The queen of restrictive diets, keto is the low-carb, high-fat diet that only allows you to eat 10% of your daily calories from carbs.
By doing so, your body enters in ketosis — the process by which your body starts using fat as energy instead of carbs. And in other to maintain this state, you should keep the carb intake below 20-30 grams per day.
So you know, cutting carbs can be hard …
Especially if you love pizza, pasta, cake or other cheat meals like these.
If you decide to stick to the keto diet, you’ll have to reduce carbs for when you really want them 100%. So, no more sugary beverages for you. At least not that much.
You see, the so-called “healthy” drinks are full of carbs. Drinks like orange juice and some smoothies usually have 30 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
But let’s dive in and discuss how many carbs and what can you drink on keto diet.
1.Can you drink juice on the keto diet?
Well, only if they fulfill the following need– reduced sugar content.
As you probably know, most fruit juices have a decent amount of carbs, making them impossible for you to drink on the Keto Diet.
How many carbs does a juice have?
Usually, eight ounces of cranberry juice has 30 grams of carbs, while the same amount of apple juice has 24 grams of carbs.
Luckily, you can drink reduced sugar juices that have minimal carbohydrates. Most times, brands pack these juices in the same way as the full-calorie versions, so you need to read the nutrition label to make sure which one of them is low-carb.
2.Can You Drink Tea And Coffee On The Keto Diet?
Yes, you can.
You see, plain, unsweetened coffee and tea are keto-friendly. However, if you like to drink your coffee with milk, then it might be a problem …
And that’s because one cup of whole milk has roughly 13 grams of carbs.
So, what should you do if you like milk into your coffee, but you’re on a Keto Diet?
Well, you can substitute milk with heavy cream. Luckily, one tablespoon of heavy cream has less than one gram of carbohydrates. Even more, if you miss flavored coffee or tea, you can find flavored creamers specifically for your tastes.
Another thing you should have in mind is bottled coffee drinks. Sadly, most of them are usually loaded with high amounts of carbs.
3.Can You Drink Soda On The Keto Diet?
No, you can’t.
Instead, you can drink diet soda, but in moderation.
So you know, a 12-ounce can of Pepsi has 12 grams of carbs, while the diet version of it has zero carbohydrates. If you prefer natural sweeteners, then Zevia can be your go-to soda. Thankfully, this brand uses Stevia to make calorie-free versions of cream soda, root beer, and cola.
One interesting thing is that fake sugars don’t knock you out of ketosis. But they raise lots of health concerns, triggering cravings that make you want to eat more.
Related: Keto Cravings: How To Stop Carb Cravings
4.Can You Drink Booze On The Keto Diet?
Again, the answer is no.
Sadly, drinking alcohol from time to time gets you out of ketosis. And you’ll get drunker faster too.
Still don’t want to give up booze, but want to burn fat?
Well, then you should eliminate beer and wine for good. And that’s because both of them are very high in carbs. Instead, you should stick to liquor, such as vodka or whiskey. On the rocks, of course!
Going out for cocktails will be a challenge, but you can always make a low-carb mojito or margarita at home.
5.Can You Drink Protein Shakes On The Keto Diet?
Thankfully, protein shakes can be your easy on-the-go breakfast option if you decide to stick to the keto diet. One interesting mix is adding chocolate protein powders to your coffee if you usually like to drink mocha on your way to the job.
So you know, not all protein powders are low in carbs. And that’s why you always have to check the nutrition label. If you’re looking for a specific type of good protein powder, then casein powder should be your option.
Well, your body digests casein powder slower and keeps you satiated for longer. More than that, you can try a carb-free protein powder, such as isolated whey protein.
6.Can You Drink Soy Milk On The Keto Diet?
You see, soy milk is an excellent substitute for traditional milk. And it also has very few carbs. Specifically, soy milk has four grams of carbohydrates.
However, you should buy unsweetened or flavored varieties since some options can drive up carb count. And get you out of ketosis.
7.Can You Drink Dairy Milk On The Keto Diet?
But the serving size is important!
You should always pick whole milk for the higher fat content and measure how much you drink.
So you know, one cup of whole milk has roughly 12 grams of carbs, which can take up most of your daily carb allowance.
8.Can You Drink Matcha On The Keto Diet?
Yes, you can.
Especially if you miss your favorite sugary Starbucks drink.
But, again …
Always check the label to make sure there’s no added sugar. Luckily, many brands have low-carb mixes from which you can pick. Most of them usually have two grams of carbs per scoop.
Related: Matcha Green Tea: How To Have More Energy Without Feeling Anxious Or Jittery
9.Can You Drink Milkshakes On The Keto Diet?
Again, the answer is yes.
If you prepare them correctly, milkshakes can be your faithful ally when you follow the keto diet. Unsweetened almond milk and heavy cream are two strong ingredients to use in them if you want to keep your milkshake low-carb.
Besides these, adding one tablespoon of low-carb nut butter can make it even better. And it only costs you four grams of your daily carbohydrates. Since you can’t put sugar in it, stevia drops can be your keto-friendly sweetener.
