Electrolytes for Fasting
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting means you eat only for specific hours of the day, such as eating in an 8-hour time frame and fasting for 16 hours. When you fast, you eat nothing and only drink 0-calorie beverages. You don't gorge yourself when you eat; you eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods.
The idea of intermittent fasting is that our bodies are designed to go without food for a long time, and how we eat whenever we want goes against it. Intermittent fasting may be good for you, with effects like losing or maintaining body weight and reducing your risk of diabetes, cancer, and other diseases.
Types of intermittent fasting
You can find several types of intermittent fasting diet plans online.
This is the most common plan, where one fasts for 16 hours and eats in an 8-hour window.
This follows days instead of hours. Someone eats for five days typically, and on two days, they only consume 20% of their calories. For 2,000 calories, this means you eat 400 in two days.
This plan involves fasting every other day of the week. Some people will eat limited calories that day, as the 5:2 plan permits, while some will eat as little as possible.
Eat stop eat
This plan makes you fully fast for 24 hours once or twice weekly. However, because this plan is restrictive, you do not want to do it two days in a row.
With the 14:10 method, you fast for 14 hours and eat for 10. This is a less restrictive version of the 16:8 method.
With the Warrior Diet, you only eat raw fruits and vegetables during the day and a massive meal at night in a 4-hour window.
Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is still being researched, but the benefits are promising. It can improve your weight and heart health and reduce your risk of certain diseases. Other pluses can include lowered blood pressure, blood sugar, and inflammation, reduce the risk of age-related diseases, and improve physical and mental strength.
While you should eat healthy, intermittent fasting does not require any intense tracking of caloric intake or meal tracking.
While intermittent fasting has many benefits, it may not suit you. It may not be ideal for people over 65 or children under 18. It may not be suitable for people who have health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, eating disorders, pregnant or breastfeeding people, those with low blood pressure, or those on certain types of medications affecting the blood.
Another thing to remember, while not necessarily a con, is that the effects of intermittent fasting are still being researched. Intermittent fasting is not magic; if you eat only unhealthy foods during your fast, you may not reap the benefits.
Finally, fasting may cause you to lose electrolytes.
Can Fasting Cause You to Lose Electrolytes?
You probably have heard about electrolytes and have listened to how essential electrolytes are for your body. They carry an electrical charge; when your body dissolves them, they can improve your muscle and brain health. As such, having high electrolyte levels is essential for athletic sessions.
While fasting can be good for you, it can affect your electrolyte levels if you fast for longer than 12 hours. Your body expels essential minerals such as sodium and potassium when you urinate.
You obtain electrolytes from food, and as a result, fasting can lead to electrolyte imbalances, leading to health problems such as headaches, vomiting, muscle cramps, and much more.
Electrolyte Deficiency and Imbalance Types
To know why having ideal electrolyte levels is good for you, let's look at several electrolyte imbalance types you may have if you do not get enough electrolytes.
Sodium helps your cells maintain fluid balance and can absorb specific nutrients. Sodium also contains ions, one of the most common essential electrolytes. If you have too much sodium, this is known as hypernatremia. This can lead to behavioral changes, strong reflexes, and in extreme cases, a loss of muscle control, seizures, and even comas.
On the other hand, you may not be getting enough sodium. This is known as hyponatremia, which can make you feel irritable, confused, lacking reflexes, or feeling nauseous, or wanting to vomit. In extreme cases, seizures and coma may occur.
Magnesium is one of the essential minerals for a reason. Your body can quickly turn nutrients into valuable energy when you have enough. Your body and brain need magnesium for you to feel your best.
If you have too much magnesium, this is known as hypermagnesemia. It can lead to changes in your heart rhythm, poor reflexes, and in extreme cases, breathing issues or cardiac arrest.
Meanwhile, if you lack magnesium, this is known as hypomagnesemia. This can lead to muscle weakness, loss of control, twitching, and heart arrhythmias.
Potassium is vital for your heart, so having a proper electrolyte balance of potassium is needed to keep your heart healthy.
Too much potassium, or hyperkalemia, can make you feel weak, reduce muscle functions, and lead to irregular rhythms. Confusion may also occur. If you take too much chloride, it can lead to kidney disease or failure in extreme circumstances.
