One of the most important aspects of the keto diet is ensuring that you remain suitably hydrated throughout the entirety of the time in your state of ketosis.
With that being said, drinking gallons upon gallons of water although may be beneficial for you (given that you don’t accidentally drown), will not give your taste buds that satisfying dance that they crave.
So how do you make water taste better?
Your solution is – water enhancers.
Water enhancers are a fantastic solution to make drinking water much, much more fun with absolutely no dent into your net carb allowance, making them keto-friendly.
Or are they?
Before we give away too many of the secrets we share with you, why don’t you keep on reading down this comprehensive review and find out all you need to know about these flavored water droppers.
What Are Water Enhancers?
The latest invention to make its way to the beverage aisle at your local grocery store comes in a tiny bottle. Now, we know what you’re thinking – “there’s no way a small bottle can quench my thirst”!
Well- you’re wrong. These tiny bottles are called water enhancers which are made of a concentrated fruit-flavored solution that you mix into a glass or bottle of water.
These mixers help you appreciate water more but making it more attractive. They do this by adding sweetness, fruit flavoring, and even a hint of color to make your water look more appealing.
The best part? The majority of these mixers come with no added sugars and are therefore low carb with minimal net carbs per serving, making sure that you remain in ketosis.
Nutritional Facts: Net Carbs Per Serving
Let’s start with the basics. What macronutrients do we require for the keto diet to become optimal?
Firstly, we need to make sure 70% of our energy comes from fats, 25% from protein, and 5% from carb. However, this is a concentrated solution that commonly lacks fats and proteins. So what about the carb content?
Well, water enhancers typically contain little to no carbs, as the majority of their sweetness comes from various artificial sweeteners. This means that there are no net carbs per serving in a lot of the water enhancers, and in turn, no calories.
Health Benefits and Down Sides
For those of you who have taken the ketogenic diet path, you’re only ever told three things: drink plenty of water, maintain a low net carb content, and ensure your food is high in fat.
Along with the obvious health benefits that may come around from using water enhancers to promote hydration with a very little cost of net carbs, there may be some detrimental health defects caused by these various ingredients.
Although the actual flavored droppers don’t hydrate you per say, the water to which you are adding the drops does.
Having said that, there are a lot of people out there who believe that the addition of anything into the water can lead to less hydration. Especially when that ‘something’ added to the water gives it a sugary taste with an inkling that net carbs could be present.
So, how do water enhancers promote hydration?
Water tastes like water. You can’t really describe how it tastes but it still tastes so good, especially when we are dying of thirst.
Water enhancers make water taste nicer. For those of us doing the ketogenic diet who have to drink at least 3 litres of water a day, the addition of water enhancers may motivate us to continue drinking and stay hydrated.
Let’s get one thing straight. Anything that has been chemically enhanced is unlikely to cause any direct influence on your weight loss.
However, replacing drinks full of calories and net carbs with these low-carb water-based alternatives can help you reduce both your total daily calories and net carb intake.
Reducing the number of calories you take in per day by a substantial amount will eventually lead to increased weight loss and speed up fat-burning processes in your body.
A lot of the bigger water enhancer companies claim that their products are jam-packed full of essential vitamins to help power you through the day, giving you extra energy.
The main vitamins contained in most water flavoring drops are mainly B vitamins. B vitamins help convert fat and food into energy and help increase fat burning to promote weight loss.
So why do companies advertise their water droppers with a significant focus on the vitamin content?
Well, what you need to know is that the majority of these products contain trivial amounts of vitamins that are unlikely to provide you with any substantial benefit unless you consume them in vast amounts – which as we know is a terrible idea for any diet.
All in all, although the vitamin content in these flavored droppings is not of any substantial amount, it will do you no harm – in terms of vitamin uptake – if you decided to replace drinking water with one that has flavorings added.
Loaded with artificial chemicals
And now, for the not-so-friendly part. Unfortunately, anything that contains ingredients that are not naturally sourced can cause a variety of health problems.
One of the most common ingredients found in flavored products is artificial sweeteners. There has been a certain stigma floating around the usage of these, and we’re going to show you just how bad they can be.
The main artificial sweeteners used in these products are acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose, all of which are considered safe by the FDA. However, research suggests otherwise. (*)
The first benefit that is seen with the use of these sweeteners as opposed to normal sugar is the fact that they contain no calories, no net carbs, and taste good. Furthermore, certain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose are around 400 times sweeter than sugar, meaning that minuscule amounts are needed to sweeten the food or drink you are about to consume. (*)
Having said that, it has been shown that these artificial sweeteners can cause a negative impact on not only your health but the environment too. A 2020 study has shown that acesulfame potassium does not dispose easily and can therefore affect sea life. (*)
Additionally, some of these artificial sweeteners have been linked to increased insulin levels which can lead to weight gain, increased blood sugar, and even diabetes. (*)
Lastly, artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause various changes in DNA which can lead to certain types of cancer. (*)
As you see, the artificial sweeteners used in these products are best to be avoided. If not, then you can consume these products but they will not be keto-friendly. As such, we classify the majority of water enhancers as dirty-keto.
