One of the most common “side effects” of a low carb diet is bad breath, also referred to as ketosis breath or keto breath in the health and fitness community. Even though most people would rather avoid bad breath, ketosis breath is actually a great sign when following a low carb diet! And don’t worry; there are ways to minimize the effects of ketosis breath without having to sacrifice talking to people for the sake of losing weight.
In essence, ketosis breath is a byproduct of the body entering in to a state of ketosis. By following a low carb diet and depleting your liver glycogen stores, you force your body to metabolize fatty acids as an alternative energy source. Once this occurs, your body begins to release ketone bodies. One ketone body in particular, acetoacetate, is a volatile compound that is decarboxylated into acetone, the molecule responsible for the odor, and is expelled from the body through the breath and urine.
So, even though you may not want your breath to smell, it’s actually a good sign! You can use ketosis breath as a loud and clear signal from your body that you have entered ketosis and are now a fat burning machine!
But wait! Even though it’s a sign that we are doing a good job of sticking to our low carb diets, no one really wants to have keto breath all day, every day. Well, just follow a few of the tips below and you can easily mask ketosis breath and its effects.
Ketosis Breath Tips
Ketosis Breath Tip 1: Drink Water
A dry mouth can exacerbate the effects of ketosis breath. Make sure to drink close to a gallon of water every day.
Ketosis Breath Tip 2: Gum and Mints
Use sugar-free gum and mints. But be careful! You don’t want to go over on your carbs for the day because you chewed gum.
Ketosis Breath TIp 3: Hidden Mouthwash
Keep a travel sized mouthwash container in your car or desk at work and forget about it. This can be a life saver if you ever forget, or run out of, gum and don’t have the time to get some.