Looking for help with anti-dehydration drink while in ketosis
October 7, 2011 1:15 AM   Subscribe

Trying to combat dehydration while on low carbohydrate diet. During ketosis, everything tastes terrible. Trying to keep up with water intake, but ketosis taste in my throat makes plain water terrible. Looking for further suggestions.

Normally, I'd drink Gatorade, but I'm otherwise doing well and don't want to set things off course. I need something slightly flavoured, has some electrolytes in it, and can take the taste out of my mouth just long enough to throw it back to where I can drink water again. Since this will happen lots of times, I need a long-term solution. I've already kicked caffeine, so I know it's definitely ketosis playing tricks on me.
posted by jpallan to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I find chewing sugar-free gum helps get that taste out when I'm on the Scarsdale or General Motors diets (both low-carb diets). It also gets the saliva going, and makes me feel less thirsty.
posted by essexjan at 1:29 AM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

How about chicken broth? Not really so great on the go, but at home it should work pretty well. You also might be able to make somewhat salty veggie broth or drink that works well cold.

Is simple lemon juice in water insufficient to make the taste problem go away? Adds flavor but no/negligible carbohydrates.
posted by that girl at 1:30 AM on October 7, 2011

Cucumber slices in water adds a very subtle flavouring. you dont' eat the cucumber.
posted by mary8nne at 1:34 AM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Spooky, I was just reading this this morning: Marks Daily Apple - soda alternatives.
posted by Ness at 1:37 AM on October 7, 2011

I drink very dilute squash mostly, although I think you may have trouble getting it over there (unless you go to a special british shop). If you like citrus flavors try adding a splash of lemon and/or lime juice to your water.
posted by missmagenta at 1:49 AM on October 7, 2011

I love soda water with citrus in it, but prefer dropping a wedge of the fruit in the glass to just squeezing in some juice. I also sometimes have a drop of rosewater or orange blossom water in my soda. Odd and subtle and frangrant.

corbonated water + lemon + mint works for some too.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 2:00 AM on October 7, 2011

Green tea? Or a herbal caffeine-free tea like rooibos, and add a twist of citrus?
posted by ninazer0 at 2:21 AM on October 7, 2011

Water with a tiny pinch of salt and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:39 AM on October 7, 2011

When you're in ketosis you probably ought to be avoiding anything containing citric acid. Citric acid knocks a lot of people out of ketosis, which is presumably something you're not looking for.

I don't know if they're available where you are, but in the UK we have a lot of flavoured water products - basically spring water with a few added ingredients (flavourings, sweetener, acidifier) that are kind of in-between water and squash/soda. Most of these contain citric acid, but a few, particularly apple-flavoured ones, use malic acid (or some other acid) instead. People following ultra-low-carb diets such as the Cambridge Diet are often advised to look for these sorts of drinks.

Gum, for a lot of people, stimulates stomach activity; you're chewing something, and the little gremlins down below are all saying "Hey, food's up!" and they're all running around excitedly expecting something more than just saliva. But that varies from person to person.

But I'd definitely say steer well clear of anything with citric acid or citrus fruit in it. Green or black tea (no milk, no sugar) is fine.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:43 AM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Celestial Seasonings teabags. Lemon (if you can) or one of the berries (or anything in dark red or purple colors) for maximum flavor. Take glass, add teabag, douse with cold water, throw in some ice--and you're done. And it's awfully good. No caffeine, no sugar, no fuss, or special ingredients. And I say this as someone who can't stand the flavor of plain water.

As a coda, beware most other brands--particularly those you'd see at the average market. The majority are stale when they get there, and so are not flavorful enough to drink hot/cold without heaps of sugar.
posted by Violet Blue at 3:02 AM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

You could try ElectroMIX. I find it tastes really good, plus it has the electrolytes you are looking for.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:09 AM on October 7, 2011

My go-to has been purple/grape and pink/strawberry Powerade Zero. I haven't had any problems staying in ketosis with it and it supplements potassium and salt for me - the lack of both of which cause some of the "keto flu" symptoms.

I had no idea that citric acid knocks people out of ketosis - thanks for the info, le morte de bea arthur.

Fun fact: if you get headaches on keto, try eating a teaspoon or so of salt.
posted by bookdragoness at 5:25 AM on October 7, 2011

I recommend Trace Minerals - it's like EmergenC electrolyte drink packets but less sugar. It has a pretty strong taste to me but I like it a lot.
posted by mrs. taters at 6:20 AM on October 7, 2011

My favorite is peppermint tea. It doesn't lead to stale tea breath. I'm addicted.
posted by Kronur at 6:32 AM on October 7, 2011

I like the vitamin waters which are sweetened with stevia instead of sugar.
posted by PrettyKnitty at 7:01 AM on October 7, 2011

One question meant earnestlyand without snark: are you historically a water shirker? Many people are so accustomed to drinking juice, soda and flavored waters that ketosis or no, water tastes inferior or gross. If this can be said of you in general, I'd recommend forcing yourself to drink water in spite of how gross it tastes. You're already successfully cutting out carbs so no doubt you can do it!

Alternatively, why not incorporate lots of (homemade or low sodium) broths and soups into your diet. Or veggies high in water. You can combat dehydration with more water in your diet during mealtime, too. Of course broths are also comforting and help with satiety.
posted by Lisitasan at 7:37 AM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

You could try Nuun. It's a fizzy electrolyte drink with no calories, similar to the ElectroMIX that DoubleLune mentioned. It comes in little round tablets that're packaged in a plastic tube. I think the tablet format is nicer than a powder, since it doesn't spill. The cost breaks down to about 25 cents per 8 oz.
posted by I've a Horse Outside at 7:59 AM on October 7, 2011

I'm guessing you're Atkins-Strict, which means no Aspartame and no Caffeine. There are quite a few non-aspartame sodas out there - Waist Watchers brand is pretty prominent where I live - and splenda-sweetened flavored waters as well.

If you need something savory rather than sweet, green tea is good, as are a few tisanes - chamomile or spruce tea would be a very nice replacement for tea/coffee.

Also, cucumbers are very low in carbs, and very quenching - celery can make you thirsty when you snack on it, which means you'll be sipping water without having to think about sipping water.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:57 AM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you are open to the fizzy water route (tasted infinitely better to me than flat water, which I hate), consider getting a Sodastream. I love mine and am more likely to drink it since I don't have to buy bottles of water and haul them home.
posted by cecic at 9:07 AM on October 7, 2011

Didn't your doctor give you a giant packet of recipes when you started the diet? It's probably not a good idea to take recommendations from randoms off the internet. I remember reading half the information packet once and being surprised at how ubiquitous carbohydrates were in "normal food." You should check with your doctor before eating or drinking anything that's not discussed in the recipe packet.
posted by d. z. wang at 1:17 PM on October 7, 2011

Err...and now I'm embarrassed because I looked up the Atkins-Strict diet Slap*Happy mentioned, and realized that you're not talking about a medically prescribed ketogenic diet (e.g., to control epilepsy or something). Apparently you're just inducing ketosis on yourself for fun, in which case everything I wrote is totally irrelevant.

posted by d. z. wang at 1:19 PM on October 7, 2011

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