Do you want to know how to get rid of ketosis breath? The keto diet is gaining traction for its many benefits — the most popular of which is weight loss. However, the problem is that switching to this low-carb diet could lead to the infamous keto breath. What can you do about it? Find out below.
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How Do I Know if I Have Ketosis Breath?
The first thing you must do is verify whether you do have ketosis breath or not. After all, there are instances when people simply have bad breath due to poor dental hygiene. In contrast, ketosis breath is an olfactory change that happens when your metabolism shifts to a high-fat and low-carb variant.
You see, the usual diet is compromised of a variety of macronutrients such as fat, protein, and carbs. The body primarily relies on the carbs to get the energy you need every day. In particular, glucose is stored as glycogen and burned for energy. When that is not available, your body looks for the stored fat instead.
Simply put, it’s a good indicator that what you’re experiencing is ketosis breath if you’re starting the keto diet. As more and more ketones build up in your body due to the fats you consume, you get into a state of ketosis. This means you have several types of ketones such as acetoacetate and acetone.
Ketones themselves aren’t particularly dangerous if the amount isn’t excessive. Plus, you can easily release them through urinating and breathing. But if your breath smells like nail polish, that’s most likely the acetone — an ingredient in some nail polish products — and it’s an indicator of ketosis breath.
What Does Your Breath Smell Like in Ketosis?
The smell is not the same as when you haven’t yet brush your teeth in the morning. Apart from the aforementioned scent of nail polish and acetone, the keto breath may also smell like ammonia or fruit. There’s no particular fruit reminiscent of it, but the odor is distinct to when you’re in ketosis.
Does Everyone Get Keto Breath?
There are cases when some people never experience ketosis breath even when they start the low-carb, high-fat diet. But for most people, they do develop it in varying levels of intensity and duration. After all, it is a common side effect of the keto diet. At the least, it isn’t the most terrible side effect to have.
5 Ways to Treat Ketosis Breath
1) Reduce Your Protein Intake
One misconception about the keto diet is that you need to have a high amount of protein. While the diet does recommend eating more protein than carbs, the overall amount shouldn’t overtake your fat intake. You see, an overabundance of protein contributes to bad breath.
The more protein you consume, the more ammonia your body makes as it breaks down the macronutrient. As we’ve mentioned before, the keto breath sometimes has a distinct smell of ammonia. So if you want to make your breath smell less bad, decrease your protein intake.
Instead of eating protein-filled foods all the time, go for those with healthy fats. These include avocados, nuts, whole eggs, and fatty fish. Try to use olive oil in your meals as well. These should lessen the impact of the keto breath without putting you out of ketosis.
2) Avoid Stress
It’s most likely improbable to completely get rid of your stress, but you should lessen it as much as possible. Constant stress is known to cause several health conditions — and one of those includes bad breath. When you’re stressed, your mouth starts to feel dry as you experience acid reflux.
Furthermore, stress affects how efficient your body is in breaking down protein. Chronic stress is also disadvantageous to your immune system. Likewise, it makes your saliva move slower than usual. All these factors contribute to foul breath. Thus, give some time to yourself and relax every once in a while.
3) Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
There’s no single way to treat ketosis breath. And while this treatment is applicable to pretty much any type of bad breath, it’s still worth noting. You should brush your teeth at least two times every day. Brushing gets rid of smelly teeth stains and it prevents the buildup of bacteria in your mouth.
If you do nothing about the bacteria buildup, your keto breath will surely worsen. The acetone smell won’t fade away, but your keto breath won’t be at its worst state. You can also use mouthwash to help remove all the bacteria. However, do pick an alcohol-free variant that won’t dry your mouth.
Likewise, don’t forget to floss. Flossing gets rid of all the plaque and bits of food left between your gums and your teeth. Moreover, there’s a belief that flossing will make you less tempted to eat more snacks than you should — which is great since you won’t think of carb-filled snacks that will ruin your keto diet.
4) Have More Carbs
We’re not suggesting you ruin your keto diet and go out of ketosis. What this treatment means is for you to increase your carb intake by a meager amount. Even just a slight increase can help lessen the duration of your ketosis breath. Remember: The maximum daily net carb intake on a keto diet is just 30 grams.
However, you shouldn’t increase your carb intake all the way up to that amount in an instant. If you’re only consuming about 10 grams of net carbs each day and you’re suffering from ketosis breath, increase it by just five grams. If you notice some improvement, you can stick to that — it’s a safe level for ketosis.
How exactly do more carbs help eliminate keto breath? Ketosis forces your body to produce ketones. When you have more ketones, the more acetone your body has to get rid of through exhalation. But if you provide more carbs to your body, it can first burn those for energy instead of wholly relying on fats.
So if your body produces fewer ketones, you will have less of the acetone that leads to that smell of nail polish. On a related note, you can also start your keto diet in a slow manner; reduce your carb intake in a gradual manner to let your body adapt better.
5) Drink More Water
One way your body gets rid of ketones is through urination. So if you stay hydrated and urinate frequently, you get rid of acetone and other ketone bodies faster. Plus, you simply need more water when you’re on a keto diet — the lack of glycogens makes you lose water faster.
How Long Will It Last?
There are people who won’t ever experience the ketosis breath — not even for an hour. But if you do develop this particular form of bad breath, know that it’s only temporary. Expect to have it for a week or even a month. It will eventually go away as your body learns how to utilize the ketones better.
Ketosis breath is an undesirable symptom of ketosis, but the good thing is it’s temporary. Plus, you can apply the many ways on how to get rid of ketosis breath. You will achieve the many benefits of ketosis as long as you transition well into the diet and keep track of your macronutrients for the long run.
We hope this guide will help you understand ketosis breath better. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a message.