Keto and euphoria


Hey Everyone,

I am promoted to make this post because of something I read in another post about keto and euphoria.

Some years ago when I first started my low carb/keto journey I most definitely experienced this phenomenon, at the time I think I linked it to becoming fat adapted?

I’m a bit frustrated now that I wasn’t much of a record keeper then.

I can clearly recall experiencing profound physical and mental sensations I had never experienced before. I would feel a sense of calm that I had never known, I would experience positive feelings maybe even happiness that I had never known before, which I would now classify as euphoria.

I looked different too, people would comment about how fresh and serene I appeared.

I experienced almost super human energy, the sort of energy that compelled me to move, workout and I slept like I have never known

I also responded to music differently too and this one is a weird one, my perception of time changed too, very hard to explain.

Anyway way back then I went from being ultra strict back to crappy diet because I believed some inaccurate information about fasting blood sugar and pre diabetes.

Since then I have been on a journey to try and reclaim that state I experienced then. I made so many tweaks in trying to understand what the factor was that enabled me to feel that way.

Having read the information about how similar BHB and GHB are this all makes very good sense, I feel I’ve found the missing piece.

I have just changed jobs and I now have a stable shift pattern and perfect control over my food environment, so I’m going to give it another go, to get back to that state of being that was so intoxicating.

I can recall back then saying to people that I felt so good on the diet that it was akin to feeling high, and I knew (way back) what it’s like to be high.

So in making this post I’m curious as to whether anyone else has experienced these outcomes?

Look forward to hearing your responses.


(hottie turned hag) #2

I have indeed.
I’m rather a flat affect sort; never very high nor low.
Within a few weeks into this (back in 2017) I felt a moodshift; it was quite remarkable.
My overall irritation with small things decreased.
My thinking was clearer.
I was calmer, less easily agitated.

Now after all this time I get an extra “high” during fasting; around hour 36-40.
I’m a lifelong teetotaler so have no idea what a “buzz” feels like but from what I’ve heard it is similar?

I feel odd little happiness jolts, totally random. Never had this before.

Has to be from a neurochem shift secondary to endocrinologic regulation.


I would also describe myself as flat affect, maybe that’s why the sensations seemed so remarkable?

Your comment about being less irritated with things is very much my experience too :blush:

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #4

This is an interesting topic and one with which I have experience, but not in a healthy way. I have well controlled bipolar disorder, a history with addiction and anorexia. One of the pulls of anorexia is the high you get from not eating. And I became addicted to that high until it wasn’t good, it turned into agitation, wide awake exhaustion and then, ultimately, a crash into a long depression.

I’m not suggesting folks don’t enjoy the euphoria that they get while fasting, but it’s the reason I don’t personally fast and something folks with certain risk factors may want to be cautious about. I find it interesting how people with different brain chemistry experience it.


Hi and thanks for posting,

My experience of euphoria was never linked to fasting, it wasn’t something I was aware of then.

In fact I would get a very pronounced high directly after eating a keto meal, I never experienced that as a carbivore

So it’s interesting to me to read two responders discussing the effect in respect of fasting, I was completely unaware that experiencing the high was a component of anorexia.

From what you describe I can understand how the allure of feeling that way could become unhealthy.

Hope you’re doing ok now

Thank you for answering :blush:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #6

This is old news. Read a little ‘spiritual’ literature, especially that written by so-called saints. I recommend St. John of the Cross as a good example (Dark Night of the Soul). Regardless of whatever their specific belief systems happened to be, and they were many, varied and contradictory; from shamans to yogis to zen monks to christian hermits to whirling dervishes. None-the-less, they ALL shared a common experience: union with their concept of divinity, euphoria and hallucinations initiated by fasting.


That may be so in respect of fasting, but not in my case I wasn’t into fasting, it was an outcome of purely keto, which is why I asked if anyone else had experienced it in that context.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #8

I’m not a tester, but I’m curious if you are. I wonder if it’s related to ketone levels if you produce higher levels than average. Also GHB is produced in the body as well as DMT.



Having read the article that was linked in the other thread about GHB and BHB it just made me wonder if that’s had been the cause of what I was experiencing?

