You probably have a good understanding of what types of food you can (low-carb pork rinds, chicken, cheese, etc.) and cannot eat while on the ketogenic diet . But what about drinks? Plenty of people, keto dieters or otherwise, make the mistake of thinking that most beverages are carb-free. But carbs can come in plenty of forms, and in drinks, they exist as artificial sweeteners.
If you eliminate artificial sweeteners and drink diet sodas instead, then the drink is basically carb-free and keto-friendly, right? Well, there’s more to it than that. Let’s uncover what nutritionists and keto experts think about drinking diet sodas on the keto diet.
According to keto practitioners, you can drink diet soda on keto. Diet soda is sugar-free, which means it basically has no carbs. As an alternative, it uses carb-free sweeteners, such as Stevia, Xylitol, sucralose, and erythritol.
The zero-carb content of diet soda allows it to fit seamlessly into a keto diet regime, which limits or completely eliminates carb intake to force the body into a state of ketosis.
The principle of the keto diet revolves around eliminating the body’s main energy source (glucose) and teaching it to use stored fat for fuel. By limiting carbohydrate consumption, glucose storage in the body is drained, which forces the body to break down stored fat into ketones and convert it into energy.
Diet soda doesn’t contain any sugar, so keto practitioners accept it as a suitable beverage to drink during keto. Compared to regular soda, diet soda variations are conducive to a keto dieter's weight loss goals, experts say.
If you’re looking for a tasty and sweet drink to complement your keto meals, then diet soda can be a viable option.
Just because you can drink diet soda on keto doesn’t mean you should. While it will not interfere with ketosis, health experts do warn against drinking diet soda regularly.
Diet soda mimics the taste of real soda but with no sugar. Instead, it uses artificial sweeteners to achieve the same sweet flavor, such as Stevia, Xylitol, sucralose, and erythritol. While keto-friendly, artificial sweeteners aren’t conducive to overall health.
Studies show that the long-term daily consumption of artificial sweeteners leads to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular diseases. There is also research that links artificial sweaters and other sugar substitutes to poor gut health.
Just like keto-friendly food, you also have to be aware of what beverages you can consume while on keto so you can stay in ketosis and maximize the diet’s weight loss benefits. Here are some drinks that are keto-compliant.
There’s no replacing water as the best drink to stay hydrated. In fact, keto practitioners say drinking lots of water is crucial in the keto diet. This is because reducing carb intake triggers water loss in the body, driven by the depletion of stored glucose.
To reduce the risk of dehydration, muscle cramps, fatigue, and digestion issues while on keto, nutritionists recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Keto dieters also like drinking water before meals to control their appetite.
If water is starting to get boring, you can take it to the next level with sparkling water. They’re made with good old H2O, carbonated either naturally during a mineral spring or by using carbon dioxide gas.
Sparkling water is typically unsweetened, tasting just like regular water but with a soda kick. It’s zero-carb, making it ideal for the keto diet. There are, however, flavored options if you want a little bit more tang.
When craving a sweet drink, keto dieters opt for homemade soda instead of store-bought beverages. By making their own soda at home, they are able to control the ingredients and eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Homemade soda is easy to make. You just need carbonated water mixed with fresh fruit and plant-based sugar substitutes like monk fruit or Stevia. Nutritionists say that these additives do not have any negative side effects.
During days you’re really craving for soda, you can opt for zero-calorie options like Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Diet Pepsi. They’re technically keto, substituting sugar for artificial sweeteners.
Keto diet experts, however, warn against the overconsumption of soda, zero-calorie or otherwise. Artificial sweeteners not only have negative side effects on the gut, but they also increase sugar cravings, leading to weight gain if unmanaged.
It pays to take a gander at the ingredients list when buying zero-calorie soda. Opt for those that use naturally derived sweeteners, such as Stevia, which has fewer negative effects.
Plenty of drinks are suitable for the keto diet, as long as you consume them with little to no sugar. Some other keto-friendly drinks practitioners swear by include:
It’s worth noting that not all the beverages listed above or zero-carb. Some have a negligible amount of carbohydrates, so consume them in moderation and track your carb intake to make sure you don’t go over your daily allowance.
The good news is that diet soda is keto-friendly. But just because it is doesn’t mean you should consume it. Artificial sweeteners found in diet soda can lead to negative effects on your gut and digestion. As an alternative, keto dieters recommend opting for other keto-friendly beverages, such as water, sparkling water, black coffee, or tea.
Diet Pepsi is unsweetened and therefore carb-free. Drinking it will not interfere with ketosis. However, artificial sweeteners found in Diet Pepsi can increase sugar cravings and if unmanaged, lead to weight gain.
Diet Pepsi is keto-friendly because it contains zero sugar and carbs. It fits well into the keto diet regime. However, nutritionists recommend thinking about the long-term effects of artificial sweeteners found in Diet Pepsi when drinking it regularly.
You can drink zero-calorie sodas while on keto. These include Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Pepsi, and other no-carb options. You can even make homemade soda with carbonated water, fresh fruits, and plant-based sugar additives.
A can of Diet Pepsi (355 mL) contains zero carbohydrates. Instead of sugar, it’s sweetened using artificial sweeteners like Stevia, Xylitol, sucralose, and erythritol. Overconsumption of artificial sweeteners, however, isn’t conducive to long-term health.
Regular soda is high in added sugars and carbs. While a sip might do little to no harm, drinking soda increases blood sugar and disrupts ketosis. Opt for diet soda that is unsweetened and contains zero carbs instead.