At the beginning of the ketogenic diet, some people may experience a funky smell on their breath. Some describe it as fruity or alcohol-like smell. However you describe it, it’s often known as keto breath or ketosis breath.
Here’s the good news: keto breath is temporary! And it’s actually a good sign. But if you can’t stand to wait, below you’ll learn how to actually get rid of keto breath.
When you begin a ketogenic diet and drop your carb intake very low, you begin teaching your body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs. We call this entering the Keto Zone.
When you start entering the Zone, your body starts making ketones as a side effect of fat burning. These ketones can spill out of your body in several ways:
Related post: How to Test Your Ketone Levels
Keto breath happens when the ketone acetone exits through your breath. If you took a keto breathalyzer test, they’d show up on it. It’s a good sign because it means you’re entering ketosis! And thankfully, the keto breath smell goes away once your body adjusts to its new fat burning mode.
If you want to get rid of the pesky keto breath right away, here are some things you can do:
Sugar-sweetened breath freshening products aren’t keto friendly because they’re typically high in carbs. So look for mints, gum, or mouthwash sweetened with natural sugar substitutes like Pur and Spry gum. You can also try breath capsules made with parsley oil.
For a more natural route, chew on aromatic plants like raw parsley, mint, or rosemary leaves, fennel seeds, or even whole cinnamon or cloves. If you oil pull, you might add some high-quality peppermint essential oil to the coconut oil for extra freshening power.
You should do this anyway to prevent dehydration on a keto diet, but it may also help keep saliva flowing and reduce keto breath. Aim for eight glasses per day.
High-protein intake can also sometimes cause bad breath. This is because the body produces ammonia when it breaks down protein. An excess of protein can cause ammonia in the urine and on the breath.
On a ketogenic diet, you don’t need a high amount or protein—in fact, it can interfere with ketosis! Focus on eating mostly fats that your body can use for energy, and stick to a moderate protein intake.
Bad oral health can also cause bad breath, unrelated to how to get rid of keto breath. Make sure yours is in tip top shape by:
You might also be eating a lot more cruciferous keto vegetables like leeks, onions, and garlic on the keto diet. These can cause a pungent odor in the breath. Using the tips in the article can help reduce that too.
Remember, keto breath goes away with time, usually after a few weeks. Don’t let keto breath discourage you from staying on a healthy keto diet. Keep going, and give it time to subside!