The 5 Most Powerful Natural Energy Drinks

The 5 Most Powerful Natural Energy Drinks

Energy drinks or functional beverages are one of the hottest markets in the food and beverage industry.  These drinks offer their customers unique benefits that often appeal to the health conscious.  Some of these drinks are vastly overhyped and should be avoided.  Other functional beverages are a fantastic support to one’s health and performance.

Functional beverages include sports and performance drinks, energy drinks, ready to drink teas, enhanced fruit drinks, soy beverages and vitamin waters among others.  These drinks have become popular due to their appeal to consumers who are seeking unique health benefits offered by the specific drinks.  Many functional beverages are promoted with benefits such as improving heart health, immunity, digestion, joint function, energy and satiety (1).

The Dangers of Commercial Energy Drinks:

The vast majority of these functional beverages contain several dangerous ingredients.  These include sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, & synthetic vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. They are often times loaded up with stimulants that create an artificially induced energy rush.  These energy drinks may contain certain anti-oxidants and other unique nutrients; however, the chemical residue is highly toxic.

The ideal energy drinks or functional beverage contains absolutely no chemicals, additives and preservatives.  It is found within real foods and is nature’s answer to thirst.  These drinks should be low in sugar or naturally fermented to provide mega-doses of high quality nutrients (2, 3, 4).

Energy Drinks

Nature’s Greatest Functional Beverages:

Nature has provided us with incredible phytonutrient chemicals within natural creation that enhance our bodies survival advantage.  These nutrients allow us to adapt to stress, enhance our mental faculties and deal with environmental challenges such as excessive heat, too much sun and dehydration.

Utilizing these beverages when we are taxing our system will give us a greater advantage in our daily tasks and the demands of life.  My family and I use these energy drinks regularly to help fuel our performance.

It All Begins With Good Hydration

Water is the foundation of all energy drinks and should be consumed throughout the day to support energy and health.  I am a huge fan of starting the day with a mega-dose of water. I like to call it super-hydrating. During this time, I will consume up to a gallon of water before consuming my first meal of the day. This is usually over the course of 4-5 hours after waking.

To maintain the proper electrolyte balance in the body, I like to add a pinch of a natural salt (pink Himalayan or grey celtic) or drink diluted organic vegetable or chicken broth for the mineral content.

Doing this on a regular basis helps to flush out the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract and provides the water and electrolytes our cells and muscles need to move and produce energy. This process not only helps the body to detoxify more effectively but juices up all our joints and really helps us get prepared for the day.

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Coconut Water and Coconut Water Kefir:

Young coconuts contain natural water within that is rich in potassium.  It is isotonic with human blood and has even been used in many countries for blood transfusions.  This sweet drink is fantastic for quenching thirst and recharging the body. (5)

Coconut water does contain sugar so it is better to ferment it with a coconut kefir starter.  The coconut water kefir continues to have the benefits of coconut water with the addition of live enzymes, bioactive peptides, probiotics and beneficial yeasts to support digestion, energy production and immunity (6).  I love these as great natural energy drinks.

Kombucha:

Kombucha is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) that forms a zoolgleal mat.  This unique beverage has been used for over 2000 years to improve health and fight against infection and chronic disease.  The Ancient Chinese called Kombucha the “Immortal Health Elixer” as they revered it for its remarkable health benefits.

This drink is loaded with healthy yeasts, enzymes, electrolytes, bacteria and other microorganisms (9).  There are many different flavors with unique superfoods that are added making synergistically unique functional beverages.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Drinks

ACV is a powerful tonic loaded with incredible living nutrients.  The ACV should be raw, unpasteurized with the “mother” intact.  The mother is the portion of the apple that is fermented and contains the source of the good bacteria and enzymes.  There are many different combinations that provide unique synergistic effects with ACV as well.

The highest quality functional beverages are fermented.  The natural acids that are produced, blunt the typical blood sugar response and enhance the bioavailability of the nutrient packages within each drink.

The fermentation process naturally produces high quality B vitamins and electrolytes that are necessary for optimal energy production and inflammatory control.  The enzymes and beneficial microorganisms that are created break down inflammation and work to scavenge free radicals and boost nutrient absorption in the gut (10).

My favorite brand “Bragg’s” has also come out with unique beverages using apple cider vinegar along with other beneficial ingredients such as ginger, cinnamon, grape, acai berry, honey, etc.  These are low in sugar and fermented which provides more organic acids and B vitamins.  They are really tasty and refreshing.

Lemon Water

Lemon and lime are great for energy as they are naturally rich in vitamin C, citrus bioflavonoids and key electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium.  Most of us have experienced improved energy and mental clarity from a glass of lemon water in the morning or throughout the day and the science backs this up.

The combination of vitamin C and the bioflavonoids which are also called vitamin P, helps to enhance capillary permeability.  This opens up blood vessels to increase circulation into the deep tissues of the body and enhances oxygen extraction into deep tissues that need it the most.

This enhanced tissue oxygenation helps to reduce metabolic waste, oxidative stress and DNA damage.  These benefits mean better exercise recovery and reduce risk of chronic disease as well as more energy and aliveness!

Try putting lemon or lime in your water on a regular basis.  While fresh squeezed is the best, you can also use an organic lemon or lime juice concentrate and get about 50% of the same benefits as using the real fresh fruit.  You can also try adding some stevia to make a nice lemonade or limeade that is quite enjoyable!

Energy Charge:

Energy Charge™ is a new and revolutionary product that transforms water into a great-tasting, revitalizing energy drink. Each stick pack provides a combination of B vitamins, electrolytes, trace minerals, anti-oxidants, amino acids and specialized herbs to fuel your body’s energy production.

Building on these important nutrients, Energy Charge also features Purenergy™, a technology-driven, patent-protected ingredient that combines caffeine and pTeroPure® pterostilbene. Initial reports suggest that Purenergy’s caffeine may be absorbed more slowly and stay in your system longer than regular caffeine, which may help your energy last longer.

With just 5 g of carbohydrate per serving and zero sugars, Energy Charge simply gives your body what it needs to produce energy without any of the crap that burns out your adrenals and causes you to crash later.  I personally LOVE using Energy Charge on my long days and it really helps fuel my brain and body for high performance.

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Dr Jockers Recommendations:

Try out a multitude of various fermented beverages such as apple cider vinegar, kombucha and coconut water kefir and keep a journal on how you feel when you drink those particular beverages.  If you feel very good and energized continue to drink that on a semi-regular or regular basis.  Begin by drinking a small amount such as 2 tbsps daily.  You can work up to drinking the whole bottle, but let this come naturally over a period of several weeks.

If you feel the drink makes you feel over jittery on a consistent basis or if you feel like you are itchy or have have skin breakouts (acne, hives, eczema) than discontinue using these.  A big part of health is listening to the messages that your body gives you and making subtle shifts in your behaviors and patterns to align with what your body needs.

Clinically, I have found that most people thrive on these drinks, but some individuals who embrace them too quick will have major digestive symptoms such as diarrhea.  This is due to the killing off of bad microbes and the rapid introduction of high amounts of healthy microbes.

Other individuals have a histamine sensitivity and are unable to tolerate some forms of fermented beverages as they are unable to metabolize histamine compounds which are naturally present in fermented foods.

If you have a histamine intolerance than you should still do well with the super hydration strategies listed above as well as the lemon or lime water and the Energy charge product so give those a shot and use what works best for your energy drinks.

HistamineSymptomsPic

What’s the one health issue on the horizon that could potentially affect many generations to come?

Vaccines!!

No matter where you fall on the “should I vaccinate my children” spectrum, the fact remains that it will dominate the health conversation for years to come.

It’s time we had a reasonable, rational discussion surrounding the truth about vaccines.

The amazing investigative team who brought you The Truth About Cancer have put their considerable resources to bear….

And they’ve put together the most cutting-edge documentary about vaccines ever produced.

Click here to watch it for free

The greatest health debate of the 21st Century is here!  Join the conversation and let your voice be heard!

The future of your children, grandchildren and beyond could be at stake!

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Gruenwald J. Novel botanical ingredients for beverages. Clin Dermatol. 2009 Mar-Apr;27(2):210-6. PMID: 19168002
2. Mattila P, Hellström J, Törrönen R. Phenolic acids in berries, fruits, and beverages. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Sep 20;54(19):7193-9. PMID: 16968082
3. Samsonov MA, Pokrovskaia GR. [Juices in therapeutic-prophylactic nutrition]. Vopr Pitan. 1999;68(2):18-20. PMID: 10224645
4. Selhub EM, Logan AC, Bested AC. Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry. Journal of Physiological Anthropology. 2014;33(1):2.
5. Saat M, Singh R, Sirisinghe RG, Nawawi M. Rehydration after exercise with fresh young coconut water, carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage and plain water. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2002 Mar;21(2):93-104. PMID: 12056182
6. Lee P, Boo C, Liu S.Fermentation of coconut water by probiotic strains Lactobacillus acidophilus L10 and Lactobacillus casei L26. Link Here
7. Pescuma M, Hébert EM, Mozzi F, de Valdez GF. Functional fermented whey-based beverage using lactic acid bacteria. Int J Food Microbiol. 2010 Jun 30;141(1-2):73-81. PMID: 20483186
8. Pescuma M, Hébert EM, Mozzi F, Valdez GF. Hydrolysis of whey proteins by Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus grown in a chemically defined medium. J Appl Microbiol. 2007 Nov;103(5):1738-46. PMID: 17953584
9. Greenwalt CJ, Steinkraus KH, Ledford RA. Kombucha, the fermented tea: microbiology, composition, and claimed health effects. J Food Prot. 2000 Jul;63(7):976-81. PMID: 10914673
10. Johnston CS, Gaas CA. Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect. Medscape General Medicine. 2006;8(2):61.

