As they say, everything in this world comes as a package, and the ketogenic diet is no exception!
Though this diet can help you lose weight faster, it also causes a few unpleasant side effects, among which keto breath is the most annoying one.
Most keto dieters feel embarrassed and hence, frustrated due to the keto breath.
If you are concerned about this problem affecting your enthusiasm to follow the keto diet, let us tell you it is too small a problem compared to the multitude of benefits you will enjoy with this diet.
And as far as this side effect is concerned, all you need right now is some basic information about keto breath.
Once you know why precisely keto breath occurs and how you can avoid it, then your keto journey can become easier and more pleasant.
And yes, we are sure you must also be eager to find out how long does keto breath last.
We will discuss all aspects of keto breath to help you face this annoying symptom with better confidence.
Shall we begin?
Ok, so, here’s the challenge.
The Keto Breath!
What’s Keto Breath?
Keto breath is the characteristic smell of ketones present, of course, in your breath. The smell is quite different from the bad breath we often encounter due to the tooth’s decaying or poor oral hygiene.
Keto breath is unique because it has little to do with your oral hygienic and more related to the changes the metabolic processes are going through in your body.
Let reveal some of the basic causes of keto breath.
Why Does Keto Breath Occur? Is It A Good Sign?
This disturbing side effect occurs due to the excessive influx of fats and proteins in your diet. A keto diet involves consuming foods that are devoid of carbs but high in fats.
When you lower your carbohydrate intake, your body is deprived of its ready fuel source, which is glucose.
Hence, it turns to the fats stored in your body to meet its energy requirement. The sudden switch from using carbs to fats results in changes in the metabolic processes resulting in the production and release of ketones.
So, these ketone bodies are nothing but the products released when fats are broken down to release energy.
If you think that these ketones bodies alone are responsible for the keto breath, then you are wrong, at least partially!
The ketone bodies do not have any smell when they are released in your body. It is only when the ketone production exceeds certain limits that you start experiencing bad breath.
Let us have a more in-depth look at how the ketone bodies and other factors associated with a keto diet can cause this symptom.
1. Due To Acetone
When your body is producing ketone bodies in excess, you can expect to start losing weight soon.
It is using fats for its source of energy results in the generation of molecules called ketones. Acetone is one type of ketone that is excreted in the urine and your breath. (*)
So, it is the acetone, in particular, that is responsible for causing keto breath. The smell could be described as sweetish or fruity.
Some keto dieters may complain of a breath that smells more like the apples that are past their prime, in short, rotten.
2. Due To Proteins
Another reason is a high intake of proteins. A keto diet requires the consumption of moderate amounts of proteins.
Higher consumption of protein-rich foods is recommended for the people who are into strenuous physical activities such as athletes, bodybuilders, and sportsperson.
People who work out in the gym regularly also need to increase their protein intake to support muscle growth and improve their stamina and endurance.
However, the increased protein intake, in these cases, can contribute to the breath.
When your body metabolizes proteins, it releases ammonia as one of the by-products. Ammonia is often excreted out of the body via urine. (*)
However, when you eat a high-protein diet, the production of ammonia increases substantially. A part of it is excreted out of your body via breath.
Due to the increased concentration of ammonia in the exhaled air, your breath can smell pretty bad, that of ammonia.
3. How Long Does Keto Breath Last?
Most keto dieters notice their keto breath disappearing after a few weeks into the diet. The odor disappears as the body adapts to the ketone production.
But, in some cases, the breath may persist for longer and necessitate adopting certain strategies to mask or minimize the odor.
However, even if it does not disappear in a few days, you can be assured that it will not last forever.
It may take a little longer, but will surely disappear once the body adapts to burning fats!
Till the time that happens, you might want to avoid any embarrassment that may occur due to your bad breath.
Luckily, there are ways to reduce this problem!
So, there is no need for you to wear a mask or keep an inconveniently longer distance while talking to anyone.
Let look at what you can do to reduce bad breath and get back to your routine life with confidence.
How To Get Rid Of Keto Breath
Bad breath, though an inevitable part of a keto diet, is avoidable. You need not suffer or bear with the inconvenience of talking to others from a distance.
Instead, you can follow the simple tips and strategies given below to control the effect and carry on with your day-to-day activities with ease.
1. Maintain Oral Hygiene
Though poor oral hygiene is not the cause of keto breath, maintaining it is the prime strategy to prevent it.
If you have cavities or a decayed tooth, it will only contribute to the bad odor. Hence, it is essential to maintain oral hygiene to minimize keto breath.
It would be best if you tried to keep your mouth clean by brushing regularly to prevent the oral cavity bacteria from worsening your breath.
