It’s easy to get wrapped up in keeping track of all the foods you can (and can’t) eat on the keto diet (hello, bacon; goodbye, pasta). But uh, what about all those drinks that keep you hydrated?
While, yes, water’s a clear winner, life drinking only water sounds boring AF—luckily, there are quite a few keto-friendly, low-carb drinks you can still down. A few ground rules: Sugar (found in fruit juice and regular soda) isn’t your friend (carbs, duh). And while cheese is relatively safe on keto, cow’s milk isn’t the best option (one cup has 12 grams of carbs).
But honestly, that still leaves you with plenty of options—here are a few to keep in mind the next time you’re feeling thirsty but can’t down another glass of water.1Tea and coffee
.As long as it’s not packed with added sugar, you’re fine to drink as much of these beverages as you want, says Jessica Cording, a New York-based R.D. “They don’t provide any carbohydrates,” she adds
Black is your best bet, but if you need a little flavoring to take yours to the next level, make sure you opt for a sugar-free syrup or artificial sweetener. You can also add coconut oil for some creaminess (and extra fat), says Julie Upton, R.D., co-founder of nutrition website Appetite for Health.2Diet soda
“Most diet sodas and beverages sweetened with stevia and other sugar substitutes have zero calories or grams of carbs, making them keto-friendly,” Upton says—so yeah, that means Jenna Jameson’s fave Fresca is totally keto-friendly.
Still, Upton recommends double-checking the nutritional info to verify that your drink definitely has less than five grams of total sugar, since some diet sodas can add in regular added sugars.
Also important: These artificially sweetened sodas might cause some stomach issues. “While they’re technically keto-compliant, excessive intake of artificial sweeteners may cause unpleasant side effects like GI discomfort,” she says. The key here is “excessive,” though, so if you have a Fresca here and there, you should be totally fine.3Unsweetened almond or coconut milk
So milk is off-limits (dairy equals sugar which equals carbs), but luckily, milk alternatives are totally in right now. Make sure whichever version you’re opting for is unsweetened—and stick to coconut or almond; soy milk actually has just as many carbs as cow’s milk.4Seltzer, sparkling water, or club soda
Yes, you can still have diet soda on the keto diet—but you still shouldn’t drink it with every meal, says Upton. If you’re a true diet soda fanatic, try out seltzer, sparkling water, or club soda—basically all forms of water with bubbles (yes, that includes your precious La Croix).
The one kind of fizzy water you probably shouldn’t grab? Tonic water—it actually has 22 grams of carbs per eight-ounce serving.
Go ahead and add some fruit or squeeze some lemon into your fizzy water too—berries are a great low-carb keto fruit option and can also add some extra flavor to your drink.5Keto smoothies
Again, fruit is a tricky area on the keto diet—berries are okay; apples and bananas, not so much. So instead of filling up your blender with fruit juices, go ahead and use this opportunity to up your fat content through full-fat coconut milk, heavy cream, or coconut oil, for example.
Keto protein powders are also a great option for your keto smoothies, just stick to ones with a higher fat content like whey, casein, egg protein, beef protein, and collagen protein powders.6Sports drinks
Not all sports drinks are considered equal in the keto department—some are loaded with sugar, and that’s going to work against you, Upton says.
However, some are low- or zero-calorie drinks that use keto-friendly artificial sweeteners. A few good options: Powerade Zero (which uses sucralose for sweetening), Gatorade Zero (which also uses sucralose), and Vitamin Water Zero (which uses erythritol).7Dry wines
Some forms of wine can be sugar bombs (I’m looking at you, Riesling), but drier wines are usually pretty decent in the sugar department.
Opt for a sauvignon blanc, pinot blanc, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, or merlot, all of which have minimal carbs. Just keep tabs on your serving size (which should be a five-ounce glass)—and keep it to one serving.8Low-carb beer
Good news: Beer doesn’t have to be crazy-high in carbs. In fact, most beer companies are making low-carb options now, like Michelob Ultra which has just 2.6 grams of carbs, or other “light” beers, like Budweiser Select or Miller Lite.
Keep in mind, though, that carbs can add up fast, so stick to just one or two brews if you’re worried about being kicked out of ketosis.9Heavy cream
Yeah, you’re probably not going to be chugging this stuff straight up, but heavy cream is a good dairy alternative (and extra source of fat) when you need it, Upton says. You can use it in your coffee or tea, or to make keto-friendly hot chocolate or milkshakes.10Hard alcohol
Hard alcohols like gin, rum, vodka, and whiskey have zero carbs per 1.5 ounce serving, making them pretty keto-friendly. You can have your alcohol straight up, sip it on the rocks, or have it with a splash of soda water and a squeeze of lemon or lime.