Beat Keto-Flu with Homemade Electrolyte Drink

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This recipe was inspired by a great electrolyte drink created by Wellness Mama. Apart from using electrolyte drinks for rehydrating during sports, it's an effective natural keto-flu remedy. Electrolytes, especially magnesium, are often deficient when you eat less than 20-30 g net carbs.

Making an electrolyte drink that tastes good was a real challenge. At first, the drink was too salty and I had to make a few batches before I was happy with the result. I used slightly different ingredients than the original recipe to increase the potassium and magnesium content and to make it suitable for a keto diet. If you've ever been through keto-flu, you know how bad the symptoms can be: headaches, muscle weakness, cramps or fatigue are just some of the side effects you don't want to experience during the transitional period of the ketogenic diet.

Note: If you need to add more sodium to your diet, try Homemade Bone Broth!. For more potassium try avocados!

Also check out our Quick Guide to Keto-flu Remedies and pin it to your board!

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Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per cup/ 240 ml/ 8 fl oz)

Net carbs1.7 grams
Protein0.1 grams
Fat0 grams
Calories6 kcal

Calories from carbs 90%, protein 4%, fat 6%

Total carbs1.7 gramsFiber0.1 gramsSugars0.8 gramsSaturated fat0 gramsSodium104 mg(5% RDA)Magnesium179 mg(45% RDA)Potassium216 mg(11% EMR)

Ingredients (makes about 6 cups)

Tips:
  • Drink with meals (not on an empty stomach). Start with a cup per day and increase to no more than 2 cups per day to avoid stomach discomfort.
  • Instead of potassium chloride, you can use lite salt or cream of tartar. To read more about potassium supplements, read this post: The Importance of Potassium in Low-Carb Diets.
  • You can use coconut water instead of water for extra electrolyte boost, especially potassium and sodium. The downside is that coconut water may be too high in carbs for some people. There are about 6 grams of net carbs, 600 mg potassium, 252 g sodium and 60 mg magnesium per cup of coconut water.
  • Instead of Erythritol, can use other healthy low-carb sweetener from this list

Instructions

  1. Juice the lemons or limes (or a combination of both). Beat Keto-Flu with Homemade Electrolyte Drink
  2. Place everything in a jug and stir until well combined and no crystals appear on the bottom. Beat Keto-Flu with Homemade Electrolyte Drink
  3. Add some ice cubes if needed and enjoy! If you suffer from keto-flu symptoms, have 2-3 cups per day with meals (3 cups only if you are physically active and have no stomach discomfort) and also add more sodium to your diet (try Homemade Bone Broth). Store in the fridge for 3-4 days. Beat Keto-Flu with Homemade Electrolyte Drink

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per cup/ 240 ml/ 8 fl oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Water, still
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Lemon (juice), fresh
1.3 g0.1 g0 g4 kcal
Potassium chloride, supplement
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Natural Calm, magnesium supplement
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Erythritol (natural low-carb sweetener)
0.3 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Total per cup/ 240 ml/ 8 fl oz
1.7 g0.1 g0 g6 kcal
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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (137)

Thank you so much for your beautiful, very helpful, interesting , marvelous ketodietapp.
God bless you and whoever has helped you gathering all these information for people like me. After 5 months being in keto diet and searching finally i think i m lucky enough to find you with so much support. I will recommend you to all my friends in different keto community that i m in .
Thank you 🙏.

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Thank you so much, I appreciate your kind words! I'll let my partner reply to the printing question.

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Hi
I really appreciate your Homemade Electrolyte Drink to beat the Keto-Flu. It works !!! But I cannot print the recipes with my Windows 10 Desktop. Any suggestions ? I really appreciate your great website and books - I have just purchased several of them on Amazon.   R.C.  

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Hi Robert,
Thank you for your feedback. I just tried this on Windows 10 using Microsoft Edge and Chrome, can I ask which browser you're using? Do you get an error when you click to print?
Thanks, Nikos

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The serving sizes are supposed to be 2 teaspoons for the natural calm, not tablespoons. For the love of God edit this before someone dies.

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Brian, before making these claims, please do check the serving size. This recipe makes 6 servings. Not to mention that you are confusing magnesium with potassium.

