If like us, you’re also following the low carb, high fat keto diet, you’re probably sick of the anxieties that come from picking up a diet soda and being unsure whether it fits into the keto lifestyle.
Let’s get one thing straight.
You can’t go wrong with the water. It is the essence of life. When you first start your ketogenic diet, your body sheds more water than ever.
So what do we do to counteract the water-shedding side effect of the keto diet? We drink water.
But water is boring. We NEED other drinks to spice up our keto lifestyle, and that is why we have brought to you this comprehensive guide to keto-friendly drinks besides water that can truly give your day that ever-wanting sparkle.
Let’s Get Right Into It…
Before we start, there are a few things you need to take into consideration before picking your favorite water-replacing keto-friendly drink:
- Make sure that your drink contains 0 grams of carbs per serving
- Ensure that your drink of choice is zero calorie
- Check the ingredients – we LOVE natural
- Compare artificial sweeteners when you see ‘sugar-free’ on the can
- Finally, make sure you always keep an eye on your net carb allowance!
Without further ado, the first on our list of categories of keto-friendly drinks are:
1. Low-carb Hot Drinks: Coffee And Tea
Most hot drinks out there are keto-friendly as they constitute primarily out of water, especially coffee and tea. However, you should be mindful of what you decide to add to them in terms of milk, as you don’t want to add dairy milk due to it being high carb.
Instead, you could opt for these milk alternatives:
- Soy milk
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
Don’t worry, we will cover these further down the article!
Black Tea And Green Tea: The Immunity Boosters
You can have black tea or green tea, as they both go wonderfully in the keto diet. Tea is a wonderful natural drink that has been around for millennia and contains virtually no grams of net carbs. (*)
The main difference between black tea and green tea is the aging of the leaves.
Black tea is made from aged leaves which gives it the darker color and most robust taste, as well as containing a naturally higher caffeine content.
Green tea is made from fresh tea leaves and brings a more mild but pleasant flavor. Green tea is absolutely jam-packed full of micronutrients and minerals which do wonders for your health!
- Improve brain functions
- Improve metabolism and fat-burning processes
- Antioxidant properties
- Help treats your skin
- And so many more – you can find these on our Article regarding Green Tea!
Coffee: Need We Say More?
Coffee is by far our favorite low-carb, keto-friendly warm drink that provides us with a whopping 88mg of caffeine per cup!
When drinking coffee without any added sugars, you can truly feel the benefit of the caffeine! The beauty of coffee is that it can be enjoyed either hot or iced.
Due to the high caffeine content of coffee, you will experience the benefits of caffeine in a variety of ways such as :
- Increased productivity
- Increased metabolism
- And help your weight loss journey!
You can also try making your own ketogenic coffee at home with the addition of heavy cream, MCT oil, or butter!
Simply mix those in with the coffee until you achieve a creamy consistency and voila – you have made bulletproof coffee, a drink that is sure to kick you right back into ketosis.
If you are craving a sweet coffee without the added sugar, you can try adding sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit to help give you curb the sugar craving!
2. Low-carb Sparkling Water Or Seltzer
If you love drinking water but the consistency is getting boring for you, why not try sparkling water?
Sparkling water with the addition of water enhancers such as natural fruit extracts works as a wonderful alternative to diet sodas that contain artificial sweeteners.
Companies such as LaCroix are setting an example for sparkling water lovers out there. They prove that it is possible to obtain the flavors of fizzy fruit juice and diet soda without the risks to your health.
If you don’t want to splash your cash on branded flavored sparkling water, you can try making your own sparkling water-based keto-friendly drinks without the added artificial sweeteners by simply:
- Squeezing fresh lemon into your sparkling water (this adds 0.5 grams of net carbs)
- Adding mint and a hint of lime
The main thing we have to note here for you is: avoid tonic water. As clear and similar-looking to sparkling water as it is, tonic water contains a considerable amount of net carbs and is not keto-friendly.
So what are our favorite sparkling waters?
