Salt, hydration after adaptation


I started keto about 4 months ago. I immediately realized I needed salt and electrolytes to beat fatigue. I was taking probably 4-5 grams of salt per day in tablets, water, bone broth, etc. It worked, and I was able to finally do a full workout without feeling exhausted a few weeks ago. (I also probably got better adapted.)

The problem: My signs of dehydration (very dry lips, fatigue) seemed to disappear, so I cut back a little on the salt (it’s kind of a pain to take tablets all day). I got very very tired that day and could barely make it through the afternoon without a nap (same symptom as before keto when I thought I was hypoglycemic).

I don’t know if this is salt or hypoglycemia. It seems like the only time I hear old timers talk about salt is when fasting. It also seems like they don’t have the enormous volume of pee (sorry to be crude) that I was producing.

What happens with salt after you’re adapted? Do you still produce a lot of pee? Do you still need 4-7 grams/day? I’m talking strictly keto now – not fasting. Thanks so much!

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #2

Yes. Keto restores natural function to your kidneys so you do not retain water. Water soluble salts, minerals and vitamins go with the water. As they should, they take a lot of waste with them when they go. Most/many are restored from food, but if you experience symptoms of deficiency, then supplement. For electrolytes I suggest buying sodium, potassium and magnesium salts and preparing your own mix that you can add to food as you would table salt and if necessary dissolve in water to drink. Sea salt, Himalayan salt, or Redmond Real Salt contain lots of trace elements as well.

(It's all about the bacon, baby!) #3

I suspect that you don’t hear oldtimers talking about salt much, simply because we fall into a rountine and don’t have to think about it any more. Yet even now, I get symptoms if I slack off on salt. (Constipation and migraine auras, if you’re curious.) I also get symptoms from too much salt (not diarrhea, but definitely the opposite of constipation).

I don’t know how much salt I actually get, but the conclusion of the PURE study and a couple of others, the names of which escape me at the moment, is that 4-6 grams of sodium a day (10-15 grams of sodium chloride) is the healthiest part of the curve.


Thanks for that insight. I was wondering when the peeing and salt increase would have to stop. I guess never. :slight_smile:

(It's all about the bacon, baby!) #5

On the other hand, as long as I don’t eat too much carbohydrate, my bladder capacity is enormous. I can sleep through the entire night, instead of having to get up several times. I can tell when I overdid the carbohydrate by the frequency and by the low quantity. It is a truly surprising difference.

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #6

The quantity of water consumed plays a significant factor as well. I drink lots of water and it all goes through every day! But as noted by @PaulL the storage volume is pretty large.:innocent:

(Susan) #7

I already went tons a day pre-Keto (having 5 babies did that to me, hehe) but Keto is awesome and I agree with Paul and Michael about the salt, it is important to keep it up, you really get used to it after a while =). If I forget on normal days, I get leg cramps, so I try to remember. What I find convenient for me is I take a teaspoon directly in my mouth then swallow a bunch of water. I do this 2-3 times a day, and more when fasting.


Thanks guys! It’s too hot here for me to do the bone broth, but I’ll start that again in the fall. For now, it’s salt tablets - which at 1 gram each means I’m getting roughly 500 grams of sodium?