Keto breath is an unpleasant side effect that a person can develop when they begin following a ketogenic diet. A person can try to reduce keto breath by drinking more water or slightly increasing the number of carbohydrates they eat.

A ketogenic diet, or keto diet, involves a person eating very few carbohydrates. Instead, they get their calories from consuming fats and protein. People may describe the resulting breath smell as being fruity or sweet.

Some people claim that keto breath will disappear once the body adapts to being in ketosis. Researchers think it takes at least 21 days to reach this state.

By this point, a person’s body is more effective at burning the ketones it produces. This means there are fewer ketones to breathe out, which implies keto breath should improve.

Until then, people can try to reduce or mask their keto breath by:

1. Drinking more water

Many people suggest that drinking more water may help reduce a person’s keto breath.

This is because the body expels more ketones in urine rather than as a breath.

By drinking water, people will produce more urine, which will help expel many of the ketones from the body.

Drinking water may also help flush out bacteria in a person’s mouth that could be causing bad breath.

2. Increasing carbohydrate intake

When a person drastically reduces their carbohydrate intake, their breaks down fats for energy, which produces ketones. However, a person does not have to avoid all carbohydrates to achieve ketosis.

The number of carbohydrates a person can eat without dropping out of ketosis will be different for each person but could be 20 (grams) g to 50 g if a person is consuming 2,000 calories a day.

Eating more carbohydrates should mean a person produces fewer ketones. As a result, they should breathe fewer ketones out and have less keto breath.

3. Using mints

People may use mints to mask keto breath. Sucking mints or chewing mint gum may be enough to hide the smell of keto breath.

Chewing gum also increases the amount of saliva a person produces, which can help stop the bacteria that cause bad breath from growing in a person’s mouth.

According to a study in the International Journal of Oral Science, lack of saliva may be a cause of bad breath in the morning. During the night, a person’s mouth produces less saliva, which allows more bacteria to grow.