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These numbers seem a bit extreme, just curious how you came to these proportions? And if what's listed below is accurate.
Sodium    0.25 tsp  (590mg)  
Potassium  0.5 tsp  (2160mg)
Magnesium  2 tbs  (1950mg)
Most keto electrolyte supplements have more sodium than anything.

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Hi Ben, keep in mind you are looking at the whole recipe so a "serving" is a lot less than that - it's certainly not extreme. One or two servings are ideal for most people. The amounts are also a matter of flavour. More salt would make this drink unpalatable. I've tried it and I was aiming for the "sweet spot".
This means that the sodium values are not too high but enough to help you replenish electrolytes. This drink is not meant to provide 100% of your daily values - apart from supplements you also need to consider the electrolytes you get from whole foods (the majority). Some electrolyte supplements may have higher values but the ones I've seen come in pills so you can't really taste them.

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I love this drink. I found that I like this without the added sugar. Thank you for this great recipe!

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Super yummy!   Have to watch not to drink to much.  I am glad to have found this recipe as I have a colonoscopy scheduled this week.   They suggested an electrolyte drink so I will add this to my beverages.  Thanks so much!

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Thank you Tanya, you might also like this one 😊 Healthy Blueberry & Lemon Electrolyte Drink

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I drink electrolyte replacement drinks with ACV and lime equal parts.  when taken along with cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and cream of tartar, it works well.  I will want to look at magnesium, so thanks about that.

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Hi can or should you take this at least once a day even if you haven't gotten the "keto-flu" or would that do something bad? I'm brand new to the keto diet (just started Monday) so if you have any advice for me let me know.
Oh and is coconut sugar or coconut palm sugar ok for the keto diet or not I've read a ton a different stuff about it.

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I don't drink this electrolyte drink every day but I do drink magnesium (Calm) almost every single day (or take magnesium supplements). I find that even with more carbs (30+ g net) I can't get enough magnesium.

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Now I know where the dizziness was coming from. It was an element of the keto flu. I even had a little slight nausea! So I made your delicious electrolyte drink, just now and drank a glass and I am already feeling better. Was I supposed to use a half teaspoon of cream of tartar? Probably doesn't matter if it's too much for now since I'm low in potassium. Your recipe calls for half a teaspoon of potassium chloride but your recipe is  not specific about how much cream of tartar? Thanks for your answer in advance.  

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Hi Jen, there is potassium in cream of tartar but not as much as in supplements or some keto foods like avocados. You can use 2-3 teaspoons per recipe but to get the same effect you'd have to use a lot more - and there are extra carbs (there is only 330 mg potassium and 1.2 g net carbs per 2 teaspoons). I hope this helps!

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Good recipe.  I didn't read all the instructions, so I made a quart and drank the whole thing.   DO NOT do that.  Trust me 😲

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I totally agree - do not exceed the recommended serving size (GI distress).

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Every time I try to go Keto, I get the awful Keto flu so I am hoping this will help. My question is do I drink this instead of Pickle juice or should I still use Pickle juice along with this electrolyte drink?  Thanks for suggestions and recommendations on this.  

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I have never used pickle juice in that way but I assume that's for additional sodium? I'd swap it with bone broth. My worry is that pickle juice may have added sugar or sweeteners.

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Hi Martina.  Thanks for the recipe.  I was looking at reviews for this potassium you recommend and some say that potassium citrate is a better potassium to take.  Not sure why but what do you think and why you chose the chloride over the citrate?  Thanks.  

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Hi Judy, I don't have a preference because I use it sparingly and only in my electrolyte drinks. Both options are suitable!

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Potassium Glycinateis the most absorbable of the types of minerals but it is a challenge to find and more expensive as a result.

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Just made up a batch as a preventative measure. We aren't more than a week on Keto, but we are trying to avoid the worst of the symptoms if possible. Thanks for this.

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Ah, the keto flu. It's a helluva ride, but worth it if you can get to the other side. I've been using moringa powder as a natural substitute for potassium chloride and natural calm. This drink along with a nice essential oil inhaler (I just like grapefruit essential oil) for the crazy angry monkey mind and I can usually get through the keto-flu in a couple days 😊

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Hi ,
Can you have this drink if you are not doing leto and you are on a low carb diet.
Regards Rohini

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Yes you can! This is a great option for hydration and replenishing electrolytes, especially for those who exercise.

