What Gatorade is keto-friendly
Keto beverages: What you can and can't drink on a ketogenic diet
Now that you've adopted, or are about to adopt, a keto lifestyle, you may be wondering if you can drink other beverages besides plain water on a ketogenic diet.
When it comes to keto drinks, plain water is best, but not your only option.
Low-carb drinks, alcohol, and even hot chocolate and latte can all be part of your keto drink repertoire.
In the following article you will learn which drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are really keto-friendly.
Table of Contents
Whenever you have a drink on the keto diet, it's important to watch out for hidden sugars that could otherwise kick you out of ketosis.
So let's get to the best carbohydrate-free keto drinks that you can safely drink on a ketogenic diet.
Non alcoholic drinks
Below are soft drinks that you can enjoy any day of the week.
Certain beverages such as water, tea, and bone broth are safe to drink. Kombucha, coconut water, and other options should be limited to just one serving or less per day as they contain small amounts of carbohydrates.
- Plain water
- Carbonated water
- Dairy-free milk
- bone broth
- Coconut water
Water is the best choice for keto (or a healthy diet) and should be your primary source of hydration. Water is beneficial for digestion, combats tiredness and cravings, and keeps the body going (1).
If you want a little more flavor, try these options:
- Add a dash of lemon or lime juice to your water.
- Fill the water with cucumber, watermelon, strawberries or other favorite fruits for homemade flavored water.
- Make your own mineral water at home with a carbonator *.
Many people reach for coffee in the morning for a boost of energy, but is it keto-friendly? Yes. You can consume both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on a keto diet - but without sugar!
While caffeine is a stimulant and shouldn't be consumed in excessive amounts, it does have several health benefits. It's scientifically proven that caffeine helps burn fat, suppresses appetite, and aids weight loss - all of which will help you get into ketosis (2).
Keto-friendly coffee comes in a number of options: try plain black coffee (like espresso, americano, and iced coffee that are zero calories and carbohydrates), or you can add a dash of whipped cream to your coffee to increase the healthy fat content.
And if milk coffee is your thing, opt for unsweetened coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk, for a keto-friendly cup of coffee.
Fancy a healthy keto mocha? Add some coconut oil and unsweetened cocoa powder for a creamy, high-fat, chocolatey treat.
Tea contains no carbohydrates and has been linked to various health benefits for centuries, making it an excellent drink choice when on keto.
Right after the water, tea (both hot and homemade iced tea) is a good option that you can drink as much as you want on a ketogenic diet.
Studies have shown that black and green tea have anti-aging and metabolic benefits, and can help prevent cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (3).
Black tea (like Earl Gray, Masala Chai, and English Breakfast-Tea) and green tea (like Sencha, Matcha, and Jasmine) are great teas that are widely available and rich in antioxidants (4).
Herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, and ginger tea are not only highly medicinal, but are also a healthy and tasty way to keep yourself hydrated.
You can add whipped cream and a keto-friendly sweetener like stevia to your coffee or tea to spice up your hot beverage.
Carbonated water, mineral water, seltzer water and tonic water contain no net carbohydrates and are refreshing keto drinks with a low carb diet.
If still water tastes too bland for you and you prefer a bit of fizzy and carbonated water, these drinks are excellent choices. You can try the following brands infused with cranberries, limes, coconuts, and other flavors:
You can also make your own healthy lemonade with bottled water, keto-friendly sweetener, citrus, or any other flavor you want.
Vegetable milk alternatives
Most non-dairy dairy products are a keto-friendly drink option.
Check the ingredients to make sure they don't contain any sweeteners or additives like carrageenan. Whenever you can, always opt for the full fat option. The best choice is to make them yourself at home. Try this homemade almond milk recipe.
Keto-friendly, dairy-free milk alternatives include:
- Coconut milk
- Almond milk
- Cashew milk
- Hemp milk
Bone broth has been a part of the human diet for almost as long as humans have populated the earth. Bone broth is very healthy and has numerous health benefits.
Bone broth consists of type II collagen, which is only found in bones and connective tissue. Type II collagen is a source of protein that improves skin, teeth, and joints - it could be thought of as an antiaging elixir. Drinking bone broth can help maintain a healthy gut, restore collagen, and support a strong immune system.
Bone broth is made by boiling animal bones with water, herbs, and spices.
Make your own broth with this simple recipe for bone broth or buy yourself a high quality BONE BROX bone broth "Weiderind" in organic quality.
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from the combination of tea, sugar and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Kombucha is a natural probiotic that can help support a healthy gut (5).
Kombucha needs sugar for fermentation. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when choosing brands and double-check the ingredients list.
There are several different low-carb, low-sugar kombuchas, so don't make the mistake of buying a brand that contains 10 grams of carbohydrates in a single serving (which is only half the bottle).
Choose only low-sugar and low-carb options to help keep your daily macronutrients in line.
Coconut water is a hydrating liquid found inside green coconuts. Coconut water has fewer calories and less fat than coconut milk and more potassium than a banana (6).
