Drinks tend to be the sneakiest sources of calories and sugar in our diets. Fruit juices (including freshly pressed juice), sodas, and even your favorite specialty coffee drink are all filled with so much sugar that they increase your likelihood of gaining fat while making it difficult for your body to get into ketosis.
With all of the confusing marketing terms like “low-carb,” “low-sugar,” “natural,” etc. it is hard to tell what drinks are actually keto-friendly and what drinks are just made to capitalize off of current market trends. For this reason, we decided to put together a definitive guide to what drinks you can consume and what drinks you should avoid on the ketogenic diet.
What Should You Drink on Keto?
Regardless of what diet you are on, your primary beverages should be zero-calorie, simple drinks like water, coffee, tea, and sparkling water.
Here’s a simplified list of the many keto-friendly drink options you can choose from:
- Water. When in doubt, drink water. Don’t like drinking plain water? Try using water enhancers, infusing it with herbs, or adding some lemon juice.
- Sparkling Water, Seltzer, and Club Soda. These are bubbly, zero calorie beverages that you can either drink plain or with some subtle fruity flavors.
- Coffee and Tea. Need a little energy boost or a hot beverage in the morning? Drink some tea or coffee. Just don’t add any sugar or order any fancy sugar-ridden drinks at your local coffee shop.
- Diet Soda. Like soda, but without the sugar and the calories.
- Juice Alternatives. There are also some low-calorie and zero calorie drinks like Powerade Zero and Vitamin Water Zero that taste good and hydrate you without the extra sugar. Just make sure you read the labels of any tasty low-calorie drink you buy because they may have added sugars.
- Low-Carb Dairy Products and Dairy Alternatives. A little bit of milk in your coffee or tea is okay, but don’t have too much. If you need to use more than a couple of tablespoons of milk, try using heavy cream or a dairy alternative like unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk instead.
- Energy Drinks. Most energy drinks are packed with more sugar than soda, but there are many low-carb and zero carb energy drinks on the market. However, just because it says “low-carb” on the container doesn’t mean that it will fit within your daily carb limit. Always read labels carefully, especially when you are purchasing energy drinks.
- Keto Smoothies. Even though fruit is generally high in carbs and not recommended on the ketogenic diet, you can still make delicious, low-carb smoothies. All you need is some low-carb produce like berries and spinach, natural flavorings, low-carb nut milk, and plenty of fat from avocados, egg yolks, MCT oil, and/or high-fat yogurt.
- Keto-Friendly Alcohol. Hard liquor, light beer, and unsweetened wines are some alcoholic beverages that you can enjoy on the ketogenic diet. Don’t forget, however, that alcohol is poisonous to the body, so it is best to consume these drinks in moderation.
Below, you’ll discover much more in-depth information about what you should drink on the ketogenic diet. Simply find your desired beverage category for more specifics.
Looking for Something Specific?
- Water Enhancers
- Sparkling Water, Seltzer, and Club Soda
- Coffee and Tea
- Diet Soda
- Juice Alternatives
- Low-carb Milk Products
- Energy Drinks
- Low-carb Smoothies
- Drinks to Consume in Moderation
- Drinks to Avoid
- Alcoholic Drinks
Water — The Holy Grail of Keto Drinks
You can’t go wrong with water, especially on the ketogenic diet. During the first few days of carbohydrate restriction, the body typically sheds water and minerals at an accelerated rate. A couple of days later — when ketone levels increase — even more water will be excreted than usual.
To counteract the mild dehydration that carbohydrate restriction may cause, consume plenty of water and minerals every day. For more specific guidelines on how much water you need to drink, check out our article on how to remedy the keto flu.
If you are not a fan of drinking plain water, then try infusing it with fruit, vegetables, and/or herbs. For example, you can:
- Add frozen fruit. Slip some frozen fruit, such as berries, into your water bottle. This is a great way to get some of your favorite fruity flavors in your water without having too many net carbs. Although not all the sugar from the fruit will leach out into the water, it is best to be conservative and count the net carbs as if you consumed the whole fruit.
