Your Ketogenic diet journey had a good start! You are feeling awesome, eating healthy fats all day long, losing weight and feeling that you are unstoppable.
As far as everything goes keto-wise, it's awesome, but as soon as you go to tell anyone about your awesome results and diet, you get moving heads, look of disgust and they cover their nose.
First, you were confused but then you got it, it's the "ketosis breath" or "dragon breath" as some are even calling it. This is one of the first signs of ketosis. Keto diet is good for your waistline, but you might not be able to say the same for your breath.
Ketosis breath is an unfortunate side effect of the keto diet. Keep in mind that it's not just you, it isn't forever, it simply means that you are on the right track with your diet.
There are a simple explanation and even simpler solution for it.
Wondering if You have the ketosis breath?
So you are wondering what does it feel like? How can you smell it by yourself?
Well, everyone describes it differently, but in general ketosis breath is very metallic and in some cases, people have described ketosis breath smelling as mothballs.
Well, go figure. The fact is somewhere between acetone and metallic smell and it's not enjoyable.
Why does ketosis breath happen?
When you are rocking the ketogenic diet, your body cannot utilize carbs as fuel, because, there aren't any. Instead, the liver utilizes the fat in the body as an energy source and producing awesome ketones in the process - this state is called ketosis aka the magical state we all want to be in.
The ketosis breath aka dragon breath is actually just a common side effect of being in ketosis. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath.
And yes, Acetone is the same chemical that can be found in Nail Polish removers and which aren't known for their amazing smell.
So, the good news is that if your breath stinks, you're probably doing a good job of sticking to that dietary needs. While this breath may be less than ideal for your social life, it definitely is a positive sign for your diet.
This is just one side-effect of the keto-flu which means that you are on the right path.
How long does ketosis breath last?
The bad breath usually goes away after some time on the diet, it is not a permanent thing.
The wrong way to deal with ketosis breath
The first reaction to having a bad breath could be either to mask it by using mouthwashes (which may be difficult to do when you are on the go) or go to the nearest store to buy breath freshening gum (which is handy and always with you).
Quick fix for an annoying problem right? Well maybe not. It's a difficult problem to solve because you are still on a ketogenic diet and you need to be extremely aware of the brands of gum you are going to eat.
Yes, chewing gum can consist sugar. Bummer right? The average piece of chewing gum you can find from your mall contains around 3 grams of carbs. These carbs will add up very quickly and before you know it you might have won the battle against ketosis breath because you will be out of ketosis, and that is something we do not want.
The same deal is with popular breath mints. For example, a single Mentos mint contains 3 grams of carbs - basically small nuggets of sugar.
So you need to keep your eye out for keto friendly chewing gum and breath mints. What are they? We will go over them in the next section.
The right way to deal with ketosis breath
The simple answer would be to use sugarfree gum and call it a day, but each brand of gum has its own set of ingredients, but most contain a gum base plus a variety of sugar alcohols, including sorbitol, mannitol or maltitol, artificial flavors and even sweeteners.
One gum for a week may not seem a big deal, but keto dieters need to be aware of the hidden carbs. The bigger your habit the more calories you can get.
We don't think you should need to focus too much on gum research, that's why we did it for you and found several awesome companies who are making keto friendly chewing gum and mints which are perfect for keto dieters and anyone who are on low-carb diets. Some of these brands are:
These brands are made for people who are monitoring their blood sugar levels and everyone else who want to exclude every kind of sugar and carbs from their diet.
All of them contain xylitol and are recommended by dentists due to their oral health benefits and ability to clean teeth.
If you are a gum addict and following low carb diets like keto diet then consider changing your usual brands for sugar-free brands, before you get the dragon breath.
This is the simplest way to get rid of the annoying problem called ketosis breath.
Alex is editor in chief of Bodyketosis, an author, low-carb enthusiast and a recovering chubby guy who reclaimed his health using the ketogenic lifestyle. The need for the keto life began after his aunt and cousin were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and he was next in line. Through personal experience and extensive scientific research, Alex offers insightful tips for everything keto.