Keto & Carnivore: Electrolytes, Water Retention & More

Keto & Carnivore: Electrolytes, Water Retention & More

New video is out, this is the full video–slightly over an hour. I you prefer to watch on YouTube, please do.

Vanessa is an excellent interviewer, who a lot of fun to talk to. She knows the material really well and asked some awesome questions. We had a nice chat. We covered a lot of subjects that covers electrolytes, hydration, edema, protein consumption, and a lot more.

I hope you enjoy the discussion.

If you have any questions, please ask here or post a comment at YouTube. I answer questions there as well as here.

Comments are welcomed and are monitored for appropriateness


About Angela A Stanton, Ph.D.

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist focusing on chronic pain--migraine in particular--physiology, electrolyte homeostasis, nutrition, and genetics. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention, and treatment without the use of medicine. As a forever migraineur from childhood, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic variations of all voltage dependent channels, gates, and pumps (chanelopathy) that modulate electrolyte mineral density and voltage in the brain. In addition, insulin and glucose transporters, and several other variants, such as MTHFR variants of B vitamin methylation process and many others are different in the case of a migraineur from the general population. Migraineurs are glucose sensitive (carbohydrate intolerant) and should avoid eating carbs as much as possible. She is working on her hypothesis that migraine is a metabolic disease. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and her helping over 5000 migraineurs successfully prevent their migraines world wide, all ages and both genders, and all types of migraines, she published the 2nd (extended) edition of her migraine book "Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: Complete Guide: How To Treat & Prevent Migraines Without Medications". The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraine cause, development, and prevention, incorporating all there is to know. It includes a long section for medical and research professionals. The book is full of academic citations (over 800) to authenticate the statements she makes to make it easy to follow up by those interested and to spark further research interest. It is a "Complete Guide", published on September 29, 2017. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in Economics with dissertation in neuroscience (culminating in Neuroeconomics) at Claremont Graduate University, fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers, certification in LCHF/ketogenic diet from NN (Nutrition Network), certification in physiology (UPEN via Coursea), Nutrition (Harvard Shool of Public Health) and functional medicine studies. Dr. Stanton is an avid sports fan, currently power weight lifting and kickboxing. For relaxation (yeah.. about a half minute each day), she paints and photographs and loves to spend time with her family of husband of 45 years, 2 sons and their wives, and 2 granddaughters. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook, LinkedIn at and facebook at
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5 Responses to Keto & Carnivore: Electrolytes, Water Retention & More

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  2. Charles says:

    Really enjoyed this podcast!! Super helpful. I have been low/zero carb for a couple of years now and still don’t feel like I have my electrolytes and hydration figured out. You gave some really helpful suggestions I am going to experiment with.

    You mention that meat has quite a bit of potassium, but that many databases don’t show the correct numbers. Can you provide a reference to where I can find accurate figures for potassium in different meat? I have a hard time thinking one can achieve 1:1 potassium:sodium without supplementation if one is carnivore and not eating over 3lbs of meat. I was thinking 1lb of meat had close to 1g of potassium. Since you are suggesting 5-8g of sodium, how can one get 5-8g of potassium without supplementing assuming carnivore?

    Also, if one is following an eating pattern you mentioned (every 36 hours or so), do you supplement sodium during days you are not eating? If so, how about potassium? How will you achieve a 1:1 ratio?

    Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charles,

      Thanks for your great questions on the potassium to sodium balance. First, a bit on this balance before I get into meet-potassium and meat specifics: There are 2 types of sodium-consumption for migraineurs and only one of the two counts toward the balance.

      1) Eating potassium to sodium ratio in the food–this is 1:1
      2) Taking extra sodium throughout the day with water–this is outside of the ratio–this is the total I was referring to

      So, for example, 100 gr (3.5 oz) ribeye steak (USDA: has 409 mg potassium. Assume you eat 200 gr (7 oz), which is smaller than what you probably eat in one sitting, but just for the sake of example, is 818 mg potassium. This is food you eat so this you would match with 818 mg sodium.