- Make mint ice cubes. By freezing herbs into ice cubes, the herbs will keep for weeks to months in the freezer. You can use any herbs that you like, but I prefer mint. To make mint ice cubes, roughly chop some fresh mint leaves, sprinkle the herbs into each cell of an ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze into cubes. Add a few mint cubes to your water bottle, along with fruit or cucumber slices if desired, for a refreshing drink.
- Add some citrus. Lemon, grapefruit, lime, and orange can take your plain water to the next level. I prefer to buy organic lemon or lime juice and put a small amount into my water every morning. If you are tracking your daily carb intake, make sure you include the carbs from the fruit that you are putting in your water.
- Mix them together. If you want to make your water a bit more sophisticated, try mixing some fruits, herbs, and/or vegetables together. Some of my favorite combinations are mint with grapefruit and basil with watermelon.
Whether you decide to infuse your water with flavor or drink it plain, this should be your primary keto drink.
However, if you are not a big fan of water, you don’t have to force yourself to drink it throughout the day. Try experimenting with some water enhancers instead.
Water Enhancers For Keto
Water enhancers typically come in powder sachets or liquid droppers, and they are designed to turn your water into a tasty drink without adding any calories.
These products will not make your water healthier (and some may even make it worse for your health), but if they help you increase your daily water intake, then they are a great tool to have in your keto kitchen. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular water enhancers that you can choose from:
This is one of the most natural water enhancers on the market. It uses stevia extract and natural juices and flavors to provide you with a deliciously fruity addition to your water.
Make sure, however, that you stick to the recommended serving size because some Stur flavors contain trace amounts of sugar (from fruit juice), which might have a negative impact on ketone production.
Skinnygirl Water Enhancer
Skinnygirl is similar to Stur in that it’s primary sweetener is stevia extract, and it is on the natural side of the water enhancer spectrum. However, it does contain some preservatives and a small amount of cane sugar (such a small amount that they aren’t even required to put it on the nutrition facts label).
Crystal Light Liquid
Although this water enhancer has no added sugar, it still has some other questionable ingredients. For example, some flavors contain sucrose acetate isobutyrate, a thickening or “weighting” agent also found in printing inks. Also, the main sweetener used in crystal light liquid is sucralose, which may not be as healthy for us as stevia extract.
MiO Liquid Water Enhancer
MiO is one of the most popular water enhancers because it is packed with flavor and has zero calories. The only potential downside is that it contains artificial colors and artificial sweeteners. The good news is that many of these ingredients are generally recognized as safe in the small doses that you will get from consuming MiO.
Dasani drops are on the more artificial end of the spectrum when it comes to water enhancers. This product is completely calorie free (thanks to the help of the artificial sweetener sucralose), but it has a couple of “generally recognized as safe” ingredients, like preservatives and artificial colorings, that many may not want to consume.
Propel Water Beverage Mix
This flavorful powder goes above and beyond the other water enhancers by providing us with some electrolytes and b vitamins. This extra addition makes Propel ideal for replenishing the fluids and minerals that many people lose while they are adapting to the ketogenic diet. But there is one caveat — Propel has trace amounts of added sugar.
Some of these water enhancers contain added sugars (I.e., Skinnygirl Water Enhancer, Stur, and Propel), but it is found in such small amounts that the producers are allowed to claim that their product does not contain any carbs or sugar. Keep this in mind if you notice your ketone levels decrease after using some of these water enhancers. The added sugars may trigger an unexpected insulin increase, which can reduce ketone production.
Also, make sure you stay within the suggested serving sizes that are recommended on the water enhancer that you use. By doing so, you will minimize your exposure to too many hidden net carbs and potentially harmful ingredients.
|Popular Water Enhancers||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Sweeteners Used|
|Stur*||2 mL||Trace (<5 calories)||Trace (<0.5 grams)||Stevia and fruit and vegetable juice|
|SkinnyGirl Water Enhancer*||2 mL||5||Trace (<0.5 grams)||Cane sugar, stevia, and vegetable and fruit juice|
|Crystal Light Liquid||2 mL||0||0||Sucralose and acesulfame potassium|
|MiO Liquid Water Enhancer||2 mL||0||0||Sucralose and acesulfame potassium|
|Dasani Drops||1.7 mL||0||0||Sucralose and acesulfame potassium|
|Propel Water Beverage Mix*||1 packet||Trace (<5 calories)||Trace (<0.5 grams)||Sugar, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium|
*Limit your consumption of these products because the added sugars may reduce ketone production.
