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7 Things You Should Never Drink on the Keto Diet

7 Things You Should Never Drink on the Keto Diet

Written by Grace & Silas
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So you probably already know what food you should and shouldn’t eat while on the Keto diet. But knowing what you can and can’t drink is important too.

So to help you out, I’ve gathered some drinks that you should never have on the Keto diet. These are beverages that’ll mess up your diet plan and contribute to weight gain.

Knowing what to avoid on the keto diet will help you to make the right choices and get you closer toward your fitness goals.

So check them out and feel free to let me know what you think in the comments down below!


Table of Contents

1. Milk
Can You Have Milk on Keto?
Skim Milk
How Much Whole Milk Can You Drink on Keto?
Best Milk for Keto
What About Milkshakes?
Keto Diet Milkshakes
FAQs
2. Sugary Alcoholic Drinks
Worst Alcohol for the Keto Diet
Best Alcohol for the Keto Diet
3. Sodas
Diet Soda
Regular Soda
4. Sport and Energy Drinks
Best Energy Drink on Keto
5. Sugary Coffee Drinks
What About Iced Tea & Iced Coffee?
6. Fruit Juice
Keto Fruit Juices
Is Sparkling Ice Keto Friendly?
7. Smoothie
Keto Friendly Smoothies

1. Milk


You can't drink skim milk on the Keto diet
A study from 2010 found that people over 20 drink around 135ml of milk per day, with parts of Europe and Central America drinking it more than anyone else around the world.

Milk is so versatile. Splash a bit in your coffee, pour it on your cereal, or simply drink a glass of it—whole milk, skim milk, chocolate milk, or whatever type you fancy!

Milk is known as a good source of calcium and protein which means you’re probably thinking that it makes it good for the Keto diet, right?

Can You Have Milk on Keto?

The relationship between keto and milk is pretty strained—they mostly fall out but occasionally they can get on just fine under the right conditions.

Why?

Because drinking a cup of whole milk on keto instantly pummels you with 12.8 grams of carbs which is 64% of your carb allowance for one day on Keto.

Did you know? Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution book and others indicate that fewer than 20 grams of carbs per day is ideal for the Keto diet (at least at first.)

In other words, milk is NOT low carb and NOT keto-friendly.

So the answer to your question “can I have milk on keto?” is by all intents and purposes a nuanced no.

Skim Milk

And is fat free milk bad for keto? Especially so!

You simply can’t drink skim milk on the Keto diet. Skim milk isn’t only keto unfriendly, it beats your keto diet up and steals its lunch money!

But in all seriousness, why is skim milk bad?

The fat content of skim milk in the USA is 0.5 grams or lower and it contains around 80 calories per cup (240ml). However, the carbs in fat free milk still amount to 12.5 grams.

This is more or less the same amount of sugar contained in whole milk.

Hence the ratio between fat and sugar is a lot more unbalanced in skimmed milk making it one of the drinks you can’t drink on the keto diet.

Low fat 1% milk that contains up to 2.6 grams of fat and 2% milk that contains up to 4.7 grams also contain the same grams of sugar as whole milk, making them bad choices too.

How Much Whole Milk Can You Drink on Keto?

If you want to be pro at the keto diet, then it’s best just to bite the bullet and accept that you can’t drink milk on Keto…at least cows milk.

But if you’re fidgeting on your seat wondering how to still drink cows milk on the Keto diet, then be sure to exclusively drink whole milk to benefit from the better fat/sugar ratio, as well as the other nutrients contained in whole milk.

Did you know? Whole milk comes with all kinds of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins D, A, B12.

And make sure to only drink half a cup or less of full-fat milk…and around 3 times weekly would be more advisable than daily.

Does this make whole milk keto friendly then? Obviously not. But this is just a fair compromise for those who love drinking milk by the glass.

Doing this, you should be able to carry on drinking cow milk on the keto diet (or at least still enjoy it splashed in the occasional coffee.)

Better yet, try ultra-filtered whole milk such as Fairlite which contains only 6 grams of carbs.

Best Milk for Keto

Did you notice how I only mentioned that cow’s milk was bad for Keto? You might be pleased to know that different kinds of milk are keto-friendly!

