Best Keto-Friendly Drinks

Why Staying Hydrated Is Crucial on a Keto DietIn the beginning stages of a keto diet, when your body is adapting to a severely restricted intake of carbohydrates, your body’s hydration status will shift. After all, your body stores carbohydrates as glycogen, which holds on to water, research shows. Exhaust those glycogen stores, and you’re going to dump water weight with it, notes Rush University Medical Center. What’s more, removing processed foods from your diet — which are traditionally higher in sodium — can also affect your body’s electrolyte and fluid balance, since excess sodium intake can lead to water retention.

“Hydration is difficult for many on the keto diet, especially in the beginning. You need to make sure you’re drinking a lot of water and replenishing electrolytes,” says Kendra Whitmire, a nutritionist and dietitian in Laguna Beach, California, who practices functional and therapeutic nutrition.

1 /Water Is the Best Drink You Can Sip on the Keto Diet

This is hands down the best drink for you — keto or not, says Gulotta. Keep a water bottle near you at all times and sip throughout the day to stay ahead of your hydration.

2/Plain Low-Carb, Calorie-Free Tea Is Also Keto-Friendly

Tea is another great choice, as it’s carb- and (almost completely) calorie-free — as long as you keep it plain and don’t add sugar or another sweetener. Rich in health-promoting antioxidant flavonoids, teas may also improve the functioning of blood vessels to help keep your heart well, according to the Harvard Health Letter. If sipping tea in the afternoon or evening, go for a caffeine-free herbal variety, such as chamomile, so it doesn’t impact your sleep that night.

3/Seltzer or Sparkling Water Is Another Carb-Free Drink Option

This is a great way to switch up your usual water, and it’s preferable to tonic, which looks like plain bubbly water but actually contains a ton of sugar (it’s still considered keto-friendly, however). Adding a squeeze of lemon adds nearly half a gram (g) of carbohydrates

4/Plain Coffee, or Coffee With Unsweetened Heavy Cream, Is Also Okay on the Keto Diet

It’s what you add to your brew that matters most. Drinking it black is completely calorie-free, but many keto dieters will appreciate the added fat that heavy cream provides, says Scott Keatley, RDN, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy in New York City. For adults, up to 400 milligrams (mg) per day of caffeine is considered safe, according to the Mayo Clinic. For reference, 1 cup — 8 fluid ounces (oz) — of coffee contains about 92 mg, per the USDA, while a short (8 oz) coffee at Starbucks contains 155 mg,

5/Bone Broth Can Be a Comforting

Keto-Friendly DrinkThere’s something uniquely warming and comforting about sipping a steaming cup of bone broth. This brand notes that its broth offers no carbs, and 1 cup contains less than 50 calories while adding 9 g of protein. Traditional broth is a stellar option, too, though it has less protein. One cup contains 15 calories and about 1.5 g of protein.

6/Nut Milks Are Also Low-Carb and Okay for Keto Dieters.

Almond and light coconut milks make for great choices if you want to mix things up, as they contain 1 g (or less) of carbs per cup. Just be sure to always read the nutrition label closely and choose unsweetened varieties. These milks are often fortified with vitamins and minerals, so they’re a good way to get calcium and vitamin D.

7/Kombucha Can Be an Acceptable Alternative to Soda, but Only in Moderation

This isn’t the best pick — nor should it be your go-to drink. But if you’re really craving something sweet and soda-like, consider kombucha, a gut-friendly fermented tea. The catch is that all kombuchas are made with sugar, which is needed for the fermentation process. “You’ll have to sacrifice carbs in order to drink kombucha,” says Whitmire. Read the label — the amount of sugar added is all over the map. You can find some brands and flavors that have about 3 g of carbs per half cup. (That’s one-quarter of the bottle, so measure it out.)