Fasting 101: Do Electrolytes BREAK a Fast or HELP?!

Fasting 101: Do Electrolytes BREAK a Fast or HELP?!

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this video is all about which electrolytes need to focus on the most during your fasting regiment whether it’s intermittent fasting or prolonged fasting so we’re gonna cover sodium we’re gonna cover potassium we’re going to cover magnesium we’re gonna cover what you need to be concerned with and when you’re gonna become deficient in one over the other you’re gonna have a full guide as to well whether or not you should be taking in electrolytes during your fast and if it’s gonna boost your health and it’s gonna boost your result so let’s go ahead and let’s jump in but first please do make sure you hit that red subscribe button and please do hit that Bell icon do you always get notifications we post new videos on the daily so I want to start with a study of the American Journal of Medicine published okay they found during a fasting state that potassium is excreted the fastest we lose potassium the fastest early on in a fast usually around 500 to 600 milligrams in a given day okay then the next step is going to be sodium that we lose okay we lose between three and four hundred milligrams of sodium in a day during a fast okay then when we look at magnesium we lose between one and two hundred milligrams during a day during it fast now does that mean the potassium is more important than magnesium or sodium not at all okay here’s the thing these are all depleted at faster rates early on in the fast as a fast went on the body tends to adapt and actually learn to preserve the minerals because it figures out what’s going on when it first starts out and it’s a shock you lose a lot of minerals so in essence minerals are actually most important at the beginning of your fast and if you’re someone that’s doing a short fast like sixteen eight or you know an 18 hour fast even considered short electrolytes are gonna be much more important to you than to someone that’s actually doing a longer fast because their body’s going to adapt to it eventually now a very important thing to note is that sodium is going to be what allows you to hold on to water which is going to be what allows you to hold on to all those minerals so even if you lose potassium at a faster rate potentially you run more risk if you start losing sodium so as you start to lose that sodium while other minerals are going to follow but how does this actually affect the efficacy and the overall result of your fast well when you’re fasting your insulin levels are lower and that means that your kidneys naturally expel more water so you lose your minerals of course but when adding minerals back in actually give you a crutch and make the fast easier here’s what we have to remember fasting is supposed to be difficult it’s supposed to be stressful that’s actually the reason we do it it’s an adaptive system just like going to the gym you elicit stress on yourself so you get stronger fasting you abstain from food so your metabolism gets stronger and more resilient so by giving yourself electrolytes some would argue that you’re actually giving yourself a crutch I’m beg to differ you see electrolytes are critical in the contraction of our muscles energy production ATP neurons firing action potential okay all scientific jargon nerdy stuff we need it to create energy if we have the electrolytes available to create energy one could argue that during a fast you’re creating more energy which therefore means burning more calories during your fast which therefore means more liberation of fatty acids which means more gene expression means all kinds of nerdy things down the line so if we can create more energy during our fast we get more benefit out of the fast because we’re not just laying there like a dead fish just waiting for the fast to end we’re actually burning something that’s what we all want so let’s talk sodium for just a second sodium is responsible for fluid volume okay inside the cell and outside the cell however it mostly hangs out outside the cell I don’t want to go into a lot of super nerdy stuff because you’re not here for that the fact is sodium is required for potassium to do its job we’re going to talk about in a little bit so without sodium and potassium doesn’t really work right we need three ions of sodium for two potassium ions to really do their job so you see me actually need more sodium just for a little bit of potassium point is it’s very important but the big thing that I want to focus on which is actually pretty simple is blood volume and fluid volume okay when we’re fasting we want to go through a recycling process we want more blood volume because we want more blood to be able to deliver waste to the liver to get processed to excrete during our fast we’re cleansing ourselves well if you have low blood volume because your sodium levels are low well that’s less blood pressure less blood volume actually delivering stuff that needs to get processed if you have some sodium in and you have more blood volume there you go do the math another super important thing to remember is that as soon as you’re active you’re gonna burn through sodium like crazy the moment you break a sweat your sodium levels are going to deplete faster than your other minerals so even though sodium doesn’t deplete as fast as potassium it’s going to start depleting faster the moment you exercise so again the American Journal of Medicine study was really looking at resting individuals so it wasn’t necessarily directly translatable the big thing that I also want people to remember with sodium is that there’s also neurological situations that are going on there we have these things called NST receptors in the gut that can actually communicate with our brain so sometimes when we’re craving sweet things we’re really just craving salt so if you have a little bit of salt you can sort of hypothesize that you’d end up getting a little bit of satiation I know it works with me so when I’m hungry on a fast I have some salt and suddenly my brain isn’t hungry anymore what my body is still burning fat also just FYI I’ve talked about Redmond real salt before in lots of my videos talking about using them during a fast they do have an electrolyte formula that I would recommend I linked out to it down below so it uses their Redmond real salt which is mined in Utah in the United States super-clean lower sulfur content also has a good taste but then they’ve combined it with potassium magnesium and they’ve got the ratios down pretty solid so the link down below to Redmond rely okay that way you’re gonna be able to use it during your fast definitely definitely recommend it in their big sponsor this channel so thank you Redmond for extending this to my audience now I want to talk to TAS iam because potassium is probably my favorite mineral I think magnesium is the most underrated probably the most important but spoiler alert but potassium is definitely my favorite because so interesting it’s like a reset button and what do I mean by that well from a nervous system standpoint in order to fire we need potassium to pull the slingshot back so when we’re looking at creating energy what happens is sodium rushes into a cell okay it rushes in and it triggers this action potential it rushes in right well sodium let’s put it this way it’s not really smart enough to retract itself so it relies on potassium to pull the sodium back out of the cell and boom action potential never firing so sodium is just kind of like the big dumb strong guy that requires the smart potassium to pull it out it’s kind of interesting so it’s like computer being able to refresh right if you click that refresh button and it goes slow that’s because you don’t have potassium there to really make it refresh or reset faster this is fascinating to me because if you’re someone that’s moving around if you’re someone that’s even somewhat athletic or someone that’s just barely working out even a little bit potassium can be super important for you we want that stronger action potential we want that stronger firing so we burn more energy and ultimately burn more fat in our fasted State and remember this is for short-term fast so I really think the potassium is underrated when it comes down to how important it is now moving into magnesium magnesium is involved in over 350 different enzymatic processes it’s a cofactor for so many things in the body and I will say most of us are already starting out in a deficient state of magnesium so although we don’t lose as much as the other minerals since we’re starting from a lower point I think we are at the most risk with magnesium here’s where we run into a little bit of a problem magnesium is relaxing it relaxes muscles that’s why we take it for cramps it relaxes smooth intestinal tissue that’s why we take it as a laxative so it gets a bad rap in the hard core fasting community and here’s why when you’re fasting you’re trying to get stressed okay you’re trying to get epinephrine and norepinephrine firing because you’re stressed from not eating your heart rate increases and all this stuff happens that’s what allows you to burn fat is the fact that your body is triggering a stress-response because it’s starving so if magnesium is relaxing one could argue that we’re actually negating the effects of the fast and that actually makes sense but when you actually dive into the research it’s really alarming so yes there was a study published in the journal hypertension that found that magnesium inhibited epinephrine well that answers that right no epinephrine no fat burning wrong there was a study published in the journal anesthesiology that took it one step further they found that magnesium did decrease norepinephrine levels but only at the hypertensive level not at the cardio tonic level for those of you there are total science nor do you know what that means but for the layman that’s really cool that means that yes it relaxes your blood vessels and allows more blood flow yes it relaxes your muscles and allows you to be relaxed and move better but it does not relax the cardio tonic facts of epinephrine on the heart meaning your heart will still be faster meaning you will still burn fat and go through that beta oxidation that is music to my ears so magnesium just continues to wow me I have plenty of videos on magnesium because I can go on and on and on about it so in this order you need to be prioritizing your minerals during a fast sodium magnesium and then potassium because magnesium is going to allow you to be relaxed and make better decisions potassium is going to allow you to ultimately be able to contract your muscles more and potentially burn more fat and sodium in the largest amount is going to allow you to keep that blood volume up so you can move and so you can ultimately get through those methods of cellular cleaning that you’re trying to get through so make sure that you get them all in because they’re all going to be important [Music] 