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Top 3 Ways To Boost Energy Quickly

With increasing demands of modern lifestyles, everyone is need of extra energy. The problem with this is that people tend to go for methods that leave their bodies drained and more tired than they were before. Instead of reaching for a coffee, there are ways you can provide the body with what it needs to boost energy quickly, without the negative side effects (don’t worry there is still a place for coffee).

These are strategies that I use every day to boost my energy without over-stimulating myself. You might be surprised at how simple yet overlooked the first two are.

Chronic Dehydration 

This is the number one issue I find with people who are struggling with low energy or just poor health in general. Consuming plenty of clean water with electrolytes is key to optimizing the flow of electricity throughout the body. The brain and the nervous system require adequate water and electrolytes in order to conduct impulses throughout the nervous system.

Another aspect of water as it relates to energy production is how it is required for ATP production. Most of us know this, but as a refresher, ATP is the energy molecule manufactured by the mitochondria that lie within just about every cell in our bodies.

To keep things simple, ATP formation occurs as the result of a complex biochemical process. Certain steps in this process require lots of hydrogen ions in order to move forward. These hydrogen ions are derived from water.

Additionally, almost every biochemical process in the body relies on water in order to proceed properly. This is why I always place such a great emphasis on staying adequately hydrated.

Finally, if you want to perform at an optimal level on a daily basis, you need to ensure your body is adequately eliminating built up toxins. By starting off the day with super-hydration, you go a long way in assisting this process.

Hydration Strategies 

I am a huge fan of starting the day with a mega-dose of water. I like to call it super-hydrating. During this time, I will consume up to a gallon of water before consuming my first meal of the day. To maintain electrolyte balance in the body, it is a good idea to add a pinch of a natural salt (pink Himalayan or grey celtic) or drink diluted organic chicken broth for the mineral content.

Doing this on a regular basis helps to flush out the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract. This helps the body to detoxify more effectively and really help get your body prepared for the day.

The Importance of Super Hydration

There is some new evidence suggesting that swapping a low-salt, low-fat diet with a higher-salt, high-fat diet, is more conducive to balanced blood sugar and insulin levels (1, 2). This goes a long way in mitigating inflammation, the most insidious robber of your energy. Taking it a step further and going on a ketogenic diet may increase these benefits by boosting mitochondrial energy output.

During this time, your body is also able to better hydrate the cells and tissues to support optimal biochemical processes. To anyone who is experiencing low energy, I definitely recommend starting your day with some super hydration.

…And of course, it is extremely important to drink purified reverse osmosis or distilled water to remove any impurities that are commonly found in municipal water supplies as many of these chemicals can be extremely harmful to the gut and mitochondria. These include arsenic, aluminum, fluoride, chlorine, and more.

Adding Citrus or Apple Cider Vinegar

Squeezing fresh lemon or lime juice, or adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar to your water is a great strategy to boost energy levels daily. The organic acids in these help to balance the gut microbiome, stabilize blood sugar, and rebalance calcium levels in the body (3, 4, 5).

Lemon is also a great source of Vitamin C and antioxidant bioflavonoids that help improve capillary permeability and improve oxygenation of tissues (6).

The acetic acid in vinegar may also be helpful for improving blood lipids, boosting fat burning, mitigating sugar cravings, and aiding in digestion.  These compounds taken along with plenty of clean water on a daily basis is one of the most overlooked and inexpensive strategies for boosting your energy and overall health.

Getting More Organic Acids In Your Diet

In addition to adding apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to your water first thing in the morning, there are other great ways to use these acids to improve your energy.  I will often use fresh squeezed lemon or lime but due to convenience, it is a great idea to have organic lemon or lime juice around!

For apple cider vinegar, look for one that is raw and has the mother within it.  The mother is the fermenting colony of microbes that create the acetic acid and is a sign of a higher quality vinegar that isn’t highly processed.

Here are 3 ways to use these and remember that lemon and lime juice are interchangeable with apple cider vinegar in these suggestions.  This means you can choose any of the 3 you enjoy the most or that are the most convenient for you at the time.

Add to Meals:

Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar taste amazing sprinkled over meat and vegetables and can even be added into certain recipes. In fact, this coconut lime seared salmon recipe is one of my favorites. 

This adds flavors and begins the digestive process by breaking down the meat and veggies before they even go into our body!

Before Meals:

Taking 1-2oz of lemon or lime juice or apple cider vinegar in a glass of water 15-20 minutes before a meal can help stimulate the digestive process and allow you to break down your food much more efficiently.

These acids trigger the release of salivary enzymes, stomach acid, bile and pancreatic enzyme production which primes the body for the upcoming meal!  How cool!  This is one of the key strategies I use to help people heal digestive complaints and leaky gut syndrome.

Meat Marinade:

Many people don’t even think of this but using lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to marinate meats is a powerful strategy for energy levels. Digestion is an energy intensive process and the organic acids in these liquids actually help to start the digestion process before you even take a bite of your food.

The acids and enzymes begin to break down and soften the meat so it is significantly easier for your digestive system to handle it.  Plus, they taste good on the meat.  Think about recipes like lemon pepper chicken for example!

Extra Boost: Caffeine

Caffeine is by the far the most common strategy people use in order to boost energy quickly. This isn’t necessarily bad, as long as you are in good health. For many people, an occasional pick-me-up turns into a daily crutch that eventually puts them in a chronically fatigued and inflammatory state. This pattern of chronic over-stimulation contributes to HPA axis dysfunction (some would call adrenal fatigue) and makes it harder to perform at a peak level on a daily basis.

Personally, I like to use one of three strategies: Turmeric Fat Burning Coffee, Ketogenic Matcha Green Tea, or Energy Charge.

If I find myself needing an additional boost for an extended amount of time and I don’t want to push myself too far, I use Energy Charge.

Energy Charge

While coffee can be a great pick-me-up, drinking it too often can be overstimulating to many people. Matcha green tea can be a great and nutrient-packed alternative, but many people just simply don’t like the taste.

Finally, there are a TON of beverages on the market that are marketed as energy supplements. The problem with these is that they are loaded with artificial sweeteners, questionable ingredients, and high doses of pure caffeine. These beverages are extremely stressful for the body as they can be over stimulating while also putting a toxic burden on the liver.

I love Energy Charge because it contains a patented form of caffeine that releases slowly over a period of 9 hours for sustained and balanced energy. Additionally, it contains B-Complex vitamins, electrolyte minerals, mitochondrial support compounds, and powerful anti-oxidants. This is one of the only energy drinks I know of that actually supports mitochondrial health, liver health, and provides powerful anti-oxidants like bio available glutathione.

Maintaining Resilience

Living a high-energy or demanding lifestyle is stressful on the body. Sometimes you have no choice but to be in a high-performance state and caffeine can be helpful for this.

The most important thing to remember is to not overdo it. A performance booster can easily become a harmful stressor if proper precautions are not taken.

First of all, pay close attention to how your body reacts to stimulants. If you notice a profound energy boost from things like coffee, it is likely that you are a fast caffeine oxidizer and should stick to more gentle forms like matcha and Energy Charge. Coffee is okay on occasion, however sticking to the latter options for more regular use may be advantageous.

Additionally, if you are living a hard-charging lifestyle and constantly are looking to push the envelope on productivity and accomplishment, it would be a smart decision to take extra precautions on boosting your body’s resilience to stress.

This means using things like adaptogenic herbs, practicing gratitude to balance your stress response, and doing as much as possible to rev up your mitochondrial energy production. To take your energy to the next level and build your resilience to stress, check out the following articles:

Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Chronic Disease

Strategies to Support the Adrenals

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Garg, R., Williams, G. H., Hurwitz, S., Brown, N. J., Hopkins, P. N., & Adler, G. K. (2011). Low-salt diet increases insulin resistance in healthy subjects. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, 60(7), 965–968. PMID: 21036373
2. Raygan, F., Bahmani, F., Kouchaki, E., Aghadavod, E., Sharifi, S., Akbari, E., . . . Asemi, Z. (2016). Comparative effects of carbohydrate versus fat restriction on metabolic profiles, biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in overweight patients with Type 2 diabetic and coronary heart disease: A randomized clinical trial. PMID: 28607566
3. Petsiou EI, Mitrou PI, et al. Effect and mechanisms of action of vinegar on glucose metabolism, lipid profile, and body weight. Oxford University Press Journals. 2014 Oct; 651-661. DOI:1111/nure.12125
4. Citric acid as a decalcifying agent for the excised calcified human heart valves Link Here
5. Bjarnsholt, T., Alhede, M., Jensen, P. Ø., Nielsen, A. K., Johansen, H. K., Homøe, P., … Kirketerp-Møller, K. (2015). Antibiofilm Properties of Acetic Acid. Advances in Wound Care4(7), 363–372. PMID: 26155378
6. Citrus, rutin and on their vein permeability PDF Link Here
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5 Ways To Use Lemon To Improve Energy Levels

5 Ways To Use Lemons To Improve Energy

Everybody needs more energy these days. Whether you’ve got a high-stress lifestyle or you just value being in a high-energy state, people are always looking for ways to boost themselves up to have a deeper experience of life. While there are countless ways of going about this, I am going to share 5 ways to use lemon to improve energy levels.

Lemons are blood sugar friendly and extremely cost effective. If you are someone who struggles with energy ups and downs, this may be an important strategy to implement into your life.