LaCroix is the kind of drink that you start to enjoy and then briefly panic about as you think the exceptional taste must be correlated to it being high in carbs. Luckily, you’re wrong, as LaCroix is a zero-calorie, zero sugar, and zero artificial sweetener drink!
It is available in a magnitude of flavors and so you’ll never be bored! Let us not forget the health benefits this drink can bring to you too which you can find directly on our website!
Limitless Lime And Limitless Taste!
Limitless has produced one of the most refreshing alternatives to diet sodas out there. (*)
It is simply carbonated water that is infused with 35 mg of caffeine which will not only give you a sparkling flavor but give you that extra energy boost that you needed for the day!
So if you prefer a drink that is only lightly carbonated and needs a caffeine boost, then Limitless is the brand for you!
3. Low-carb Water Enhancers And Flavored Water: One Drop Is All It Takes!
You can find three different solutions to enhance the flavor of your water without the added net carbs.
- Use Flavor Droppers
- Use Flavored Powders
- Our personal favorite – adding a dash of apple cider vinegar
Although these flavors make your water taste fruity, they will not make your water healthier. They do, however, increase your water intake which is absolutely vital for the keto diet.
Stur Water Enhancers
Natural enhancers are used widely to improve the flavor of water without adding any net carbs. Stur water enhancers are flavor droppers that come in a variety of flavors and are:
- zero carb
- zero calorie
- ultimate taste
Better yet, these water enhancers contain absolutely no artificial sweeteners or colors and are loaded with vitamins to help maintain your healthy lifestyle.
Stur water enhancers use stevia as their key sweetener which as we know by now is naturally occurring and keto-friendly.
Powdered Water Enhancers
Powdered water enhancers, such as Ultima, come in a variety of flavors and are sugar-free. (*)
This ensures that you get the maximum taste with a zero-carb dent into your net carbs allowance.
Ultima is one of our favorite powdered water enhancers because it is keto-friendly, gluten-free, and is fantastic for replenishing your thirst and lost electrolytes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
As scientifically proven, one of the best ways to start your morning is by adding a dash of apple cider vinegar to your day. Most celebrities out there do it, so there must be good reasoning behind it, right?
Although we must admit, this is not everybody’s cup of tea.
Apple cider vinegar works as one of the healthiest water enhancers as you can simply add one shot of around 25ml to your seltzer or water to remove the bland taste to your water and give you all the apple cider vinegar benefit. (*)
4. Diet Sodas: We Know You’ve Been Waiting For This!
This gives you the false sense of security into believing that most soft drinks are keto drinks.
We are sorry to say that you are wrong.
Most of these diet sodas actually contain ingredients that may be harmful to your body, and therefore put the majority of diet sodas into the ‘dirty keto’ category.
If you are wondering what dirty keto is, make sure you read one of our many articles on the most popular diet sodas where we break down the ingredients that fall into the dirty keto category and give you a proper explanation!
When searching for keto-friendly diet sodas, make sure to pick those that use naturally present sweeteners such as Zevia.
Zevia is one of those keto drinks that is not only low carb and zero calories but is a perfect addition to your ketogenic diet.
Zevia has created a range of diet sodas that come in a variety of flavors from your favorite sparkling fruit juice to the more common diet sodas in the market such as Diet Coke.
All Zevia products are keto, contain no artificial sweeteners, are sugar-free, and have zero carbs per can! The drinks are also colorless which proves that they contain no artificial colorings.
Virgil’s Zero Sugar
Did you know that Virgil’s zero sugar drinks are officially keto certified? (*)
So, if you’re looking for one of the best keto-friendly drinks in the markets right now, Virgil’s is your go-to drink. With six delicious flavors, there is not much you can do wrong by adding these to your keto diet.
Virgil’s is made only with the most natural sweeteners, is low carb, high fat, and sugar-free.
Virgil’s range of drinks have a glycemic index of 0, which means that they will not affect your blood sugar or cause any insulin spikes.
Make Your Own
Making your own keto-friendly diet drinks has never been easier.
All you need to do is mix sparkling water with some keto-friendly sweeteners such as stevia, and add natural fruit flavoring.