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Fasting 101: Do Electrolytes BREAK a Fast or HELP?!

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Electrolyte Depletion During Fasting

Study – The American Journal of Medicine

This study, entitled, “Fasting—A review with emphasis on the electrolytes” stated that:

Potassium excretion is rapid during the early part of fasting and then tapers off to a constant level of about 10 to 15 mEq/day = 390 to 585mg/day

Sodium excretion is also enhanced early in fasting, declining progressively to between 1 and 15 mEq/day = 23 to 345mg/day (losses that persist even through prolonged caloric deprivation)

During a prolonged fast, your kidneys can excrete magnesium quite quickly – in a study from the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the kidneys of participants on a 2 month fast, were excreting magnesium at a rate 4-5 times higher than normal

The average magnesium loss per day when it comes to fasting (typically) ranges from ~80mg to ~200mg (per The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, respectively)


When we have lower insulin levels, our kidneys excrete more sodium, which can lead to a lower sodium/potassium ratio – sodium is the major cation (positively charged ion) found outside the cell and regulates the total amount of water in the body


Potassium is dependent on sodium to be effective…

In water, potassium (K) ionizes and gains one positive charge (K+)

This property allows potassium concentration gradients to create electric currents that are absolutely required for muscle cells (skeletal, intestinal, & cardiac) to contract and for neurons to fire action potentials and communicate with each other.

Potassium and Neuron/Nerve Function – “Reset Button” Analogy

Neurons and nerves work by firing electrical signals to one another called “action potentials.” To create these action potentials, they need to create an electrical current, which they do by changing the concentrations of ions – sodium and potassium – across their cell membranes to change “electrochemical gradients” and, thereby, change voltage.

By letting potassium out of the cell (potassium is more concentrated inside cells than outside cells, while sodium is the opposite), the neuron resets its voltage so it can fire another action potential.


Magnesium, as we know, is a cofactor in over 350 enzymatic reactions in the body – it also plays a role in transporting calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes


What is called ATP is often actually Mg-ATP

Magnesium vs Norepinephrine & Epinephrine

Per a study in the Journal Hypertension, magnesium blocks mainly N-type calcium channels at nerve endings, and thus inhibits norepinephrine release, which decreases blood pressure

Another study, published in Anesthesiology, found that magnesium inhibits the hypertensive but not the cardiotonic actions of low-dose epinephrine

Additional References
Fasting Guides

How to do Intermittent Fasting: Complete Guide:

Complete Women’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting:

Fasting Guidelines: What You CAN and CANNOT Drink:

Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student:

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