Which milk is best for Keto? Here are the 6 lowest carb milks in order:

Not everyone will have tried macadamia or pea protein milk, but these are the best milks for keto since they contain hardly any carbs at all. The one problem is their price…

Luckily, unsweetened almond milk is better than skim milk and is a cheap substitute to drink or use in cereals and recipes.

You may have noticed that these are all non-dairy milks. As a rule of thumb, the keto diet and dairy milk drinks do not go together. I repeat, do not go together.

What About Milkshakes?

You should be adequately clued up now to be suspicious of milkshakes.

Yes, they are delicious, but they’re usually made with whipped cream, dairy milk and ice creams packed with sugars.

Not only are they not keto-friendly, but these sort of milkshakes make you gain weight. Fast. So stay away from these types of milkshakes while on the Keto diet.

However, you can drink special keto milkshakes made with those non-diary milks that I listed just above.

Keto Diet and Making Milk Shakes

Here are 3 different keto diet milkshakes for you to check out!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Keto Diet Milkshake

A peanut butter and chocolate keto diet milkshake

Andrew Mager (with modification)

Love peanuts and chocolate? Who knew you could drink something like this on keto!

Ingredients: Unsweetened coconut milk (1 cup), unsweetened peanut butter (1 tbsp), unsweetened cocoa powder (1 tbsp), sweetener to taste (4 drops of Stevia as a guideline.)

Strawberry Keto Diet Milkshake

A strawberry keto milkshake with almond milk
This keto milkshake with almond milk, heavy cream and strawberries is perfect for summer.

Ingredients: Unsweetened almond milk (¾ cup), heavy cream (¼ cup), strawberries (½ cup), coconut oil (1 tbsp), sugar-free vanilla extract (½ tbsp), sweetener to taste (2 drops of Stevia as a guideline.)

Vanilla Keto Diet Milkshake

Vanilla keto milkshakes with black straws
You can add some chia seeds to this vanilla keto milkshake to increase its protein and fat content.

Ingredients: heavy or double cream (½ cup), water (½ cup), crushed ice (1 cup), vanilla extract (1 tbsp), pinch of salt, sweetener to taste (2-3 drops of Stevia as a guideline.)

FAQs Regarding Milk and the Keto Diet


 

Question: Can you have buttermilk on keto?


Answer: No, buttermilk contains too many carbs.

Question: Can you drink chocolate milk on keto?


Answer: No, chocolate milk contains too many carbs.

Question: Can you drink muscle milk on keto?


Answer: No, muscle milk contains too many carbs.

Question: Can you drink Lactaid milk on the keto diet?


Answer: Just full-fat Lactaid milk. Only drink half a cup or less every now and then to lower carb intake.

Question: Can you drink chocolate almond milk on keto?


Answer: No, this would probably contain too many carbs (I’d skip anything over 5g of carbs.)

Question: Can you drink cashew milk on the keto diet?


Answer: Only unsweetened varieties.

Question: Can you drink Fairlife milk on keto?


Answer: Only the whole milk kind and with moderation.

Question: Can you drink coconut milk on the keto diet?


Answer: You sure can! It’s actually one of the best types of milk for keto.

Question: Can you drink milk tea on the keto diet?


Answer: Only if you use non-dairy milk.

Question: Can you drink evaporated milk on keto?


Answer: Yes, in moderation.

Question: Can you drink goats milk on the keto diet?


Answer: While better than cows milk, I’d still recommend skipping goats milk while on keto.

Question: Can you drink hemp milk on keto?


Answer: Only unsweetened varieties.

Question: Can you drink milk kefir on a keto diet?


Answer: Only if it is fermented longer and served in small portions.

Question: Can you drink oat milk on the keto diet?


Answer: No, oat milk contains too many carbs.

Question: Can you drink rice milk on keto?


Answer: No, rice milk contains too many carbs.

2. Sugary Alcohol


 
You can't drink cocktails on the Keto diet
Is alcohol allowed on the keto diet? In moderation.

Alcohol per se isn’t completely out of the question when on keto since it doesn’t knock you out of ketosis and its overall effect is pretty mixed.

On one hand, Atkins nutritionist Colette Heimowitz told Elite Daily, “the liver can make ketones out of alcohol. So technically, when you drink, you’ll continue to produce ketones and will remain in ketosis.”

But on the other hand, with lower glycogen levels, the alcohol you drink will be metabolized by the liver faster than someone with extra glycogen to burn through.