Better yet, if you have a soda stream you can try infusing your own water with fruits over a couple of days to really soak up the flavors and then carbonate for that spectacular calorie-free drink!
5. Low-carb Fruit Juice: Can We Really Find Keto-Friendly Versions?
The general rule of fruit juices when it comes to the keto diet is that we scrap them right?
Fruit juices are notoriously packed with sugars, whether that may be natural or artificial, and are very high in carbs, making them not keto-friendly.
However, there are exceptions to certain fruit juices that you may substitute into your keto diet. Drinks like lemon or lime juices are not as high in carbs but give you a unique and strong flavor!
Better yet, if you want to lower your carb intake you can try mixing lemon or lime juice with other drinks such as tea or coffee (iced preferably)!
Vegetables are used widely in the keto diet to help us obtain our essential carbs and fiber. However, vegetables can also be made into juice which gives us a wonderful and healthy drink.
The bad side of juicing vegetables is that you will, unfortunately, be removing the majority of nutritious elements of the vegetables, such as fiber. Unless, of course, you don’t mind drinking the pulp of the vegetables which may give you an unpleasant sensation.
If you are interested in making keto-friendly vegetable juice, then why not try one of the following:
- Celery juice
- Cucumber juice
- Spinach and Kale smoothies
If you don’t have access to a juicer or any other technology that is used to make juice, you can buy vegetable juice in stores. However, you need to be wary of extra added sugar.
Keto Smoothies: Maximum Fruit Taste, Minimum Net Carb Usage
Keto smoothies are a fantastic way to make an on-the-go breakfast or to be used as a midday snack to help boost your energy.
To make low carb, high fat keto smoothies, you should abide by the following rules:
- Use low carb fruit such as berries
- Use high-nutrient vegetables such as spinach and kale
- To add flavor other than water, you can try milk alternatives such as coconut milk or almond milk
- FATS: essential to making this keto-friendly, you should try adding a dash of MCT oil or butter to help give you that kick into ketosis!
- Finally, use a good blender. You want your keto smoothies to be as smooth as possible (hence the name)
Keep in mind that although these keto smoothies contain a little amount of net carbs per serving, they still give you an amazing source of your daily required nutrients and so the fee of net carbs is totally worth it.
6. Low-carb Flavoured Water: Too Good To Be True?
Flavored waters such as Nestle’s splash water are indeed keto. They have a carb count of zero, along with no calories.
However, there is a catch.
A lot of the commercially bought flavored waters are packed with artificial sweeteners which puts them in the dirty keto category.
Some waters are also flavored using real fruit juice. Yes, this does add natural flavor to the water, but it can increase your net carb intake depending on the fruit juice used.
If you love water and love the addition of a fruity taste, then the best way to incorporate flavored water into your keto diet is to make your own.
Home-made Flavored Water
Simply infuse your water with one of the following and leave overnight:
- Lemon and mint
- Blueberry, rosemary, and mint
- Dragonfruit and cucumber
All of these once left overnight will give you a fantastic taste and make you wanting more!
We don’t mean water. We mean the brand, Just Water. (*)
Just water is 100% natural mountain sourced water and infused with natural fruit extracts to give it the wonderful refreshing fruity taste. Our favorite flavors include:
- Just lemon
What you should take away with regards to flavored water?
READ THE LABEL. Try your best to pick out flavored waters that do NOT contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or acesulfame potassium.
Keto-friendly drinks are those that contain natural sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit, and therefore your most keto-friendly option for flavored water is to simply infuse your own.
7. Milk Alternatives: Battle Of The Breast
If you’ve taken the time to properly research the ins and outs of the keto diet, you will by now have realized that cow’s milk is not on the cards. This is because dairy milk is high in net carbs (a whopping 13 g of net carbs per cup) and doesn’t let us enjoy keto.
To find the best milk alternative, you need to consider how many net carbs are there per serving, and how available they are?
Our favorite contender of milk alternatives. Almond milk is by far the most keto-friendly milk out there because you can simply drink ounces and ounces without making a dent in your carb counts.