Hypokalemia is a lack of potassium. It can lead to muscle cramps and muscle weakness, extreme thirst and urination, dizziness, passing out, and in extreme cases, severe kidney damage due to rhabdomyolysis. Heart arrhythmias may also occur. If you have hypokalemia with too much chloride, this can lead to urinary tract issues, diarrhea, and a leaking pancreas.
Many of us know calcium as helping you grow, but it has so many other functions than that. It manages your muscles, nerve signals, and heart rhythm and is responsible for many other body functions. As such, you want to keep the levels maintained.
High calcium amounts are known as hypercalcemia. In extreme cases, you mayhave kidney stones, kidney failure, heart arrhythmias, and bone or joint pain.
Meanwhile, if you lack calcium, this is known as hypocalcemia. It can lead to changes in behavior, strong reflexes, the inability to control your muscles, and in exceptional cases, throat spasms, making speaking or breathing challenging.
Chloride is a vital body ion that balances internal and external cell fluid and your pH.
Too much chloride is known as hyperchloremia, which can lead to acidosis. Besides typical symptoms, your breathing may become more rapid and deeper as well.
Meanwhile, a lack of chloride is known as hypochloremia. This can make you feel confused, apathetic, heart arrhythmias, muscle twitching, or lack control.
Phosphate is vital in electrolyte balance. It transports chemical compounds and molecules beyond the cells, metabolizes nutrients, and helps your DNA maintain its building blocks, nucleotides.
Too much phosphate is known as hyperphosphatemia. It may lead to hypocalcemia, as your body replaces phosphorus with calcium. You may feel excessively itchy, too.
Meanwhile, hypophosphatemia is when you're lacking in phosphate. Your muscles may feel weak, it in severe cases, it can lead to your muscle tissues breaking down, severe kidney damage, seizures, trouble breathing, and reduced heart function.
Finally, we have bicarbonate. This is recycled carbon dioxide, which your body uses to balance your blood pH levels. When you have too much, this is known as acidosis. Your blood becomes acidic, leading to fatigue, nausea, confusion, and breathing issues.
Meanwhile, alkalosis is when you have too much bicarbonate. This makes the blood in your body too alkaline. It can lead to confusion, apathy, muscle twitching, and arrhythmia.
Upping Your Electrolytes for Fasting
Taking electrolyte supplements is smart and can reduce the chances of your body suffering from harmful side effects.
Electrolyte supplementation does not mean that you have to consume calories. Electrolyte water is one way to maintain an electrolyte balance without calories. Not only can this water help with electrolyte deficiency, but it can balance minerals and fluid levels. This water has no sugar or water, so you can take it without breaking your fast.
Top Electrolyte Supplements for Fasting
Elm & Rye Electrolyte Gummies
If you're planning on increasing electrolyte intake, these gummies work well. They contain essential minerals and vitamins and have quite a bit of flavor without delivering the sugar that regular gummies contain.
LMNT Keto Electrolyte Powder Packets
These are powdered packets that contain sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Simply mix it with your drinking water, and you can increase your electrolyte intake while fasting.
Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier Powder Packets
Like the previous, you simply mix this with the water you're drinking, and it can increase your hydration.
Berg's Original Keto Electrolytes Powder
Mix this with your drinks to get all the electrolytes you need for fasting. It tastes great and is made from natural flavors.
Simply Primal WATERFAST Keto Electrolyte Powder for Fasting and Hydration
This powder is a powerhouse of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium made from Himalayan pink salt.
Fasting Salts: Pure, Unflavoured Electrolyte Powder
Don't like flavoring your water? These electrolytes for fasting contain sodium, potassium, and magnesium without anything extra.
Keto Chow Electrolytes | Electrolyte Hydration Drops Supplement
This one is unique, as you put a drop into your water without mixing powder. Great for those on the go.
Propel Powder Packets
Propel is a fitness water from Gatorade, the brand that made everyone aware of electrolytes. These are its powder variant, which you can use with regular water.
Fast Lyte Fasting Electrolyte Supplement Powder
This packet contains potassium and sodium and claims to help reduce the keto flu, which are side effects you feel if you're on the keto diet.
REVIVER Salt Pills with Electrolytes
Finally, we come to the close of our electrolyte supplements with these pills. Just take a few, and you can go about your day.
Carrying Your Electrolytes With You
When either fasting or exercising, our interchangeable, removable base is the perfect place to carry backup electrolytes with you. This hack lets you time your mineral intake, regardless of where you are or how busy your life is.