      2400 mg sodium is 1 teaspoon of finely grated salt, so the amount of salt you would need is about 1/3rd teaspoon to match this amount of ribeye. If you use larger salt crystals, weigh the salt.

      However, the water you drink throughout the day also get salt. In the case of a migraineur, in my group most use 300 mg sodium (1/8th teaspoon finely grated salt) per 8 oz cup of water. Some migraineurs drink this much sodium with every second glass of water and some with every glass–this is individual and is best experimented with trial and error. I need even more salt than this. I use a salt supplement I designed (see here:, which has 360 mg sodium per capsule, and I take one with every glass of water.

      The amount of water you need is discussed in the video as well. The formula for the minimum daily water need for women is 55% of the weight in pounds and for men it is 75%. So, for you, assume you weigh 150 lbs, then your minimum water need a day is 150*0.75=112.5–round up to 113 oz water, which is 14 cups, where each cup is 8 oz. Your maximum at 150 lbs woudl be 150 ox, which is 18.75 (round to 18) cups of water. So you would drink between the minimum and maximum depending on your activity and you would take 300 mg sodium with either every second cup or every cup, if you were a migraineur.

      For non-migraineurs, the amount of salt is less, but it still needs a trial and error to see what is most comfortable, given the amount of water you need to drink and that you don’t want to dilute your electrolyte.

      So, as you see, the 5-10gr sodium (sodium is 40% of salt) discussed in the video represents the total sodium for the day, food matched with potassium + what we add to water.

      Now, in terms of the place where to find how much potassium is in the meant: I used Cronometer but there are other apps, and, of course, you can always use the USDA. The trick in all of these is to always select the data that is “standard” and not brand name. Most brand name items lack micronutrient information in the USDA and all apps you can get today use the USDA as the backbone. So no matter what kind of steak-brand you eat, or how organic or grass fed it is, it is best to look for the generic of that beef cut in the database and use that for your micronutrients. Each cut of meat also has very different nutrients, and, for example, if you buy meat that is already ground versus you buy a cut of meat and the butcher grinds it for you, the ingredients are different.

      For example, I never ever buy pre-ground and packaged ground beef for burgers because I know there is mixed meat in there. I usually buy a large chuck roast piece and eitehr have the butcher grind it for me right there and then (I lose some meat in the grinder that I have to pay for) or I bring it home to grind it in my grinder (loads of work). However, this way I know what I am eating…

      In terms f supplementing potassium: never. You may want to read my article on that here:

      I hope this helps. 🙂 Good luck!


      • Charles says:

        Wow! This is super helpful! Thanks for the detailed response.

        I think my only follow up question has to do with the total amount of potassium needed/desired in a day. Is there a certain amount we need to aim for from food? I know RDA has been lowered to ~3.5g/day. Is this what we should target? If so, how to do this with a carnivore diet if you are not eating over 3lbs of meat a day?

        Oh, and one more I just thought of if you have an idea: I often wake up feeling good as far as my stomach/GI, but as soon as I start drinking I get a lot of water in my stomach. It feels like I always have a ton of water in my gut throughout the day – especially if fasting. Any idea on this? I have always assumed it was an electrolyte thing. It seems to happen with and without salt?


        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Charles,

          There is only the USDA guideline to guide us for the amount of potassium we need, but I think that the balance between potassium and sodium is much more important than how much of each we consume. Like take days of fasting, we don;t consume any potassium though many of us consume salt with our water, and we are totally fine. And that’s because we don;t evaporate potassium like we evaporate salt. And our body is very adapt at retaining potassium and reusing it–salt too apparently. So I am not concerned with the specific potassium amount consumed at all. I am watching the ratio more but even that fails when fasting multiple days. 🙂

          In terms of water in your stomach; not sure I have heard that before. It may be a temporary glitch in the digestive system or maybe there is something in the water that you are not aware of that holds up its digestion. If you drink tap water, you may want to have it tested. If bottled, you may want to change brands to check. Some famously touted water–such as alkaline or ionized water–is actually harmful so if you drink that type, switch to regular water.

          It may also be possible that you are drinking water at the wrong times–like with a meal, when your stomach is digesting other things… I see you joined my FB group, so this is something we can address there. 🙂



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