Do You NEED Supplements When Doing Keto or Fasting? - Enlighten Functional Medicine

Do You NEED Supplements When Doing Keto or Fasting?

Do You NEED Supplements When Doing Keto or Fasting?

If you’re like most people, when you started keto or fasting, you were probably told that supplements are a must. After all, how else are you supposed to get all the nutrients your body needs?

Here’s the thing: while supplements can be helpful, they’re not always necessary. In fact, you can get everything you need from food alone. So before you run out and stock up on supplements, let’s take a closer look at what they really are and whether or not you actually need them.

Let’s say, you’re doing keto or fasting. You are on a low carb diet. You then find yourself up all night peeing and you don’t know why. Your kidneys will dump a lot of water on the first few days when you are restricting your carbs. The minerals, particularly salt, magnesium, potassium and calcium are out with the water which acts as the carrier for them. When those minerals, also known as electrolytes, go away, you are losing important nutrients behind. 

Mineral Water

This is why you need salt when you’re doing keto or fasting. We want to make sure that you are hydrating with mineral water. Mineral water is also extremely good for the body because it’s going to have something that is measurable within mineral water, which is called the total dissolved solids or TDS. The higher the TDS, the more mineral content in the water. 


It works just like wine. When you have heavy wine, namely red wine, it’s heavier, more palpable, more textured, compared to the lighter wine or the white wine that you associate with light taste and has more clarity. That’s also just looking at the depth of the minerals in the water compared to wine.


You can have water that has really low TDS, kind of similar to the white wine. Or a high TDS water associated with more of the red wines which are thicker and give a more ‘on the palate’ texture. You want the kind of mineral water that helps bring back salt, to bring back those minerals into your body. Some examples of high TDS water you can get around the grocery stores is going to be Gerald Steiner.

You can get mineral water from your favorite specialty stores in your area. You might be able to buy these from a specific vendor online too if you cannot find them in your local grocery stores or your specialty grocery stores for that matter. 

Thyroid supplements. 

There’s a myth going on that the thyroid goes crazy when you’re doing keto, when you’re doing low carb, when you’re fasting a little bit more. Truth is: YOU NEED SALT. Salt is needed to get the iodine into the thyroid to make the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4).  If you are dehydrated, if you are not consuming those much needed minerals, or if you are taking any other medication that depletes Sodium, then you’re going to have issues with thyroid. 


In addition, maybe you’re taking anti-depression medication. Studies show that these deplete sodium. If you’re going to fast or low carb, make sure that your thyroid supplements are aligned with what’s happening in the body. When all is said and done though—and this may seem like a weirdly obvious point–you need those minerals!

What about ketones?

This is a popular topic, especially within the ketogenic world. They’re doing a lot of research on a specific one called beta hydroxybutyrate, or BHB. These are connected to salt. When you connect a beta hydroxybutyrate to a salt, that salt is going to be very supportive.


We just talked about how much those minerals are needed when we go low carb. So it can be helpful to get that salt in the BHB component of it. There is a wealth of data supporting this finding that it helps ease into a ketogenic way of eating. Is it necessary to take a ketone product? No. Our body makes them. 


Even in healthcare for people with cognitive functions issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia, they’re finding that ketones can be helpful. Ketones can help ease into fasting. It can be something tasty you can add to drinks given to patients.


You immediately see ketones when you test These are particularly found in urine and blood samples. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re producing them yourself. Research is showing that brain support with those cognitive issues can be very helpful with ketones. So again, you don’t need the ketones. You can make your own ketones.

Mineral blends are super helpful. B complex may be very important for methylation, which is the chemical process that happens in our bodies that help clear out excitatory neurotransmitters like epinephrine and norepinephrine. When they’re going up because of a fast or cutting back on carbs– those will require some help with vitamin B6; we also need magnesium here too!


If you’re looking to ease into the keto or low carb way of living, be sure to drink plenty of mineral water, regulate your salt and electrolyte intake, and consider taking a mineral supplement. But don’t forget: you can also get all of these nutrients from food alone! If you’re curious about how this might work for you, schedule a discovery call with us today. We’d be happy to chat with you about your specific needs and help create a plan that makes transitioning to a low carb lifestyle easy and sustainable. Thanks for reading!


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DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional 


About Enlighten Functional Medicine

Known for her successful treatment of mystery illnesses, Dr. Emily Hecker and her team at Enlighten Functional Medicine combine an integrative, functional medicine approach with the appropriate lab testing.

Our unique approach to diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders recognizes that lasting health depends on resolution of the root causes of your disease. Click here to learn more »

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