The Ketogenic diet has become a popular way to manage and maintain health and we know that the essential to this diet is avoiding carbohydrates. That seems straightforward enough, but many may wonder, what do you drink on a low carb diet? What are the best options and what are the mistakes to avoid? In a nutshell, water is the perfect hydrator and drink to choose. However, sometimes a different beverage is might add something to a meal or prove a good refreshment. So what is safe on the ketogenic diet? Let’s take a closer look!
Choices of Good Keto Drinks
Many of us enjoy coffee to start our day or fuel us during the time of work. Coffee and tea are both allowed on the keto diet, but be careful what you add to it. Other drinks to enjoy are sugar-free seltzer waters, or Zevia sodas, sweetened only with stevia. If you’d like something more nutritionally-dense, drinks such as smoothies, non-dairy milk (such as nut milk) and whole milk are a good choice.
The best alcoholic drinks for the keto diet include dark liquors such as whiskey, bourbon, and scotch; tequilas and rums; vodka, gin, brandy, and cognac; and the occasional glass of wine. To be clear, though, all alcohol is a toxin to the body, so consume mindfully, keeping your goals in mind. With all of the choices that can help you still enjoy a little refreshment while following the diet, there is much to choose from, but what should you steer clear of?
Beware of Too Much Sugar
Since the goal of the keto-diet is to convert the metabolism of the body into a healthy state of ketosis—that of burning fat for fuel, the drinks to avoid are those that will disrupt this process. We know that sugars and carbs are the enemies, so beware of drinks or ketone supplements that are filled with sugar—naturally or otherwise!
Soft drinks, of course, are going to be a bad idea. One small soft drink will turn off your “ketosis” for a day, while a large one will do so for about a week. Diet sodas with artificial sweeteners will actually not be a good idea either. Though they seem safe since they are calorie free, they come with their own problems. Artificial sweeteners maintain sugar cravings, and so make it difficult to stick to your goals.
For alcoholic drinks, beer is going to be a no-go, with about 13 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Watch out for sugary mixers or cocktails, flavored alcohols and enjoying a glass of wine once too often. As we said earlier, all alcohol is essentially toxic to the body and can lower the production of ketones. With that stated, choose wisely and follow the recommendations above if you’d like to enjoy a drink from time to time.
Beware of Specialty Coffees/Teas
Coffee and tea, just straight, are good choices, but add a sugar cube to either and you add 4 grams of carbohydrates! A cafe latte has 15 grams of carbs, while kombucha tea has 10 grams per serving. Watch out for sweet, or specialty coffee drinks—a Frappuccino has 50 grams of carbs alone, more than even a soda!
Some Not So Healthy “Health Drinks”
Juices and energy drinks, while boasting of being healthy choices, are almost as filled with sugars as they are with nutrients. Both have nearly 30 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Beware of Vitamin water as well, which is packed with vitamins perhaps, but also sugars. Ice teas and many smoothies not made at home can be filled with carbohydrates—between 30-36 grams per serving.
Staying hydrated on the keto diet especially is very important! It helps to fight any undesirable symptoms that may occur, combating cravings, fatigue, and helping digestion. There are many other options for drinks on the keto diet, but the only true necessity is water. Really after all considerations, water is the king of keto drinks. If you want some variety, try adding a squirt of lemon or lime juice or a slice of cucumber. Be mindful of other choices and check to be sure they are conducive to your keto goals!
About the Author: Amanda Maurois
Proud mompreneur, graphic designer, enthusiastic traveller and blogger who loves to write about healthy lifestyle, entrepreneurship, time management and more. She is also a co-founder at HowTonight.com lifestyle blog.