Ketosis Beverages Do’s & Don’ts
Whether you’re just learning about the ketogenic (keto) diet, or you’ve been keto for a while now, you might be confused by all the do’s and don’ts out there. Like any nutrition plan, getting the pieces of the puzzle to fit together can take a little bit of work. It doesn’t have to be hard, and we’re here to help! Take it one step at a time, embrace one change at a time, and little by little you will wonder why it seemed so hard to start. It’s easy to overlook beverages when it comes to nutrition. If you track your calories or macronutrients have you ever forgotten to add in a glass of milk or your coffee with sugar and cream? It’s happened to everyone, we’re sure! What happened when you realized and added it in? The calories went up, the carbohydrates went over, and if you looked closely, you likely saw your sugar intake jump. In this article, we will tackle the subject of beverages, but more specifically, keto beverages: dos and don’ts.
In order to best understand how beverages play into your keto journey, let’s look at the basics of keto. For those of you that may be well into your journey, you may already know this, but we want to touch on it for those folks just starting out. Keto focuses on a diet that entails low carb, moderate protein, high (healthy) fat. The main idea with keto is to lower the carbohydrates that the body is used to burning for energy. In doing so, it will shift to fat for energy. This is known as ketosis, and the body burns fat instead. One key point to remember is that the body turns carbs into sugar to use them. This means that even if you are following a low carb diet but are consuming a lot of sugar, your body will not shift to burning fat. Keep that in mind as we dig into keto beverages: dos and don’ts.
keto beverage do's
There are many beverages that are perfectly acceptable for a keto diet. Let’s look at many of them, here:
This one might seem like a no brainer as a keto beverage do. It’s first on our list, because it is so imperative to how the body functions. Water helps flush out the toxins as the body breaks them down. Hydration is very important for everyone, not just those on a keto diet. Energy, organ function, brain fog, can all improve if you are properly hydrated. Being dehydrated can cause many issues including constipation, fatigue, muscle cramps, etc.
If you are just starting out on keto, you are at a higher risk of dehydration. For every gram of carbohydrates (glucose) that your body stores, it also stores 3 grams of water. As you remove carbohydrates and your body depletes its stores of them, you will be holding on to less water. For this reason, you will want to not only make sure that you are getting enough water but also replenishing electrolytes to maintain balance in your body (we will touch on this in more detail in a bit).
Herbal teas have been used for thousands of years for their health-promoting properties. A few examples: peppermint tea aids in digestion, chamomile tea is calming, ginger tea helps fight inflammation and boosts the immune system, echinacea tea fights off viruses and bacteria… the benefits from various herbal teas is endless! We love homemade lemon ginger, and it’s super easy to make. Just boil water, remove from heat, cut lemon and ginger into slices. Add them to the hot water, let them steep for approximately 10 minutes, strain tea, pour it into mug, and enjoy!
Coffee is a “do” for keto diets. You can drink coffee black or add some heavy cream. On a keto diet, adding processed sugars and artificial sweeteners is not recommended. One common way that keto dieters drink coffee is bulletproof/fat fueled coffee. This usually contains butter and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). The MCTs and fatty acids from the butter enter the bloodstream very quickly because they are not processed by the liver. From there, they are used for energy as they are converted into ketones. A few of the results noted from those that consume bulletproof coffee are ability to focus, more energy, less hunger, and alertness.
As long as you are not buying sparkling water with artificial ingredients, there are no issues with sparkling water. It is a good substitution for those trying to remove soda/pop from their diets. It’s a great “bubbly,” carbonated alternative. Be careful of added flavors and sugars and you’ll be just fine adding this to your cart!
Bone broth has so many advantages! Promoting probiotic growth and preventing inflammation are just a few that make this a definite keto beverage do! You can make it, simply by cooking soup bones with seasonings and vegetables for approximately 12-24 hours. Our recipe is on our website, here. Essentially, bone broth is thicker stock, because the long simmer process allows the collagen to come out of the bones. Collagen is excellent for gut health, as the body’s intestinal lining is made up of connective tissues containing collagen. As the body ages, collagen production decreases so adding it to your diet is incredibly beneficial. Bone broth makes a perfect keto beverage as it is perfect for sipping!