For more information on the sweeteners that are used in your favorite water enhancers, read through our article on the best and worst low carb sweeteners.
Sparkling Water, Seltzer, and Club Soda
These bubbly drinks may seem like they are one in the same, but they have some distinct differences. Sparkling mineral waters, for example, have bubbles that are smaller and finer and the carbonation is naturally occurring. On the other hand, club soda will have bicarbonate salt added to give it finer bubbles, along with a bit of a mineral-y taste. Seltzer water is just pure water that’s been pumped full of bubbles. This is why seltzer is often flavored — otherwise, it would taste kind of bland.
Popular Keto-friendly Sparkling Water Brands:
- Ferrarelle Acqua Minerale. Try this one out if you don’t like having too much bubbliness with your sparkling water. The carbonation in this beverage is so subtle that it barely qualifies as sparkling water.
- San Pellegrino. Italian sparkling water that comes flavorless and in many fruit flavors. However, their sparkling fruit beverages contain as much sugar as regular soda, so ketogenic dieters should stick to the unflavored San Pellegrino products.
- LaCroix Sparkling Water. If you are looking for sparkling water with natural, subtle fruity flavor and no calories, then LaCroix is an ideal option for you.
- Voss Sparkling. With a flavorless sparkling version and a couple of fruit and herb flavor combinations, Voss Sparkling is another viable zero-calorie option for ketogenic dieters.
- Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water. Perrier is another great zero-calorie option with normal sparkling water and simple fruit flavors like orange and pink grapefruit.
- Cascade Ice Sparkling Water.* These drinks are all about the flavor, as they act more like a diet juice or soda than a sparkling water with subtle flavors (like the other options on this list). Although Cascade Ice claims that their products have zero calories, some of them do have some trace amounts of sugar (from fruit juice concentrate).
*Contains trace amounts of added sugars (<0.5 grams of carbs) from fruit juice concentrate. These drinks are still keto-friendly, but should be consumed in moderation.
Popular Keto-friendly Seltzer Brands:
- Polar Seltzer. With a wide variety of flavors that are all zero-calories, Polar Seltzer is perfect for any keto dieter who wants something bubbly with subtle flavors.
- Vintage Seltzer. If you want straight up seltzer with nothing added, then vintage seltzer is for you. They also have some zero-calorie fruity flavors like lemon-lime and orange.
- Schweppes Seltzer. This is another popular brand that makes various calorie-free flavored seltzers
Keto-friendly Club Soda:
Of all the brands that I researched, none of them put any sugar or flavorings in it. So, If you want something bubbly and sophisticated without any flavoring, then try having club soda. The most popular brands the I’ve come across are Schweppes, Hansen’s, and Canada Dry.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and Tea are an amazingly healthy keto drinks and can be especially helpful in helping beginners get over the energy lull that is typically experienced during the first few days of keto. The only problem with coffee and tea is what most people add to it. Just a tablespoon or two of sugar can turn these healthy keto drinks into a ketogenic dieter’s worst nightmare.
Keto Coffee Drinks
Instead of adding sugar to your coffee or ordering a frapcrapa macchiato with special syrup, try some of these keto-friendly coffee preparations:
- Plain black coffee. Enjoy drip, espresso, cold brew, french press, iced, etc. as black as possible for all the caffeine without anything added that will kick you out of ketosis.
- With full-fat dairy or a dairy alternative. Add a splash of unsweetened full-fat heavy cream or milk, almond milk, or coconut milk to your morning cup or blend it with espresso for a no-sugar, low-carb latte.
- Add fat to your coffee. Add a healthy fat source, like MCT oil or powder, coconut oil, or grass-fed butter, to your coffee and blend it up. Not sure exactly how much fat you should add? Follow our coffee recipe to learn how to make a Perfect Cup of Ketoproof Coffee.
