When going keto, many dieters focus more on what they’re eating than what they’re drinking. Yet beverages of all sorts may contain high amounts of carbs that can push you close to or even over your carb limit for the day. To cut carbs from beverages, what should you drink on keto?
Here are some low-carb beverages perfect for the keto diet:
- Water, including flavored water
- Sparkling water
- Diet soda
- Soy milk
- Lite beer
In this informative article, we’ll discuss each of the drinks above, covering their carb content so you know which to grab when you need a cool refreshment. We’ll also share a separate list of carb-heavy drinks to avoid most of the time.
9 Keto-Friendly Beverages to Drink More Often
You should be drinking water every day anyway, at least 2.7 liters for women and 3.7 liters for men. Water is our lifeblood, as we comprise around 60 percent water. When you drink water, you maintain your body temperature, allow for nutrient transfer, help your body produce saliva, and encourage healthy circulation and digestion.
Water has no calories, sugar, salt, or carbs, so keto dieters especially should drink it. If you’re a bit hungry as you adjust to the keto diet, sipping on water can fill up your belly so you feel somewhat sated.
If you just can’t drink plain water, flavored water brands are usually zero-carb as well.
One cup of coffee, which is 8 fluid ounces, contains 95 milligrams of caffeine, which should be enough of a buzz that you’ll feel jolted and ready to go for hours. Even better is that if you drink your coffee about as plain as can be, it has no carbs. That’s also true of Americanos, which are just hot water and espresso.
If you’d rather have the espresso without diluting it with hot water, a 30-milliliter shot of the stuff contains 1 gram of carbs. A 12-ounce cup of black coffee has 1 gram of carbs or less. For those who need a sweetener in their coffee, adding whole milk to a cup of coffee increases its carb load to 6 grams.
Although you don’t ingest as much caffeine per cup, tea can still get your motor revving with 26 milligrams of caffeine per 8-fluid ounce serving. Black tea is one such beverage to incorporate into your keto diet, as it has 0.7 grams of carbs in a cup.
Besides its low carb load, black tea is insanely healthy for you. This tea might make it easier to focus, and you could reduce your blood sugar and blood pressure. Your risks of cancer and stroke might go down as well. This is because black tea is loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants.
Green tea has even fewer carbs, 0.3 grams in a serving. With 1 calorie per cup and lots of bioactive compounds and antioxidants, it’s no wonder you may be safeguarded against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers, and even premature brain aging by drinking green tea.
Although sparkling water isn’t all that different from regular water, some fans of the stuff are so passionate that we figured sparkling water deserved its own category. Whether La Croix is your favorite or you drink another brand of sparkling water, you’ll be happy to learn this drink has zero carbs, including flavored sparkling water.
Soda of any type isn’t the healthiest beverage to consume, even if you’re not on keto. Diet soda admittedly does have zero carbs and even zero calories, but to make it diet-friendly, the soda is bogged down with Stevia, acesulfame K, sucralose, aspartame, and other artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners can make you crave sugar.
Sugar contains more glucose than some foods, and ingesting too much can take you out of ketosis fast. If you’re in the mood for soda and diet drink is all you have, then go for it, but maybe don’t make a regular habit out of it.
Loaded with vitamin D, potassium, B vitamins, phosphorus, and calcium for stronger bones, dairy milk is a beverage staple for many. It’s protein-heavy, which is good for keto dieters. A 244-gram serving of milk is a little higher in carbs than the drinks we’ve discussed so far, containing 12 grams.
What if you're lactose intolerant? Then try dairy-free milk. Soy milk has a comparable quantity of carbs compared to dairy milk, 15 grams in a 243-gram serving (which is equal to a cup). Unsweetened almond milk may contain zero carbs, which is like music to your ears.
The next time you feel like celebrating, break out your finest glass of wine, as a 5-fluid-ounce serving or 148 grams has only 3.8 grams of carbs, be that white wine or red. Compared to other types of alcohol, wine can be quite beneficial for your health.
The resveratrol in wine might prevent the onset of macular degeneration for better vision. Polyphenols can do a lot too, like ward off dental plaque. Wine is also rich in antioxidants that might bolster your immunity, burn stomach fat, and lower cholesterol. The key is to drink in moderation, of course!