Top Notch Nutrition: Hydrate
Fluids in your body are both inside and outside of the cells. The body maintains this balance through electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals: magnesium, potassium, chloride, potassium and sodium. They take on an electric charge (become ions) when they are dissolved in your body. This charge then carries signals around the body which helps with many of the body’s vital functions. A wonderful way to increase your electrolyte intake is an electrolyte supplement. Top Notch Hydrate is includes coconut water powder, Himalayan pink salt, L-Glutamine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), vitamin C, and electrolytes (magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium). This is one of the best electrolyte supplements available and avoids anything artificial! It’s a great choice for a keto beverage!
Top Notch Nutrition: Keto Magic
Another supplement that is good for you and makes a perfect keto beverage is Keto Magic. Top Notch Nutrition made this supplement with Ketoba, which couples butyric acid with BHBs (which will induce ketogenesis). Butyric acid is good for gut health because if its anti-inflammatory properties. It is a short-chain fatty acid that the cells lining your colon rely on for energy. Keto Magic is shown to increase fat burning, improve athletic endurance, improve focus, and increase energy. This is a great choice for a keto beverage and, just like Hydrate, it avoids anything artificial!
keto beverage don'ts
Your body will not have glycogen stores if you are keto, so alcohol is metabolized much faster by the liver. For this reason, drinking alcohol is controversial on the keto diet. We believe that it is alright, on occasion, and in moderation. We urge you to take it easy, be sensible with serving sizes, and be mindful of your choices! You can drink certain types of alcohol and stay in ketosis, but your liver will process the alcohol instead of fat, so it converts fewer fatty acids into ketones. Because of this, drinking alcohol slows down your progress and the burning of fat. What alcoholic beverages can you have on a keto diet?
- Spirits: vodka, whiskey, tequila, rum, gin, brandy and cognac are the top choice. Avoid flavored options because they contain sugar. The sugars that are in the carbohydrate source of hard liquors converts throughout the distillation and fermentation process making them mostly alcohol and water.
- Mixers: water, seltzer water, carbonated (sugar free) water, naturally-sweetened diet sodas (Zevia).
- Beer: light beers are best, with low carbohydrate content. There are not a lot of options, considering most beers contain 10-15 grams of carbs in one beverage.
- Wine: look for brands that are low carb and low sugar. There are some brands that are focused on keto dieters that love wine. Usually, dry red wines are the safest bet. Always look at labels to make sure.
Simply put, kombucha is fermented tea. The bacteria and yeast added to the tea form a mushroom looking “blob” on the surface. This is called a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). If you know anything about fermented foods, you know that they have probiotics which are good for your digestive health. Kombucha is full of probiotic bacteria, antioxidants, and has many benefits of regular tea. It is also known to kill bad bacteria in your body! The reason that it is controversial, is because it is made by adding sugar, bacteria, and yeast to tea and allowing it to ferment. Did you notice the word SUGAR? Why are we telling you that a beverage made with sugar is ok for keto dieters? Well, similarly to alcohol as described above, the sugar is converted throughout the fermentation process and therefore is not an issue. We believe that the benefits of kombucha are so great that we recommend this as a keto beverage!
The dos and don’ts of the keto diet (or any diet for that matter) don’t have to be overwhelming. Like any nutrition plan, feeling comfortable with your choices can take a little bit of work. It doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s easy to doubt yourself. Take it one change at a time, one day at a time, and soon enough you will feel confident about it. Just a reminder to be mindful of beverages when it comes to nutrition. In looking at the subject of keto beverages: dos and don’ts you can see the advantages and disadvantages to each. If you’ve never tried some of the keto-friendly beverages out there like kombucha, Hydrate, bone broth or Keto Magic, we hope that you will give them a try! They are great additions to your diet and we’re sure that you’ll find them amazing just like we do!