Balances Blood Sugar

The citric acid found in citrus fruits like lemons and limes can actually blunt the glycemic response of a meal, possibly by influencing the rate of gastric emptying (1).

Balancing your blood sugar is extremely important if you wish to obtain consistent energy levels. Rapidly fluctuating blood sugar can become highly inflammatory, contribute to hormone imbalances, and make your behaviors very food oriented.

When your behaviors are food oriented, then you are primarily utilizing the primal structures of your brain. This can lead to being in a chronically stressed state that constantly drains your energy levels.

Boost Circulation

The combination of Vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids in lemons and limes actually improves something called capillary permeability (2). Capillaries are the tiny blood vessels in different tissues around the body that allow fresh oxygen to diffuse out of the blood and into the cells.

Improving oxygenation of your cells is extremely powerful for improving energy levels.

Places of your body with tons of capillaries like your hands, feet, and brain can benefit from this improved blood flow.

This combination of nutrients may also protect from cardiovascular diseases by improving cholesterol profiles and decreasing accumulation of plaque in the arteries (3).

Potassium Source

If you follow a standard American diet, are under high amounts of stress, or do not consume very many fruits & vegetables, you are likely to be deficient in potassium. Potassium is a vital mineral that helps to optimize the nervous system, build strong bones, and support cardiovascular health (4).

Potassium also helps to ensure the health of the kidneys by balancing itself with calcium to maintain a healthy mineral balance. This may be helpful for combatting kidney stones.

Symptoms of a potassium deficiency include adrenal fatigue, hypertension, muscle cramping, and kidney stones.

As many people experience these symptoms, I always look for ways to increase potassium intake. Using lemon juice can be helpful or sprinkling lemon juice over other potassium-rich foods for better absorption.

My favorite potassium-rich foods include avocados, swiss chard, broccoli, and bok choy.

Supports Digestion

Consuming lemon juice can aid digestion in a number of ways. Drinking lemon water on a regular basis actually helps to flush out the liver and gallbladder, improving your bile production. Bile is what your body uses to effectively digest fats, making lemon juice an excellent companion on a ketogenic diet.

Additionally, lemon juice contains a naturally occurring acid called citric acid which may be able to assist digestion by directly pre-metabolising foods before you consume them while also supporting your own production of stomach acid. This is similar to the effect of consuming apple cider vinegar before a meal.

5 Ways To Get More Lemon Juice

Let’s be honest, lemons are sour and aren’t sought out for consumption on their own. There are some great and tasty ways to use lemons or lemon juice in everyday preparations, however. These are 5 ways that I personally use lemons every day to improve my own energy levels.

Morning Super Hydration

Every morning, upon waking, it is a powerful healing strategy to super hydrate. This means drinking plenty of water with healthy salts. Adding lemon juice takes this strategy a step further.

Upon waking, you should be consuming 16-32 ounces of water immediately. Next, I typically recommend trying to consume almost half a gallon of water before even consuming your first meal for the day. Be sure to separate drinking and eating by at least 30 minutes and up to an hour to ensure effective digestion.

Performing this strategy with the addition of lemon juice helps to provide vitmains and minerals, flush out the liver, kidneys, and bladder, get the bowels moving, and balance the body’s pH levels.

Use Before Meals

Adding a shot of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to a small amount of water and drinking 10-15 minutes before a meal can be a great way to improve digestion.

Doing this on a regular basis helps to improve stomach acid production. At the same time, this will improve bile release from the gallbladder which will improve fat digestion.

If you have recently converted to a high-fat, low-carb diet then I would definitely recommend this strategy.

Sprinkle Over Meats & Vegetables

Sprinkling lemon juice over your food before consuming is a great strategy to boost digestion and relieve stress on the digestive tract.

The citric acid in lemons actually helps to pre-metabolize your meal before you even put it in your body. This means meats and veggies enter your body already being partially digested and your body doesn’t have to spend as much energy breaking them down itself.

The more you assist the body in functions like this, the more energy you free up for anything else you want to do.

Use In Recipes

In addition to drinking lemon juice or sprinkling it over your foods, we actually have various recipes here on my website that incorporate this underappreciated superfood directly into the recipes. Some of my personal favorites are:

Coconut Lemon Glazed Cookie Bites

These are a delicious, ketogenic friendly cookie recipe using only a few ingredients and are super simple to make. These are basically like coconut shortbread cookies with a delicious lemon cream glaze on the top. Definitely one of the most nutritious cookies you will ever eat!

Lime Seared Salmon

To fill your entrée needs at dinner, this lime seared salmon is a powerful triple threat of health compounds. First, you’ve got wild-caught, Alaskan salmon, which is one of the absolute best meats you can possibly eat. It is loaded with healthy Omega-3 fats and one fo nature’s most powerful antioxidants, astaxanthin.

On top of that, you’ve got tons of coconut-derived healthy fats and of course, lime juice to provide the benefits mentioned above and help you extract EVEN MORE nutrition from an already super nutritious meal.

Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

If you are looking for a hydrating, anti-inflammatory lemonade recipe with a kick, give this one a try. This recipe features some of the world’s most anti-inflammatory superfoods like ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon.

Alternatively, you could put these ingredients through a juicer (minus the cinnamon) for a fresh and extra-potent blend.

Either way, the anti-inflammatory and hydrating benefits of this lemonade are sure to be a powerful energy booster.

Essential Oils

Finally, a great and lesser thought of way to incorporate lemons into your life is by using an essential oil. Lemon essential oil can be diffused, applied topically, added to water, and incorporated into your favorite recipes.

It is important to source from a company that provides high-quality essential oils that are safe for consumption, most simply do not fit the strict criteria for purity that allow for this. Some of the top brands I have personally come across are DoTerra and Numa.

Summary

Lemons and limes can be a great inexpensive energy booster by improving circulation, aiding digestion, and providing valuable nutrients. By incorporating more of this underestimated superfruit into your diet, you are doing your body a tremendous favor and you will start to feel the benefits.

Suitable Sources:

Fresh Squeezed Lemons/Limes

Bottled Juices (No Sugar Added)

Freshly Juiced (Including Peel if Organic)

Essential Oils

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Radulian, G., Rusu, E., Dragomir, A., & Posea, M. (2009). Metabolic effects of low glycaemic index diets. Nutrition Journal, 8(1), 5. PMID: 19178721
2. Citrus, rutin and on their vein permeability effects: LINK
3. Assini, J. M., Mulvihill, E. E., & Huff, M. W. (2013). Citrus flavonoids and lipid metabolism. Current Opinion in Lipidology, 24(1), 34–40. PMID: 23254473
4. He FJ, and MacGregor GA. Beneficial effects of potassium on human health. Physiol Plant. 2008 Aug; 133(4): 725-35. PMID: 18724413

 

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6 Ways A Ketogenic Diet Improves Brain Function

Ketogenic Diet Improves Brain Function

The ketogenic diet was developed in the 1920’s as a medical approach for reducing seizures in cases of pediatric epilepsy. Although we didn’t fully understand the mechanisms on how this worked, it was understood that elevated levels of ketones in the blood correlated with a significant decrease in epileptic episodes. Since then, we have come understand deeper ways in which a ketogenic diet improves brain function.

The ketogenic diet remerged in recent years when people realized they would have more energy and elevated mental acuity when following it. After years of sideways science claiming that the body must have a constant intake of carbohydrate to be healthy, people are discovering the truth.

On top of improved mental performance, the ketogenic diet is now being highlighted as a therapeutic strategy for mental illness and neurodegenerative diseases. Here I am going to break down the benefits and applications of the ketogenic diet for brain-related disorders.

Low-Carb Vs. Ketogenic

Before we get into it, it is important to understand what exactly a ketogenic diet is. If your goal is to employ the ketogenic diet as a healing strategy, it is important to be scientific to improve your chances of success.

Many people think that a ketogenic diet is simply a high-fat, low-carb diet. While this is true, it does not provide the whole picture. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to drop blood sugar so low that the body resorts to fats for energy instead. This means if you eat too many carbs or too little fat, you may not fully shift into ketosis. Consuming too much protein can also prevent a shift into ketosis as excess amino acids are converted into glucose.

Everyone reacts a little differently and so I usually recommend measuring your blood sugar and ketone levels throughout the process. This way you can pinpoint what levels of fat, carbs, and proteins your body thrives on. For more information on this, check out my top tips when following a ketogenic diet.

Health Effects

There are several clinical applications for a ketogenic diet. Before jumping into these, I highly recommend reading about and understanding what happens inside the body when you are burning ketones instead of sugar as your primary source of energy.

Mitochondrial Biogenesis

When it comes down to it, your body needs energy to do perform any of its functions. This energy comes in the form of ATP that is produced primarily by structures called mitochondria that inhabit just about every cell in your body. Cells in certain areas of the body have way more mitochondria than the rest and this reflects the amount of energy they need to function properly.

Among these areas is the brain. By improving the number and energetic output of the mitochondria in your brain, you provide a significantly higher amount of energy. This in of itself may provide much of the brain boosting benefits (1). Fasting and a ketogenic diet are some of the most promising methods for upregulating mitochondrial biogenesis.

BDNF 

BDNF stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Its main function is understood to be regulating the growth of neural connections in the brain. Low levels of BDNF have been correlated with mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s, depression, schizophrenia, and Huntington’s disease, making it a target for modern medical therapies (2).

It is thought that fasting or a fasting-mimicking diet (such as a ketogenic diet) have potential for improving neurodegenerative disorders by upregulating BDNF (3). This upregulation of BDNF practically combats neurodegeneration in a way by supporting the continued growth and development of neuronal connections.

