June 13, 2018 by Adapt Your Life

Are Supplements or Vitamins Needed on a Low-Carb Diet? – Dr. Eric Westman

Can you take supplements on keto? This may sound like a silly question, but due to the perception that the keto diet is restrictive, it’s a question that pops up quite often, and if you do choose to take supplements, what are the best supplements for keto diets?

Dr. Westman has some helpful advice that’ll put your mind at ease. He also weighs in on whether or not taking supplements, vitamins, or minerals on the keto diet is even necessary at all.

Is it healthy to do a keto diet and do you need supplementation?

For a long time, people survived without ever needing any supplements added to their diets, which begs the question, are you getting all the nutrition you need from the foods that you eat? If you’re consuming a good selection of foods that have everything you need in it, then from a keto nutrition perspective, you’ll be fine.

People focused on achieving weight loss on keto generally recommend a multivitamin every day. “There are actually a few papers that suggest that taking a multivitamin might not be good for you, and might even be harmful,” points out Dr. Westman. Many people struggle to conceive how innocent vitamins can be harmful, but food can be extremely powerful as you’ll understand if you’ve treated and fixed a medical problem just by changing the food you eat with the keto diet.

Could you function better on the keto diet if you’re using supplements?

When you start a keto diet, the most important thing to remember is that you’ll have to cut down on carbohydrates, and ensure that you get an adequate amount of protein. Don’t worry too much about supplements. If however, you do get symptoms like muscle cramps or constipation, then you could consider supplementing with electrolytes, sodium, and magnesium.

What’s the best way to get magnesium?

If you have symptoms such as body aches, cramps, or constipation, the best thing you can supplement with is a widely available product called Milk of Magnesia (Magnesium Hydroxide). To relieve the clinical symptoms of muscle cramps or constipation, simply take a teaspoon of it at bedtime for a week. Milk of Magnesia is a common remedy that should be readily available over the counter so there’s no need for a prescription.

What other supplements can you take for cramps and constipation on a keto diet?

There are multiple ways to fix clinical problems, if you’re experiencing a chronic condition like muscle cramps or constipation and it seems to be an electrolyte imbalance, you’ll just need to ensure that you’re getting enough sodium/salt. Having a little extra bouillon actually relieves some of the symptoms if there’s no history of high blood pressure or heart failure. Salt, magnesium, and potassium all work together in synergy to relieve symptoms, but using just one could be useful to treat all three.

“In extreme cases, I’ve had some people who work out their own formula of bone broth and other ingredients to actually fix the muscle cramps over time,” says Dr. Westman. The basics of keto nutrition are simply eating real food, as long as it’s nose to tail, with some vitamins and minerals from the veggies and leafy greens which will allow you to get all the vitamins and minerals you need.

Do athletes and active people need supplements on the keto diet?

There’s no reason for athletic people to create a deficiency in their bodies while following a keto diet, so it’s best to just keep it simple. However, if you’re looking into keto diets for athletes while also trying to optimize your physical functioning like running, for example, then you might want to consult a sports nutritionist. They may have supplementation programs that they use to optimize your physical performance.