Unsweetened almond milk gives you 1.4 grams of net carbs per serving. (*) You do need to watch out for the sweetened versions which are available in shops as these do contain net carbs and could knock you out of ketosis if you are not careful!
Not only is almond milk low carb, but it also contains a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals to ensure we are strong and healthy. Be sure to read more here to really witness the benefit of almond milk!
One of the sweeter options, coconut milk provides a lot of flavor to your day. You can drink it whole, add it to smoothies, or even make some delicious soft bakes!
However, coconut milk comes at an unfortunate calorie price at a whopping 445 calories per cup. Surprisingly, regardless of the high calories, one serving of coconut milk contains only 1 gram of net carbs and will not hold you back from enjoying alternative carbs.
Keep in mind that when we praise these milk alternatives we always mean unsweetened varieties. We don’t want to be responsible for accidentally knocking you out of ketosis!
Regardless of being on the keto diet or not, soy milk is by far the most popular in terms of milk alternatives.
Again, make sure you opt for unsweetened soy milk when you are out shopping as this contains just 4 grams of carbs per cup, allowing you to enjoy that latte to the max without fear of going out of your carb range.
You can even try adding heavy cream to your soy latte to make it tastier, creamier, and more keto-friendly!
The key takeaway regarding milk in the keto diet is to avoid dairy milk and always look out for unsweetened varieties of the above keto-friendy milk alternatives!
8. Low-carb Energy Drinks: Do You Need Wings To Fly?
The majority of the world-leading energy drinks providers have luckily created sugar-free varieties of their famous products such as Red Bull Zero Sugar.
However, similarly to the majority of processed sodas and fruit juices out there, these drinks come loaded with added artificial sweeteners and so are detrimental to our health.
Now, we know we’re repeating the following statement but repetition is key to memory! So remember, always pick out an energy drink that contains natural sweetener such as stevia or monk fruit.
First of all, you need to be wary if decide to consume too many energy drinks. This is because most energy drinks out there have been linked to brain damage, liver failure, and even heart failure in some cases! (*)
Red Bull Zero Sugar
We couldn’t really include this in our list of top energy drinks that are keto.
This is because it is quite possibly the most popular go-to energy drink out there that is used by many around the world to help give them that pre-workout boost before they do any physical activity!
Although do bear in mind that Red Bull zero sugar gets its sweetness from aspartame and acesulfame potassium, and you should therefore be mindful of how many you decide to drink.
So, make sure that if you do decide to keep drinking Red Bull zero sugar for energy that you do so in moderation.
Celsius natural have produced a variety of flavors for their energy drinks. They are essentially sparkling water with added caffeine.
Want to know the best part?
Celsius energy drinks are flavored naturally with stevia, which means that you will not get any of the bad side effects of artificial sweeteners in the commonly found energy drinks.
Celsius energy drinks also contain no net carbs and just 2 grams of total carbs which come from fiber! (*)
All this for a cost of 10 calories just sounds way too good to be true, but believe us when we say it is TRUE!
Medically approved company Healthline has even listed Eboost as one of their go-to keto drinks. That should say it all right? (*)
So, why has it made the list? Simple:
- No artificial sweeteners used
- Naturally sourced caffeine
- Full of antioxidants
One can of Superfuel contains only 20 calories, 2 grams of net carbs, a magnitude of micronutrients which are sure to bring you a whole load of benefits, and a whopping 110 mg of caffeine – more than a cup of black coffee! (*)
9. Electrolyte Repleneshening Beverages: At What Price?
Replenishing our electrolytes is very important on the keto diet.
We tend to lose a lot of water, especially during the first stages of getting into ketosis, and we don’t eat many fruits, so we need to get our electrolytes from somewhere right?
Electrolytes are used to maintain normal bodily functions and make sure that your blood pressure and heart function remains the same.
So what are the main electrolytes we need?
Each of which is available in the majority of foods we consume. However, after a workout or a warm day, we tend to sweat a lot.
Therefore, we need to find ourselves a source for these electrolytes.