Keto-friendly water enhancers are those that contain only natural ingredients and are sweetened by keto-friendly sweeteners such as Stevia and monk’s fruit.
Consuming regular artificially sweetened food and drinks can cause sugar cravings, increased appetites, and temptations to consume carbs which can knock us out of ketosis.
Artificial sweeteners work by binding to the same receptors in your mouth as sugar, but with a much higher potency. Because these receptors are working, you may find an urge to consume more sugary food and drinks, as proven in various studies. (*)
Are Water Enhancers Keto-Friendly?
Water enhancers claim to be healthy. Companies advocate for the addition of these in classrooms and offices to help promote hydration along with providing you a wonderful array of electrolytes and vitamins to help you stay hydrated.
However, how healthy can a concentrated, fruit-flavored solution really be?
Having discussed all of the above benefits and downfalls of water enhancers, we believe that these products are not keto-friendly but instead fall under the dirty keto section. This means that although they won’t directly affect your net carb intake, you may be predisposed to health issues further down your timeline.
Best Low Carb Water Enhancers To Buy For The Keto Diet
The best water enhancers to use for the ketogenic diet are those that have negligible net carbs per serving and contain only natural sweeteners.
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Stur has produced a wonderful, natural flavor enhancer without the use of any artificial ingredients. With 0 grams of net carbs per serving and 100% of your daily vitamin C intake, this product is our number one.
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Nuun is a more convenient water flavoring as it comes in tablet form. Nuun also contains no artificial ingredients but does provide wonderful electrolyte replacement properties which are ideal for anybody who is regularly active.
However, it is low carb. This means that there are 4g of net carbs per serving of Nuun, as opposed to the 0g of net carbs per serving seen by many of its contenders.
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Another wonderful product for us keto lovers. Elete has produced a water enhancer that is made with zero artificial ingredients that have a great balance of electrolytes at the cost of no net carbs per serving. Sounds pretty good right?
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These on-the-go sachets can flavor your water using flavorings extracted from real citrus fruits. This means that there are no artificial ingredients used in the making of this wonderful water enhancer.
True lemon water enhancers are non-genetically modified, vegan, and contain very low calories and no net carbs per serving.
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Mio is one of the most popular water enhancers currently in the markets. Why?
Well, Mio contains virtually no calories or carbohydrates (0g of fat, 0g of carbs, and 0 calories), making it perfectly safe to indulge on the keto diet without a dent in your net carb allowance.
However, Mio is flavored with sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener. This means that it is not keto-friendly as such but instead is dirty keto.
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One of the first “low-calorie” water enhancers to ever hit the market, Crystal Light has still managed to surpass all expectations and remain at the top of the list.
Crystal Light comes in a variety of flavors, all of which have a slightly different net carb content. The carb contents range between 0g and 3g of net carbs depending on the flavor chosen.
Crystal Light is sweetened artificially using acesulfame potassium which makes it not keto-friendly as such due to the late-onset effects that artificial sweeteners have on our body, however it is still viable to use on the keto diet in moderation without getting kicked out of ketosis.
Bonus: Homemade Water Enhancer
Speaking from a realistic point of view, water doesn’t have to be enhanced by using any chemical ingredients to provide its soul purpose – hydration.
However, due to the ever-rising popularity of enhancers (nearing a $1 billion industry), many people are trialing various ingredients in their water to make it less boring. So, this is where we at Ketoaholics come in.
We are here to let you know that you can get just as good as a taste by naturally flavoring your water – without any added chemical ingredients and unnecessary net carbs.
Why don’t you try out some of the following additions to your water to see just how good it can taste – made at the comforts of your own home?
- Adding frozen fruit – Freeze some berries, mangos, apples, or even herbs such as mint and rosemary to add to your water next time you fill a bottle. The fruit will eventually thaw throughout the day and begin adding a delicious natural flavor to your water that gives you natural vitamins and electrolytes.
- Flavored ice cubes – Try freezing water with some mint, rosemary, or even ginger. Add these ice cubes to your water bottle and just taste nature!
- Citrus – It comes as no surprise that citrus fruits are some of the best to help give your water an enhanced flavor. Why do you think that nearly every single restaurant or cafe sticks a wedge of lime on the glass?
- Fresh fruit juice – Now we know what you’re thinking – this is the keto diet, why on earth would we add the extra net carbs from fresh fruit juice? Well, hear us out. Adding freshly squeezed fruit juice into your water, although may increase your net carb intake slightly, will still result in a low carb beverage that provides you with all the vitamins and electrolytes you need without the harm that comes from artificial ingredients.
Water is vital to not only maintain hydration but to help our bodies recover and allow us to live a long and prosperous life. We understand that drinking water daily may be boring, and that is why various companies have made keto-friendly water enhancers.
The best water enhancers to use on the keto diet are those that contain only natural ingredients and are sweetened by either Stevia, Monk fruit, or natural fruit extract. The best way to ensure your water flavorings are the healthiest they can be is by infusing water using fruits and herbs as described above.
All in all, you need to make sure that you drink flavor-enhanced water in moderation, as too much of a good thing can also lead to bad consequences.