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Keto Friendly Drinks
Just because you’re following a ketogenic diet plan, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with just water. A whole world of keto friendly drinks exists, allowing you to add flavor, nutrition, and a variety of beverages to your day. Keep reading for the skinny on “What can I drink on Keto?”
Low Carb, Non-Alcoholic Keto Diet Drinks
How much water should I drink when on keto?
Staying hydrated helps keep your body’s heating and cooling system operating efficiently, water also aids digestion, circulation, absorption and excretion of wastes and toxins. The human body contains about 70% water and, regardless of if you are a keto dieter or not, it is important to drink water daily to replenish fluids lost through perspiration and urination.
There is no exact set amount of how much water a person should drink, as we are all different shapes and sizes and exercise at different levels, but generally speaking shoot for about ½ of your body weight in ounces (if you weigh 200 pounds you’d drink ~100 ounces or about 12 cups). This doesn’t mean you necessarily need to drink that many cups of actual H2O per day, but this is from all sources of hydration. If you want to make drinking water a little less boring, the following are some of my favorite options for jazzing it up:
- Add a slice of cucumber, strawberry, mint leaves, or sliced citrus fruit for a flavor boost.
- For a “splash” of taste try adding low carb fruits such as berries or lime or lemon juice to your ice cubes.
- If bubbles make you feel fancier, try the above with sparkling water as well!
It is important to point out that symptoms associated with the dreaded keto flu can be attributed to shifts in fluid and electrolyte balance. This happens because as you switch from using glucose to fat for fuel, the carbohydrate stores in your muscles are depleted and fluid is lost which is often the real reason for the much celebrated drastic “weight” loss that occurs in the first couple weeks of the keto diet.
What can you drink on a keto diet?
- Plain coconut water- It naturally contains electrolytes, just be sure to get the unsweetened version and limit your intake because it does naturally contain some carbs.
- Seltzer, mineral, or carbonated calorie-free, unsweetened water such as La Croix
- Stevia sweetened sodas such as Zevia
- Bone Broth- A keto friendly drink that also gives a boost of protein, bone broth advocates suggest it helps support immune and gut health and stimulate collagen.
- Enhanced waters: These days you can get water enhanced with just about everything from an alkaline pH to vitamins. Again, this should be starting to sound familiar, just check the label to ensure it is low carb and keto friendly. Examples: Bai water, Vitamin Water Zero
- Sports Drinks: As I mentioned, when your carb intake is extremely low, your electrolyte 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 typically keto friendly drinks. If you want a low-carb sports drink read the label and look for one sweetened with a zero-calorie sweetener preferably stevia or other non-artificial sweetener. Popular brands are: PowerAde Zero or Gatorade Zero. I also like to use electrolyte tablets, which dissolve in water, there are 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!
- Kombucha: Proceed with caution if you are a keto dieter and a fan of kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented beverage that is traditionally made by combining tea, cultured bacteria and SUGAR. You can get lower carb versions but do your best to choose a product that will allow you stay in line with your desired daily carb allowance which can be calculated with HighKey’s handy keto calculator.
Can I Drink Coffee On Keto?
Black Coffee and espresso on their own contain zero carbs. It’s the coffee drinks flavored with syrups, sugar, and whipped toppings at coffee shops that crank up the carbs. Certain types of milk can also be packed with carbs.
Stick with these low carb 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, monk fruit, or erythritol are a great way to add sweetness to your coffee without spiking your blood sugar levels. They have zero net carbs and a low glycemic index. If you’re not willing to give up on flavored syrups, like pumpkin spice, most coffee shops have sugar-free options available.
- Sprinkle in cinnamon or cocoa powder for natural low carb 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
Low Carb, Keto Friendly Alcoholic Drinks
Keto Mixed Drinks
Most alcoholic spirits contain zero carbs, making them keto friendly, like vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, and tequila. It’s the often sugar-laden mixers that can derail your keto diet drink efforts, like cola, tonic, sweet and sour mix, and syrups. Instead, mix up one of these keto friendly 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. Or if you are truly looking to impress your friends, fire up a batch of my favorite keto-friendly Margarita like drink: The Spicy Blackberry Smash
Keto Friendly Wines
Most dry table wines are low-carb, as long as you’re not drinking the whole bottle which contains approximately five servings. The key is to pour wisely!
- Most dry wines contain around 3-4 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving
- Red table wine (Cabernet, Pinot Noir) and dry white wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio) come in at around 4 grams of carbs.
- Rosé wine inches up to 6 grams of carbs per serving.
Sweet dessert wines are not keto-approved, clocking in at 15 grams of carbs per serving.
Low Carb Keto Friendly Beer
If you are a beer drinker, don’t fret as there are now many keto friendly beer options available. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the beer the higher it is in carbs, and in some cases, calories too. This means options like IPAs or dark stouts are best avoided. “Light” beers are generally your best bet, although those vary in how much carbs they contain as well. If you are craving a keto-friendly cold one check out these 5-Low Carb Options!
Freshly-made teas brewed from tea leaves are keto-friendly, at zero carbs per serving. Again, watch out for bottled or canned versions of 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 unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk.
If you are a Starbucks frequent flyer try these keto friendly coffee and tea drinks on your next visit:
- Skinny Mocha: When ordering, specify “skinny, sugar-free, mocha sauce” with heavy whipping cream and a dash of water, instead of milk.
- Low Carb Pink Drink: This one will be less sweet than the original, but just as tasty and still Instagrammable. Just order a Passion Tango Tea, with sugar-free syrup, and heavy whip.
For more “What to Drink?” options for Starbucks (or any other coffee place for that matter), check out our post on Starbucks Holiday Keto Friendly Drinks!
Keto Drinks No-Nos/Drinks to Avoid on Keto
If you’re following a keto diet plan, there are a couple of beverages that are considered keto no-no’s:
- Sodas: Regular soda is loaded with sugar with an average sugar content ranging from 30-50 grams per can, one serving could put you over your daily allotment of carbohydrates. Even though they are low carb, diet sodas with artificial sweetener are not recommended as they come with their own set of potential health concerns, but as mentioned above you can opt for a soda with natural sweetener such as stevia.
- Juice: Even if it is 100% juice with no added sugar, juice is not considered a keto-friendly drink as it has a concentrated source of carbohydrate.
- Milk: Dairy milk isn’t necessarily a “no-no” but it does naturally contain carbs and the lower the fat content the higher the carb content, so proceed with caution. Opt for full fat dairy as it is lower in carbs, and if you’re craving a glass of milk perhaps try an unsweetened plant-based milk.
Hydrate, drink, and be merry! There are plenty of tasty keto drinks out there, you just have to read the label and watch out for those loaded with carbs and hidden sugars that could kick you out of ketosis.
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