very bad breath during (intermittent) fasting

Answered on January 06, 2014
Created January 05, 2014 at 7:43 PM

when i'm in a fast i get really bad breath.

most of the time i fast for 16-20 hours.

what can it be? detoxification, ketosis, or someting else?




on January 05, 2014
at 08:46 PM

How much protein are you eating? I find my breath is better if I have more fat and less protein.



on January 05, 2014
at 07:56 PM

Are you drinking enough water? I find that when I'm fasting, I don't drink enough and that can lead to a dry mouth and nasty bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Drink plenty of water and don't be afraid to put a little lemon in it, also to attack that bacteria. I'm sure the detoxing can also have something to do with it!

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4 Answers



on January 06, 2014
at 03:24 PM

You're in ketosis, but your body isn't yet adapted to burning ketones (and fat), it will go away after a while if you stick to it, once it does, you'll know you're fat adapted. You might even experience the dreaded "low carb flu" until you adapt, but stick with it, it's worth it.


on January 06, 2014
at 06:51 AM

You may have to mask it by chewing a lot of gum!


on January 06, 2014
at 03:39 AM

I would bet on Ketosis. It is also almost impossible to mask this problem. Drinking large amounts of water will help.


on January 05, 2014
at 10:10 PM

You might be running into halitosis from being in ketosis. It's a common side-affect of a low/no-carb diet for a lot of people and if you're already on the edge of operating full time in ketosis, your fasting might be bumping you over into it enough to release a lot of the ketone chemicals. Not everyone gets it, but when it does happen it's nasty stuff. It's just one of those side-affects that not many health nuts talk about because it's yucky and would scare people away from their diet.

From what I understand, there are very few if any ways to solve the problem if the above is true. It's simply a reality of the body consuming fat as energy and releasing ketones. I've never gotten this symptom (knock on wood) so I don't know exactly how to mask it, but WebMD suggestions drinking a lot of water in the attempt to dilute the ketones and flush them out via urine. Chewing on fresh parsley (Ooo... I wonder if Cilantro would do the same. YUM!), aside from being yummy, is another way to help mask the symptom. Chewing gum, mints, lozenges, etc... (sugar free and perhaps with xylitol) can also help mask the scent.

Good luck!

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