Ketosis, increased water consumption and headaches

I have been aware for years that if I develop a headache it is either because I haven’t had coffee for more than a day or it is because I am dehydrated. In the latter case a glass of water resolves the issue.

I have read that when you are in ketosis, from low carbing, and therefore burning fat, it is a good idea to up your consumption of water to flush the ketones.

The issue I am having is that every time I increase my water consumption, I am ending up with a headache.
I’d love to know what causes this, but googling for the matter is not helping. The results I get from searching, for variations on this subject matter, all cover dehydration and the “should drink lot’s of water” versus “should drink moderate water” debate.

I have not found one single article discussing headaches resulting from increasing water intake.

I’d like to know if anyone else experiences this and I would like to know what causes this bizarre reaction.

Most odd.



  1. Tracie said,

    February 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I have increased water intake extremely for 4 days, I have had an almost debilitating headache for the last 3. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I’d be interested to know if you find anything out, thanks

    • coralf said,

      February 9, 2012 at 10:31 am

      What is interesting is the search terms finding this article!

      “increased water intake headache”, “headache increased water consumption”, etc

      Also we don’t appear to be the only two:-

      • Tracie said,

        February 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

        I’m thinking it was just a coincidence for me, just found out my BP is way up, so I’m sure that’s what’s causing mine.

      • coralf said,

        February 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

        As a matter of interest, I did find research articles discussing that increased water consumption temporarily increases BP slightly! I didn’t bookmark the study though!

      • Tracie said,

        February 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm


      • coralf said,

        February 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm

        Here is one study: Doubling of water intake increases daytime blood pressure and reduces vertigo in healthy subjects

        On the other hand, as usual, there are contradictory studies 🙂

        Thanks for your comments.

  2. Pam said,

    June 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Excess water intake can cause hyponatremia which can give you headaches. If you do a search on that word, you’ll get a lot of information.

    • coralf said,

      June 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks for sharing that.

      I will investigate more, but a quick google was enlightning.

      In the context of low carbing and ketosis where water increased water consumtion is adviced, I guess that would be why so many are encouraged to increase salt intake.

      I continue to be shocked by how many hits this particular blog post gets.

      • D said,

        May 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        I think it be caused by your body releasing toxins with the increased water intake. Water helps the body detox and detoxing symptoms include headaches.

  3. Anonymous said,

    February 17, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Increasing water = increasing blood volume = increasing blood pressure = higher blood pressure in head especially during active headache

    • coralf said,

      February 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      That makes a lot of sense

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