- Use zero-calorie sweetener instead of sugar. With just a couple drops of liquid stevia, you can cut the bitterness of black coffee and make it more enjoyable.
- Make your own keto-friendly special coffee drink. By combining healthy fats, full-fat dairy, some spices, and a little bit of zero-calorie sweetener, you can have your very own specialty coffee drinks without having to go to your local coffee shop or cafe. For starters, try out the Keto Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte, Creamy Keto Hot Cocoa, or the Spinach Shamrock Latte for a keto-friendly coffee treat.
Keto Tea Drinks
Most teas have virtually no carbs, so they are a good option for keto drinks. Some different types include:
- Black teas. Great hot or iced and typically give you the most caffeine and a bolder flavor.
- Green teas. Provides a bit less caffeine than coffee and comes with various health benefits and a nice earthy flavor.
- Herbal teas. Herbal teas give you something warm to drink without the caffeine buzz. Go to any grocery store, and you’ll see tons and tons of different herbal tea flavors. Just be cautious of any teas containing dried fruit or sugar derivatives as they will leach some sugar into your cup of tea as it steeps.
If you’d like to treat yourself to a delicious tea drink, then make yourself some Iced Ketoproof Green Tea. Or you can keep it simple and add some heavy cream and keto-friendly sweetener, such as stevia, to your tea to make it more palatable.
You probably know this already, but regular sodas are not a good for your health — especially on keto. Most of them contain enough sugar in one can to exceed your daily carb limit.
There are a lot of sugar-free sodas out there, but most of them contain artificial sweeteners and other dubious ingredients. If you would rather stay as natural as possible, then there are two healthier diet soda options that I know of:
- Zevia. Zevia comes in so many flavors that you will probably find a healthy, keto-friendly version of your favorite soda. Each flavor is made up of all natural ingredients including stevia, monk fruit extract, erythritol, and natural flavors to provide your palate with the taste and feel of your favorite sodas without the calories.
- Make your own. You can also make your own healthy soda by mixing sparkling water with keto-friendly sweetener and citrus or other desired flavors.
If you enjoy the fizziness of soda, consider switching to a seltzer or sparkling water alternative from above in the article. It is typically a much better choice.
Keto-Friendly Juice Alternatives
Whether you are on the ketogenic diet or not, juice is not a healthy drink option. Even the freshest of juices contain almost no fiber and only some of the nutrients from the fruit, while leaving you with a concentrated source of sugar and water. A better option for nutrients would be a savory broth.
If you are thinking of having fruit juice, have the whole fruit instead, and if you are on keto, stick with low-carb fruits like berries or drink some juice alternatives instead.
Here is a list of popular keto-friendly juice alternatives:
- Watered Down Fruit Juice or Veggie Juice. To get the natural taste of fruit or vegetable juice, simply water down the juice, so that you won’t get as many net carbs. Carefully measure the amount of juice you are about to drink so that you do not have too many carbs.
- Powerade Zero. Looking for a keto-friendly sports drink with zero sugar? Powerade Zero is a great option.
- Vitamin Water Zero. Vitamin Water contains a good amount of vitamins, but they are typically are filled with sugar as well. Vitamin Water Zero, on the other hand, gives you all of the goodness of vitamins with zero carbs.
- Flavored Water Enhancers. Simply buy one of the water enhancers we learned about earlier in this article and put a couple of drops in your water.
- Wave Soda Sparkling Juice. This drink is a hybrid between sparkling water and juice, and it makes a great soda and juice alternative for keto dieters. However, don’t get carried away with this drink. Each can has around 5 grams of net carbs.
- Hint Water. Hint is purified water with a hint of non-GMO natural fruit flavor. These keto-friendly drinks are like fruit-infused water without the trace amounts of fruit sugar.
|Popular Keto-Friendly Juice Alternatives||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Sweeteners Used|
|Powerade Zero||20 fluid ounces||0||0||Sucralose and acesulfame potassium|
|Vitamin Water Zero*||16.9 fluid ounces||Trace (<5 calories)||~4 grams||Erythritol and stevia leaf extract (and crystalline fructose in some flavors)|
|Wave Soda Sparkling Juice*||12 fluid ounces||5||5 grams||Fruit juice concentrate|
|Hint Water||16 fluid ounces||0||0||Natural Flavors|
*Consume no more than one serving of these drinks per day due to their net carb content. Make sure you add the net carbs you get from these drinks into your daily net carb count.
