Electrolyte supplements on carnivore

(Edith) #1

I read this article someone posted on another thread.

It mentions not needing to supplement electrolytes when eating a meat only diet. On keto I have to supplement my electrolytes or I suffer from muscle cramps (not enough sodium), heart palpitations (not enough magnesium), and increasing resting heart rate (not enough potassium.)

So far, a week into a return to carnivore, I still get the same muscle cramp symptoms if I don’t supplement with enough salt. I’m too afraid to not supplement Mg, because I don’t want the heart palpitations to return.

How many of you carnivores still supplement electrolytes?


I haven’t been but that is recent based upon what I’ve been reading. I’ve been hoping Dr Berry or Dr Saladino would do a dive on this.

On keto, I regularly had homemade electrolyte drinks and salted everything.

(Tiffany ) #3

I am new to this but have concerns. I am already having muscle cramping and I’m only a week in.


That’s because many followers of keto are eating more fresh foods and not so many processed foods. Processed foods have all kinds of “supplements” (i.e. “fortified” or “enriched”) added to them. Especially sodium (a good preservative). Historically, sodium was a very valuable mineral, because people would die without it. It was even used for money (i.e. “…not worth his salt…” and the source of the word salary).

(Elizabeth ) #5

People usually find this happens if they’re not eating about 2 lb of meat a day.


I’m eating around 2+ lbs per day. I cut out adding salt, not sure when maybe week or 2 ago. Have been carnivore since early September. Mostly eating beef.
So far so good. I do run and exercise so very curious about this.

(Elizabeth ) #7

Dana Schute is a 12-year carnivore who hasn’t added salt to her food in 10 years. She hikes several miles every day and very often 20 to 30 miles over the course of a couple of days. She still doesn’t add salt to her meat. Or her water. then there’s other long-term carnivores that do use salt. You have to find what works for you I guess

(Edith) #8

I understand what your saying. But, I was looking for thoughts about electrolytes from a carnivore perspective. The link above thought supplements can slow down adaptation to carnivore.

(Katie) #9

I do. I supplement with sodium, magnesium, a tiny amount of potassium (probably do not need it, not sure), Vitamin D, and bone meal.

(Katie) #10

Exactly, and it will probably change over time.


When I was doing regular keto I had to keep my sodium at a certain amount or I’d get leg cramps. Magnesium and potassium didn’t matter but the sodium did. I’m a little over a month into carnivore but I still need the sodium.

(Bunny) #12

Not enough vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, and manganese in domesticated muscle meat to sustain the human body. (what most cooked muscle meat only carnivores will be deficient in if they are not eating nose to tail)

It is said you don’t need to supplement but I highly, highly doubt it and would not take the risk because your body cannot produce the above on its own but pre-historic ancestors would not have eaten a meat only diet everyday of the week, especially cooked meat, it would have been occasional based on availability which could be long stretches of time.

Raw organ meats would have been rich in vitamin C and all of the above especially the adrenals and thyroid of various animals which would be rich in idione after a fresh kill especially for pregnant women. Real iodine evaporates fast so you want to get it into the body after the kill.

I am dictating this orally to software so please forgive the edits…lol

(Edith) #13

Hum… I hadn’t thought about vitamin E. I did some research on the various nutrients in different kinds of animal products. There is not much vitamin E in most animal meats. Even beef liver does not have that much. It is mostly nuts/seeds that contain the most vitamin E.

Thinking about our Paleolithic ancestors and possibly back further, I would imagine nuts (in season) would have been an important part of their diet, probably way more than vegetables.

I am working on getting a more nose to tail approach to my eating. I’ve added liver so far and recently discovered that sardines are not disgusting. Lol.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #14

Google Vitamin E in fish and you’ll find that some have up to 23% of the daily recommended in just a few ounces. (Had a boyfriend that ate so much salmon because he needed his vitamin E!)

(Teresa) #15

I started hard core carnivore…not jumping in from keto I mean and I’m having serious trouble with my electrolytes. Not getting enough sodium…I suspect potassium is also am issue as I’m having trouble breathing as well and tachycardia. I’m incrasibg all these things but I’m not getting relief yet. I

I’ve had blood work and it only showed low sodium…so I’m sipping bullion…actually drinking a lot…and I always salt things to taste…eat salty bacon etc. Its now day 23vqnd I’ve been suffering with tachycardia for 2 weeks. It’s not fun. I’ve been thoroughly checked out for heart issues. I’m on a monitor for 14 days.

Also my gfr is low…indicating decreased kidney filtration if I understand it properly.

So I’m backing up to keto and trying to get myself feeling better. I came from a ridiculously high sugar/carb diet…

I initially lost about 6 to 8 pounds but upon increasing sodium and backing up to keto…I’ve regained 2 to 3 pounds…all of which I know to be water weight. I’m here for health…have 20 pounds to lose but that’s not my priority. I feel like I’ve done myself harm with this electrolyte imbalance and it’s disheartening. I feel poorly and kinda miserable.

(Edith) #16

How much salt do you think you’re taking in? I have to supplement 1.5 to 2 teaspoons a day on top of what’s in or added to my food.

(Old Baconian) #17

You may need to continue taking electrolytes for a while, but the experience of many long-term carnivores is that at some point they no longer need to do so. Others find they still need salt.

Have you read the article linked in the OP? One of the author’s major points is that, during the initial adaptation to ZC/carnivore, the solution to almost every problem is to eat more meat. You might give that a try, to see what happens.

(Linda ) #18

I dont supplement anything salt to taste normally and interestingly enough in strong medicine dr Blake Donaldson did not allow salt at all by his patients…i didnt notice any real change from salting to taste to having none as far as feeling bad… but we’ll different…

(Jamie Brown) #19

I supplement with magnesium citrate & always add loads of sodium chloride and potassium chloride, to my food.

In the winter months I also add vit D3 .


yea, your adaption time into carnivore is going to be way more rough and tough than most of us who came into it from an extreme low carb plan situation.

We had already suffered the ‘big adaption and withdrawls’ from sugar etc and healed a bit before we tackled carnivore.

Anyone jumping straight in is going to get more nailed in full force. You could feel very miserable and truly have tough side effects. All can be combated for sure, but you also have to live thru them ya know…and they can take a while to get over.

It is an imbalance. On a ketogenic menu one needs alot of water, best for the body and one can also flush out the electrolytes etc. and it can make for a screw up in us while we adapt.

It is ok to back up to keto. Nothing wrong with doing that. You can’t put the 20 lbs. as your priority…you gotta kinda think of it as ‘make a healthy lifestyle eating plan change’ that will ‘let you lose the 20’ as your priority. Once you get thru adaption time, and you still will have some adaption when you go into keto eating plan still…you will again start to heal and change and adapt into a ketogenic menu and you will start to feel better…but for some of us it takes longer than we like and it can be tough, like your rapid heart beat.

Head into keto plan, get yourself straight best you can and walk thru your adaption and always keep your meat protein up high, eat well, use your salt and just let the time do its thing.

wishing you the best…hold strong!! One must sometimes walk thru the worst times to get that better health and vitality and healed body and drop the lbs. Alot of us had big issues with our changes but we made it and you will be ok also!!