As studies have shown, this means you’ll convert less fatty acids into ketones, resulting in less fat being burned in the process.

Health practitioner Richard Purvis confirms as much in his comments to Elite Daily, “the liver will start to process alcohol as quickly as possible, which means it is used by the body before all other nutrients, including fat, so it slows the process of converting fatty acids to ketones.”

In short, not every alcoholic drink is going to be detrimental to keto. But just make sure to drink in moderation and watch out for the alcoholic beverages high in carbs.

Here are the worst alcoholic drinks for keto (i.e. the ones highest in carbs) taken from typical varieties.

Alcoholic Drink Serving Size Carbs Carb %
Piña Colada 135ml 31.95g 23.6%
Fruit Cocktail 120ml 25.60g 21.3%
Cosmopolitan 100ml 21.11g 21.11%
Margarita 120ml 18.00g 15%
Whiskey Sour 200ml 28.00g 14%
Sangria 100ml 12.08g 12.08%

Best Alcohol for Keto Diet

You have more leniency with other alcoholic drinks that have a higher alcohol content and low to zero residual sugars.

But sometimes the same alcoholic drink will only contain a few varieties within it that are keto-friendly.

For example, is wine keto? Well, dry wines such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc are reasonably keto-friendly (this website will help you choose a keto-friendly dry wine), but sweeter wines are not.

And for distilled alcoholic beverages, just make sure you mix them with something low or sugar-free.

Here’s the alcohol allowed on keto!

Alcoholic Drink Serving Size Carbs Carb %
Rum 100ml 0 0%
Vodka 100ml 0 0%
Gin 100ml 0 0%
Whiskey 100ml 0 0%
Tequila 100ml 0 0%
Light Beer 355ml 5.80g 1.6%
White Wine (Chenin Blanc) 150ml 4.90g 3.26%
Red Wine (Burgundy) 150ml 5.46g 3.64%

Two drinks that lie on the “maybe” pile are Bloody Mary’s and regular beer.

Alcoholic Drink Serving Size Carbs Carb %
Bloody Mary 100ml 4.44g 4.44%
Beer 355ml 12.60g 3.5%

We didn’t include them on either the best or worst keto alcoholic drinks since, despite their modest carbs, Bloody Mary’s can differ in their sugar content and beer is easily over-consumed.

So in summary, while you can drink alcohol on the ketogenic diet, remember to only drink keto-friendly alcohol and do so in moderation.

3. Sodas


 
You can't drink diet soda on the Keto diet
Whether it’s the controversial diet soda or regular soda, Gallup has revealed that nearly half (48%) of all Americans drink a soda each day.

Moreover, Coca-Cola alone has made so many different varieties that it’d take over 9 years drinking one per day until you’d tried them all.

If you’re on keto, you need to simply resist the varieties and become that 52% each day who don’t drink soda. In short, there’s simply no way you can afford to drink soda while on keto.

Let’s dig deeper into why diet and regular sodas are bad keto drinks.

Diet Soda

Diet sodas may seem like ideal low carb diet drinks but they, alongside regular soda, have been linked with poorer diet quality, increased risks of diabetes + cardiovascular disease, and increased blood pressure (diet soda even more so than regular.)

Studies focusing on diet soda independently have shown an association with heart disease and stroke and, most relevantly, weight gain.

In particular, one observational study also found routinely drinking diet soda may be associated with an increased BMI.

Furthermore, a recent study has suggested that some of the reported positive effects of diet soda have actually come from studies whose results cannot be reproduced and which were actually funded by corporations with conflicts of interest.

In summary, while one diet soda here or there is probably not going to destroy your keto diet as much as regular soda, they’re still best drank in moderation.

Regular Soda

Moving on to the real soda villain, regular sodas not only possess many of the same pitfalls (and more) of diet soda, but they were also come bursting with sugar.

Here’s a wee table showing how much carbs the average can of soda contains…

Drink Carbs Per Can
Fanta 61g
Mountain Dew 46g
Pepsi 41g
Dr. Pepper 40g
Coca-Cola 39g
Sprite 38g
Lemonade 26g

Just don’t go there if you’re on keto…

4. Energy Drinks


You shouldn't drink energy or sport drinks on the Keto diet
Can you have caffeine on keto? Yep! In fact, a study reports that increased caffeine-intake is linked to an increase in ketone production.