Improved Insulin Signaling

Most people today are burning sugar as their primary fuel. In order for sugar to enter the cell to be made into ATP, it requires insulin to transport it. Due to chronic carb intake, many people develop undesirable blood sugar regulation that starts with a sharp rise in blood sugar and ends with a rapid crash.

This pattern of blood sugar imbalance is highly damaging to the brain which can be clearly observed in cases of congenital hyperinsulinism. A ketogenic diet has been shown to improve insulin signaling and lower the side effects associated with this rollercoaster blood sugar pattern (4).

Less Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is beneficial in small amounts, however in excess it can be very damaging to your mitochondria. Excessive oxidative stress creates inflammation and hampered mitochondrial energy output. Because oxidative stress causes damage on the mitochondrial level, this can negatively impact every cell in your body.

Also, because your brain is so reliant on healthy mitochondria, it is the first to suffer consequences of excess oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is a natural byproduct of energy production in the mitochondria. Ketone metabolism has been shown to create much lower levels of oxidative stress in comparison to glucose metabolism, effectively lowering inflammation and supporting mitochondrial health (5). Ultimately, this results in improved energy production.

Neurodegenerative disorders that are characterized by demyelination, such as multiple sclerosis, are thought to be heavily influenced by chronic inflammation, making the ketogenic diet a desirable therapy for yet another reason.

Glutamate GABA Balance 

Glutamate and GABA are two very important neurotransmitters that are responsible for focus and relaxation, respectively. Proper neurological function requires a balanced interplay between these two.

An imbalance in these neurotransmitters, which often manifests as an excess of glutamate, has been associated with brain disorders such as autism, Lou Gehrig’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, and mood disorders. Additionally, those with excess glutamate and low GABA levels will tend to feel anxious, have trouble sleeping and experience brain fog.

Chronically elevated glutamate is highly inflammatory as it continuously overstimulates brain cells. In a healthy person, excess glutamate should be converted into GABA to help balance neural processes. Following a ketogenic diet has been shown to help facilitate this conversion (6). The immediate effects of this are improved focus and lower levels of stress and anxiety.

Omega 3 Favoring

Most people today following the standard American diet are consuming lots of oxidized omega-6 fats and very little omega-3 fats from fish and pastured-raised meats.

Omega-6 fatty acids are utilized in the eicosanoid pathway in the body which is important for producing inflammation. While temporary inflammation is helpful for stimulating healing in the body, an excessive omega-6 level can contribute to chronic inflammation that only causes more problems.

The way I teach a ketogenic diet includes plenty of HEALTHY fats that help bring this ratio back to a balanced level and help lower inflammation. Increase your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids can lower heart disease risk, improve arthritis, lower cancer risk, and improve brain function (7).

Therapeutic Applications

Now that we understand what goes on in the body when burning fat for fuel, we can start to discuss how a ketogenic diet may be used as a therapy for the sick.

Seizures 

The ketogenic diet was originally designed to help lower the instance of seizures in epileptic children so it is not news that it is still helpful for this today.  Although the exact mechanisms on how this works are not understood, a ketogenic diet or prolonged fasting have been shown to lower the frequency and severity of seizures in children.

In fact, one study found that out of a group of children that responded to a ketogenic diet, one third of them had a 90% or greater decrease in seizures (8).  These benefits can also be derived by simply increasing ketone levels in the body through exogenous sources such as MCT oils and possibly exogenous ketones (9).

Alzheimer’s & Dementia 

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that results in the cells of the brain becoming insulin resistant. It is believed that once brain cells become insulin resistant, they become highly inflamed due to a lack of energy. People in this state will typically experience a rapid decline in memory formation and retention.

Additionally, many Alzheimer’s sufferers have characteristics of hyper-excitability in the brain which may be due to excessive glutamate.

Ketones do not require insulin to enter the cell and a majority of brain cells have the ability to metabolize ketones. It is because of this that the ketogenic diet has become a potential therapy for helping to combat Alzheimer’s.

A study of 152 humans with Alzheimer’s saw significant improvements in brain function after ketone levels were raised during 90 days of MCT oil supplementation (10). Additionally, several animal studies have demonstrated a similar effect by implementing a ketogenic diet.

Parkinson’s Disease

While we don’t fully understand the mechanisms behind Parkinson’s disease, it has been studied as an energetic disorder. What I mean by this is that mitochondrial dysfunction and inhibited ability to produce energy is often a characteristic in Parkinson’s patients.

This metabolic insufficiency puts brain cells at an energetic disadvantage that results in massive production of free radicals. These free radicals cause oxidative stress on the brain tissue which leads to chronic inflammation and damage to its tissues.

Because of the ketogenic diet’s ability to improve mitochondrial function and lower inflammation, it is being investigated as a potential treatment.

Consequently, A small and uncontrolled study from 2005 monitored a group of Parkinson’s patients who followed a ketogenic diet for 28-days. At the end of the study, all patients reported an improvement in symptoms ranging from mild to drastic (11).

Although this is not sufficient evidence to declare the ketogenic diet a treatment, the low risk for complications should make it a consideration in these cases.

Migraines

Chronic migraines and headaches are common in today’s society. Many believe that chronic inflammation may be at the root cause of these unpleasant sensations.

Consequently, a ketogenic diet has been shown to lower the frequency and severity of migraines and headaches, potentially by upregulating energy production and lowering inflammation in the brain (12).

Depression

Depression is another mental state that is all too common in our society. While there are emotional factors involved, it can also be a byproduct of neural inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, neurotoxicity, or glutamate GABA balance.

Many people report a huge boost in their mood when following a ketogenic diet. It is likely that this occurs due to a mitigation of every one of the factors mentioned above. Although a ketogenic diet cannot change emotional trauma, it can help calm and clear your mind to help give you a better chance to do so.

Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB), a ketone body that is produced when following a ketogenic diet has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in brain tissues. A 2017 study observed in rats that BHB helped to mitigate stress-induced inflammation in the brain and exhibited anti-depressant activity (13).

Anxiety

As I mentioned earlier in this article, glutamate GABA balance in the brain strongly dictates our ability to balance work and relaxation. If glutamate becomes dominant over GABA, anxiety is commonly reported.

Following a ketogenic diet may improve anxiety by helping support the conversion of excess glutamate into GABA.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), such as concussions can have long lasting negative effects on cognitive function.  Chronically elevate blood sugar has been identified as detrimental to recovery from TBI.  There is also often an impaired ability to utilize glucose in TBI brain cells.

Providing the brain with ketones during this time has been shown to give the brain energy while improving structure and functionality during the recovery process (14).

Summary

The ketogenic diet has reemerged as a performance boosting hack for those wanting to be more productive. At the same time, it is emerging as a powerful healing strategy for metabolic, neurodegenerative, and cancerous states in the body.

Additionally, following a ketogenic diet is remarkably safe for most people to implement. So, whether you are battling a brain-related health challenge or just want to improve your mood and focus, a ketogenic diet may be a key component of your healing journey.

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Wallace, D. C., Fan, W., & Procaccio, V. (2010). Mitochondrial Energetics and Therapeutics. Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease, 5(1), 297–348. PMID: 20078222
2. Lu, B., Nagappan, G., & Lu, Y. (2014). BDNF and synaptic plasticity, cognitive function, and dysfunction. Handbook of experimental pharmacology (Vol. 220). PMID: 24668467
3. Masino, S. A., & Rho, J. M. (2010). Mechanisms of ketogenic diet action. Epilepsia, 51(SUPPL. 5), 85. PMID: 22787591
4. Maiorana, A., Manganozzi, L., Barbetti, F., Bernabei, S., Gallo, G., Cusmai, R., … Dionisi-Vici, C. (2015). Ketogenic diet in a patient with congenital hyperinsulinism: a novel approach to prevent brain damage. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 10(1), 120. PMID: 26399329
5. Greco, T., Glenn, T. C., Hovda, D. A., & Prins, M. L. (2015). Ketogenic diet decreases oxidative stress and improves mitochondrial respiratory complex activity. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism : Official Journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 1–11. PMID: 26661201
6. Maalouf, M., Rho, J. M., & Mattson, M. P. (2009). The neuroprotective properties of calorie restriction, the ketogenic diet, and ketone bodies. Brain Research Reviews. PMID: 18845187
7. University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
8. Kossoff, E. H., & Rho, J. M. (2009). Ketogenic Diets: Evidence for Short- and Long-term Efficacy. Neurotherapeutics, 6(2), 406–414. PMID: 19332337
9. Neal, E. G., Chaffe, H., Schwartz, R. H., Lawson, M. S., Edwards, N., Fitzsimmons, G., … Cross, J. H. (2009). A randomized trial of classical and medium-chain triglyceride ketogenic diets in the treatment of childhood epilepsy. Epilepsia, 50(5), 1109–1117. PMID: 19054400
10. Henderson, S. T., Vogel, J. L., Barr, L. J., Garvin, F., Jones, J. J., & Costantini, L. C. (2009). Study of the ketogenic agent AC-1202 in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Nutrition & Metabolism, 6(1), 31. PMID: 19664276
11. Gasior, M., Rogawski, M. A., & Hartman, A. L. (2006). Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet. Behavioural Pharmacology, 17(5–6), 431–9. PMID: 16940764
12. C., D. L., G., C., & G., S. (2013). Short term improvement of migraine headaches during ketogenic diet: A prospective observational study in a dietician clinical setting. Journal of Headache and Pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3620251/
13. Yamanashi, T., Iwata, M., Kamiya, N., Tsunetomi, K., Kajitani, N., Wada, N., … Kaneko, K. (2017). Beta-hydroxybutyrate, an endogenic NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor, attenuates stress-induced behavioral and inflammatory responses. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 7677. PMID: 28794421
14. Prins, M. L., & Matsumoto, J. H. (2014). The collective therapeutic potential of cerebral ketone metabolism in traumatic brain injury. Journal of Lipid Research, 55(12), 2450–2457. PMID: 24721741

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Using A Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss

If you are looking to lose some stubborn fat and you have stumbled across this article, chances are you have been doing your research. The internet is filled with millions of opinions on how to lose weight and get healthy.

