If you are into diets and nutrition, you have probably heard of ketosis and the fantastic benefits this diet can have on your body and wellbeing. However, there are also some side effects that not many are so willing to talk about. One of these is the infamous keto body odor.
The keto diet can cause body odor to become stronger and more intense. This condition mostly affects the smell of sweat, armpits, breath, urine, and genitals. It is caused by acetone and sulfur, two chemicals produced by the body when it enters ketosis, and usually fades away once your body adapts.
If you have recently noticed that your body odor has changed since you started the keto diet, don’t worry. While it doesn’t happen for everyone, it is a common enough side effect to know that nothing is wrong. To put your mind at ease, let’s see what keto odor is and what solutions you could implement.
What Does The Keto Diet Do To Your Body?
The keto diet has been internationally recognized for incredible benefits on the body, weight, and general wellbeing. What was initially conceptualized as a treatment for epilepsy in children has turned into one of the best solutions for shedding extra weight and helping ease the symptoms of multiple other conditions.
Similarly to the Atkins diet, keto is an extremely low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat nutritional plan. While on a standard diet, your body transforms carbs into glucose. On a keto diet, it runs on fat instead of glucose. The healthy fats you consume are converted into energy through the process of ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state through which the body processes fatty acids through the liver, which then become ketones – the primary energy source for the body. Our body naturally enters ketosis when following a diet with less than 50g of carbs per day.
However, in the process, acetones (a type of ketone) are also created and released in the body.
You can learn more about ketosis in the video below:
Diet And Body Odor
The keto diet is not the only way of eating that can change how you usually smell. Indeed, studies have shown that individuals who tend to eat a lot of red meat are considered to have a less attractive odor than those on a “non-meat” diet. Other sources show us that certain foods, such as alcohol, caffeine, chili peppers, garlic, and onion, can also impact the way we smell.
It is noticeable that our diet has a direct impact on how we smell. Unfortunately, being in ketosis might make it even more noticeable because of the chemicals released in the body by a different metabolic process.
A Different Odor Likely Means Keto Is Working
As we have seen, different body odor is caused by ketosis. But this is not the only way for you to confirm that you have achieved this state. Indeed, losing weight, feeling more energized, and being less hungry during the day are all signs that your body is adapting.
Nonetheless, some side effects of this diet have become noticeable, especially during the phase in which your body adapts to the new nutritional regime. Below you will find out what to expect from the first weeks after starting the keto diet.
Keto Breath, Urine, And Sweat
Many users have reported that their smell and body odor changed once they began keto. However, this is particularly noticeable in the breath (known as keto breath), urine, and sweat.
In both cases, the change in scent is caused by the body expelling ketones from your breath, urine, and sweat. However, since these ketones also include acetone, you will start noticing this pungent smell. Indeed, acetone is one of the main ingredients in nail polish – you will be able to recognize the scent!
There are not many studies that prove that acetone is the primary agent responsible for the smell. However, it has been established that a change in your diet corresponds to a personal odor shift in general.
Another issue that could arise during your first weeks on the keto diet is Keto Crotch. Numerous people following this diet have reported that they noticed an unpleasant vaginal smell and discharge not long after they began.
This condition is usually just temporary, and not many studies have been completed on it. However, this may derive from a variation in the vaginal pH. This acidity level, which should be around 4.5 at its normal level, is usually as high as 5.1 in people following a low-carb diet.
This condition, also known as Bacterial Vaginosis, might be the cause of the unpleasant smell. If you notice this odor, you should be aware that it should fade away after the first weeks on the keto diet. And, once you have stopped the diet, it should go away in a matter of days. If it does not, it is recommendable to check in with your doctor.
Keto Body Odor: Solutions And Remedies
Give Your Body Time To Adapt
Generally, the unpleasant odor you experience is something you’ll only have to put up with during the first weeks of the keto diet. This is when the body switches from carbs to fats as its first source of energy.
Moreover, your body will start expelling toxins and will go through a moment of detoxification. Alongside keto body odor, you are also likely to experience conditions such as keto flu during this time.
You can click here to learn about the 12 most common side effects of keto.
Try Natural Deodorants
They might all be temporary conditions that you experience only in the adaptation phase that your body goes through at the beginning of your diet. Still, you might decide to look into some solutions.
In some forums, users have suggested that natural magnesium deodorant can help fight the initial keto odor. While there are no studies about this solution, it is possible that magnesium can help fight the odor. Of course, a healthy hygiene routine is also recommendable.
Change Your Diet
Nobody who has experienced the keto diet’s health benefits would want to stop and interrupt the progress. But, people following the keto diet should keep in mind that the keto flu and the body odor are conditions that should fade away after the initial adaptation period.
If this does not happen, your body might be struggling to adapt, and you might need to consider whether to interrupt the diet and speak to a nutritionist!
Consult Your Doctor
Changing your nutritional regimen – no matter to what diet – can be a critical decision. It can significantly impact your body and mind, and it is always worth checking with your doctor before deciding.
Indeed, the same diet might not be as beneficial or efficient for two people. Depending on your existing conditions and health issues, such as diabetes types 1 and 2, you should find a diet that can help you live healthily.
While the keto diet offers unparalleled benefits, the first weeks – known as the adaptation period – comes with downsides such as Keto-Flu, diarrhea, or constipation. Most of these symptoms will disappear once your body adapts to the new way of eating, but it is always worth checking with a nutritionist or doctor before starting your new diet.
Keto is one of the most effective diets if you are trying to lose weight and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Its many benefits are internationally recognized, and you can be sure to achieve the body goals you have in mind. However, it does not come without certain downsides that are worth considering.
Among these, you might notice an unpleasant smell serving from sweat, urine, armpits, breath, and genitals. This happens because, when in ketosis, the body releases acetone – a type of ketones – which is expelled through urine and sweat. Luckily, the keto downsides will only last for a few weeks!
Will the keto diet make me constipated? Keto may cause constipation because, for many people, carbohydrates in the form of fruits and grains were the only fiber sources they had in their diet. Not having a good source of fiber in your diet can cause you to become backed up.
Does keto cause your feet to swell? Keto makes your feet swell due to the electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, which may cause your body to begin retaining water. This is especially likely to happen if your ketogenic diet involves low potassium intake. However, it does not occur in every case.
What is keto rash? Keto rash is an itchy rash that appears on both sides of your body. It is most commonly seen on the neck, chest, armpits, or back.
- PubMed: The ketogenic diet: a 3- to 6-year follow-up of 150 children enrolled prospectively
- IUPUI’s School of Science: Keto Ketosis Information
- Oxford Academic: The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness
- WebMD: 6 Tips for Reducing Body Odor
- University of New England: The Ketogenic Diet: The Effects You’d Yeast Expect
- Clinical Chemistry: Breath Acetone as a Measure of Systemic Ketosis Assessed in a Rat Model of the Ketogenic Diet
- Medical News Today: Is keto crotch real?
- PMC: Dietary Intake of Selected Nutrients Affects Bacterial Vaginosis in Women
- Mayo Clinic: Bacterial vaginosis
- Ketogenic Forums: Magnesium Deodorant
- Harvard Health Publishing: What is Keto Flu
- Mayo Clinic: Diabetic ketoacidosis