Low-Carb Milk Products
It is not a good idea for you to drink a lot of milk on the ketogenic diet. Just one cup has around 12 grams of sugar, while will put a huge dent in your net carb allowance for the day.
If you are a milk drinker or use it a lot for cooking and baking, then it is best to use some low-carb milk alternatives instead.
Here is a list of some of the most popular options:
- Almond Milk — 30 calories, 0 grams of total carbs and net carbs per cup.
- Coconut Milk — 45 calories, 2 grams of total carbs, and 1 grams of net carbs per cup.
- Cashew Milk — 40 calories, 3 grams of total carbs, and 3 grams of net carbs per cup.
- Flax Milk — 25 calories, 0 grams of total carbs, and 0 grams of net carbs per cup.
- Hemp Milk — 70 calories, 1 gram of total carbs, and 0 grams of net carbs per cup.
- Soy Milk —120 calories, 5 grams of total carbs, and 5 grams of net carbs per cup.
|Keto-Friendly Milk Alternatives||Serving Size||Calories||Total Carbs||Net Carbs|
|Almond Milk||1 cup||30||0 grams||0 grams|
|Coconut Milk||1 cup||45||2 grams||1 gram|
|Cashew Milk*||1 cup||40||3 grams||3 grams|
|Flax Milk||1 cup||25||0 grams||0 grams|
|Hemp Milk||1 cup||70||1 gram||0 grams|
|Soy Milk*||1 cup||120||5 grams||5 grams|
*Consume no more than one serving of these milk alternatives per day due to their net carb content. Make sure you add the net carbs you get from these drinks into your daily net carb count.
Although this isn’t a comprehensive list of every possible low-carb milk alternative, these are the most widely-available options. Before you buy any of these non-dairy milks, make sure you read the labels. Many of the most popular dairy alternatives are filled with sugar and other additives.
Another important thing to mention is that every brand will have different carb and calorie counts. For example, 1 cup of So Delicious Coconut Milk has 45 calories and 2 grams of carbs per cup, while, my personal favorite, Aroy-D Coconut Milk has 420 calories and 6 grams of carbs per cup. This profound difference is due to the fact that every low-carb dairy-free milk producer uses different ingredients. So Delicious, for example, uses a variety of thickeners, while Aroy-D Coconut Milk is made of 100% coconut.
You can also make your own low-carb nut and seed milks yourself by soaking them, blending them, running what’s left through a cheesecloth, and adding keto-friendly sweeteners and spices. If you would rather stick with dairy, on the other hand, then use high-fat milk products like heavy cream, half and half, or the highest fat whole milk you can find.
Keto-Friendly Energy Drinks
Most energy drinks are full of as much sugar as a can of soda. If you are in need of an energy boost, look for “sugarfree,” “zero,” or “low-carb” versions of your favorite energy drinks and read the labels carefully to make sure that it fits within your carb limit for the day.
Here are some of the most popular keto-friendly energy drinks:
- Red Bull Sugarfree — 5 calories, 3 grams of total carbs, and 3 grams of net carbs per can.
- Red Bull Total Zero — 0 calories, total carbs, and net carbs in every can.
- Zevia Zero Calorie Energy Drink — 0 calories, total carbs, and net carbs in every can.
- Monster Energy Zero Ultra — 0 calories, 4 grams of total carbs (from erythritol), and 0 grams of net carbs in every can.
- Monster Energy Lo-Carb — 25 calories, 7 grams of total carbs, and 7 grams of net carbs per can.
- GURU Lite Natural Energy Drink — 10 calories, 2 grams of total carbs, and 2 grams of net carbs per can.
- Rockstar Pure Zero — 0 calories, total carbs, and net carbs in every can.