I had always wondered what might have been producing the effect and maybe just having high ketones was the precipitating factor?

Anyway I’m just thinking out loud and I was often curious if anyone else had experienced this from purely keto rather than fasting.

I will try to keep better records this time and include some testing.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #10

Keto > Fasting… elevated ketones generally, elevated β hydroxybutyrate specifically. A matter of degree and more of a good thing. Brain functions very well, even preferentially on β hydroxybutyrate fuel. Apparently, it’s a ‘clean’ burn, unlike the ‘dirty’ burn of glucose. :thinking:

(Carl Keller) #11

I believe when we are purging ourselves of glycogen and restricting carbs it can cause motivational changes in our brain chemistry. This can happen when we first switch to low carb and also, to some degree, when we embark on a long fast. It just would not bode well for our ancestors if they were plagued with a streak of unsuccessful hunts and they became depressed and lethargic. So our bodies have the ablity to hormonally encourage us to stay positive, energetic and motivated when we need it the most.

I experienced this euphoria but not quite to the degree you have. But as my body became better at adapting to using fat for fuel, the euphoria did fade. I don’t feel like Batman any more… I’ve been demoted to Robin. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

Overall, a very interesting article, especially the chemical/molecular similarities of BHB/GHB. Although it also propagates some common misconceptions as well, such as: “…your body thinks it’s starving”; “Side effects include loss of calcium from bones, increased risk of kidney stones and growth retardation.” Oh my…

Some people have always been more susceptible to side effects. They were originally called shamans and their dreams and hallucinations were taken seriously. Understandably, in an evolutionary sense, most of us don’t respond so markedly but we all have the potential given a sufficient dose. Alcohol later became the preferred hoi polloi admission ticket to Fantasy Land.


don’t feel like Batman any more… I’ve been demoted to Robin. :stuck_out_tongue:

Made me smile :blush:


I agree with you that there were a few questionable elements to the article that I don’t agree with.

I like you comment about alcohol and admission to fantasy land :blush:

(Consensus is Politics) #15

I may have gotten a bit side tracked from the main topic of euphoria, but this is related to Ketones I believe.

Something I have began to be able to do after going keto is almost indescribable. But I’ll try to put this into words.

While rested, and calm, I can meditate on something with my eyes closed, and envision almost anything. Literally have it pop up in my field of view (with eyes closed) as if I had some sort of projection inside my eyelids. I don’t mean imagine seeing it, like a memory, I mean actually see something and take note of shape and color etc.

This first began when having near sleep hallucinations brought on by my blood pressure medication. I found I could concentrate on them and make them last just a few seconds more, or move, or change. Never lasting more than a few seconds. But absolutely fascinating.

I’ve been having the mild hallucinations from the meds before going ketogenic. But I think its been after fat adaptation that I’ve been able to interact with it. Still trying to find something useful for this. Would like to be able to do this like Benedict Cumberbatchs Sherlock does (imagines a chalk board doing calculations, or makes a list and checks them off in his mind. Then the Mind Library (mansion?) where he can visit.)

Nothing like things I have heard about LSD or other drugs, or smoking peyote in sweat-lodges, but very cool non the less.

(Carl Keller) #16

Yes I noticed that and wondered how much it discounted what I thought was credible.


That sounds fascinating I’ll see if I can try this if I get to that state again.

Thanks for sharing :blush:

(Alec) #18

Enjoy the euphoria while it lasts. My experience is that it doesn’t last. I think your body just gets used to feeling great!!

I think this is driven by ketones. Similar or possibly the same as faster’s high.

(SVGuss) #19

I heard from a doctor, who for decades have been taking care of Russian cosmonauts and pilots, that in life or death situations the brain shifts towards ketones almost instantly. It was a comment in passing, I did not have a chance to ask any further, can anyone confirm if I understood correctly?


Love this analogy! The brain likes ketones and some regions are going to thrive on them especially if they’ve been locked away in the glucose/insulin jail for a long time. I like to think of it as the opposite of what happens in Alzheimer’s. Brain fog gone, mood improvement, focus, easier meditiative state. Great REM sleep for me too.