The Best (And Worst) Keto Drinks You Should Know About

May 20, 2019

Just because you're on the keto diet doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of foods and beverages you love. While water is almost always the best choice of beverage when it comes to any diet, we understand the desire for something a little tastier. We've put together this handy list of the best keto drinks and highlighted some of the worst ones so you can avoid them. Read on to discover keto-friendly drinks that are sure to add flavor without ruining ketosis.

The Best Keto Drinks

Water

Plain water is a calorie-free beverage that supports healthy processes throughout the body. Water helps us stay hydrated and can even slow the breakdown of cells and protect skin from aging. Drinking plenty of water also ensures that digestion runs smoothly and can limit feelings of fatigue and irritability. Drinking water can also help ease symptoms of the famous keto flu.

While water is one of the best keto drinks, it doesn't always deliver maximum flavor. Try carbonated water — which has zero net carbs — to add fizziness or add a slice of lemon or cucumber to enhance the flavor. Carbonated water is a great way to transition from diet soda and regular soda to healthier alternatives. Check out popular sparkling water brands such as La Croix and Topo Chico. There are also infuser bottles that enable you to make fruit or herb-infused waters and take them to the gym or on-the-go.

Coconut Water

If you want to increase hydration with a little extra flavor, try coconut water. Make sure to only purchase varieties that don't have added sugar. Read labels carefully and select coconut water brands that are unsweetened. If you're lucky enough to live in a tropical area, coconut water straight from the coconut is a great option.

Coconut water can also contain high amounts of carbs so be careful when choosing a coconut drink. Limit intake to one eight ounce glass of coconut water to stay in ketosis.

Tea

Research shows that tea can help increase weight loss by boosting fat burning and accelerating metabolism (1). Tea also offers additional health benefits including blood sugar regulation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (2).

Tea is one of the most popular beverages around the world. In many countries, it's closely tied to cultural traditions and social gatherings. Tea is a great keto drink as it is a zero-calorie beverage and contains zero grams of carbs. Tea has also long been a weight loss aid and the wide range of flavors ensures there's a taste for everyone.

Tea can be divided into two main types: true teas and herbal tisanes. True teas are made from the tea plant and include white tea, green tea, black tea, pu-erh tea, and oolong tea. The flavors of these teas range from rich and earthy to airy and floral. Some of the most popular herbal teas include peppermint tea, hibiscus tea, and ginger tea. To enhance flavor, you can add in herbs and spices without affecting your sugar or carb intake.

Coffee

Coffee is a great keto drink and also delivers when it comes to health benefits. Research shows that coffee drinks can help reduce body fat and regulate body mass levels (3).  In terms of the ketogenic diet, not all coffee is good for you. Sugar-laden drinks like those you find at Starbucks and other coffee houses can wreak havoc on the body. Instead, opt for sugar-free coffee options and use spices and non-dairy milk for adding a touch of flavor.

Black coffee is a great choice for the ketogenic diet. It has zero calories and zero carbs so you can enjoy an energy kick without destroying your diet. If you normally enjoy your coffee with dairy milk, try using a non-dairy alternative such as coconut milk or almond milk. You can also add in heavy cream to increase your healthy fat consumption and boost ketosis.

Spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon are also a great way to add flavor without packing on the sugar. Turn your morning coffee into an indulgent treat by adding a teaspoon of unsweetened cacao nibs or powder. You can also add a small amount of mashed pumpkin and chai spices for added flavor.

Bulletproof coffee is another great coffee choice on the keto diet. Bulletproof coffee is made by adding healthy fats such as coconut oil or MCT oil to your normal blend.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a beverage beloved by health-conscious communities. The drink is made by fermenting a tea and sugar mixture using a SCOBY. A SCOBY is known as a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It's a natural byproduct of the fermentation process and contains powerful microbes and healthy bacteria that improve gut health.

Now, we know what you're thinking, "how can a drink made with sugar be keto-friendly?". Sugar is an essential component of fermentation and you need it to make kombucha. The keto diet doesn't have to be entirely sugar-free. Look for kombucha recipes or brands that use very little sugar. Today, it's easy to find low carb and low sugar kombucha options at grocery stores and health food stores.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is a beverage purported to help you improve gut health. It's also commonly used to boost collagen production and increase immunity. This beverage is easy to make at home and has a low calorie and carb count. To make your own bone broth, simply boil bones in water and add in spices and herbs to enhance the flavor. There are also several bone broth brands you can choose from if you don't feel like making your own.

Smoothies

Smoothies are a delicious way to stay hydrated and replace a meal. Keto-friendly smoothies should contain healthy fats, protein, and vegetables. You can add things like eggs, avocados, and MCT oil to increase your consumption of healthy fats. Add a scoop of protein powder and toss in some leafy greens or berries. If you want more flavor, try keto recipes with vanilla, cloves, and ginger.

Dairy-Free Milk

Non-dairy milk such as coconut milk, hemp milk, and nut milk are a great way to enjoy a glass of milk or add flavor to another beverage. Always choose non-dairy milk varieties that are unsweetened. Choose the highest fat option available for health keto-friendly milk.

The Worst Keto Drinks

Alcoholic Drinks

Drinking alcohol reduces the synthesis of ketones. While the keto diet can be difficult in terms of eating out and attending social engagements, it doesn't require you to forsake alcoholic beverages entirely. If you do choose to imbibe, opt for small amounts and only consume occasionally.

Contrary to what you may think, hard liquor is a better choice than beer or white wine when it comes to the keto diet. That's because hard liquor is synthesized in a way that doesn't alter blood sugar. Dark liquors such as whiskey and rum and hard alcohol including tequila and vodka are your best bet. If you must have vine-ripened alcohol, go for dry red wines since they are lower in carbs than other alternatives.

Soda

Soda is just about the worst thing you can consume when on the keto diet. Most sodas are packed with 30 or 40 grams of sugar, which wreak havoc on the human body. Diet sodas and zero sodas are also off limits since they're packed with artificial sweeteners and additives.

Sports and Energy Drinks

Sports drinks are marketed as enhanced beverages that replenish electrolytes and other vital nutrients that are lost during workouts. Unfortunately, these drinks are also chock full of sugars and other additives that are not keto-friendly.

Fruit Juices

Just like sodas, fruit juices are packed with sugars and carbs. Homemade varieties, as well as store-bought brands, are not keto-friendly. Be careful when adding vegetables to your smoothies or when consuming vegetable juices. Some vegetables contain high amounts of carbs that can kick you out of ketosis.

Stay in Ketosis With Tasty Beverages

Whether you're trying to stay hydrated or tamp down cravings, you don't have to stick with plain water on the keto diet. Try a keto coffee, keto smoothies, or tasty tea to stay on track. Remember that the keto diet is a high-fat, low carb diet. Keto-friendly drinks will have little to no sugar. Low calorie and low carb drinks such as black tea and non-dairy milk are great additions to your keto meal plan.

Avoid drinks with artificial sweeteners including fruit juice and hot chocolate packets. Limit alcohol consumption and stick to hard liquors when you do choose to indulge.

Sources:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3908530/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC517497/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30335479

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