- Rockstar Zero Carb — 0 calories, total carbs, and net carbs in every can.
|Keto-Friendly Energy Drinks||Serving Size||Calories||Total Carbs||Net Carbs||Sweeteners Used|
|Red Bull Sugarfree*||12 fluid ounces||10||4 grams||4 grams||Aspartame and acesulfame potassium|
|Red Bull Total Zero||12 fluid ounces||0||0 grams||0 grams||Sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium|
|Zevia Zero Calorie Energy Drink||12 fluid ounces||0||0 grams||0 grams||Stevia leaf extract|
|Monster Energy Zero Ultra*||16 fluid ounces||Trace (<5 calories)||2 grams||2 grams||Erythritol and acesulfame potassium|
|Monster Energy Lo-Carb*||16 fluid ounces||25||7 grams||7 grams||Glucose, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium|
|GURU Lite Natural Energy Drink*||12 fluid ounces||10||3 grams||3 grams||Organic cane syrup, organic stevia leaf extract, and organic luo han guo fruit extract|
|Rockstar Pure Zero||16 fluid ounces||Trace (<5 calories)||Trace (<0.5 carbs)||Trace (<0.5 net carbs)||Erythritol, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose|
|Rockstar Zero Carb||16 fluid ounces||0||0 grams||0 grams||acesulfame potassium and sucralose|
* Due to their net carb content, it is best to consume no more than one serving of these drinks per day. Make sure you add the net carbs you get from these drinks into your daily net carb count.
Low-Carb Keto-Friendly Smoothies
Smoothies are known as a “health food,” but most of them are only a tiny bit healthier than juice — especially if they only contain high sugar fruits.
To make a truly nourishing low-carb smoothie, use a combination of these ingredients:
- High-quality fats — egg yolks, avocado, nut or seed butters, MCT oil powder, and/or coconut oil.
- Yogurt — unsweetened full-fat yogurts, coconut yogurt, or nut-milk based yogurts.
- Keto-friendly liquids — full-fat dairy milk, unsweetened dairy milk alternatives, etc.
- Produce — leafy greens like spinach or kale, berries like blueberries or raspberries.
- Protein powder — whey protein, egg white protein, vegan protein, collagen peptides, etc.
- Sweeteners and other flavorings — powdered or liquid stevia (or another keto sweetener), vanilla extract, almond extract, etc.
Make sure you are tracking how much fat, carbs, and protein you are adding to your smoothies. It is easier than you might think to put so much protein and carbs in your smoothie that it puts you over your daily carb limit and kicks you out of ketosis.
Here are some examples of delicious keto smoothie recipes that you can experiment with:
Blueberry Banana Bread Smoothie
Before you say it, I know what you're thinking: "But Craig, bananas are definitely not allowed on a ketogenic diet!" Don't worry g...
McKeto Strawberry Milkshake
Growing up as a kid, I had my fair share of fast food takeout. Some of them I still miss to this day and try to recreate (a lot of...
Cucumber Spinach Smoothie
I've had a lot of people e-mail me and ask me about juicing (which is a no-no). When they make the switch to a ke...
Blackberry Chocolate Shake
You know those chocolate covered berries you find in those specialty candy stores, or the ones that they serve up to you when you ...
Keto Tropical Smoothie
Come along and savor the last few days of summer that are left with me! Sit back, relax, and pour yourself a fruity and refreshing...
Popular Drinks That Should Be Consumed in Moderation On The Ketogenic Diet
The following list of drinks are on the fine line between keto-friendly and avoid entirely:
- Coconut water — 45 calories, 11 grams of total carbs, and 11 grams of net carbs per cup
- Milk — 148 calories, 12 grams of total carbs, and 12 grams of net carbs per cup of whole milk
- Kombucha — 30 calories, 7 grams of total carbs, and 7 grams of net carbs per cup of GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha
- Vegetable Juice — 49 calories, 10 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of net carbs per cup of V8 100% Vegetable Juice
Each one of these drinks is beneficial to our health in various ways, but their net carb content requires you to maintain a watchful eye on how much you are consuming. In most cases, there is a better alternative that is more keto friendly. Consuming 1/3 of your daily carbs in 1 serving is not the best choice when it comes to your diet. It’s best to save those carbs for leafy green vegetables.
