Sufficient hydration is necessary to lose weight. What are the best drinks? And which should you avoid? Which are keto-friendly? Read on to find out.
Right off the bat, water is simply the best drink you can give your body. It’s a great no-carb thirst quencher. Other good options are coffee or tea, without sugar, of course! The occasional glass of wine is fine too!
Carbohydrates in Common Drinks
With a strict keto diet, you must keep your carbohydrate intake very low. It’s usually best to consume available carbohydrates in the form of food, such as fresh vegetables, rather than via beverages.
Below is a detailed list of the amount of carbohydrates in a typical portion size of common drinks:
- Water – 0
- Water with lemon – 0
- Tea – 0 (1 sugar cube is 4g of carbs)
- Coffee – 0 (milk adds about 1-3g of carbs)
- Diet soda – 0 (however, artificial sweeteners still aren’t the best for you)
- Wine, ~4.7 fl oz – 2g
- Almond milk, unsweetened, ~8 fl oz – 2g
- Coconut water, 8 fl oz – 9g
- Vegetable juice, 8 fl oz – 11g
- Soy milk, 8 fl oz – 12g
- Beer, 12 fl oz (1 can) – 13g
- Orange juice, 8 fl oz – 26g
- Energy drink, ~8 fl oz – 28g
- Most commercial sweetened ice tea products, 12 fl oz – 32g (average value)
- Smoothie,12 fl oz – 36g (depends on contents – there are also low carb smoothies!)
- Soda, 12 fl oz – 39g
- Frappaccino, 12 fl oz – 50g (all sweet coffee drinks have lots of carbs)
- Milkshake, ~12 fl oz – 60g
Many alcoholic drinks are full of carbs. Some varieties contain over 30 grams per serving!
Cocktails and mixed drinks are usually based on carbohydrate-rich, sugary ingredients, such as soft drinks, juice, sweeteners, and syrups. A normal beer is made from starch and can contain over 12 grams in 1 can!
However, there are a wide selection of low-carb alcoholic drinks. Wine, light beer, and pure forms of alcohol, such as whiskey, rum, and gin contain little to no carbs per serving and are easily combinable with low carbohydrate drinks such as diet sodas, seltzer, or sugar free tonic water.
Wines are interesting as they can definitely be enjoyed while on the keto diet, however only in moderation.
Regardless of your diet, its always best to have alcohol in moderation to avoid the associated harmful effects.
As a rule of thumb, 1-2 drinks a day is max.
Size IS Important
Drinking sugary soft drinks during the keto diet is never a good idea. But, size does matter. A large bottle (1 liter or more) contains more carbs than you can consume in a whole week on the keto diet.
A can of soft drink may kick you out of ketosis for a day, but a large bottle can stop ketosis for a few days or even up to a week!
If you are diabetic or insulin resistance, definitely avoid all sugary drinks to keep your blood sugar levels stable and your insulin levels low.
For the last 40 years diet sodas, with no carbs or calories, have encouraged the idea that you can have a sugary-tasting drink without the drawbacks or consequences of real sugar. Unfortunately, its not so easy…
Artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas, such as aspartame, sucrose, or acesulfame K, are still not necessarily helpful for improved health and sustained weigh loss.
The problem with artificial sweeteners is that they work with the same taste bud sensors as real sugar. This eventually reduces the ability to perceive the natural flavors and sweetness of real foods. Artificial sweeteners may strengthen sugar cravings. Some have been known to still trigger a blood sugar and insulin response and even contribute to fat storage.
Some studies have shown that artificial sweeteners long term effects are still mostly unknown. However, its shown that they can alter many body processes such as microbiome and appetite regulation and metabolism.
However, it is still probably better to drink diet soft drinks rather than regular, sugary soft drinks if you must. If you remove soft drinks altogether from your drinking habits your health will likely be grateful–and may even show some gratitude in the form of weight loss! 😉
How About Protein Shakes?
Short answer: Yes!
Protein shakes are great in the keto diet. For example, for a quick and easy breakfast, add some chocolate protein shake powder to your coffee in the morning for a keto-friendly mocha that will fill you up!
Not all protein shake powders are low in carbohydrates, so be sure to check the label!
Another tip: Look for protein shakes containing pumpkin protein and hemp because they are slowly digested which leaves you feeling full for longer.
There are many keto-friendly drinks. The perfect choice is of course water.
If you’d like something other than water, be sure to read the ingredients and nutritional information on the label. Many common drinks contain more sugar than you’d think. So, if you don’t see your favorite drink on the list, check its label and subtract the fiber from the total carbohydrates to get the net carbohydrates. Also don’t forget to pay attention to the portion size.
Once you have figured out the net carbs of the drink and for what serving size, analyze what carbohydrates you get through foods, such as vegetables, for that day. Then, simply decide if the drink is worth it!
As mentioned, you can never go wrong with water.
How do you quench your thirst on the keto diet? Comment below!
Thanks for reading,
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