Carnivore Diet Electrolytes: Which Are The Best? Do You Need Them? - Meat My Diet (2024)

Carnivore Diet & Electrolytes

When I first started on the carnivore diet, I was a bit confused about why so many people needed electrolytes. Even within the Keto community, it seemed like everyone was talking about them, and most were taking LMNT.

Now almost two years on, I’ve learned that some of that electrolyte requirement in the very beginning can be our body adjusting to a diet that contains either no, or low carbohydrates. And because of the lack of carbs the body dumps more water, flushing electrolytes out of the body and leaving us depleted.

But if that’s something that happens in the first few weeks of eating this way, why do people keep taking electrolytes?

Do We Need To Keep Taking Electrolytes on Carnivore?

It seems that the need for electrolytes can change as your body gets used to the carnivore diet. As your body becomes more fat adapted, and begins to function in a better way, you might find that you don’t need the electrolytes that you did need at the beginning. But how long does this take?

Well, looking around the carnivore community that seems to vary greatly. The truth is that we’re all different, and have different lifestyles. Our individual versions of the carnivore diet can differ, as do our activity levels. Add to that the climate we live in, and our overall health, and we can see a wide variation in what might be required for our bodies to function efficiently.

But some people seem to need electrolytes forever! How come?

Are You Drinking Too Much Water?

I have to wonder if one of the reasons that some people continue to have electrolyte issues is because they’re drinking too much water. After all, we have all been bombarded with messages for many years about drinking water. ‘Make sure you get your 8 glasses a day!’ and ‘Drink plenty of water to help your body detox and to flush out your kidneys!’ But is that really such a good idea? Let’s examine that…

Drinking Too Much Water Can Be Dangerous

When you drink plain water it flushes electrolytes, in particular sodium, from your body. Do this to excess and you can cause ‘water intoxication‘ which can be deadly!

But even when we don’t go that far, drinking plain water without electrolytes can cause sodium depletion. This means the water in your body has become overly diluted, and so your kidneys respond by making you pee a lot, and then you feel thirsty again. Sound familiar? It’s a bit like watering a bone dry potted plant. All that water goes straight through, pouring out of the bottom without actually being absorbed.

This is even more of an issue if the water you’re drinking is RO (reverse osmosis filtered) or distilled. Both of these methods are great for removing chemicals and unwanted toxins from your drinking water, but they also remove the small amount of minerals that the water contains.

Drinking water with a bit of salt, or electrolytes in it helps your body to absorb and assimilate the water that you’re consuming.

Which Electrolytes are Best?

As I said, a LOT of people use LMNT, but I think that’s because it has a catchy name, lots of flavored, sweetened varieties that cater to the sweet tooths, and is just well known and promoted among the community.

LMNT contains just salt, magnesium and potassium (plus sweetener and flavors), which to me seems to be a very unnatural way to consume electrolytes. You’ll never find these three things on their own in nature.

Personally, I’d rather use a product that is sourced from nature and that contains not only those three major elements, but also other elements and trace elements that our bodies obviously require to be able to function correctly. I’ll share below what I’ve used to meet my requirements for electrolytes since being on a carnivore diet.

1. Trace Ocean Minerals

My personal favorite electrolyte product is Trace Ocean Minerals. This liquid product is made from ocean water. It is easy to use, very effective and makes the water taste great! I usually add about a half teaspoon to a liter of water. I find it incredibly effective! It stops my feet swelling in the heat, and it makes me feel good!

We distill our water, and so by adding Trace Ocean Minerals, we create a pure mineral water, free from any chlorine, fluoride or other harmful stuff, that contains minerals, and trace minerals, in the perfect combination because it is sourced from the ocean. I find that it’s a great staple for our drinking water, and then sometimes if I feel I need more, I add salt.

Carnivore Diet Electrolytes: Which Are The Best? Do You Need Them? - Meat My Diet (1)

2. Adding Salt To Your Water

For some, just adding a bit of salt to their water is enough, and no other electrolytes are needed. That can be as simple as just popping a pinch in a glass of water before you drink it or even putting some salt crystals under your tongue and chugging some water after it.

But however you decide to take your salt, make sure you use a good quality, unprocessed salt that still contains all of it’s minerals!

Unprocessed salts have around 80 or more minerals and trace elements in them. My personal favorite is Celtic Sea Salt. It’s harvested in France and you can see by looking at this damp grey salt that it’s straight out of the ocean! Of all the salts I’ve tried, I love the flavor of this salt the best. Some people don’t like it because it’s quite damp and doesn’t work well in grinders or shakers. If that’s you, then go for one of the others mentioned below.

The Best Way To Use Salt in Drinking Water – Make Sole

Possibly the best way to add salt to your water is to make Sole (pronounced Sol-ay). This is a really simple process, whereby you use an unprocessed salt like the Celtic Sea Salt I mentioned already, or Himalayan Salt, or even Redmonds Real Salt.

Put enough salt into a jar to cover the bottom about an inch deep, and then fill the jar with water. Give it a shake and let it settle. Leave it overnight. If the salt has dissolved, keep adding salt until it stops dissolving into the water.

In your jar of Sole, you always want a layer of salt crystals in the bottom of the jar that remain undissolved. This means that the water in the jar is so saturated with salt that no more can dissolve and that’s perfect. Simply use a teaspoon of this sole water in your drinking water to enjoy the benefits of the minerals and trace minerals the unprocessed salt contains in your water each day.

