A keto diet is a type of low-carb, higher-fat weight loss diet. It’s not uncommon to experience some changes in your urinary habits when you start the keto diet. In this article we will discuss what those changes are and why they happen.
Increased urination occurs on a keto diet due to the body’s depletion of glycogen. Glycogen serves as one of your main storage mechanisms for extra carbohydrate and when you start depleting them, it releases the water from inside the cell which causes the end result of increased urination.
There are a few reasons why a change to a ketogenic diet may cause you to pee a lot more than you have been used to in your old dietary habits. When you look at the changes to your body and how it metabolizes items it becomes much more clear.
Fast Drop in Glycogen Levels
The first big thing which causes urination to increase on a ketogenic diet is the use of the stored glycogen which is stored in water volume in muscle mass. This water volume is quickly released when the glycogen storages drop.
The storage form of sugar (glycogen) needs three molecules of water for every molecule of glycogen, leading to large water volume drop when not replenished.
The body then excretes this water in increased urination which results in a loss of liquid weight on your scale and makes you think that it’s immediate weight loss which is a folly frequently seen in new dieters.
You will also notice an increase in thirst as well during this time period because you are losing so much fluid from your system and your body is trying to compensate.
Lower Overall Sodium Intake
Low carb diets tend to have less sodium in the diet overall than what you would find in a Standard American Diet (SAD).
This means that sodium levels are much lower overall and this causes the body to lose additional water by way of increased urination because it’s trying to keep things balanced inside your cells.
Sometimes though with a ketogenic or low-carb diet you need to make sure to take in extra sodium to maintain balance and this will help to mitigate some of the increased urination issues, the easiest way is through water intake.
Ketone Production Can Yield Diuretic Effect
When your body creates ketone bodies in the liver, it is a chemical process which uses sodium.
This means that there will be an increased loss of water by way of increased urination and this can make you lose weight because your body is excreting more fluid than normal.
You have to keep in mind though with anything like this when you are first starting out on keto, you can easily get dehydrated and this is why a lot of people say that they feel horrible when first starting out.
This fluid loss will stop however once your body gets used to the ketogenic diet because it doesn’t need as many ketones for energy anymore which means less water loss through urination.
Keto Flu Symptoms
Another reason which might cause you to have increased urination habits during the ketogenic diet transition period may be a flu like symptom associated with it known as Keto Flu or Ketosis Flu.
This happens because of changes in the use of enzymes by the body for metabolism, along with electrolyte changes due to the loss of water from your body.
Keto Flu is also associated with other symptoms which may be different for each person but it’s usually a combination of flu like symptoms and digestive problems as well.
These include headache, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and heart palpitations. It can last anywhere from a few days to up to two weeks with the average being around five days.
The good news is that it’s not dangerous and you shouldn’t worry about any long term effects on your health from this type of flu like symptom, or adverse ones either for that matter.
It can be somewhat uncomfortable but once it passes you will notice an increase in your energy levels as well.
Although these symptoms are not dangerous, you should try to ease through this time period and drink plenty of liquids including water with a pinch of salt or two added in because it will help make the transition through ketosis easier on you.
Remember that increased urination can also be caused by other conditions such as diabetes and if you experience this symptom in conjunction with other symptoms such as increased thirst, blurred vision or frequent urination without relief then please see your doctor right away.
Should I Be Worried About Excess Urination On Keto?
While you should have an increased rate of urination in the first weeks and if you drink excessive amounts of water and follow the instructions provided by your doctor.
It’s not anything to worry about because it just means that you are flushing out excess water and salt (sodium) from your system.
It will decrease within a few weeks as long as you stay on course with your ketogenic diet plan and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day including plain filtered water, or water with a pinch of salt added to it.
If you are worried about your health then please consult your doctor and they can give you the all clear on if this is something that should be looked into further or not.
There’s no need for concern unless there is an underlying reason which might cause these symptoms which would require a doctors visit and discussion.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan. It’s often used to help people lose weight and reduce the risk of heart disease or diabetes.
The biggest side effect (or benefit) of this type of diet can be increased urination because your body will flush out excess water from stored glycogen to drop water weight fast.
This means that you’ll have an increase in liquid weight loss on the scale but won’t see any results yet when it comes to fat reduction but this can sometimes be the kick a new dieter needs to stick to it!