Keto Diet

How to Get Rid of Keto Breath – 4 Best Ways According to Experts

Have you found that your breath is a little… less than fresh after starting your keto diet?

Don’t worry; it’s not just you! Bad breath is a common issue many people experience after starting their keto lifestyle journey.

It’s called “keto breath,” and we’re here to show you exactly how to get rid of it.

Take a look at this guide on beating keto breath for good.

How to Get Rid of Keto Breath: 4 Effective and Safe Ways

Even though keto breath is a temporary side effect, it can be frustrating and embarrassing to deal with. Many people find that they’re tearing their hair out, trying to get rid of it. Here are some tried and true ways to get rid of keto breath straight from medical experts.

4 tips to get rid of keto breath

#1 Drink lemon water

lemon water

An excellent method to get rid of keto breath is to drink a big glass of lemon water. Drinking more water, in general, will help you get rid of that irritating bad breath, but putting a few lemon slices in there will help you out even more.

The lemon in the water is a great way to neutralize any acids coming up when you exhale. It’s a quick way to cut down that bad breath while your body is getting used to your new keto diet.

#2 Start to calculate your macros 

Calculating your macros is a great habit to get into with a keto diet in the first place, but starting this early on will help you cut down on your battle with bad breath. When you calculate your macros, you’re calculating how many grams of fat, protein, and carbs you need to meet your keto diet needs.

While you need very few carbs on your keto diet, you want to make sure you’re not also getting too much protein. Adding high amounts of protein to your keto diet can make your bad breath worse.

Getting started with calculating your macros can be a bit daunting, so we recommend using an app geared towards the keto lifestyle. Keto Cycle is a great app for both beginners and veteran keto dieters.

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You can calculate your macros, look up thousands of recipes, and track your progress all in one place. You can even get a balanced meal plan for the whole day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner! There’s even room for some keto-friendly snacking.

Keto Cycle is also a great place to really nail down your new keto diet. You can track and share recipes right on the app, as well as track your weight loss, daily water intake, calories, and even your steps! It’s the one-stop shop for everything to do with keto.

Not to mention, the Keto Cycle app also offers personalized workout regimens. You can find workout videos that fit every lifestyle, from 15 to 45 minutes a day. No need to worry if you don’t have access to a gym – the Keto Cycle app has workouts that don’t require any equipment.

#3 Brush your teeth more often – and don’t forget to floss!

A great way to eliminate keto breath is to brush your teeth more than twice a day. Poor oral hygiene can lead to even more bad breath on top of your keto breath. We recommend brushing your teeth after every meal if you can.

And of course, don’t forget to floss! It’s a good practice to get into, and it can help with the way your breath smells while you’re adjusting to your low-carb diet.

#4 Try gum or sugar-free mints

woman-is-taking-gums

If all else fails… gum or sugar-free mints are a tried and true method of helping people get rid of bad breath. Make sure you’re not chowing down on gum or mints that are packed full of sugar. Not only is it bad for your keto diet, but your oral hygiene won’t thank you for it!


Try chewing gums that contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol. Xylitol is a great way to kill bacteria in the mouth that can cause bad breath and get rid of bacteria that can cause cavities. It’s a two-in-one solution!

What Is Keto Breath?

Unlike ordinary bad breath from waking up in the morning or your run-of-the-mill halitosis, keto breath is a distinct side effect from achieving ketosis through a high-fat and low-carb diet. Because the ketogenic diet purposefully restricts your carbs, your body is forced to use fat for energy.

The fatty acids in your body are converted into ketones, a natural chemical that the body produces when fat is used for energy. Usually, your body harmlessly releases ketones through urination and exhalation. These ketones can have a very distinct smell.

That’s where keto breath comes from.

What’s the smell of keto breath?

How can you tell the difference between your normal morning breath, halitosis, and the dreaded side effect of keto breath?

Keto breath produces a very distinct odor in the mouth and a very distinct taste. People report keto breath having a very metallic taste and smelling like acetone. Other people have said that their keto breath has a very fruity smell to it.

What Can Cause Bad Keto Breath?

For the most part, any significant change to one’s diet can cause changes to one’s metabolism. If you’re going from a pretty high-carb diet to one that has almost no carbs and very high fat, it’s going to take your body some time to adjust to the change.

woman checks the freshness of breath

Because you’re burning and releasing more ketones, they need to get out somewhere. Earlier, we mentioned that ketones harmlessly exit the body after being burned through urination and exhalation. Well, those ketones you’re producing are beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and, you guessed it: acetone.

That’s what your breath can sometimes smell like nail polish remover. Acetone has the strongest smell, so when you switch from a high-carb diet to one with almost no carbs, you might find that keto breath is one of the main symptoms.

How Long Does Keto Breath Last?

Some people who start a ketogenic diet don’t experience bad breath as one of the side effects. For other people, keto breath can be the bane of their existence while their body gets used to the new diet. Thankfully, keto breath isn’t permanent.

Most people who get keto breath as one of their ketogenic diet side effects may notice a change in their breath after a week or so on the diet. However, as the body starts to adjust, the bad breath will eventually go away.

This adjustment period may take a few weeks, however. After all, it takes weeks of strict dieting to get into ketosis in the first place. It’ll take your body just as long to adjust to this new low-carb diet and to even out the bad breath situation.

A Word From our RD

For those who experience keto breath, it can be an embarrassing struggle to get under control while you’re waiting for your body to even out on your keto diet. While ketogenic diets are great for weight loss and other health benefits, sometimes the bad breath doesn’t feel worth it!

Rest assured that you’re not alone in this scenario. Ketosis breath is one of the number one side effects of lower carb intake. While a keto diet makes it easier for your body to burn fat, the ketones that your body uses for energy can often leave many people struggling with metallic-tasting breath and smelling like acetone.

Thankfully, home remedies for bad keto breath are tried and true, and plenty of people have found relief from this particular symptom after giving them a try. However, if all else fails, you can also try some natural breath fresheners, like cinnamon or mint, in your tea or water.

If your bad breath persists after trying these methods or even after months on a keto diet, there might be something else going on in your mouth! If you’re still struggling and nothing seems to help, make sure you go and see your trusted healthcare professional. Several health conditions can affect the smell of your breath.

Conclusion

There you have it! Keto bad breath can be embarrassing and frustrating to deal with, but you’re definitely not alone! If you’ve found your way to this article, know that the bad breath you’re experiencing is totally normal and not a permanent part of the ketogenic diet.

These home remedies should help clear up bad breath after a few days of a rigorous schedule, as opposed to the weeks it would take for your breath to clear up on its own after your body gets used to the low carbs and high fat of the ketogenic diet.

How to get rid of keto breath? Drink more water with a splash of lemon, brush your teeth, make sure you’re getting the right amount of protein, and chew a bit of sugar-free gum – this will lead you right back to the path of fresh breath without compromising your new lifestyle.

Edibel Quintero, MD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
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