10.Can You Drink Smoothies On The Keto Diet?
Yes, you can. But with one condition …
Always measure the ingredients!
So you can make the perfect keto smoothie, pick a low-carb base like unsweetened almond milk. And add in matcha or protein powder, some ice and a small amount of fruit. Make sure that both matcha and protein powder are keto-friendly and that you pick low-carb fruits like blueberries.
Related: 14 Foods For Weight Loss: What Foods To Eat To Lose Weight?
But don’t forget …
If you drink a smoothie like this, you usually reach your daily carb intake. And it means you have to eat just protein and fats for the rest of your meals.
11.Can You Drink Energy Drinks On The Keto Diet?
Yes. But again …
Always pay attention to the labels.
So you know, some energy drinks can have up to 30 grams of carbs while others are sugar-free, lowering the carb count. A good option is Zevia energy drinks since they use stevia as a sweetener and have no calories.
12.How Many Carbs Can You Eat On A Keto Diet?
Well, here is the sweet spot of the keto diet.
You see, staying and getting into ketosis is the whole goal of the keto diet. If you don’t manage to do that, then this diet won’t work, and it’s better to stick to other restrictive diets, such as the Paleo diet.
Related: Paleo Diet Benefits: What Is Paleo Diet?
You can only achieve ketosis by eating a very high fat, moderate protein and low-carb diet. Each one of us is different, so there’s no exact number of carbs you should eat to enter into ketosis. But there are some guidelines that you can use.
Usually, you can achieve ketosis and stay there on 50 grams of total carbs per day. But this only happens if you’re on the lucky side of keto dieters. And that’s because you may need to eat around 20 grams of carbs per day to enter ketosis.
So, how many carbs should you eat on a keto diet?
Let’s dive in and discuss everything about this subject.
13.Carbs Limits If You’re A Beginner
Typically, the number of carbs you can eat and stay in ketosis depends on your body type, how long you’ve been sticking to keto, your exercise regime, and others.
In other words, if you’re just starting a keto diet, you should roughly consume 20 grams of net carbs per day or 20 grams of total carbs for therapeutic purposes. Since 20 grams of total carbs is the accurate number that helps mostly everyone to enter ketosis, considering you eat within your daily macros, then this is your place to start.
More than that, this starting point is good for weight loss and other general health benefits too.
Related: Keto For Weight Loss: How To Use Ketogenic Diet For Losing Weight
How long should you eat 20 grams of carbs per day?
Well, to make sure that your body gets used to the keto lifestyle, you should eat 20 grams of net carbs per day for three months. Only after this period, you can set out to explore your own carb edge.
14.What Are Net Carbs?
Net carbs are the total carbs minus the fiber. So you know, a medium red bell pepper has 7 grams of total carbs and 2.5 grams of fiber. Thus, the net carbs in a red bell pepper are 4.5. And this is the number you should track to monitor your carb intake daily.
15.How To Know You’re In Ketosis?
You see, the best way to see if you’re in ketosis is to test your blood using a blood-ketone testing meter regularly. Always make sure to follow the guidelines on how to test and when to test. They are very important!
So, when you first decide to stick to the keto diet and begin testing your ketones, you’ll see the ketone levels rising from “Lo” to 0.1 mmol/L. This is the first measurable result and will only rise higher. When you see the value of 0.5 mmol/L, it means you’re in nutritional ketosis.
16.Other Signs You’re In Ketosis
Sadly, there can be discomforts when you enter into ketosis. But they are a good signal that you achieved this state.
Keto Flu symptoms are the most usual when you follow the keto diet. They are very common when you transition out of a high carb-diet to a low-carb, keto diet.
So, you can experience the following:
- Brain fog
Other signs of ketosis and keto flu can be:
- A slight fruity or acetone smell on your breath, also known as “keto breath”.
- A high level of energy happening when you’re in full ketosis.
- Decreased sugar cravings.
- The ability to go longer between meals.
Related: Keto Flu Symptoms: How To Get Rid Of Keto Flu?
17.How To Test Your Carb Limit
So, the three months have passed, and you’ve achieved the ketosis state. Now is the right time to test your carb edge, and discover if you can tolerate more net carbs each day while still staying in ketosis.
But you should do this test methodically …
And that’s because you don’t want to kick yourself out of ketosis. But if you accidentally do, you want to recover quickly and reach the state again.
How should you test it?
The best way to do it is to increase your net carbs gradually, test your ketones and glucose with the Keto-Mojo blood-glucose testing meter, and stop when your test results are too close to pushing you outside of the optimal ketosis range.
Firstly, you should increase your daily net carbs by 5 grams, so that your daily net carbs become 25 and not 20. Stay at this increase for at least three days, test to monitor your tolerance, and make sure you stay in ketosis. However, if you get kicked out of ketosis, you should go back to 20 carbs per day and know that you are already at the edge.
If you stay in your desired range of ketosis on 25 net carbs per day for one week, increase the net carbs up to 30, try it for another week, and see what happens.
Always keep in mind that we all have different carb tolerance. So, you may get kicked out of ketosis when you go above 20 grams of net carbs per day. Or you can eat many more carbs and still stay in ketosis.