However, when it comes to sport and energy drinks, the sugar packed into energy drinks outweighs any potential benefit.

Here’s a breakdown of the carb content of some of the most common energy and sport drink brands.

Drink Carbs Per Can / Bottle
Rockstar 61g
Monster 54g
Powerade 35g
Vitaminwater 33g
Red Bull 26g
Gatorade 16g

After working out, do yourself a favor and get your caffeine from black coffee or green tea. Also, water is great for replacing nutrients after a workout.

Best Energy Drink on Keto

If you need to drink an energy drink after a workout then the best keto energy drinks available are the diet versions of the energy drinks listed in the table above.

Here’s a new table listing all the keto-friendly energy drinks on offer.

Drink Carbs Per Can / Bottle
Vitaminwater Zero 0g
Powerade Zero 0.5g
Rockstar Pure Zero 1g
Red Bull Total Zero 2g
Gatorade Zero Sugar Thirst Quencher 2g
Monster Zero Ultra 3g

5. Coffee Drinks


You can't drink lattes on the Keto diet
Caffeine has been linked to increased ketone production and it’s effect while on keto, by and large, seems to be pretty positive.

But what about those premium coffee drinks loaded with sugar? Not so good.

Skip the Starbucks and the sugary coffee drinks while on keto.

Instead, drink strong coffee using unsweetened almond milk (or better yet, drink it black) and if you need to sweeten it, make sure to use keto-friendly sweeteners instead of sugar.

Here is the average carb content for the most popular coffee drinks…

Drink Serving Size Carbs Carb %
Chai Latte 6 oz / 177 ml 16.5g 12.15%
Mocha 8 oz / 227 ml 24.1g 11.31%
Latte 6 oz / 177 ml 7.1g 4.44%
Breve 6 oz / 177 ml 6.8g 4.25%
Cappuccino 6 oz / 177 ml 4.5g 4.16%
Café Au Lait 8 oz / 227 ml 5.9g 2.45%
Macchiato 4 oz / 118 ml 3.0g 2.50%
Espresso 4 oz / 118 ml 2g 1.66%
Americano 8 oz / 227 ml 0.8g 0.33%

As we’d expect, pure and strong coffee drinks such as espresso and americano are among the best coffee for keto.

What About Iced Tea & Iced Coffee?

Can you have ice drinks on keto? (If it’s high in sugar, then obviously not.)

But what about iced tea or iced coffee?

With 250ml of it containing only around 1g of carbs, iced tea (with nothing added to it) is pretty keto-friendly, as is pure iced coffee.

However, store-bought iced tea and coffee often come loaded with sugar.

Instead, try brewing your own green tea at home and add in some freshly squeezed lemon to cut the bitterness. And for iced coffee, simply blend freshly brewed coffee with ice and add in some keto-friendly sweeteners and keto-friendly milk.

This will help you save money and keep you in ketosis.

6. Fruit Juice


 
A glass of orange juice, which is not a keto-friendly drink
Drinking regular fruit juice on keto is a bad idea.

Fruit juices like apple, orange, and cranberry all come loaded with natural sugars, which is why their habitual consumption has been linked with type-2 diabetes.

Many producers of fruit juice even add extra sugar in addition to the natural sugars already found within them.

Here’s a table showing popular fruit juices and their carb content.

Drink Serving Size Carbs Carb %
Grape Juice 1 cup / 253g 36g 14.23%
Passion Fruit Juice 1 cup / 247g 35g 14.17%
Peach Juice 1 cup / 249g 31g 12.45%
Cranberry Juice 1 cup / 248g 24.8g 10%
Pineapple Juice 1 cup / 250g 25g 10%
Apple Juice 1 cup / 248g 24g 9.68%
Banana Juice 1 cup / 207g 20g 9.66%
Orange Juice 1 cup / 248g 21g 8.47%
Avocado Juice 1 cup / 225g 7.4g 3.29%
Tomato Juice 1 cup / 243g 6.3g 2.59%

Keto Fruit Juices

The good news? Not every fruit contains a ton of naturally-occurring fructose. For example, just look at avocado juice and tomato juice in the table above!

In addition, here are two rarer fruits that produce the best keto fruit juices possible.

Chokeberry Juice

Despite its ominous name, chokeberries are actually super healthy and have been associated with lowered blood glucose levels.

