by Kris Pitcher
I've been on the giving end of a lot of conversations which began with, "Can I tell you something that might be difficult for you to hear?" This conversation did not begin like that.
"Your breath has been getting progressively worse." He said. Yes, my jaw dropped and I felt like I was standing naked right there in the weight room where this news was broken to me. Naked!
It happened to be a Monday night, the busiest night in the history of gym goers. Close quarters. Bad news...bad breath!
"But at least we know you're in ketosis..." He pedaled...backward. Oh my GAWD! I wondered what I was going to do about this! I used to work with a lady who ate horribly. But to her credit, she never ate any carbs...her ketosis breath could fill the entire office. I'M THAT STANK BREATH LADY!!!
When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs daily, you're considered to be on a low carb diet. The idea is to get your body to use fat for fuel. Your body produces ketones in the process of converting that fat, and as excessive ketones build up...up comes the bad breath.
He didn't want to tell me. Umm, you need to tell me. If you don't tell me, who's going to tell me? I can't smell it. Now I'm afraid to speak, or breathe near anyone. My lips are sealed! I'm holding my breath right now!
What can you do? Well, some would suggest mints or gum. But I'm on a no artificial sweetener prep by choice. So, if you don't mind some sugar alcohols, by all means get some gum. Next up, drink your water.
Dry mouth can be associated with this and the water not only helps to flush the build up of ketones, but also keeps the bacteria in your mouth low by keeping it moist. You can use mouthwash. But stay away from alcohol based washes...alcohol dries the mouth and that gets you right where you started.
Chewing fresh parsley sprigs helps. The oils in the plant are a natural neutralizer. I'm chewing parsley following my meals and as needed. Fennel seeds are also a good natural deodorizer. Believe me, I don't care if I have seeds or parsley in my teeth if it helps my breath.
You can also use peppermint oil, sparingly. Essential oil can be ingested and is used in natural gums, but you don't want to be downing lots of it. A drop on the tongue will freshen your breath.
These things along with really good oral hygiene will help to keep your ketosis breath in check. One recommendation from the "experts" is to add more carbs to your diet...now, that just won't work! Here's to hoping this gets better, because I'm in if for the long haul!