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Home Keto Diet Why Am I Sweating on a Keto Diet? How to Avoid it?

Why Am I Sweating on a Keto Diet? How to Avoid it?

why am i sweating on a keto diet

The keto diet is a journey of new sensations. When you start following it, you will notice many changes in your body that are difficult to explain.

From changes in your breath odor to headaches, this method to lose weight brings up a lot of questions. And one of the most common ones might be, “why am I sweating on a keto diet?”

Don’t worry because every symptom has an explanation. Far from being a mystery, these events in your body are a clue that you are doing it right.

Health Insider has the answer to one of the most common doubts when starting the ketogenic diet. Let’s find out!

Why am I sweating on a keto diet?

Excessive sweating at the beginning of the keto diet can have many reasons. The most likely one is due to a drop in glycemic levels.

Sweating due to hypoglycemia sometimes comes with irritability, hunger, and fatigue. This makes the nights during the first week of the keto diet a bit challenging.

While sweating can be somewhat annoying, it is your body’s way of getting rid of fluid retention. You will notice that at the beginning of the diet, you will start not only sweating but peeing more often. Keep in mind that the body weight you lose at the beginning is water and not fat.

Carbohydrates and their body reserves (called glycogen) are responsible for retaining water. So, by consuming fewer carbs, you start losing water through sweating.

This phenomenon is common, and you shouldn’t worry about it. Excessive sweating disappears when you start to adapt to the ketogenic diet.

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Does ketosis cause sweating?

The ketogenic diet causes a lot of sweating in the beginning, especially at night when you will notice that your sheets are damp. This is part of the adaptation process, and hypoglycemia is not the only factor.

A single gram of carbohydrate can promote the storage of 4 grams of water. When you start following a keto diet and eat fewer carbs, you lose all retained water. Also, sweating on a keto diet also has something to do with burning ketones as energy.

When you eat a low-carb diet, your body begins to use those ketones to perform their basic functions. Ketones are molecules created from fat when blood sugar is low. This activity elevates your body temperature causing heavy sweating.

We can confidently say that this is a sign that you are on the right track, as it means you are eating a low-carb diet. You only have to tolerate the symptoms for a few more days until your body starts to adapt.

Keto night sweats

During the first nights of the keto diet, you may wake up sweating as if you’ve had a nightmare.

Sweating on keto is usually followed by other symptoms of the well-known “keto flu.” This means that you will not only wake up sweating, you may also experience flu-like symptoms: headaches, palpitations, nausea, and dizziness.

But because keto flu symptoms are common, that does not mean that you will feel all these discomforts. Every person adapts to the keto diet at different times and in different ways. 

These damp nights may also come with insomnia, as eating fewer carbs gives you more energy, and this can also make it difficult to fall asleep at first.

Withdrawal symptoms during a low-carb diet

Do you know the withdrawal symptoms that occur when a person tries to quit a drug? Well, it is well known that sugar behaves like a drug in the brain. This means that a low-sugar diet causes the same symptoms that drug addicts feel when they stop their usual doses.

Keto sweating may be due to restlessness, insomnia, and palpitations that can occur with sugar withdrawal. These symptoms disappear if you increase the sugar dosage. However, we recommend that you hold off for a few days because it is temporary.

Keto adaptation sweating

When you remove carbohydrates from the diet, you are taking out a ridiculous amount of sodium. Your body starts to miss that sodium, and you may feel fatigued. To avoid this, you can add a pinch of salt to your water.

Also, during a keto diet, you can lose magnesium and potassium through your sweat glands. These compounds, along with sodium, are electrolytes. The electrolytes play vital roles in the body. Some of these functions are nutrient transportation and muscle contraction.

Keto adaptation means that your body must adjust all its processes. Glucose will no longer be your main source of energy but ketones. This produces a metabolic transformation that requires great discipline.

How to deal with sweating a lot on keto?

Don’t be afraid of salt. During the keto diet, you will lose a large amount of water with electrolytes. This is why you must recover the lost minerals by adding them to your diet. In the morning, add a teaspoon of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt to your glass of water. This way, you will avoid losing excess fluids.

Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and very hot dishes. They promote weight loss by increasing body temperature but can worsen night sweats.

Keep in mind that keto sweating is a transitory issue. If you live alone, the keto night sweat smell should not be a problem. Try to wear light, breathable clothing that will make you more comfortable.

You may have heard the rule of thumb: drink 8 glasses of water. This is not far from reality, but on the keto diet, you should do better than that to avoid keto flu.

Because of the large amount of fluid lost when consuming fewer carbohydrates, try to go a little further than 8 glasses.

Not all the liquid needs to come from plain water. You can also add unsweetened herbal teas and chicken or vegetable broths. This way, you also avoid anxiety and cravings.

Ketosis body odor: is it a real thing?

Are you worried that you started to smell like nail polish remover? This is not only common – it needs to happen. It means that your body has started to produce and burn ketones, and they cause a fruity smell.

The smell of acetone can not only come through your sweat but also your breath. This is temporary and will disappear in 2 to 3 weeks. We know it’s tiring to have to explain to everyone where your fruity smell is coming from, so if it doesn’t go away and starts to be annoying, there are some steps you can take.

How to avoid body odor

#1 Enough water

The first option will always be to drink enough water. A dry mouth can harbor a lot of bacteria and make the odor worse.

#2 Oral hygiene

Brush your teeth 2 or 3 times a day. Even though the odor is not coming from your gums but from your lungs, at least you will have fresher breath.

#3  Don’t forget to shower

Take a shower before and after exercising. The mixture of your normal body odor and acetone odor can be very potent and noticeable.

#4 Be patient

Wait a couple of weeks before making drastic decisions like quitting the keto diet. This odor will not last forever.

Don’t let sweating hold you back from your goals!

The keto diet might be challenging because it causes a lot of uncomfortable symptoms. 

As your body adjusts, you will notice annoying symptoms such as keto diet sweating. Excessive sweating is a common symptom during low-carb diets.

Night sweats might be due to keto flu, a temporary response when the human body begins to use fat as fuel. No ketosis symptoms are going to threaten your life and, if you feel it is so, you should go to the doctor. This way, you’ll discard any health conditions that are not compatible with this type of diet.

Sweating on a keto diet is temporary and is part of the weight loss process. Cramps and headaches are common when you lack water. Be sure to replenish fluids and minerals to avoid other symptoms of dehydration. 

In other words, take care of the small symptoms to avoid the big ones that may cause more discomfort.

Written by
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.

why am i sweating on a keto diet

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