For this reason, we recommend shying away from these types of beverages where possible. Although these beverages have some health benefits, it is not necessary to consume them while you are on the ketogenic diet.
Note: It’s virtually impossible to cover all of the drinks that are moderately allowed on keto. Try to be careful and read nutrition labels. If it has sugar, you generally want to avoid it. If it doesn’t have sugar, check the nutrition information. Generally, if a drink has more than 8g of carbs per serving, you should consider avoiding it.
Drinks to Avoid Completely on The Ketogenic Diet
In general, it is best to avoid any drink that puts you close to half your daily carb limit or net carb limit with one serving.
Here are some of the most common examples of drinks that you should avoid on keto:
- Fruit Juice — 140 calories, 38 grams of total carbs, 38 grams of net carbs in every cup of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice.
- Regular Soda — 93 calories, 26 grams of total carbs, 26 grams of net carbs in every cup of Coca-Cola.
- Regular Soda (with reduced sugar) — 60 calories, 16 grams of total carbs, 16 grams of net carbs in every cup of Coca-Cola Life.
- Sugary Sports Drinks — 80 calories, 21 grams of total carbs, 21 grams of net carbs in every cup of Gatorade.
- Vitamin Water — 48 calories, 13 grams of total carbs, 13 grams of net carbs in every cup of XXX Vitamin Water.
- Sweet Tea — 90 calories, 23 grams of total carbs and 23 grams of net carbs in every cup of AriZona Sweet Tea.
These drinks should never be consumed while you’re on the ketogenic diet. Each one is so unhealthy and filled with so much sugar that your health will improve when you cut them out of your diet. If you do consume them, however, make sure that the serving you are having fits into your calorie, carb, and net carb goals for the day.
Note: It’s virtually impossible to cover all of the drinks that aren’t allowed on keto. Try to be careful and read nutrition labels. If it has sugar, you generally want to avoid it. If it doesn’t have sugar, check the nutrition information. Generally, if a drink has more than 8g of carbs per serving, you should consider avoiding it.
What About Alcohol?
All alcoholic drinks should be consumed mindfully, but special caution must be taken when drinking alcohol on keto.
Your safest bet is consuming hard liquors, as they tend to be lowest in calories and won’t affect insulin and blood sugar like other alcoholic beverages.
A brief overview of some keto-friendly alcoholic beverages:
- Light Beer. Bud Select, Miller 64, Michelob Ultra are some options that you can try. Make sure to check the nutrition information online before you indulge in these beers because they all contain some carbs.
- Wine. Dry red wine, dry white wine, and unsweetened/unflavored champagne are the lowest carb wines. These typically have 4-5 grams of net carbs per glass (5 oz.).
- Liquor. All unsweetened and unflavored liquor will have 0g net carbs. Pure vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey are your best options. Liqueurs and most mixers do have carbs, so avoid them.
Alcoholic drinks to avoid on keto:
- Sugary mixers
- Flavored alcohols
- Sweet Wines
- Sangria/Margarita Mix
- Wine Coolers/Alcopops
For a more in-depth look at what alcohol you can drink on the ketogenic diet, click here.
Putting It All Together
There are many keto-friendly drinks, but the only necessity is water. If you choose to drink anything other than plain water, make sure you read the ingredients and the nutrition facts label. Many common drinks are high in sugar and can impair your ability to get the most out of the ketogenic diet.
If your favorite drink is not on the list, then it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t drink. To find out if the drink is keto-friendly, look at the nutrition label. Take note of the total carbs and subtract the total fiber from the total carbs to get the net carbs.
Also, make sure you are aware of the serving size. Some drinks will have serving sizes that don’t reflect what you are actually consuming.
Once you have figured out the serving size, total carbs, and net carbs, ask yourself “can I drink this beverage and still be under my total carb and net carb limits for the day after I’ve accounted for the other calories and carbs I’ll be eating?” If so, feel free to enjoy that drink.