Most commonly in shops, we see that sports drinks are the main contenders as electrolyte replacements. However, these are usually high in carbs, so you need to try to find sugar-free options.
After describing itself as a wonderful tasting drink with no added sugars and zero calories, Powerade zero has to be up on our list.
The beautiful and unique taste of Powerade zero makes us think that we are cheating ourselves on the keto diet. However, luckily for us, this drink contains no net carbs!
Unfortunately, like other Powerade beverages, this zero-calorie drink gets its acquired taste from artificial sweeteners.
Saying that sugar-free Powerade will not knock you out of ketosis, especially for the fact that we should only consume it occasionally, after a big workout.
Nuun Sport tablets are rich in electrolytes. They also bring a wonderful flavor to your plain water and are easily stored! (*)
You can take Nuun tablets either before or after a workout to help enhance your performance and ensure that your dehydration is kept to a minimum.
Nuun Sport uses no artificial flavoring or coloring as they are flavored with stevia, making them one of the best keto drinks out there.
Quite possibly one of the best and more underhyped keto products out there. Hy-Lyte is an electrolyte replenishing concentrated solution that gives you the benefit of up to 16 electrolyte drinks with one serving. (*)
Hi, Lyte is easy to use: you simply add half of a teaspoon to 32 oz of plain water and drink! Better yet? This product also contains no artificial ingredients, it is strictly electrolytes which is vital for the human body.
10. Alcoholic Beverages: Hard Liquor Or A Refreshing Beer?
Alcoholic beverages should always be taken in moderation, regardless if you are on the keto diet or not as the side effects of alcohol can truly be catastrophic when it comes to your health.
Saying that it has always been assumed that you cannot drink alcohol when on the keto diet as there is a myth that all alcohols contain a significant amount of carbs. But guess what?
You can drink alcohol on the keto diet, as long as you follow our comprehensive guide! Let’s start with our favorite, hard liquors.
Gin, like many other hard liquors, is actually completely free of carbs.
Gin is a distilled spirit, meaning that it is processed in a certain manner to give it a unique taste. However, like with sodas and other factory-manufactured drinks, you need to be wary of sweetened and unsweetened versions.
For example, you shouldn’t opt for a flavored gin such as Edinburgh’s Raspberry gin, as these are flavored with extra ingredients that could contain hidden net carbs.
Instead, opt for the unsweetened and classic varieties that will not interfere with your carb count. If you do like flavored gin, you should seek one that is “infused” rather than flavored, as this means that the gin gets all the benefits of the extra aromatic flavors without the excess carbs and sugar.
Vodka is absolutely keto-friendly. You can consume vodka on the keto diet without a worry about making a set into your net carb allowance.
Why? This is because when hard liquor and alcohol are distilled, the sugar gets converted into alcohol and so the carb content gets significantly reduced.
However, one shot of vodka still comes with 64 calories and so you should be wary if you are trying to stay under a certain amount of daily total calories.
Surprisingly, vodka does come with some health benefits when consumed in moderation such as :
- Reducing stress. We don’t mean getting mindlessly drunk and forgetting the problems you had, but scientifically vodka has shown to reduce stress, more so than wine! (*)
- Promote heart health. Vodka helps blood flow and reduced cholesterol. (*)
- Reduce inflammation. One study proved that those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were able to benefit from the inflammation reduction effects of vodka if consumed in moderation. (*)
Most wine is notoriously known for its high carb count. The sweet taste does not go unpunished!
When it comes to the keto diet, we need to look for a wine that is made as naturally as possible. This is because a lot of wine manufacturers like to infuse or fortify their wines with added sugars and sweeteners that give their brand that unique taste.
Dry wine has very little sugar left after the fermentation process. This is why they don’t taste as sweet.
Dry wine is therefore the best wine for the keto diet. So what is the carb content of these wines?
- Dry red wine: Most common red wine such as Pinot Noir or Merlot have around 3-4 grams of carbs per cup. (*)
- Dry white wine: Favorite picks such as Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay range from 2.5-3.5 grams of carbs per serving. (*)
- Brut Wines: When it comes to alcoholic drinks, these are the best in terms of wine for the keto diet. Our favorite brand Unusual Wines brut contains 0 grams of carbs. (*)
We couldn’t include beer in our list. We get it, you miss cracking open a cold one with your friends over the barbecue.
Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks around and so it comes with no surprise that brands out there have tried to jump onto the keto bandwagon and try to formulate a low carb alternative for us.
Standard beer is very high in carbs because of the ingredients that go into its manufacture.
It is with that information that we bring to you a couple of our favorite low-carb beer brands that you can treat yourself to on that sunny day.
- Devil’s Backbone – This company has created a light and citrusy beer that is keto dieters can enjoy for a mere cost of 2 grams of net carbs per can. This is perfect if you prefer a fruity pale ale!
- Bridge Brewing – A more traditional lager that is crisp and very fresh, and comes at a price of only 1.5 grams of net carbs. Can you go wrong with this choice? (*)
11. Keto-Friendly Drink Mixes for Water
Now that we have discussed the above alcohols, you are wondering what are the best keto drinks to add to your liquor to make sure that your cocktail is keto-friendly right?
Many cocktail mixers available are naturally low carb, but not entirely keto-friendly. Since most hard liquors contain no carbs, this is where people accidentally kick themselves out of ketosis.
So what are the best mixers for the keto diet?
As we have established, citrus juice contains very few carbs. Lime juice is a fantastic choice for a mixer as the portion you will actually use to flavor your drink will only contain around 1g of carbs, making it perfectly keto-friendly.
If you want, you can try adding a dash of lime juice to some soda water and gin to make a taste resembling tonic water without the added carbs.
Zero Sugar Syrups
Many of the commonly used fruit syrups that are used in bars to make flavorsome cocktails are extremely high in sugar and therefore are a key culprit to kicking us out of ketosis.
If you are looking for a keto-friendly syrup, you can try brands such as Swoon zero sugar syrup which is made with a natural sweetener called monk fruit and contains no carbs. This makes it keto-friendly and allows you to enjoy a delicious keto-friendly cocktail.
The Main Drinks To Avoid
Now that we have given you a substantial list of our favorite keto-friendly drinks, we need to give you a little rule book that you must follow when it comes to picking out the best keto drinks.
Make sure to follow the following rules as your life depends on them:
- Avoid Dairy Milk – We have covered this many times but we do believe it is one of the crucial rules. Opt for keto-friendly milk alternatives or give your coffee and tea that extra keto kick using heavy cream.
- Avoid Artificial Sweeteners – Anything that is artificially produced or contains the sweeteners aspartame and/or acesulfame potassium should be avoided like the plague! These won’t kick you out of ketosis but are not keto-friendly as they will cause health damage down the line.
- Avoid Cocktails – Unless you are telling the bartender exactly how you want your cocktail to be made using one of the methods described above, try to abstain from ordering cocktails at the bar, as tempting as they might seem. Most cocktails are made with fruit juice, dairy products, or syrups that all contain a high amount of carbs and if you’re not too careful you may knock yourself out of ketosis.
MODERATION. We can’t emphasize this enough.
As you have noticed, there is a huge array of keto-friendly drinks out there in the markets. However, this does not mean that you should make them a regular part of your routine.
Even low-carb keto drinks such as keto-friendly beers and hard liquors can be full of empty calories, and although carb content is what we always look out for in the keto diet, drinking these alcoholic drinks regularly might slow down your weight loss process. (*)
We don’t need to explain to you the effects alcohol has long term on the human body if consumed regularly, and therefore we will remind you of this one governmental rule: (*)
Limit yourself to one drink a day if you are a woman and two drinks per day if you are a man.
The Key Take-Away
Whether you are trying to sort out your meal plans or plan your pre-workout routine, there is a beverage that fits into every lifestyle revolving around the keto diet.
However, regardless of your diet, you should try to moderate your alcohol consumption and keep it to a minimum if you can – for example, only on special occasions.
So please, make use of our amazing guide and we hope that we have helped you find more exciting ways to rehydrate yourself without sticking to plain water.