With skyrocketing rates of obesity and related health conditions in the US, eating less and exercising more usually just doesn’t cut it. Fortunately, you are in the right place now. Based on the latest research and my years of experience I am going to explain to you why you should consider the ketogenic diet for weight loss.

I love the ketogenic diet for so many reasons. Not only can it boost your mental and physical performance, but it naturally and safely promotes fat burning as well. Another plus is that following a ketogenic diet, in my opinion, is not as limiting as some other diet strategies. I’m here to tell you that losing weight is possible while still enjoying delicious food!

Easier To Follow

Most people, especially those who have unsuccessfully experimented with a new diet, cringe at the thought of adopting a new way of eating. The way they see it, they have to starve themselves, avoid all their favorite foods, and be satisfied with limited results. To me this is a ridiculous way to live your life and why the ketogenic diet is such a game changer.

On a ketogenic diet, you simply reduce carb intake and increase your consumption of healthy fats until your body learns to burn fat for energy over sugar. This metabolic shift is advantageous for the body, your metabolism, your hormones, and all while keeping you full naturally.

Because fats are such an efficient fuel source, you get hungry less often, you cut cravings, and enjoy a more stable and elevated mood every day!

When you add in the fact that you can now make amazing delicious desserts that help you burn fat… how can you pass that up?!

Feeling Controlled By Your Eating Habits?

When your body is metabolically adapted to burning sugar as its primary fuel source, your behavior is largely dictated by your blood sugar levels. Sugar is a quick energy source but it is also burned up quickly which means you need to eat more often.

This cycle of ups and downs in your blood sugar drives your eating patterns. This is what results in food cravings and the infamous hangry feeling you get when you don’t eat for a while

In addition, rapidly fluctuating blood sugar levels contribute to other health problems like hormonal imbalances, chronic inflammation, increased risk of developing atherosclerosis, and an overall lowered sense of wellbeing (1).

When you become keto-adapted this all goes away as you experience stable energy levels from healthy fats.

How Ketosis Puts You Back In Control

Speaking from the simple caloric viewpoint, fat provides more energy per gram than sugar. This means you need much less of it, compared to sugar, for the same amount of energy.

Many people who are on a ketogenic diet that I work with always report the same thing: they rarely think about food anymore.

This is awesome from a diet standpoint because many people find themselves obsessively fixated on their next meal. From a biological standpoint, the human body perceives hunger as a primary objective to be fulfilled.

This means that when you are hungry, you will likely notice that it becomes difficult to perform higher level functions like concentrating on your work or even socializing with friends. This is because when your blood sugar is low, your body begins shifting into survival mode. In this state, higher mental functions are shut down as your primary focus is to search out food.

By converting your body to a fat-burner, stable energy allows you to free up your brain for higher mental functions. This means following a ketogenic diet can literally help you have a deeper experience of life as you are no longer controlled by your hunger!

How To Get Into Ketosis

The body can either run on sugar or fat for energy. Most people, as a product of the standard American diet, are chained to sugar as their primary fuel source. By drastically cutting sugar and carbs from your diet while getting the bulk of your calories from fats, you can reteach your body to burn fat.

The fundamental strategy for getting into ketosis is to burn off excess sugar and drop insulin low enough that your body decides to start converting fats into ketones for energy. For most people who are former sugar-burners, it takes about 2-4 weeks for the cells to relearn how to make energy from ketones.

There are a few strategies for getting into ketosis:

1. Following a Ketogenic Diet (5-10% Carbs/20-30% Protein/60-80% Fat)

This is the most gradual and safest way of getting into ketosis and takes about 2-4 weeks to become fully keto-adapted

2. Intermittent Fasting w/ a Ketogenic Diet

This strategy drains sugar stores more quickly and may speed the keto-adaptation process

3. Following a Ketogenic Diet w/ MCT oil or Exogenous Ketone Supplementation

Here you follow a ketogenic diet while providing the body with additional ketones to essentially “prime the pump” and speed up keto-adaptation

Keto-Adaptation

Keto-adaptation is the name for the process that takes place as your body shifts its metabolism towards burning fat. Once carb intake is lowered and fat intake is increased a few things must occur before you are fully keto-adapted.

First, blood sugar must drop and signal the body that sugar is not available. Then, this signal will prompt the metabolism of fatty acids into ketones as an alternative fuel source. Finally, the cells must learn to metabolize ketones and convert them into ATP (the energy molecule that every cell uses).

The time it takes to become keto-adapted is therefore limited by the rate at which these steps occur. This is why intermittent fasting and supplementing with ketones/MCT oil is sometimes used to speed up the process by dropping blood sugar and providing the body with ketones at a much quicker rate.

I recommend monitoring your ketone levels to keep track of your adaptation to ketosis.

Success Tip: There are certain side effects that you may experience during the initial adaptation period that can make the first few weeks difficult. Check out this article to understand how you can avoid them and increase your chances of success!

How Ketosis Promotes Weight Loss

Now that we understand how the state of ketosis works, we can dive into its benefits for weight loss.

Many people believe that simply being in ketosis and using fat as energy results in the burning of body fat as well. While this is true, there are actually several benefits that all have positive effects on weight loss.

No More Excess Sugars

Fat stores largely accumulate due to excess carb intake. This is because the body stores about 270 grams of glucose as glycogen in the muscles and liver while any excess of that is either burned as energy or converted and stored as fat.

By following a ketogenic diet, you can strategically consume carbs to fill glycogen stores while preventing the weight gain caused by an excess. Contrarily, your body works in reverse to convert all that stored body fat into tons of energy!

Balanced Hormones

The traditional caloric strategy to losing weight is just far too simplified. Based on emerging data and my experience over the years, fat loss has much more to do with healthy hormone balance than it does with caloric intake.

This is because your metabolism changes with your hormones. While a calorie is technically still a calorie, the rate at which it is burned completely changes with fluctuations in hormones.  At the same time, hormones such as leptin and cholecystokinin (CCK) are elevated when consuming a ketogenic diet which effectively reduces hunger levels and make you less likely to overeat.

A 2012 study looked at two groups of overweight subjects: one group following a traditional hypocaloric diet and the other on a ketogenic diet. The authors of this study concluded that a ketogenic diet was superior for weight loss, possibly due to a significant increase in adiponectin (2).

Adiponectin is a critical hormone for regulating blood sugar and supporting the metabolism of fats for energy so this is definitely a desired metabolic change.

Craving Buster

As I just mentioned, a ketogenic diet increases hormones responsible for satiety (feeling of fullness). This means that you are less hungry on a regular basis.

At the same time, the ketogenic diet balances blood sugar levels and keeps you energized for longer periods of time. As you no longer deal with rapidly fluctuating blood sugar levels, you will also experience an absence of food cravings.

Lower Impulsivity

While impulsive eating behaviors are mostly related to blood sugar balance, there is a beneficial action that takes place in the brain that will actually improve your willpower while on a ketogenic diet.

Each time you consume sugar, your brain releases dopamine. While dopamine is important for motivation and willpower, chronically spiking it with sugar can cause dopamine imbalances that contribute to impulsive and addictive behaviors.

As you free yourself from this addictive cycle, you can use more brain power on staying focused on the bigger goals in your life while melting away fat easily.

Ketogenic Is More Sustainable

It is far too common to hear about an individual who started a special diet, started losing weight, only to be overcome by intense hunger followed by rapid regaining of weight (sometimes even more).  This process is highly discouraging and why so many diets fail to produce long-term results.

It has been known for a long time that weight loss can lead to an increase in hunger. This makes sense because the caloric deficit that many diets rely upon make the body feel like it is starving, possibly due to chronic hypoglycemia and hormonal changes. In response to this perceived crisis your brain tells you to eat more food, or else!

What we know now is that being in a state of ketosis actually mitigates this side effect of weight loss (3, 4). This means you can continue to shed body fat while maintaining a sense of satiety that you just don’t get from other styles of eating.

The following graph comes from a study comparing a calorie-restricted, low-fat diet to a low-carb, high-fat diet. The results speak for themselves, a ketogenic diet is superior for fat loss!

Foods To Eat

While some ketogenic diet sources advocate for any food that is low in carbs and high in fat, I recommend sticking to foods that naturally maximize nutrition while minimizing exposure to toxins.  For me, the whole point of a ketogenic diet is to optimize physical and mental well-being. If you are eating processed foods and damaged fats, then you are going to experience limited results.

Healthy Fats: Grass-fed Butter or Ghee, Coconut Oil/Flakes/Milk/Cream, Olives & Olive Oil, Avocados & Avocado Oil, Sprouted Nuts & Seeds

Clean Proteins: Pasture Raised Meats (including: Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Turkey, Wild Game, etc.) and Wild Caught Fish (Sockeye Salmon, Sardines, Wild Trout, Anchovies) And Pasture-raised dairy products if tolerated (Eggs, Milk, Cheese)

Low-Carb Vegetables: Leafy Greens (Spinach, Kale, Chard, etc.), Cruciferous Veggies (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts), Onions, Asparagus, Etc.

