can lead to low Blood sugar. “The transition to ketosis will stress the brain, leading to headache and brain fog.
Tips to treat keto-headaches, or stop them:
- Ensuring sufficient hydration and eating plenty of healthy foods will help reduce the risk of dehydration. This in turn will relieve headaches — and avoid them from happening first
- Drink plenty of water: It is necessary to drink sufficient fluids because the initial phases of keto include water loss. Aim at least 68 ounces (2 liters) of water per day.
- Reduce your consumption of alcohol: Alcohol is a diuretic, making you urinate more often, and can increase the risk of dehydration.
- Eat lower carb, water-rich foods: Cucumbers, courgettes, lettuce, celery, cabbage, and raw tomatoes have a high-water content that will help you stay hydrated. Many of them are strong electrolyte sources, as well.
- Salt your food: Think of salting your food gently to reduce the chance of an electrolyte imbalance.
- Try an electrolyte supplement: Taking an electrolyte supplement can reduce your risk of dehydration and symptoms of keto flu.
- Avoid extreme exercise: refrain from hard workouts during keto’s initial days because they can stress your body and increase the risk of headaches.
If after several days or weeks on the keto diet you start to have headaches, contact a health care provider to make sure an underlying medical condition is not to blame