The next time you’re at the bar with friends or you have some football buddies over for game night, don’t feel like you have to refrain from drinking beer. You just have to be choosy about which brands you consume. Low-carb lite beers won’t disrupt ketosis provided you watch your level of consumption.
Here are some lite beers you can choose from:
- Harpoon Brewery Rec. League – 10 grams of carbs and 120 calories in 12 ounces
- Lakefront Brewery Eazy Teazy Ale – 5.85 grams of carbs and 99 calories in 12 ounces
- Four Peaks Brut IPA – 5 grams of carbs and 152 calories in 12 ounces
- BrewDog Vagabond Pale Ale – 5 grams of carbs and 150 calories in 12 ounces
- Allagash Brewing Co. Saison – 4.8 grams of carbs and 183 calories in 12 ounces
- Deschutes Brewery Da Shootz! Pilsner – 4.2 grams of carbs and 99 calories in 12 ounces
- Kona Brewing Co. Kahana Blonde Ale – 4 grams of carbs and 99 calories in 12 ounces
- Ommegang Brut IPA – 3.9 grams of carbs and 140 calories in 12 ounces
- Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty IPA – 3.6 grams of carbs and 95 calories in 12 ounces
- Shiner Ruby Redbird Lager – 3.1 grams of carbs and 95 calories in 12 ounces
- Lagunitas DayTime IPA – 3 grams of carbs and 98 calories in 12 ounces
- Michelob Ultra – 2.6 grams of carbs and 95 calories in 12 ounces
- Corona Premier – 2.6 grams of carbs and 90 calories in 12 ounces
Consume These Carb-Heavy Drinks in Moderation
The following beverages might be those that you drank all the time before starting the keto diet. Once you learn how many carbs these drinks contain, you’ll want to rethink frequent consumption. Save these beverages for a cheat day instead.
Oranges are one of those carb-heavy fruits that keto dieters generally stay away from. One small orange that’s 2 3/8 inches in diameter or 96 grams is 11 grams of carbs, and when blended with sugar into juice, it’s not that much better.
A cup of orange juice, which is 248 grams, has 26 grams of carbs. You don’t want to blow nearly all your carbs for the day on one cup of juice!
To the surprise of no one, soda is a carb bomb. A 12-fluid-ounce serving, or one can of soda, has 35 grams of carbs. Cream soda might have as many as 49 grams in a bottle or can. A 21-fluid-ounce serving of Sprite contains 49 grams of carbs.
Although most keto resources say that energy drinks are fine to consume on your diet, we’d disagree. A 20-ounce serving of Gatorade might only have 150 calories, but the drink includes 36 grams of carbs and 34 grams of sugar to disrupt ketosis. You’re better off drinking G2 with 8 grams of carbs instead.
If a strawberries and cream Frappuccino is your go-to order at Starbucks, it’s time to change that order now that you’re on keto. This sticky-sweet beverage has 50 grams of carbs, which is far too many if you want to stay in ketosis.
Try the comparable Pink Drink instead, but request light creamer, sugar-free syrup, and passion tango tea.
An indulgent treat through and through, milkshakes can contain as many as 60 grams of carbs in 10 fluid ounces.
Instead of coffee or tea, do you rely on a huge can of Monster to get you through tiring afternoons? This is another habit that needs rectifying now that you’re on the keto diet. A 240-gram serving of AMP Energy Drink or Full Throttle Energy Drink has 29 grams of carbs apiece. Monster Energy contains 27 grams of carbs in 240 grams, which is only marginally better.
A whole can of Red Bull, which is 369 grams or 12 fluid ounces, has a whopping 40 grams of carbs. Rockstar Energy contains 30 grams of carbs in 240 grams or 8 fluid ounces. Fans of Vault should know that this energy drink has 32 grams of carbs in 246 grams or 8 fluid ounces.
It’s not all bad, though. Vault’s Zero Sugar-Free Energy Drink has only 1.7 grams of carbs in a 246-gram serving!
Remember, the keto diet isn’t exclusively about what you eat, but the beverages you consume as well.
We hope this guide has helped you figure out which drinks you can incorporate into your diet every day and which are better left as occasional treats during your cheat days!