If you're interested in trying the keto diet for the first time, you've probably heard about some possible ways that your body can react to the eating plan. While rapid weight loss and higher levels of energy are certainly positive side effects, it's good to educate yourself about the not-so-great ones, too. So without further ado, it's time to meet keto breath.
What is keto breath?
Keto breath is an unpleasant smell from your mouth that often happens shortly after you start the diet. As you might be aware, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat plan designed to help your body get energy from fats instead of carbs. This is called going into ketosis, a process in which your body turns these fats into ketone bodies. These ketone bodies can sometimes be detected on your breath, especially when you're producing a lot of them, according to Perfect Keto.
So what does keto breath smell like? Well, let's just say it's not like the bad breath you're probably used to smelling. Some keto dieters say their breath has a metallic smell to it. Other folks report a pungent, acidic scent. Yet others say their breath smells fruity. No matter what keto breath smells like for a specific person, you can pretty much guarantee that it'll be a very distinct and strong odor. The one piece of good news? Studies have shown that keto breath is a sure-fire sign you're in ketosis — aka, you're doing the diet correctly.
How to Get Rid of Keto Breath
We know it's a small comfort to hear that you're following your diet properly, only to be rewarded with some stinky breath as a result. But the Mayo Clinic says keto breath is one of the most common side effects of ketosis, so you're not alone if you have it. You might be happy to know that keto breath usually goes away after your body has gotten used to the diet. That said, if you're having trouble kicking the stench, there are a few ways to treat it as you wait for your body to adjust.
- Make sure you're not eating too much protein. If you unintentionally eat more protein than your body is able to digest, your gut might ferment it, which can release a pungent smell through your mouth.
- Opt for natural breath fresheners over mints or gums. Lots of mints and gums contain carbs, including sugar-free fresheners. Perfect Keto suggests using natural herbs and spices like cinnamon, rosemary, and fennel seeds instead.
- Be sure you're drinking enough water. H2O is important for everyone, but it's especially important for keto dieters to hydrate often. Dehydration is a common side effect of any low-carb diet, and you're not doing your breath any favors by leaving it dry in the meantime.
- Take good care of your teeth. Again, this is something that everyone should be doing, but it never hurts for a keto dieter to add a little TLC to the brushing-and-flossing routine. Plus: Be sure to rule out bad dental hygiene habits before you blame your diet for smelly breath.
Remember, always talk to your doctor before starting any new plan, especially one as restrictive as keto.