Herbs & Spices: Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Turmeric, Fennel, and anything that doesn’t have any sugar or artificial ingredients like MSG

Low-Sugar Fruits (In Moderation): These Include berries, lemons, limes, and granny smith apples

Implementing A Ketogenic Diet Safely

If you have decided that the ketogenic diet is something you would like to try for weight loss, it is important to have a plan and thorough understanding of the changes going on in your body.  While there are plenty of plans and approaches to the ketogenic diet on the internet, there are still too many people who are not having success.

This is why I have put so much of my time and effort into compiling the strategies that work the best for the most people. For information on how to implement a ketogenic diet, check out this article.  In this article, I cover different types of ketogenic diets, how to implement them, and how to track your progress for optimal results.

As I mentioned once already, there are certain side effects that many people encounter during the adaptation towards a fat-burning state. It is key to success to understand why they occur and how to help prevent them before they occur so you can stick with it and enjoy the many benefits of ketosis!  Check out this article to learn more about them.

Sources For This Article Include:

1. De Vries, M. A., Klop, B., Janssen, H. W., Njo, T. L., Westerman, E. M., & Castro Cabezas, M. (2014). Postprandial inflammation: Targeting glucose and lipids. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. PMID: 25038999
2. Partsalaki, I., Karvela, A., & Spiliotis, B. E. (2012). Metabolic impact of a ketogenic diet compared to a hypocaloric diet in obese children and adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, 25(7–8), 697–704. PMID: 23155696
3. Gibson, A. A., Seimon, R. V., Lee, C. M. Y., Ayre, J., Franklin, J., Markovic, T. P., … Sainsbury, A. (2015). Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 16(1), 64–76. PMID: 25402637
4. Sumithran, P., Prendergast, L. A., Delbridge, E., Purcell, K., Shulkes, A., Kriketos, A., & Proietto, J. (2013). Ketosis and appetite-mediating nutrients and hormones after weight loss. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(7), 759–764. PMID: 23632752

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What Is The Best Magnesium Supplement?

What Is The Best Magnesium Supplement? 

Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients for human health. I have covered this extensively on my website for years. After reading my articles, many people reach the conclusion that they would like to add a magnesium supplement to their daily regimen. If you go to a local supplement, health food, or online store you will notice there are A TON of different forms of magnesium. These are not all created equal. So, what is the best magnesium supplement for the most health benefits?

The different forms of magnesium are metabolized and have different effects in the body. Some provide negligible effects, some stronger, and some I would consider superior. This is something I observed early on when considering adding a magnesium supplement to my personal line.

The Fundamental Role Of Magnesium

I say magnesium is one of the most important nutrients in the human body all the time and there is a HUGE reason for this. One of the biggest predictors of your overall well-being is your body’s ability to create and utilize energy. From a cellular level, this energy comes in the form of a molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

Your body is constantly operating within a balance of breaking down and rebuilding itself, a principal called homeostasis. On a very basic level, when you are breaking down faster than you are rebuilding, you have disease. When you are rebuilding as quickly as you are breaking down, you are thriving, adapting, and becoming stronger.

Every cell in your body relies on ATP in order to carry out its function. A fundamental principal of human physiology is that cells cannot effectively utilize ATP unless it is in its activated form, Mg-ATP. Magnesium actually binds to ATP and this important step allows our cells to use it more effectively.

Additionally, magnesium is intricately involved in the biological process of manufacturing ATP, so it could not be more crucial in this regard that you have enough magnesium to provide for the energy making process of almost every cell in your body. This is key in helping to optimize your body’s ability to heal and adapt.

Symptoms Of Deficiency 

Magnesium deficiency is often misdiagnosed because it is not easily detected in routine bloodwork. This is because almost all of the body’s magnesium is stored in the bones and organ tissues, particularly in the heart (1). It is estimated that only 1% of our total magnesium can actually be found floating around in the blood.

The organs in your body that require the most ATP include the brain, muscles (heart, digestive tract, skeletal muscle), and the ovaries if you are a woman.

Consequently, some of the most prominent symptoms of magnesium deficiency are brain fog, poor memory, trouble concentrating, muscle cramps/weakness, fibromyalgia, migraines/headaches, anxiety, depression, and PMS.

These are some of the common symptoms, however magnesium is also involved in over 300 different enzymatic processes in the body so symptoms of deficiency may vary widely. Some experts even claim that magnesium deficiency may contribute to over 20 different diagnosable medical conditions (2).

Why We Need More Than We Used To 

Although some magnesium can be obtained from the diet, there are a couple important reasons why I often recommend supplementation.

First, modern industrial farming practices have drastically depleted soil of its nutrient content, this means we are likely receiving much less than we used to.

Next, our environment is filled with new chemicals and biological stressors that increase our need for magnesium. These include things like EMF, pesticides, heavy metals, and general chronic stress involved with our chosen lifestyles. All of these things increase stress on our bodies, increase the need for ATP, and rapidly deplete magnesium stores as a consequence.

Supplementing with magnesium will help restore optimal levels to ensure effective energy production. Another cool thing I like about magnesium is that it can also improve your ability to adapt to a stressful lifestyle, similar to common herbal adaptogens.

Top Forms

There are A TON of different types of magnesium that are sold in stores. Many of these simply are not effective and will not do anything beneficial for your health. In fact, some forms of magnesium are not even absorbable by your digestive tract.

Below are some of my favorite forms of magnesium and the ones that are the most likely to benefit your health.

Malate 

Magnesium malate is magnesium bonded to malic acid. Malic acid is naturally occuring in many foods, especially fruits. This form of magnesium is theorized to be best suited for improving energy-related disorders.

This is thought because malic acid is a key component of the Krebs Cycle. The Krebs Cycle is the biological process that is responsible for manufacturing ATP, AKA energy. This is where magnesium malate may be helpful in conditions such as chronic fatigue or depression.

Animal studies have observed that magnesium malate may provide benefits for blood sugar regulation and magnesium/calcium balance, making it a solid option for supplementation (3).

Glycinate 

Magnesium Glycinate (or chelated magnesium) is a compound made up of magnesium and the amino acid glycine. This is thought to be one of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium for supplementation as well as one of the most gut friendly. Many people experience diarrhea with magnesium supplementation so this can be an important consideration.

For clinically diagnosable magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesia), the glycinate or bisglycinate form of magnesium are typically the most recommended for correcting this.

L-Threonate 

Magnesium L-threonate (MgT) is a newer form of magnesium with significant implications for mental health. Some preliminary research has highlighted the cognitive boosting ability and potentially even neuroprotective effects against Alzheimer’s disease (4).

What is so novel about this form of magnesium is that it is the only form shown in animal studies to cross the blood brain barrier. This is important because having this capability allows it to exert its beneficial effects on the brain specifically.

Consequently, this form of magnesium has been shown to improve measures of cognitive abilities such as short and long term memory and learning (5, 6). Additionally, this form of magnesium may be superior for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and brain fog.

In this article, I go over this 2010 study where a MgT supplemented group was able to retain their memory of where a submerged platform was hidden after 24 hours.  Both young and old rats in the control group forgot and began randomly searching through the maze and took more than twice as long as the MgT supplemented group.  The results of the study showed that old rats saw a 100% improvement in spatial long-term memory and even out performed younger rats who had not used MgT (5).    

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Citrate 

Magnesium Citrate is one of the most commonly used forms of magnesium because it is relatively low cost while also being reasonably bioavailable when consumed orally.

This form of magnesium is unique because it is one of the only ones that is naturally acidic. This is due to it being bound to citric acid, a common food additive that also occurs in citrus fruits.

Two noteable properties of this form of magnesium are its ability to aid in bowel movements as well as potentially help with oxalate metabolism. I often encounter patients who have kidney stones due high levels of dietary oxalates (more on this here) so this may be helpful for them.

While it may be beneficial for someone with kidney stones to supplement with magnesium citrate, I have actually found potassium citrate to be powerful for this. In combination, they may both provide benefits.

Chloride

Adding a chloride to magnesium brings another broad-range support compound to the mix. When these two are broken down in the body, you get the benefits of both magnesium and chloride.  Magnesium chloride is the most stable form of magnesium and is especially good for detoxification and for kidney function.

Chloride ions are abundant in the human body. First of all, as an electrolyte, chloride ions help to assure the proper conduction of impulses within the nervous system. They work along with potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphate, and magnesium to assure proper muscle contraction, control blood pressure, and allow for healthy brain function.

Additionally, chloride combines with hydrogen in the gut to produce HCl (stomach acid). Adequate stomach acid is needed to properly digest our foods and to activate intrinsic factor for absorbing Vitamin B12.

Inferior Magnesium Forms

Forms of magnesium that are often cheap yet offer relatively low bioavailability include the oxide, dihydroxide (milk of magnesia), sulfate, aspartate, and carbonate forms.  These forms of magnesium do not absorb well and tend to offer little benefit beyond laxative or antacid properties.

Magnesium Sulfate (also known as epsom salt) may, however, be suitable for absorption through the skin. For a step above, in my opinion, I would recommend these Magnesium Chloride salts for soaking. They are more expensive but likely to be much more beneficial.

Before You Buy 

While there are many forms and many brands of magnesium available on the market that will likely provide you with benefit. There is one consideration that I find critically important however.

As with all supplements, it is important to ensure you are getting yours from a source that tests every batch to ensure you are getting what is on the label and nothing else. This includes things like unwanted toxins, allergens, and heavy metals.

All of my personal line products are pharmaceutical grade, GMP compliant. This means they are produced in strictly monitored facilities who also send batches of their product to third parties for analysis before selling to consumers.

Brain Calm Magnesium 

There are many different forms of magnesium and they seem to have slightly different effects in the body. When I decided to add a magnesium supplement to my personal line I wanted it to contain the best forms of magnesium to provide a well-rounded benefit.

