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TOPIC: High protein, low carb diet... headaches?

 
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November 16, 2011 8:07 AM
I started a high protein diet for a strength training regime yesterday. I've been drinking a lot of water, but yesterday after lunch, I got this headache that lasted for a few hours. I was wondering if anyone has had something similar happen to them when they start a high protein diet? I probably at about 90 grams of protein by lunchtime.

I'm also feeling really warm all the time. Is that normal?

Sorry, it's just changes I've been noticing the last day or two and since my diet and exercise are the only things that have changed, I feel that it could be related. Thanks!
  3597285
November 16, 2011 8:14 AM
My guess is that it's coincidence and not related to the increase in protein.
November 16, 2011 8:15 AM
Simple carbs are addictive. Taking them away will result in side effects. Same as if you took away caffeine or any other drug/addiction. Headaches, weak, irratable... all that... it goes away but can take a week. You are detoxing. It sounds crazy but simple carbs do that to you! I am off simple carbs. Only have complex period. Same with sugar. And I also cut out caffeine! Good luck.
November 16, 2011 8:15 AM
Just a thought, what are your protein sources? If you are using a whey protein to supplement, perhaps it's related to the artificial sweetener?
November 16, 2011 8:16 AM
QUOTE:

Simple carbs are addictive. Taking them away will result in side effects. Same as if you took away caffeine or any other drug/addiction. Headaches, weak, irratable... all that... it goes away but can take a week. You are detoxing. It sounds crazy but simple carbs do that to you! I am off simple carbs. Only have complex period. Same with sugar. And I also cut out caffeine! Good luck.


Ah yes! Good point! Kicking the carbs & sugar can cause headaches!
Edited by jamie1888 On November 16, 2011 8:16 AM
November 16, 2011 8:16 AM
You could be sensitive to an electrolyte imbalance with some fluid shifting going on.. but I too think it to be a coincidence. I personally have been on diets much, much higher than 90 grams (at one time I was doing 210 grams protein/day) with no headache or ill effect.
November 16, 2011 8:17 AM
it's totally normal and it shouldn't last more than 1-2 weeks. it's called "carb flu" . sugar makes a good portion of the carbs you take in, particularly refined carbs like breads and pastas. when you cut things like this out of your diet you go through almost a withdrawl period. it'll pass :-)
  12360360
November 16, 2011 8:17 AM
Many people have issues with low carbs in the beginning until the body adapts. Most get over it in a few days, some people never adapt well.
November 16, 2011 8:18 AM
QUOTE:

Simple carbs are addictive. Taking them away will result in side effects. Same as if you took away caffeine or any other drug/addiction. Headaches, weak, irratable... all that... it goes away but can take a week. You are detoxing. It sounds crazy but simple carbs do that to you! I am off simple carbs. Only have complex period. Same with sugar. And I also cut out caffeine! Good luck.


Agree with this! I went low carb and found this out. But i also didn't know my salt was a little high so i reduced it and the head aches went right away! stick with it, it's worth it!
November 16, 2011 8:18 AM
low carbing always gave me head aches, not an increase in protein, but a decrease in carbs. For me, I toughed it out thinking it was my simple carb addiction, but it never went away. That was a few years ago, even now when I get head aches I first have a cup of coffee, then evaluate my carb intake.
November 16, 2011 8:22 AM
I just Googled "high protein diet headache" and apparently it is a very common side effect.
November 16, 2011 8:22 AM
Have you never had a headache before?
November 16, 2011 8:25 AM
Well it could be the carb thing. I was at about 160 grams of protein for the day and 113 carbs.

Yes neanderthin, I've had a headache before... but, unlike the headache I had yesterday, the headaches I very rarely do get don't last for four hours and they usually respond to ibuprofen. I still feel kind of out of it today, which is not normal for me.
  3597285
November 16, 2011 11:59 AM
Perfectly normal when starting a low carb eating plan. It will go away in about a week. Your body is kicking the carb addiction.
  9292340
November 29, 2011 10:49 AM
I get it when I just go off my diet for a few days! crazy what food can do!
November 29, 2011 10:56 AM
Hello, I also have been on a No carb diet and got headaches and would sweat alot more. I asked a friend that has been doing it for years and said it happens to her she said in the next week you will notice that you have more energy which I did. Instead of your body burning the carbs its now burning fat.
  8832
November 29, 2011 11:03 AM
QUOTE:

I just Googled "high protein diet headache" and apparently it is a very common side effect.


what is this google thing you speak of?
November 29, 2011 11:13 AM
Funny you should bring this up, because YES, I am hot all the time. Pun intended. Anyway, peeps here at work are wearing blankets and coats and I'm running around in a PINK Bears V-neck. I thought it was the 3cups of java, but maybe you're onto something. I think the headaches will go away as your body adjusts (as with anything). I found I better make the low-carbs count. Meaning better quality sources such as whole grains and fibrous veggies. I can see how empty carbs would trigger such a headache. You should be okay if you hit your carb goal (if you have a carb minimum set). Mine is 70 on low carb days and like 175 on High-carb days.
Edited by Salvaje26 On November 29, 2011 11:14 AM
November 29, 2011 11:19 AM
Your brain prefers glucose as it's main fuel source. When you cut back drastically on carbs, your brain doesn't get the glucose it's expecting, and it lets you know it. Some people adjust to it, some people can't. Your body adjusts by giving whatever glucose it does get from your reduced carbs to your brain and uses other sources to power the rest of your body, but some people need the carbs, as some brains need more.
November 29, 2011 9:11 PM
After eating high carbs for a few days, then swithching over to lower carbs I usually do develop a headache. I always have a very hard time sleeping and feel restless also on day 1-3. I am an excellent sleeper otherwise! I am never hot though. If anything, I get cold and have to make sure I am getting enough calories. Drinking lots of water seems to help and herb tea. Best wishes on your nutrition plan and lifting weights-I love it!
  12089485
November 30, 2011 12:56 AM
If I don't eat enough carbs, I get headaches which is why I eat a more moderately low carb, high protein diet.
November 30, 2011 1:01 AM
I thought this is due to the flushing of liquids that happen at the beginning of a carb diet. I believe Potassium supplements are sometimes recommended. 4 tablets of 90mg or mcg a day...can't remember exactly. The potassium is also good if you start noticing you are getting more cramps.
November 30, 2011 6:07 AM
It's also not unusual to feel warm when eating a higher protein diet. Some people report that it subsides after a couple of weeks.
November 30, 2011 8:23 AM
Just an update - the headaches did stop eventually, my body finally got used to it. I was never REALLY low on carbs (always between 100-130g), but I think that changing my diet so abruptly (protein up to between 150-180g) and also introducing whey protein powder to my diet partly caused the headaches. Also, most of my carbs now come from vegetables and fruits instead of bread, pasta, and rice. I'm still feeling quite warm all the time, but that's not necessarily a minus. I kind of feel like it's a sign my body is kicking it into gear. wink
Edited by aregensb On November 30, 2011 8:23 AM
  3597285

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