Here’s how you can improve oral hygiene:
- Adopt a habit of brushing your teeth at least twice daily if you haven’t been doing so.
- If possible, try to brush the teeth after each meal.
- Floss twice daily and after each meal.
- Remove the plaque from your teeth using an electronic toothbrush.
- Use a gentle mouthwash after brushing. For better results, use a mouthwash that is specifically formulated to remove the plaque build-up on teeth.
2. Increase Your Water Intake
The sole power of water to improve the elimination of excess toxins and by-products from your body can significantly help you avoid keto breathing. (*)
Drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day. This will increase the amount of urine secreted by the kidneys.
When the kidneys excrete an extra amount of water, it will also be eliminated acetone, and ammonia responsible for causing bad breath.
Drinking lots of water can also help you avoid dehydration, which can worsen the bad breath.
Remember that when your body is using fats to release energy, it releases loads of toxins. These toxins are released through the skin pores and even through the saliva glands.
By drinking more water, you can allow your body to get rid of as many toxins as possible!
If you don’t drink enough water, these toxins can accumulate in your oral cavity and worsen keto breath.
That is why; flushing these toxins out by keeping well hydrated is the easiest and a logical way to avoid this issue.
3. Reduce Your Protein Intake
Though proteins are an important part of your keto diet, especially if your physical activities demand more of this nutrient, too much of it can worsen keto breath.
As discussed earlier, Ammonia produced during the breakdown of proteins is eliminated through urination and exhalation, thus contributing to bad breath.
Decreasing your protein intake slightly can improve your breath without letting go of the benefits of the keto diet.
4. Using Mask
Though you know this side effect will not hang around forever, the inconvenience caused due to it can be too difficult to handle even for the short duration for which it lasts.
In case you do not want even the slightest hint of bad breath spoiling your personal relations or your equations with the colleagues, you can adopt keto breath masking strategies until the breath goes away completely.
Masking the breath with the tips given below offers a great way to obtain some relief and help you feel confident in public again.
- Use an all-natural breath spray. However, make sure you choose a spray that doesn’t have carbs in it.
Remember that a wrongly chosen mouth spray can knock you out of ketosis with its carbohydrate content.
- Chew on a pack of sugar-free gum. Make sure you have read the label carefully as some sugar-free gums contain a small number of carbs.
- Use natural breath fresheners such as parsley and mint. Makes sure the freshener is devoid of any harsh chemicals or abrasives.
Chemicals present in breath fresheners can do more damage to your breath by affecting the natural ability of the oral cavity to cleanse itself of bacteria.
Take a sprig of parsley or mint and chew it for as long as you desire. There is hardly any smell that these herbs cannot mask!
- To make your breath smell fresher, add a drop of tea tree oil to your regular toothpaste.
5. Increase Your Carbohydrate Consumption
Yes, you read it right!
You might have to increase your carbohydrate consumption, albeit for a short duration, if the keto breath doesn’t go away.
When you are following a keto diet, the last thing you want to do is increase your carbohydrate consumption.
We all know getting into Ketosis is hard!
And you would not like to spoil the results you have achieved so far by switching back to eating carbs.
Eating carbohydrates may cause your body to stop using fats as its fuel. This can halt the process of ketosis and negate all the benefits you may have achieved to date!
But don’t be disheartened!
You need not increase your carbohydrate content significantly.
If the keto breath persists and does not go away even after trying all other strategies, you can increase the carb content in your diet, but only slightly, and that too just for a few days.
As told earlier, the benefits you will achieve with this diet are too huge to be compromised for something as trivial as the keto breath.
Hence, you can continue with your diet and eat more amount of fats.
The only change needed here to curb bad breath is aiming for 65 to 75 grams of carbs a day as against the usual recommended 20 to 50 grams per day.
This may knock you out of ketosis for a short while but give you a break from the keto breath until your body adapts to using ketones.
But, let this be the last option you want to try for obvious reasons!
Keto breath might be unavoidable, but it is certainly not unavoidable!
Don’t get confused.
But you need not bear with it as you can reduce it by following some simple strategies!
- Combine these strategies using Keto Supplements products to stimulate the ketosis process and lose weight faster.
- Maintaining proper oral hygiene and adopting the tips given above will help you minimize this symptom.
We have already learned what keto breath is and how long does keto breath last. So, when it occurs, welcome it as a positive indication.
And since you know it doesn’t last for too long, you need not worry much about it. All you need to do is take appropriate steps to reduce this side effect.
This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a keto diet and help you lose weight faster without any inconvenience.