As with kombucha, you need to pay special attention to the label when purchasing this product. Buy only pure coconut water that should only have one ingredient - 100% coconut water.
Most quality brands of coconut water contain 11 grams of carbohydrates per 330 ml of liquid, so limit your intake to one serving per day.
A recommended brand is Coco Primo coconut water, which is made from 100% natural coconuts.
For a quick and liquid meal in a glass, you can make a homemade keto smoothie.
There are endless options for a quick, healthy, low-carb smoothie that is keto-friendly. To make a keto smoothie, you can choose from the following ingredients:
- Healthy fats: Egg yolks, avocado, nut butter, MCT oil, and coconut oil
- Protein: Collagen or whey protein powder
- Vegetables and fruits: Leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, berries like blueberries and raspberries, and other keto-friendly low carb fruits.
- Add-ins: Matcha powder, coffee, exogenous ketones and vanilla or almond extract
- Sweetener (optional): Monk fruit or stevia
All alcoholic beverages should be consumed with caution, but be extra careful with alcohol if you are on a ketogenic diet.
All types of alcohol are poisonous to the body and all forms can decrease the production of ketones.
Still, social events are an important and enjoyable part of life. If you plan to drink alcohol from time to time, it is wise to know which one is the least carbohydrate.
Here's some advice you won't hear every day: your best choice is liquor.
In liqueurs such as tequila or schnapps, the sugar turns into ethyl alcohol. This means that high-proof schnapps does not affect insulin and blood sugar as much as other alcohols.
Some of the best keto drinks with alcohol include:
- Dark spirits like scotch, whiskey, and bourbon
- Rum - avoid any flavored variants
- Vodka - make sure it's unflavoured and doesn't have any added sugar or liquid sweeteners
- Gin - avoid cocktail mixes and flavored gins
- Dry red wine - it may sound surprising, but a 150 ml glass of Cabernet Sauvignon contains less than 4 grams of carbohydrates.
You can find out more about the best alcoholic low carb drinks in our guide: Ketosis and Alcohol: Can I Drink Alcohol During a Ketogenic Diet?
Drinks to avoid while on keto
There are many drinks that should be avoided at all costs on a ketogenic diet. Drinks like soda, fruit juice, and sports drinks are usually too high in carbohydrates and would throw you out of ketosis quickly.
Sugary soda has no place in keto or a healthy diet. A single can of Coca-Cola contains 33 grams of sugar and the same amount of carbohydrates (7).
One can of Mountain Dew contains a staggering 46 grams of sugar (8).
All forms of soda should be avoided on a keto diet, including:
- Conventional lemonade
- Diet soda (although it doesn't have carbs and sugars on the label, it's filled with unhealthy artificial sweeteners).
- "Zero" variants such as Coke Zero and Pepsi Zero
The sugar content in fruit juice is too high, so all juices throw you out of ketosis.
- Orange juice - one glass contains nearly 26 grams of carbohydrates and 21 grams of sugar (9).
- Apple juice
- Pineapple juice
- Ready-to-use mixed drinks
Some vegetable juices should also be avoided. Carrot juice, for example, contains almost 22 grams of carbohydrates (10).
Most importantly, you should try to avoid brands that sell mixes containing 30-40 grams of sugar (this goes well beyond your allowable daily carbohydrate number of 20-50 grams per day), even if they are advertised as healthy diet products.
Although Gatorade, Powerade, vitamin water and energy drinks are advertised as health products, they are real sugar bombs. (Pro tip: To make a homemade electrolyte drink, all you need is simple coconut water and a pinch of sea salt)
A lemon and lime gatorade contains 0% juice, sweeteners made from dextrose and sugar, and 31 grams of carbohydrates and 29 grams of sugar (11).
Sugary coffee beverages
Any coffee drink made with syrup or flavor is very high in carbohydrates. There are many coffee beverages to avoid while on keto, such as:
- Syrup lattes, including pumpkin spice lattes, caramel lattes, chai lattes, and vanilla lattes
- Coffee or espresso with low-fat or skimmed milk
- Mocha drinks
- Most Starbucks drinks
It is best to drink your coffee black - without milk and without sugar. Or you can try a keto-friendly bulletproof coffee.
Beer is very high in carbohydrates because it is brewed from grains. A single can of beer can contain 13g of carbohydrates (12).
Many popular drinks are made with sugary syrups or contain too many carbohydrates, such as:
- Sugary mixed drinks (such as sangria, mojitos, and margaritas)
- Most white wines
Ketone drinks: Always choose the low-carb options
There are many options when it comes to drinks on a ketogenic diet. Water is basically the only option necessary for your survival and general health.
Other beverages such as bone broth, tea, and coffee can offer various health benefits and can be consumed indefinitely on a ketogenic diet. Coconut water and kombucha add flavor to your weekly keto schedule, but should be consumed in moderation.
When it comes to alcohol, limit your drinks to social events and choose shots and spirits with a carbohydrate-free mixed drink (like soda water) and citrus fruits.
The ketogenic diet is about being your healthiest self, so making water your favorite drink on keto is best to keep your body going in its most optimal way.
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