Warning! If you make your sole from Celtic sea salt, it will look like sea water… It will have scummy stuff floating in it, and look kinda funky. But that’s okay. Sea water is like that!

Carnivore Diet Electrolytes: Which Are The Best? Do You Need Them? - Meat My Diet (2)

Now Back To The Too Much Water Thing

I’ve been listening to Mary Ruddick quite a bit of late. If you’ve not heard of Mary, you can find her here. Mary is a nutritionist with an interest in ancestral nutrition. She spends time with people around the world, who live in more traditional ways, eating more traditional diets and studies them.

She spoke in one of the videos I watched about water consumption. She described how the hunter gatherer tribes that still live traditionally don’t drink much water. She said that when they went out on hunting trips with the Hadza, she and her camera crew were struggling in the heat, drinking copious amounts of water to keep up with the Hudza hunters, but they didn’t drink water – at all!

In fact she said they did not drink much water at any time which is interesting.

So why do we need so much water?

In her discussion, the thought was that we need more water when we consume carbohydrates, and so because most of us have done that most of our lives, our bodies have lost the ability to manage with little water like the Hadza do. They live much of their lives in ketosis and they’ve also never been told they need eight glasses of water a day to be healthy!

They also probably don’t have electrolyte issues…

Is water consumption just another thing we’ve been misled about?

A Quick Word About Potassium and the Carnivore Diet

Potassium is the electrolyte that is required in the largest amount by us each day. In fact the it is recommended that we get between 3500 and 4700mg per day. That’s a lot! Apparently many people don’t get enough potassium each day. For those of us on carnivore diets we need to actively ensure that we’re getting enough potassium as without the addition of plants that are high sources of potassium, we might be lacking this important nutrient.

There are many carnivore friendly foods that contain good amounts of potassium, including fish and shellfish, pork, red meat, and chicken. If you’re a carnivore that allows yourself avocado (not a carnivore food, but consumed by some anyway), then that is a great source of potassium. Bone broth or meat broth are also another really great source of potassium as this important element is liberated into the broth from the meat during the cooking process.

If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough potassium from your diet, that’s where taking a potassium supplement or a product like LMNT may be helpful. Another option is to use a sodium free salt such as NuSalt that is can be used on food in place of salt for added potassium.

So I guess the takeaways from this are if you’re having electrolyte issues on the carnivore diet, maybe try reducing the amount of water you’re drinking and add either electrolytes or salt to the water you drink to allow your body to actually hydrate your cells. Also, learn more about potassium and find ways to make sure you’re getting enough in your diet as I have a feeling that it’s a common electrolyte that’s lacking in the day to day for many people.

As always, if you have any comments or questions, pop them in the box below and I’ll get to them as soon as I can.

Carnivore Diet Electrolytes: Which Are The Best? Do You Need Them? - Meat My Diet (2024)

FAQs

What is the best electrolyte for a carnivore diet? ›

Potassium and magnesium

Aim for 3-4.8 grams of potassium daily. It's easier to get from food than sodium, with good sources being beef, mackerel, bacon, and bone broth. Magnesium is another important electrolyte for muscle and nerve function, the immune system, and heart health.

Can you get enough electrolytes from meat? ›

They protect the health of your heart, nerves, and muscles and build strong bones and teeth, among other things. You can most likely get all the electrolytes you need through a daily diet that includes a variety of produce, lean meats, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

What is the best source of potassium for a carnivore diet? ›

Beef. A staple of the carnivore diet, beef is more than just protein. It's loaded with dietary potassium, making every bite help balance those electrolytes.

How do you hydrate on a carnivore diet? ›

Sparkling Water: A great option to stay hydrated and can be more enjoyable to drink than regular water due to its fizz. Bone Broth: High in nutrients and promotes gut health. Infused Water: Water infused with herbs like mint or slices of citrus fruits can be a refreshing alternative to plain water.

How to get enough electrolytes on a carnivore diet? ›

On the carnivore diet, major electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium must come from animal products. Sodium can be consumed through adding sea salt to foods or by consuming salted meat and fish. Potassium is abundant in organ meats and fish, while magnesium can be sourced from fish and bone broth.

Why add salt to carnivore diet? ›

Accepted on the carnivore diet, in moderation, of course, salt is a permissible seasoning to use while following this lifestyle change. Salt is not only a helpful seasoning to improve flavor while cooking meat, but it also contains minerals, like sodium, essential for maintaining one's health.

What meat to avoid if you have high potassium? ›

A low-potassium diet entails avoiding foods high in potassium like fish, red meat, and potatoes, and favoring low-potassium foods like poultry and berries. Your healthcare provider will likely recommend this way of eating if you have hyperkalemia, which is too much potassium in your blood.

How do you keep your bowels moving on a carnivore diet? ›

The reduction in fiber could be one reason why some people develop constipation when following the carnivore diet. People can help treat constipation by exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, and setting aside a time and place to pass a stool each day.

What to drink on a carnivore diet? ›

The short answer to the beverage question is that on a strict carnivore plan, only water and bone broth are allowed. If you're including dairy, milk would also be allowed. Those who subscribe to more lenient versions of a carnivore diet may also include plain, unsweetened tea and coffee in their regimen.

Why take electrolytes on a carnivore diet? ›

Electrolytes play a vital role in maintaining hydration, supporting nerve and muscle function, and promoting overall well-being. Incorporating electrolytes into your carnivore diet can help ensure optimal mineral balance and prevent potential electrolyte imbalances.

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