Otherwise known as “aronia”, their juice can be bought concentrated ready to have water added.

They possess a tarty taste (which is why they’re low in sugar), so adding a few drops of sweetener might not go amiss.

Sea Buckthorn Juice

Sea buckthorn is the superfood you’ve probably never heard of.

It gets its name from being found predominantly on the coast in Western Europe where the salty spray of the sea prevents other competitors from growing in their place.

However, the dry desert-like environments in Asia means that over 90% of all sea buckthorn is grown there.

Studies have shown it has numerous health benefits due to its rich quantity of antioxidants, and with low sugar content, sea buckthorn juice is arguably the king of all keto fruit juice.

Is Sparkling Ice Keto Friendly?

Sparkling Ice is a seltzer (flavored carboned water) that comes in many fruity flavors and would seem like a perfect substitute for fruit juice while on the ketogenic diet.

But is Sparkling Ice ok for keto? Yes!

While Sparkling Ice does contain some sucralose which can impact ketosis in a few people, Sparkling Ice is a very keto-friendly drink due to its total lack of carbs and calories.

So if you’re looking for a fizzy fruit juice substitute, you should definitely try drinking Sparkling Ice on the keto diet!

Did you know? You can use Sparkling Ice to make amazing keto diet cocktails.

7. Smoothie

A non-keto smoothie sat on a table with fruits
Some think that smoothies made from fruit and/or vegetables are a good drink while on the Keto diet. But most of what we’ve just read about fruit juice, unfortunately, applies to smoothies as well.

Smoothies are essentially fruit without the fiber, meaning that they’re often the worst parts of the fruit blended together with other things that are also usually high in sugar that may kick you out of ketosis.

All hope is not lost, however, since there are some great keto-friendly smoothie recipes out there that bypass the high sugar and lock in other good nutrients.

Keto Friendly Smoothies

In essence, the key to a smoothie that is keto-friendly is one that is in high in fiber and low in sugar.

Here are some high-in-fiber keto smoothies that deserve your attention.

Strawberry Almond Milk Keto Smoothie

Two glasses of strawberry keto smoothie with almond milk
This keto smoothie with almond milk is super simple to make and super tasty too!

Ingredients: Strawberries (2 cups), unsweetened almond milk (1½ cups), avocado (1), sweetener to taste.

Mint Coco Coconut Keto Smoothie

A mint coco avocado keto smoothie with a straw
If you’re looking for a keto smoothie that’s a bit different then you’ll most likely love this different yet tasty alternative. Why not give it a shot?

Ingredients: Full-fat unsweetened coconut milk (½ cup), water (½ cup), avocado (½ cup), cauliflower (½ cup), chopped up mint (1 tbsp), cacao powder (1 tbsp), coconut oil (1 tbsp), vanilla extract (1 tsp), sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon and sea salt to taste.

Optional: Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, coconut flakes, and collagen protein.

Make Your Own Keto Green Smoothie

3 glasses of keto green smoothie
There are many different types of keto green smoothies. We’ve included this last option as a “make-it-yourself” smoothie so you can custom build your own keto green smoothie.

Firstly, you need to start with your non-starchy green vegetables and low-sugar fruits such as the following…

  • Arugula
  • Avocado
  • Baby Spinach
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Bok Choy
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Kale (if so, try adding some mint leaves to counteract the bitterness)
  • Kiwi
  • Parsley
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Swiss Chard

Secondly, you can add some extras for texture and flavor…

  • Almonds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Ginger
  • Ground Flaxseed
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Mint Leaves
  • Nut Butter (e.g. Peanut or Almond)
  • Walnuts

Lastly, you’ll need to add some non-diary milk, unsweetened plain yogurt, or coconut cream to add a bit more moisture. Blend and enjoy!


Aside from focusing on the right food choices, drinks also play a huge role in the Keto diet. Some will improve your health but others are high in sugar and will only kick you out of ketosis.

So make sure to stay away from any drink on this list and you’ll be good to go!

Now if you have any questions, let me know in the comments down below! I’d love to hear about them!

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Meet Silas & Grace

Silas and Grace always had a passion for travel. So in 2016, they started Chasing Foxes as an independent income source. 4 months after launch, they were making enough money from their blog to travel full-time, and in the past 5 years, they’ve been able to encourage others in their blogging journeys too. Learn more about Silas & Grace.

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