Brain Calm Magnesium was the result of this. It contains patented malate, glycinate, and threonate forms of magnesium for maximum neurological and systemic benefits for the body.

I often recommend this supplement for most people as a cost-effective way to boost magnesium levels, increase the body’s resilience to stress, and promote a tranquil and relaxed mental state. 

Topical Magnesium Chloride 

If you are someone with a lot of digestive issues, you may want to consider a topical magnesium. This type of magnesium can be applied directly to the skin and absorbed into your blood stream for increased bioavailability.

This type of magnesium is also great for applying to tense muscles, aches, and pains. For this purpose, I have found that the Ancient Minerals brand works the best.

The topical magnesium with MSM is the best for applying to problem areas or as a general magnesium supplement. The combination of magnesium and MSM is powerful for controlling inflammation and strengthening damaged tissues. This form is also very suitable for athletes!

For those who have trouble sleeping at night, Ancient Minerals also carries a topical magnesium with melatonin. For this one I will typically recommend applying one pump to the bottoms of the feet or abdomen 30 minutes to 1 hour before going to bed.

Top Magnesium Foods 

While magnesium supplementation is often a great idea, eating the right foods is just as important.

In the video below I go into detail on my favorite dietary sources. For convenience, I have listed my top 12 below.

  1. Swiss Chard
  2. Spinach
  3. Grass-fed Dairy
  4. Avocados
  5. Pumpkin Seeds
  6. Pink Salts
  7. Nuts
  8. Dark Chcolate
  9. Wild-Caught Fish
  10. Sprouts
  11. Sea Vegetables
  12. Organic Coffee

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Mental health struggles are slow, silent killers sapping us of energy and happiness.

Whether challenged by depression, anxiety, stress, addiction or another manifestation, every single person is impacted and affected–you, your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers–either directly or indirectly every single day.

This Mental Wellness Summit Will Empower You Too: 

Overcome the silence, isolation and fear of your struggle

Transcend outdated, prescription-based healthcare systems

Find holistic practitioners and natural solutions for your pain

Implement expert practices, tools and tips into your daily routine

And so much more!

You can register for this event for free here

You will want to listen to my presentation on Friday, September 29th as I go through how to apply a ketogenic diet to reduce inflammation in your brain and improve your mood, memory and mindset!!

Sources For This Article Include: 

1. The AFIB Report: Magnesium
2. Magnesium: An Invisible Deficiency That Could Be Harming Your Health (LINK)
3. Virag, V., May, Z., Kocsis, I., Blazovics, A., & Szentmihalyi, K. (2011). [Effects of magnesium supplementation on calcium and magnesium levels, and redox homeostasis in normolipidemic and food-induced hyperlipidemic rats]. Orv Hetil, 152, 1075–1081. PMID: 21676674
4. Li W, Yu J, Liu Y, et al. Elevation of brain magnesium prevents synaptic loss and reverses cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Mol Brain. 2014 Sep 13;7(1):65. PMID:25213836
5. Slutsky I, Abumaria N, Wu LJ, et al. Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron. 2010 Jan 28;65(2):165-77. PMID:20152124
6. Abumaria N, Yin B, Zhang L, et al. Effects of elevation of brain magnesium on fear conditioning, fear extinction, and synaptic plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex and lateral amygdala. J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 19;31(42):14871-81. PMID:22016520

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The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects

The ketogenic diet is a powerful new tool to hit the mainstream recently. This style of eating has substantial data behind it showing that it can boost fat-burning, reduce inflammation, boost cognitive performance, and more. What has not been covered quite enough are common keto side effects and how you can avoid them to make the best of this powerful eating style.

Although there can be many different side effects that manifest while becoming keto-adapted, many of them stem from similar underlying issues. In this article, I outline what those underlying issues are, their related side effects, and simple strategies to overcome them so you can become keto-adapted as smoothly as possible.

Three Primary Causes

Although there are a variety of symptoms that can arise during keto adaptation, they mostly manifest from the same three underlying causes. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction, and electrolyte/mineral deficiencies.

While these three causes are seemingly different, they are actually all related. When becoming keto-adapted initially, your body has been running on sugar for years. When you suddenly switch to fats, your body has to essentially build the cellular machinery necessary to generate and utilize ketone bodies as a fuel source.

This means that instead of generating tons of ketones from the very beginning, most people experience hypoglycemia for a period of time. With hypoglycemia comes a disruption in cortisol signaling which is what accounts for the HPA axis dysfunction. Finally, HPA axis dysfunction leads to an increase in secretion of minerals from the body in the urine.

Together these three causes can create all kinds of side effects. Once you understand them, though, a little bit of extra planning can help mitigate them from ever happening.

Hypoglycemia 

As I briefly mentioned already, hypoglycemia is the first underlying cause to contribute to side effects during keto-adaptation. This is because the body simply doesn’t know how to burn fat for energy yet.

During the adaptation phase, people commonly feel brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, intense hunger, irritability, and depression.

Although hypoglycemia and its side effects should subside within weeks of beginning a ketogenic diet, look out for these signs and take steps to support your body during this time.

Keto Flu 

This is perhaps one of the most well-known ketogenic diet side effects. Keto flu is exactly what it sounds like, the onset of flu-like symptoms that arises shortly after beginning a ketogenic diet. This includes symptoms like fatigue, runny nose, nausea, and headache.

Keto flu is a classic manifestation of hypoglycemia that can be corrected with simple strategies that I will outline shortly.

Sugar Cravings 

Many people find that during the beginning stages of a ketogenic diet they experience intense food cravings. These food cravings are typically for high-sugar foods and tend to really challenge your willpower.

This is a classic hypoglycemia response as well. The brain in particular requires lots of energy for normal function. When it receives a signal that you are hypoglycemic, a panic response occurs because of an underlying perception that you are starving to death (even if consciously you know you’re not).

At this point your brain begins to tell you that, “YOU NEED IMMEDIATE ENERGY NOW OR YOU’RE GOING TO DIE”! This is when you have intense sugar cravings. Luckily, once you begin to produce ketones for energy this panic response calms down.

Dizziness & Drowsiness 

When you are hypoglycemic while also not being fully keto-adapted, you essentially have an energy deficiency within the body.

During this time, you will likely feel dizzy and drowsy due to a general lack of energy. You may feel especially dizzy upon standing due to blood pressure dysregulation and inappropriate cortisol response (HPA axis dysregulation which we’ll talk about shortly).

Reduced Strength & Physical Performance 

During keto-adaptation, your body is learning to utilize a completely new fuel source that it has not had to use before. The muscles (along with the brain) contain tons of mitochondria for energy production that must now learn to utilize ketones as an energy source.

During this time, you will likely feel a significant drop in strength and ability to exert physical energy. Luckily, once you become adapted you should see drastic improvements in these areas that are even greater than when you were sugar-adapted!

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Hypoglycemia Mitigation Strategies 

As you can see, a significant proportion of keto side-effects are attributed to hypoglycemia. These are my top strategies for addressing these issues.

  1. Eat Every 3-4 Hrs:  Eat every 3-4 hours when in the beginning stages of a ketogenic diet. This will help keep you satiated and blood sugar balanced.
  2. Drink Mineral Rich Drinks:  Instead of plain water, drink mineral rich beverages between meals. This includes organic broths or a high-quality electrolyte drink (like this one)
  3. Hydrating and Mineral Rich Foods:  Consume plenty of hydrating, mineral-rich foods and use salt generously. I like to snack on celery, cucumbers, and especially seaweed in the form of these Sea Snax. These are like seaweed chips that taste great and contains a lot of beneficial minerals.
  4. Use Magnesium Supplementation:  If you follow these strategies and continue to feel many of these symptoms, consider adding a magnesium supplement to your regimen. I would recommend taking the L-threonate form (such as our Brain Calm Magnesium) in a 1 gram dose – 3x per day between meals.

HPA Axis Dysfunction 

The HPA Axis is a series of three glands (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, and Adrenals) that are primarily responsible for regulating our stress response in the body.

When we experience hypoglycemia, as I mentioned before, the brain goes into an emergency response to starvation. In addition to sugar cravings, the adrenals will release cortisol. Cortisol signals the release of stored glucose in the body (glycogen stores) to provide immediate energy.

Because of this response, glycogen stores are quickly burned up, hypoglycemia reoccurs, and the cycle continues. This is where HPA axis dysregulation promotes the onset of related symptoms while also exacerbating hypoglycemia-related issues.

Sleep Problems 

With HPA axis dysfunction you are likely to experience a disruption in sleep. This is because cortisol is antagonistic to melatonin (meaning it opposes its function). When the HPA axis is thrown off, cortisol levels begin to fluctuate and interfere with the release of melatonin that occurs at night-time.

To review briefly, hypoglycemia stimulates the release of cortisol. Cortisol signals the release of stored glucose in the body, called glycogen, from the liver and muscle tissue. Cortisol is a stimulating hormone that can disrupt sleep if this response happens at night. This results in either insomnia or very poor quality sleep.

Although this cortisol response is helpful in emergencies, you want to try and minimize it as much as possible during keto-adaptation and especially at night.

Heart Palpitations 

Many people will notice heart palpitations during the early phases of keto adaptation. This can be attributed to Hypoglycemia, HPA axis dysfunction, and mineral imbalances.

During HPA axis dysregulation, cortisol can become abnormally high. If it remains high, the body will develop cortisol resistance. To compensate the body begins to secrete higher amounts of adrenaline which can then cause irregular heart rhythms.

