If you are considering a keto diet, you may think it is extremely difficult to maintain. The low-carb, high-fat diet will certainly require a lifestyle change, but it may also illuminate hidden sources of carbs in your everyday diet—especially in regards to sugar intake. People tend to underestimate this one.
This is no truer than with beverages, as folks usually overlook how much sugar is in some of their favourite drinks.
Many everyday beverages may contain more calories and carbs than you would believe possible. To make matters worse, the majority of these carbs will come strictly from refined, processed sugar.
The glass of orange juice you had with breakfast has 120 calories and 10 grams of carbs. The morning trip to your local coffee shop? That drink could have as many as 600 calories and 75 grams of carbs. The soda at lunch? It is worth 200 calories and 40 grams of carbs.
These hidden calories from sugar may be compromising your health and weight loss objectives. Drinks such as juices, sodas, and flavoured coffees comes jam packed with large amounts of processed sugar, which spell disaster for a ketogenic diet.
Zero-Carb and Low-Carb Beverages
There are several keto-friendly, low-carb drinks out there. It is important to be informed about what you are drinking, because even a small amount of sugar can kick you out of ketosis.
This is the most abundant fluid on Earth, and the most precious liquid for life in general. Though not necessarily the most sexy or popular option, every person on a keto diet should start here. Water makes up 75% of our body weight and can affect health, energy, performance, and overall function.
Humans can lose around 1% – 2% of total body water during a typical day just because of simple routine activities. Many adults tend to drink less than half the recommended daily amount of water, and as a result, may experience unpleasant consequences of dehydration. Men should drink about four litres of water per day, and women should drink about three litres per day, and in both cases, requirements are likely more if you are active.
Ensuing you hit your daily water minimum is important. Dehydration has shown to be detrimental to both physical performance and cognition.
Plain water may be commonly thought of as a boring, flavourless liquid, but it can be jazzed up in numerous ways.
- Adding a squeeze of citrus juice: Take a wedge of lemon or lime and squeeze a small amount into your drink. You could even add cucumber or mint and refrigerate for freshness. This can add a lot of flavour with little-to-no calories involved
- Carbonated / sparkling water: Simply adding some bubbles to your water by using a carbonation machine can give your water an effervescent quality. If you choose not to produce your own carbonated water, there are several options available commercially
- Zero-calorie flavouring: Water enhancers that are zero calorie can add a lot of flavour with just a small squeeze. You can purchase several out there, varying in flavours. Be sure to moderate your intake of artificial sweeteners and consume in moderation
Consuming enough water daily is not only vital to overall health, but it may help prevent problems such as constipation, urinary tract infections, and kidney failure. Did we forget to mention its keto friendly? Do we need to?
Coffee is one beverage that has been consumed for centuries with its origins dating back well over one thousand years. Coffee consumption has been controversial at times—it was once seen as a drink linked to heart disease and high blood pressure. Some of the health benefits associated with modest coffee consumption include:
- Improved weight maintenance through thermogenesis and fat oxidation
- Appetite suppression
- Lower risk of some cancers
- Increased energy
Our bodies need electrolytes. An electrolyte imbalance can result in dehydration and symptoms such as fatigue, vomiting, sweating, nausea, diarrhoea, muscle cramps, lack of coordination, lack of focus, dizziness, increased body temperature, and kidney issues.
Sweat during exercise causes a loss of electrolytes and the risk of dehydration. Therefore, athletes must consume electrolytes, and these are often a key component of sports drinks. Sports drinks aim for the correct balance of electrolytes, vitamins, minerals.
Traditional cow’s milk has been a staple in the human diet for centuries. In fact, humans have been consuming cow’s milk for almost 10,000 years.
Dairy milk contains a relatively high number of carbohydrates. Some people have issues digesting cow’s milk due to lactose intolerance. As much as 65% – 70% of the world’s population have some level of lactose intolerance.
Due to the issues with digestion, several milk substitute products have been developed in recent years. The most popular varieties include almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, and coconut milk. These substitutes are keto-friendly due to their low carb content.
When the term “smoothie” comes up, you may instantly think of a high-sugar drink that is not keto-friendly.
There are several keto-friendly smoothies available made with low-carb fruit options to provide valuable nutrients. Try blending together 200ml unsweetened almond milk, 1 tsp stevia, 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 scoop MCT Oil, and 1 tbsp of Chia seeds to make a delicious breakfast smoothie.
Click here to view a Keto Smoothie recipe from Delish
Many sugar-free products contain artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. There has been controversy in recent years over whether or not these artificial sweeteners are safe and/or healthy regardless of carb content.
Although artificial sweeteners are designed to replace sugar in low-carb beverages, observational data has shown that these sweeteners may be associated with increased body mass index (BMI) and obesity. Limiting the consumption of any type of sweetener may be the best option for preventing weight gain. Instead, identify natural sweeteners that have been shown to have positive effects on body weight and metabolism such as Stevia.
Drinks to Avoid
The vast majority of consumer produced beverages contain high amounts of sugar. To avoid unwanted sugar and maintain ketosis, be sure to check the nutrition label on some of your favourite drinks:
All types of soda should be avoided on a ketogenic diet, whether it be regular, diet, or zero-calorie. Studies show a positive correlation between soda intake and a higher BMI.
Furthermore, these drinks have been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. While genetics obviously play in a role in the development of these diseases, there is no doubt lifestyle choices are also important.
Diet and zero calorie sodas are high in artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose. Diet soda has been said to produce an insulin response similar to regular sodas, thereby having some of the same deleterious side effects. People following a ketogenic diet should strive to eliminate these drinks from their diets.
In past generations, juice was thought of as a healthy drink providing valuable micronutrients such as Vitamin C and Calcium to children and adults alike. Fruit juice drinks such as apple and orange juice are naturally rich in sugar, making them extremely detrimental to a standard keto diet. Some manufacturers even add extra sugar to make them more palatable. Due to their high sugar content, juice drinks should not be consumed on a typical ketogenic diet.
Energy drinks have never been thought of as a healthy option since their introduction to the marketplace in the 1990s. In addition to the “caffeine crash” that many people experience while consuming these drinks, they also tend to contain harmful ingredients such as Guarana and Taurine.
While there are zero-calorie options available, the large amounts of caffeine and other ingredients may be linked to incidences of heart rhythm disturbances and increased blood pressure.
Drinking for better health and mind with keto beverages
In conclusion Sugary drinks are ingrained in society; people will often have a sugary coffee drink in the morning, a soda with lunch, or a beer with dinner. All of these options are difficult to consume while on the keto diet because of their carbohydrate content. Especially as you start off on the keto diet, you should pay special attention to the nutrition facts for your beverages, as so many people guzzle carb-heavy drinks perfectly innocently, without even realizing they are full of sugar.
Good news, though in today’s modern day and age, there are plenty of keto options available, with more brands and flavours coming out all the time.
What is your best bet? Stick to water and black coffee. If you need to spice things up a bit, try carbonated water with a fresh squeeze of citrus.
It is worth being diligent. You will feel so much more energized when you can train your body to run on ketones all day, rather than reaching for a mid afternoon sugary drink-pick-me-up.
Blog post by Ryan Rodal of HVMN
For the original blog post visit: hvmn.com/blog/keto-diet/keto-drinks-your-guide-to-keto-friendly-beverages