Looking to kick-start your ketogenic diet but feeling unsure about what drinks are allowed? Fear not! From keto-approved coffee and tea to milk and alcohol, we’ve got the ultimate guide to all the delicious and satisfying beverages you can enjoy on your keto journey.
Yes, of course, our number one spot for the Best ketogenic beverage is water. Whether plain or sparkling, it has zero carbs and is a great thirst quencher. Try adding a pinch of salt if you are experiencing the keto flu or have a headache. Seltzer or sparkling is a great way to switch up your usual water, and it’s preferred to tonic water, which contains a ton of sugar but looks identical.
It’s important to note that starting a ketogenic diet can lead to changes in your body’s hydration levels due to the restricted intake of carbohydrates. When the body is in ketosis, the liver produces ketones, which result in an increased release of body fluids. This can result in loss of water, electrolytes, and nutrients and may lead to dehydration. To ensure proper hydration, it’s important to drink a sufficient amount of water and replenish electrolytes as needed.
Tea is another great option as it’s calorie-free and nearly carb-free. Rich in health-promoting antioxidant flavonoids, teas may also improve the functioning of blood vessels to help keep your heart well. Popular options include green tea, black tea, and herbal teas such as peppermint or chamomile. It’s important to keep in mind that some teas may have added sugars or other ingredients that could impact the carbohydrate content, so be sure to read the label. It is also important to be mindful of the sweeteners that you add to your tea. Natural sweeteners like Stevia, Erythritol, or monk fruit extract are great options.
For the 62% of Americans who drink coffee daily, it would be difficult to imagine making it through a day without at least one cup of joe. Black coffee itself contains 0 total carbs per cup. Where people may get into trouble is with the sweeteners and dairy glugs added to each cup. Opt for sugar-free substitutes such as Splenda, Stevia, or Monk Fruit to sweeten up your brew. Many Keto coffee connoisseurs enjoy something called “Bulletproof Coffee”. Bulletproof Coffee is a drink consisting of black coffee with butter or ghee (clarified butter), and coconut oil or MCT oil blended. The result is a rich, decadent frothy sip of goodness.
Additionally, you can add heavy cream, or try one of the many types of unsweetened non-dairy milk options such as almond, coconut, macadamia, hemp, and flax. All of these options will be very low in carbs and should fit within your given macros.
- Almond Milk: unsweetened almond milk has 0g sugar, 0g net carbs, and 1g fiber per
- Coconut Milk: unsweetened coconut milk has 1g sugar, 1g net carbs, and 4g fiber per cup
- Soy Milk: if you don’t have a soy allergy or intolerance, unsweetened soy milk has 1g sugar, 1g net carbs, and 4g fiber per cup
- Hemp Milk: unsweetened hemp milk with 0g sugar, 1g net carbs, and 0g fiber per cup
- Macadamia Milk: unsweetened macadamia milk with 0g sugar, 0g net carbs, and .5g fiber per cup
- Flax Milk: unsweetened flax milk has 0g sugar, 1g net carbs, and 0g fiber per cup
- Cashew Milk: unsweetened cashew milk has 0g sugar, 1g net carbs, and 0g fiber per cup
- Half and Half: Enjoy in moderation, 1g sugar, 1g net carbs, and 0g fiber per 2 Tbsp (1 cup has over 16g net carbs)
- Heavy Cream: Enjoy in moderation, <1g sugar, 1g net carbs, and 0g fiber per 2 Tbsp (1 cup has over 6g net carbs)
Alcohol & Spirits
Spirits (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey) all have 0 g of carbs per 1-oz serving. Just remember to mix these with plain water, diet soda, or unsweetened sparkling/seltzer water. Watch out for common mixers like regular soda, juice, sweeteners, and energy drinks as these can quickly turn into a high-calorie carb bomb.
Wine and light varieties of beer are also relatively low in carbs — usually containing under 6 grams (g) per serving.
Finally, certain hard seltzers may also fit within your macros, with some planning. They contain about 4 to 5 g of carbs per can, though you should check the nutrition label on your favorite brands.
Diet sodas have no additional carbs or calories because they use artificial sweeteners, rather than traditional sugar. From a purely macronutrient-based standpoint, diet sodas can be consumed on the keto diet.
While diet sodas are technically keto-compliant, they may lead you to crave more carbs and sugars, however. Studies have suggested that these artificially sweetened sips may trick the body into craving the calories and carbs it believes it’s getting from diet soda. When your body realizes it isn’t getting them, your cravings can kick into gear and you may make up for it by overeating.
It’s important to keep in mind that both moderation and diet sustainability is key. One or two diet sodas are fine now and then and won’t kick you out of ketosis. But know their place within your health and wellness journey.