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I made this electrolyte drink per recipe on 3 occasions and was surprised at how good it tastes. Plus, it actually helped me feel better when I was experiencing Keto Flu symptoms.  Thanks!

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Thank you Ron, I'm glad you like it! Try adding a few frozen berries. I've been making this tweaked version recently, it will make it even better 😊

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I have been following a keto diet for 2 months now and the  biggest problem is leg & foot cramps, especially at night.  I was getting up 2 or 3 times every night to walk them out.  This drink has changed my night life.  By the second day of drinking it with meals resulted in a total night of undisturbed sleep.  Both me and my husband are really thankful.

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I'm so happy for you! You made my day!

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Hi, can you tell me what the reason for not having this drink on an empty stomach it is? I typically drink a large glass of lemon water with salt in the mornings and wanted to add the potassium and magnesium to that. Could it cause an upset stomach? If so would it be better to consume right after my bulletproof coffee?  I have read it is beneficial to have your magnesium and potassium with it or soon after your morning salt water, but  I don’t want to cause any unwanted stomach upset! Thank you!

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Hi Michelle, the only reason to keep in mind is that some people may experience stomach discomfort. It's better to be safe then sorry but you may be fine drinking it on an empty stomach. I would rather not drink it straight after the BPC, especially if you use coconut oil and/or MCTs. Magnesium citrate and MCTs together may cause unwanted effects - this combination may just be too much.

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Hello - I have a question.  Do I need to put the sweetener in? I assume it isn't for nutrition, just to sweeten the drink a bit... ?  😊
Thank you - Shawnie

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Not at all! Sweetener can be skipped - or used to taste 😊

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Hi Martina. I'm new to keto and just read about this drink. I see where you can use herbal tea. Which herbal tea do you suggest. Thanks

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Hi Mimi, I like camomile, mint, ginger or linden tea but it's up to you! I think most types of tea go well with lemon or lime.

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Hi Martina! Suffering from keto flu at this very monent. I dont have potassium chloride (but I do have cream of tartar) but I really dont have magnesium. Is there any alternative for it?

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I'm afraid not in this recipe but you can increase your electrolytes by including foods listed here:
The Importance of Potassium in Low-Carb Diets
The Importance of Magnesium in Low-Carb Diets
I hope this helps!

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I just want to say how grateful I am for your Blog! I've started on this new Keto journey and am having some issues with sleep, lethargy and lack of weight loss. I knew something was up, so I've been researching symptoms, causes and solutions. By far your articles have been some of the most helpful and most knowledgeable. So, thank you again😊

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Thank you for your kind words, Jennifer!

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Can you tell me, how much ( I have McCormick non gmo, all natural) Cream of Tarter I would use instead of the potassium cloride? Thanks😊

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Hi Susan, you can do that but keep this in mind: 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar contains 165 mg potassium and 0.6 g net carbs. Compared to that 1/4 teaspoon of potassium chloride contains 560 mg potassium and 0 g net carbs.

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We are pretty hard on cash right now and can't afford a lot of fancy items.  Can I juse use a sugar free sports drink?

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Hi Amy, that's hard to tell unless I know what's inside. Many sports drinks contain sugar, and the sugar-free ones contain artificial sweeteners and colours. If you need to keep it budget friendly, use lemon juice + pinch o salt and sweetener. This won't provide magnesium and potassium but it will provide sodium and will help you stay hydrated.
For magnesium sources: The Importance of Magnesium in Low-Carb Diets
For potassium sources: The Importance of Potassium in Low-Carb Diets

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Has anyone added fat to this drink when you drink it? i.e. melted butter or MCT oil? Or would the fat block the body from intaking the Na/K/Mg? I’m not real fond of the lemon/lime flavored drink. Just don’t think I’ll care for it. There is an herbal tea I DO enjoy that I was thinking of adding the electrolytes to along with the Tbsp of butter that I currently drink in it.

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You can do that - a tablespoon or two of MCT oil sounds like a good addition but you'll have to blend it. The lemon is mostly used for flavour so you can use herbal tea instead.

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