In other words …
Lifestyle, exercise, and bio-individuality determine your carb edge.
How To Test Your Carb Limit: Step-By-Step Guide
Firstly, you should increase your daily carbs by five net grams (i.e., from 20 to 25 grams) and test your ketones and glucose to see how your body responds. If you see that ketones drop significantly (below .5 mmol) and glucose rises more than 30 mg/dL after the first few hours, then you should go back to 20 grams of net carbs per day. This is your alarm signal that 20 grams of net carbs are your daily limit.
However, if you stay in ketosis on 25 net grams of carbs per day (0.5 mmol or above), then you should stay at this level and continue testing for three full days. So you know, ketone changes don’t show up as quickly as glucose does in test results. And it allows you time to ensure you’re still in ketosis before you decide to add more carbs to find your edge.
Luckily, if you’re still in ketosis at 25 net grams of carbs per day, increase your daily net carbs by 5 grams. In this way, you will consume 30 grams of net carbs daily. The next step is to test your ketones and glucose to see how your body responds. And if you continue to stay in ketosis throughout the day, continue consuming 30 grams of net carbs per day for the next three days.
Three Day Increments:
If you’re consuming 30 grams of net carbs per day, and you’re still in ketosis, then you can continue to increase the net carbs by 5 grams every three days. In this way, you will reach your personal carb limit, knowing the number of carbs you can consume without getting kicked out of ketosis. But you should always keep in mind that ketosis levels are affected by other factors too. And you must be sure to test your ketones and glucose all the time until you know precisely what your upper limit is.
When Is The Best Time To Test Ketone Levels?
One important thing when you test ketone levels is doing it at the right time. So, you should test your ketone and blood glucose before you eat and 30 and 120 minutes after you’ve eaten.
Always be consistent about your testing times!
After you decide what time works best for you, stick to it each day, and compare your results to the days before at the exact time.
As a guideline, when you want to determine your daily carb limit, you may test two hours after you wake up, fasted, for the baseline test result. And one more time two hours after meals.
What Can Influence Your Daily Carb Limit?
As you discovered earlier, your carb limit can change depending on your bio-individuality and other lifestyle factors.
Below I’ve listed you some influences and things you can do to make sure they’re working in your favor:
So you know, emotional stress can impact your insulin response to the stress hormones. And if you test ketones and glucose on a stressful day, you may see a rise in glucose, which can suppress your ketone levels. Thankfully, yoga, deep breathing techniques, going for walks, or other changes in your life can decrease your stress levels, improving your overall well-being.
As you know by now, many things are bio-individual. And the effects of coffee on glucose is one of them. Sadly, drinking coffee can raise your glucose, you can see no change, or it can improve your glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. If you want to discover how coffee affects you, test your glucose before you drink coffee and 30 minutes after coffee. That’s how you’ll see how your glucose levels react.
You see, exercise can impact your insulin levels in two ways. Firstly, overtraining can lead to intense stress responses, which increases your cortisol levels, affecting insulin and increasing glucose. That’s why you always have to avoid long, intense workouts without recovery days, and make sure to get enough, proper good night’s rest.
Secondly, you need to know that muscle contraction activates glucose transport. And as this acute effect of exercise on glucose transport wears off, it is replaced by an increase in insulin sensitivity. So, right after exercise, you may have a slight rise in glucose, and you should test it again 1 hour later to check if it drops back down to normal levels.
As a hint, light exercise helps you burn more fat and gets you into ketosis faster. Always test your glucose and ketones before and after exercise to see how your body responds.
Sadly, a single night of partial sleep loss affects fasting insulin sensitivity. And that’s why you should measure results after a full night of sleep.
More than that, if you want to determine if interrupted sleep affects your glucose, you should test each morning at the same time, on an empty stomach, and record whether you had a full night’s sleep or an interrupted one.
So you know, different types of carbs affect insulin levels in different ways. Simple sugars from candy and juice will quickly increase insulin and glucose, affecting your ability to stay in ketosis. On the other hand, complex carbs are easier for you to digest, having less impact on your glucose and insulin levels.
Thankfully, eating plant-based, low starch, above ground vegetable sources of carbs like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and zucchini can be very good for your health. If you’re a fruit lover, sticking with low glycemic fruit like berries should be your go-to option.
Since there are so many factors and tests that help you determine your carb edge, it’s always a great idea to track your data for analyzing the results. And once you discover the right pattern, you can make the appropriate lifestyle changes based on your body needs and different activities.
Which Is The Best Keto Diet Meal Plan?
If you’re looking for more information about the Keto Diet and want to discover essential tools to help you achieve and maintain ketosis faster, then you should get a specific keto challenge plan.
Thankfully, I already tried some of them, and the best one you can find is the 28-day Keto Challenge by Keto Resource.
This cookbook gives you the right guidance on how to properly stick to a good keto diet plan. It provides you with how-to manuals and step-by-step guides to make your keto journey easier and more enjoyable.
You can read here the full 28-Day Keto Challenge review article and decide whether this product is for you or not.