Just because you’re following a ketogenic diet plan, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with just water all day and all night. A whole world of keto drinks exists, allowing you to add flavor, nutrition, and variety to your day. Most of these drinks happen to be my favorites, too. Keep reading for the skinny!
You can skip ahead to certain sections by clicking the links below:
- Low-Carb Coffee Drinks
- Cold and Bubbly Keto Drinks
- Alcoholic Keto Drinks
- Keto-Friendly Wines
- Keto-Friendly Teas
- Keto-Approved Sports Drinks
- Keto Drink No-No's
Low-Carb Coffee Drinks
Coffee and espresso beans on their own contain zero carbs. It’s the added syrups, sugar, and whipped toppings you find at coffee shops that crank up the carbs. Certain types of milk can also be packed with carbs. Stick with these choices to keep your coffee drink keto:
- Use unsweetened plant-based milk. An 8-ounce serving of unsweetened hemp, flax, or coconut milk contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrate, almond milk contains 2 grams, while soy milk contains 4 grams. Make sure you double check when you’re ordering coffee at popular chains, as many of them use sweetened non-dairy milk.
- Add zero calorie sweetener. Options like stevia, monkfruit, or erythritol are a great way to add sweetness to your coffee without spiking your blood sugar levels. They have zero net carbs and low glycemic index. If you’re not willing to give up on flavored syrups like pumpkin spice, there are also sugar-free options available.
- Sprinkle in cinnamon or cocoa powder for natural flavor
- Splash in a tablespoon of rich half and half creamer, with just half a gram of carbs and no sugar for added creaminess
If you like the grab-and-go convenience of bottled iced coffee drinks like I do in the summer afternoons, look for unsweetened or “black” versions. Otherwise, you can count on your coffee being loaded with added sugar. I like to crack open a can of unsweetened iced coffee and add my own creamer at home to give it some more oomph and satisfaction.
Cold and Bubbly Keto Drinks
If your ideal beverage used to be a regular can of cola, you still have some options to get your cold and bubbly fix.
- “Diet” cola and other diet soda drinks contain zero grams carbs
- Natural sodas sweetened with stevia
- Flavored sparkling water
- Plain sparkling water with a slice of citrus, cucumber, or a strawberry to add a burst of flavor
Alcoholic Keto Drinks
Most alcoholic spirits contain zero carbs, making them keto friendly, like vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, and tequila. It’s the mixers that can derail your keto diet efforts, like cola, tonic, sweet and sour mix, and syrups. Instead, mix up one of these keto cocktails:
- Rum and diet cola
- Vodka and club soda with a lemon wedge
- Tequila over ice with lime
- Gin and diet tonic
Muddle in a couple sprigs of fresh herbs like mint or basil to add additional flavor and flair.
Most dry table wines are low-carb, as long as you’re not drinking the whole bottle.
- Most dry wines contain around 3-4 grams carbs per 5-ounce serving. P.S. One regular-sized bottle of wine yields five servings, so pour wisely.
- Red table wine and dry white wines come in at around 4 grams carbs.
- Rosé wine inches up to 6 grams carbs per serving.
Sweet dessert wines are not keto-approved, clocking in at 15 grams carbs per serving.
Freshly-made teas brewed from tea leaves are keto-friendly, at zero carbs per serving. Watch out for bottled or canned iced teas that are sold in stores, since most of them contain hefty amounts of added sugar. Unless the bottle is labeled “unsweetened,” you can assume it’s not keto-friendly.
If you’re like me and love matcha green tea, which a few studies have shown contains three times the antioxidants as regular green tea…good news! Matcha tea as-is is keto approved. Popular coffeehouse matcha options are loaded with sugar in the pre-made mix, though. You’re better off brewing your own. You can even make a delicious matcha latte with almond milk, coconut milk, or soymilk.
Keto-Approved Sports Drinks
When your carb intake is extremely low, your electrolytes levels (especially salt) can get out of balance. Sports drinks can help replace the electrolytes you lose during ketosis or when you're working out or doing strenuous activities that make you sweat (hello, yard work). The problem is that many sports drinks get their calories from added sugar. While ingesting sugary electrolyte replacement drinks during sports can boost hydration and give you quick energy, they are not part of a keto diet. If you need a low-carb sports drink, read the label and look for one sweetened with stevia or some other type of zero-calorie sweetener. I also like to use electrolyte tablets, which dissolve in water, with sugar-free or low carb versions available. Truly the best hydrating fluid during sports (or any time for that matter) is usually plain old water!
Keto Drink No-Nos
If you’re following a keto diet plan, full servings of 100% fruit juices, cow’s milk, and even unsweetened coconut water are not keto-approved due to the naturally occurring sugars from the source.
Hydrate, drink, and be merry! There are plenty of tasty keto drinks out there. Just read the label and watch out for the sugar.