Liquid beverages…we all need them, we all drink them, and we all have our own personal favourites. On a low carb keto diet, I have had to rethink what I drink and thought I’d share my ‘favourite go-to’ low carb beverages with you.
For all my fellow human beings out there, here’s a little fun fact…we’re all made up of at least 60% water. That means that in order to maintain our body’s hydration equilibrium (body water levels), we need to consume liquids, and it is those liquids that we humans have labelled drinks and beverages.
In days of old, the ‘go-to’ beverage was water. A step up from that were other natural liquids such as the juice from eating whole fruits and vegetables. Now-a-days though, beverages have become almost their own little food sub-set and can be found in a variety of often high calorie, high sugar, high fat, high protein, and highly processed, albeit tasty, forms.
Traditionally beverages such as fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and even diet drinks have been touted as ‘healthy’. And although there are some nutrients to be found in fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, for the typical low carber, these drinks can end up being very high, too high in fact, in sugar. Diet sodas are low in calories and carbs/sugar, but they often use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, that are still being studied for their potential to adversely affect health. They also do not generally provide much by way of nutrition.
With a continually increasing demand, an array of low carb beverages are becoming available for purchase in general stores across the world that often have no sugar added or use natural sugar free sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit. Sadly, in New Zealand, it can still be a little challenging to find ready-made low carb sweet drinks in stores and supermarkets. Hopefully this will change as low carb eating gains popularity.
Here below, I’m sharing my favourite ‘go-to’ low carb drinks that I find available in New Zealand while living my low carb lifestyle.
While making sure I drink a lot of water each day, I admit to preferring sparkling water over still water. It doesn’t have to be a special mineral water or posh…it just has to have carbonation. A soda stream appliance at home allows me to make my own sparkling water for pennies which is great but on occasion I must admit I cheat and also buy some readymade supermarket brand bottles of soda water.
I just love my Keto Coffee each day. To me, a keto coffee is any coffee I add some fat to (e.g. butter, ghee, cream, MCT oil, coconut oil) whilst keeping the carbs low, so no sugar, milk or sugary syrups.
If you’ve read my blog about keto coffee, you’ll already know that I used to make something akin to a Bullet Proof Coffee with butter, heavy cream and MCT oil or coconut oil back in the early days when I found it hard to get my fat intake in each day. These days I prefer not to drink all my fat calories so each morning, after my cup of green tea, I then have a coffee with 18ml cream and sometimes a little stevia/erythritol blend depending on my sweet tooth mood. I try to fast until about noon (I don’t always make it) and drink my delicious keto coffee to break my fast.
Growing up in a tea-drinking household, I enjoy a variety of different teas. I add a dash of cream to my English Breakfast tea or chai tea but for all others, I take them black. I have also never felt the need to add any sweeteners to tea.
My favourites teas that can always be found in the cupboard are: sencha green tea, English Breakfast tea, oolong tea, Ceylon cinnamon with peppermint tea, Chai tea, tulsi (holy basil) tea, and sometimes rooibos tea. In summer I also add a variety of fruit flavoured herbal teas that I enjoy drinking chilled, unsweetened and with ice.
La Croix can be found in some supermarkets in the ‘water’ aisle. These little cans of seemingly soda-pop are actually sparkling water with fruit essence added to provide fruity flavours without the sugar. If you are someone who enjoys plain soda water or sparkling mineral water, these may appeal to you.
For me, they satisfy the soda pop craving for the simple fact that they come in a can where I can pop the pull-tab just as if it were a can of sugary soda-pop. They are also great in terms of size and portability. With zero calories and zero carbs, they are a winner and come second only to fresh, pure water.
Yes, I do enjoy the odd alcohol-infused drink, generally each weekend. I try to stick to a glass of dry wine (white or red) or on summery days, I enjoy a refreshing gin and diet tonic.
Having a hard liquor such as gin or vodka mixed with a diet soda is one of the few times I drink diet sodas as I generally try to stay away from products that use aspartame to sweeten them.
Beverages I Like to Drink but Less Frequently
Sometimes I feel the need for a cola soda pop. For times like these, I keep some ‘stevia only’ sweetened coca cola in the pantry. If I feel like other flavours of soda pop, I just add ‘water drops’ (fruit flavourings sweetened with stevia) to the soda/sparkling water. By the way, you can also add these drops to still water.
If I get a hankering for banana or strawberry milk, I use ‘milk drops’ which are the equivalent of ‘water drops’ but for milk. I also find these useful for adding to smoothies.
Both water drops and milk drops can be found at most large supermarkets either in the water aisle or the milk flavourings aisle.
And for my last ‘go-to’ low carb beverage, I present to you sugar free chocolate drinking powder that uses stevia and erythritol to make it sweet. I’m not generally a hot chocolate kind of person but I do like to have it on rare occasion. The particular brand that I go to in the supermarket is Avalanche. I have also found it great as an addition to coffee for when I feel like having a mochachino.
So, there you have it, my favourite ‘go-to’ low carb beverages. If you come around to visit me, these are what I may have on offer to wet your whistle.