Wondering what drinks are best to support your keto diet lifestyle? You don't have to settle for just water all the time. There are many low carb drink options on the market that will help you stick to your keto diet goals.
But paying attention to the carbs you drink is only half of the battle, you’ll also want to reach for drinks that support your keto health and nutrition goals. Here are the best and worst keto drinks when it comes to keto macros and losing weight.
While you're at it, don't forget to check out our full keto diet foods list to pick and choose the right options for your goals.
How to Find the Best Low Carb Drinks
Finding the best drinks for a keto diet is not much different than finding the best drinks for any diet. Drinks can be a hidden source of empty calories and sugar for many - getting in the way of your fat loss. But they can also be an opportunity to support your health and nutrition goals if you choose wisely.
Water is an obvious choice when it comes to zero calorie, diet friendly drinks, but it's not your only drink option. Drinks can help keep you hydrated, keep hunger in check, and provide valuable nutrients like healthy fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Some drinks, like coffee and tea, may even have unique benefits.
If swapping a keto approved drink for a meal, follow the same nutrition standards you would for food. Check your calories, macros, and quality of ingredients.
If you're swapping drinks for water, look for low calorie or zero calorie drinks made without any added sugar.
You may also want to cut back on heavily processed options made with artificial sweeteners and ingredients. While these are great from time to time, nothing can compare to water for hydration.
Keto Diet Drink Cheat Sheet
Save this cheat sheet for the best keto friendly drinks with less than 2 grams of net carbs per serving!
Keto Friendly Drinks
While controlling carb content is the name of the game, the best keto drink options are those that also support good nutrition through either proper hydration or other potential benefits. These include beverages with a decent serving of vitamins and minerals.
Here are our top keto drink options with less than 3 grams of net carbs per cup:
1. Water and Sparkling Water
Your ultimate keto diet drink choice!
This can also include sparkling water and some unsweetened flavored water. This is really just water with air bubbles added, or fruit extracts.
2. Keto Coffee or Tea
Both unsweetened coffee and tea also pair well with a keto lifestyle, as they are naturally low calorie and contain no carbohydrates. Additionally, some research suggests that green tea and coffee may support fat loss in unique ways - helping to reduce appetite and support metabolism (7,8).
With keto, it is also common for people to put heavy cream in their cup or opt for bulletproof coffee made with butter to up the fat content. However, if you are looking to a keto diet for weight loss, you may want to consider your daily energy intake.
3. Keto Protein Shakes (low sugar)
Keto protein shakes, either pre-made or using protein powders, are an easy way to boost your daily protein intake on keto. Plus if they are made with low carb ingredients like non-starchy veggies, nuts, seeds, and nut butter, it can add a nice boost of nutrition to your day.
Similar to butter in your coffee, it is possible to go overboard on protein shakes and end up gaining weight if you aren’t careful. Most shakes should be consumed as a snack or meal replacement option. So if you find they just aren’t satisfying your hunger or cravings, you may want to skip them altogether.
4. Plant Based Milk (unsweetened)
Regular milk can be carb heavy and doesn't always fit into your keto meal plan. But most plain, nut-based milks (almond milk, cashew milk, etc) contain little to no carbs - with the exception of flavored varieties and milk made from grains like oat milk.
Plus, the unsweetened varieties tend to be low in calories and provide a source of essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
5. Diet Energy Drinks
Sugar-free energy drink options can be hit or miss on keto. Some are made with high amounts of caffeine and questionable ingredients, while others can supply a manageable amount of caffeine and potentially B vitamins and electrolytes.
A typical cup of coffee has 100 to 150 mg of caffeine and some energy drinks have twice that amount in a single serving size. For the best energy drinks, look for options with more simple ingredients and keep an eye out for too much caffeine.
6. Sugar Free or Diet Sports Drinks
Sports drinks, while traditionally made with high amounts of sugar for fuel, can also be found in low calorie, low carb varieties. Plus, they tend to be high in electrolytes that support hydration and may even help relieve some of the symptoms of keto flu.
7. Diet Soda
While they may not be the most nutritious drink choice, many diet drinks flavored with artificial sweeteners are an easy way to satisfy your keto sweet tooth without blowing your daily carbs out of the water. Making them keto diet approved and supportive of your goals!
Worst Drinks for Keto
While there are many sugar-free keto friendly drinks out there to choose from, there are even more drink options that are high in carbs from added sugar that will put you over your carb count with a single glass.
Here are some of the worst drinks for a keto diet:
8. Soft Drinks
It’s no surprise that soda tops the list as one of the worst drink options for keto dieters. Soda is made almost entirely of added sugar and a single bottle typically contains more than twice your daily carb limit (one bottle of soda has about 50 grams of carbs).
It's nearly impossible to drink soda and stay within your keto carb limit.
9. Fruit Juice
Even though fruit is a nutritious food choice, most fruits are naturally high in sugar, and when the fruit is turned into juice, you get a concentrated dose of it. One glass of orange juice contains as much sugar and calories as two to three whole oranges.
This also goes for most pressed juices, even veggie juice, as many plants contain some amount of carbohydrates.
Its better to eat your keto fruits than to drink them!
Although a lot of dairy tends to be a keto diet food staple, cow's milk is a natural source of carbohydrates - providing roughly 12 grams per glass. Try opting for a plant-based drink alternative in recipes or by the glass.
11. Flavored Beverages
Similar to soda, a lot of flavored drinks, like lemonade, juice cocktails, sweetened teas, chocolate milk, etc. are made with added sugar that makes controlling your keto carb intake nearly impossible.
What About Alcohol?
Keto alcohol is not one of the best options for keto. It is possible to drink alcohol and stay in ketosis - especially when choosing low carb drinks - however, alcohol, in general, can be high calorie and doesn’t provide much nutritional value. It is also thought to negatively impact your nutrient absorption and metabolism, messing with your keto diet fitness goals.
Low Sugar Drink Recipes to Try
Besides the unwanted calories and carbs, buying bottled drinks all the time can be costly. Instead, make your own keto drink recipes at home. You can create everything from homemade soda to fresh pressed vegetable juice.
Here are some of our favorite keto drink recipes to try:
Sparkling water also makes for a great base to any mocktail or refreshing drink. Add fresh citrus, herbs, frozen fruit (low sugar fruits for keto) or even a splash of juice and you have yourself a refreshing drink in minutes.
The Easiest Way to Hit Your Carb Goals
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Our team of experts will prepare keto diet approved meal plans every week so you can hit your keto diet goals, get results, and spend your time where it matters most.