Electrolytes for Keto-Adapted Athletes

Electrolytes for Keto-Adapted Athletes

If you are new to keto or it doesn’t seem to be working out quite as you expected, it might be an electrolyte deficiency. This is one of the main problems I see when an athlete is new to keto-adaptation.

Keto diets decrease the glycogen in the muscles and consequently increase the loss of sodium and water by the kidneys. As a consequence of losing sodium, potassium can become out of balance. This can throw the rest of your electrolytes off. Check out the most common symptoms of low electrolytes and what to do about it.

Most common electrolyte deficiencies:

Low Sodium

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog

The solution: bring salt packets or use a salt-based commercial electrolyte. Liberally salt your food. Drink 1-2 cups of broth made from salt bullion per day.

Low Potassium

  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle twitching
  • Heart palpitations / increased awareness of heartbeat

The solution: Add clams, avocado, leafy greens, or mushrooms to your diet.

Low Magnesium

  • Muscle cramping or twitching at night or after exercise

Solution: Eat seeds like pumpkin and chia or a portion of mackerel, almonds, or leafy greens per day. If needed, take a magnesium supplement.

Do you really need electrolytes?

If you don’t have symptoms, then you are probably fine. Well adapted athletes don’t need as many electrolytes as seasoned keto-adapted athletes. If you have symptoms and want something to use while training, there are quite a few keto-friendly electrolytes on the market. I live in Arizona where it is pretty hot in the summer, I use Redmond’s Real SaltSports Legs, and Keto Chow electrolytes. In the winter, when it isn’t so hot and dry, I don’t typically use electrolytes for anything less than two hours.
In conclusion, listen to your body, if you feel you need some support, add a little (and sometimes a lot) electrolytes to see how you feel. If you feel good without them, you don’t need them.

Further reading:

An extensive list of electrolytes




Coach Stephanie

Hi, My name is Coach Stephanie Holbrook. I learned how to regain my health and turn back the clock. I now help endurance athletes show you everything you need to maximize health, performance and a younger feeling body.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.