Additionally, the loss of minerals that we are about to discuss, can lead to a reduction in blood volume and pressure that can cause the heart to pump faster or even irregularly.

Supporting The HPA Axis 

Like I said already, during the initial adaptation phase of a ketogenic diet, there is potential for the HPA axis to become dysregulated. During this time, it would be advantageous to take precautions to support the HPA axis as best as you can.

These are my top strategies for HPA axis support during keto-adaptation:

  1. Blood Sugar Balancing Strategies:  Follow the blood sugar regulation strategies outlined above. Hypoglycemia is one of the primary triggers of cortisol dysregulation so address this first!
  2. Magnesium Supplementation:  This is outlined above but I want to touch on it again here. Magnesium is powerful support for the HPA axis. Magnesium L-threonate in particular is the only form proven to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier which means it can exert its effect on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
  3. Use Adaptogenic Herbs:  Although this strategy is not absolutely necessary, using adaptogenic herbs can tremendously benefit the HPA axis and help build your resiliency to stress. By supporting the HPA axis and helping to regulate cortisol levels, adaptogens may prove very helpful in mitigating HPA axis related side effects.

Electrolyte/Mineral Deficiencies 

Electrolytes and minerals serve the vital function of regulating hydration while supporting proper nerve conductivity. During keto-adaptation, an excess of minerals are excreted through the urine due to HPA axis dysregulation.

This is because in addition to cortisol, the HPA axis is also responsible for regulating hydration levels through the retention and excretion of minerals. In a sense, HPA axis dysregulation can also lead to hydration dysregulation. Likewise, there are common keto side effects that occur that manifest from these imbalances.

Frequent Urination 

The most obvious sign that your electrolyte/mineral balance is being affected is an increase in urination. On a low-carb diet, insulin levels drop which promotes the secretion of sodium in the urine. Sodium pulls more water into the urinary system which then is excreted as well.

Additionally, as your body burns through glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, excess water is released into the urinary system.

While getting rid of this extra water is helpful in releasing toxins from the body, you want to make sure you are taking in additional fluids, electrolytes, and minerals to avoid other related side effects.

Constipation 

Constipation is a key sign that you are not maintaining electrolyte/mineral balance during keto adaptation. The consistency of someone’s stool, and therefore the ability to pass that stool, is heavily influenced by its water content. The water content of your stool is likewise influenced by your overall hydration levels.

Additionally, constipation may also be a side effect of a change in your microbiome. Your gut bacteria makeup is largely determined by the kinds of foods you eat. When making such a drastic change in your diet, your microbiome will change which can also temporarily change your stools.

Also Consider: Certain foods can tend to be more conducive to constipation. Foods like eggs, cheese, and nuts may be contributing to constipation. Reduce intake of these at least during the initial phases of keto adaptation and see if that makes a difference. You want your stool to pass easily and resemble type 3 or 4 on the chart below.

Diarrhea 

Sometimes people will experience diarrhea during the initial phases of a ketogenic diet. Although constipation is typically more common, diarrhea may also manifest due to the changes in the microbiome that occur when changing your diet.

These individuals would benefit from taking a bulking and binding agent such as psyllium husk, citrus pectin, or my favorite, activated charcoal.  I have people do 2-3 grams of activated charcoal every 3 hours until the diarrhea subsides.

Also Consider: For some individuals, diarrhea may be brought on by low stomach acid and/or a sluggish gallbladder. Another possibility is that you have a low-grade food sensitivity to something you are eating such as eggs, nuts, and cheese.

Also, if you are supplementing with magnesium, it is recommended to back off of this until diarrhea has subsided as it draws additional water into the colon.

Muscle Cramps 

If you experience frequent muscle cramps while becoming keto-adapted this is likely due to mineral imbalances. As I mentioned before, minerals are crucial for proper nerve impulse conductivity. A muscle cramp is essentially a misconducted impulse brought on by poor hydration and mineral balance.

Maintaining Proper Hydration & Mineral Balance 

Now you are aware of the physiological changes that contribute to frequent urination, constipation, diarrhea, muscle cramps, and heart palpitations. Fortunately, the strategies to mitigate these side effects are quite simple. With a little proactivity and planning, these keto side effects will likely be less of an issue.

My top strategies for proper hydration and mineral balance are:

  1. Super Hydration: Drink plenty of water, mineral-rich broths, and hydrating beverages. You want to ensure any toxins being released are flushed out effectively.
  2. Use High Quality Salt:  Use a high-quality salt in generous amounts in all of your meals, This will add back in sodium and other trace minerals that are excreted more rapidly during keto-adaptation. I like either Himalayan pink or a Celtic (gray) sea salt as they are the highest in trace minerals.
  3. Consume Mineral Rich Foods:  Increase your intake of mineral-rich foods like leafy greens, celery, cucumber, and seaweeds. As I mentioned before, I love to snack on Sea Snax as they provide plenty of minerals and are ketogenic friendly.
  4. Use a Magnesium Supplement: Unless you are experiencing diarrhea, a magnesium supplement can work great for helping balance electrolytes and hydration levels. As you can see, magnesium can help keto-adaptation in many ways. Using 1 gram of the L-threonate form 3x daily is my general recommendation. If diarrhea occurs, lower to once or twice a day until it subsides.

Keto Breath 

Although not quite related to the three major causes we’ve discussed so far, keto breath is an unpleasant side effect that many people experience in the early stages of keto adaptation. When you begin producing ketones, you produce them in several different forms. The ketone that is released through the breath is acetone and is responsible for the keto breath that some people experience.

Luckily, acetone is only released in higher amounts during the initial adaptation phase and tends to wear off rather quickly (within 1-2 weeks).

Keto Breath Solutions

If this is an issue for you, you may consider brushing your teeth more frequently and using natural breath fresheners throughout the day. It is also important to maintain proper hydration during this time as a dry mouth can drastically exacerbate this side effect.

Some solid strategies include oil pulling with coconut oil and using a natural mouthwash when needed. I prefer this oral essentials mouthwash because it is natural and not as harsh as traditional brands.

You can also chew on fennels seeds, rosemary, mint, or parsley when needed as a natural breath freshener.

Precautions For Certain Conditions 

While the ketogenic diet can be therapeutic for individuals with certain conditions, precautions need to be taken to prevent any severe side effects. If you are medications to control your condition, this is especially important.

High Blood Pressure: When drastically decreasing carbohydrate consumption, blood pressure may drop naturally. You may want to discuss this with your prescribing physician before implementing a ketogenic diet and take steps to monitor your body’s response to the change in diet.

If you start to feel light-headed or experience heart palpitations, this may be due to a drop in blood pressure. It may be helpful to monitor your blood pressure during this time to quantify your body’s response to the initial adaptation phase.

Diabetics: When you are eating less carbs and sugar, you will likely need less insulin or blood-sugar lowering medications to maintain blood sugar balance. Again, speak with your physician about this potential change and work with him to coordinate proper medication dosage.

If you experience symptoms like fatigue, intense hunger and cravings, light-headedness, or heart palpitations, this may be a sign your blood sugar has dropped too low. Use a blood glucose monitor to track your body’s response to the diet change and make sure your body is adapting properly. If necessary consult your physician for necessary medication changes.

Summary 

The common keto side effects that people experience come down to three primary culprits: Hypoglycemia, HPA axis dysfunction, and poor hydration/mineral balance. The following strategies will help prevent these underlying issues and their respective side effects:

Stay Hydrated: Try to shoot for 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight (Example: 160 lbs. = 160 Oz). This may seem like a lot at first but try your best to hit this target.

Eat More Salt: Shoot for at least 2 tsps. of salt per day, if not more. My favorite sources are Himalayan Sea Salt, Redmond’s Real Salt and Celtic Sea Salt.

Increase Meal Frequency: Eating every 3-4 hours will ease the hypoglycemic stress on the body. This will equate to 4-5 small meals throughout the day. As you become adapted, fasting for longer periods of time will become much easier.

Use Organic Broths: Sipping on broths throughout the day is a great way to stay hydrated while also getting additional minerals and amino acids into your system. Try a good organic, free-range or pasture-raised chicken or beef broth. This can be a traditional broth or even bone broth.

Mineral-Rich Foods: Consuming mineral-rich foods will help maintain proper hydration and support the HPA axis. My favorites are celery, cucumber, and seaweeds. I like Sea Snax which are really tasty, totally keto, and provide a ton of healthy minerals.

Fat With Every Meal: Every meal should have at least one source of healthy fats. Ideally, you want to shoot for 70-80% of calories from fats for any given meal. My top sources are coconut (oil/butter/flakes/milk), grass-fed butter or ghee, olives/olive oil, and avocados.

Consider Adding Supplemental Magnesium: During changes in blood sugar, magnesium is used up quickly. Magnesium is like oil to a car and keeps the body running smoothly on the cellular level.

I have found that using this Brain Calm Magnesium throughout the day to be of tremendous help during keto-adaptation. I would recommend using 1 scoop in water 1-3 times per day depending on how your body is responding.

Mental health struggles are slow, silent killers sapping us of energy and happiness.

Whether challenged by depression, anxiety, stress, addiction or another manifestation, every single person is impacted and affected–you, your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers–either directly or indirectly every single day.

This Mental Wellness Summit Will Empower You Too: 

Overcome the silence, isolation and fear of your struggle

Transcend outdated, prescription-based healthcare systems

Find holistic practitioners and natural solutions for your pain

Implement expert practices, tools and tips into your daily routine

And so much more!

You can register for this event for free here

You will want to listen to my presentation on Friday, September 29th as I go through how to apply a ketogenic diet to reduce inflammation in your brain and improve your mood, memory and mindset!!

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