Diet soda allows you to get rid of sugar cravings without consuming copious amounts of high-fructose corn syrup. You can also use it as a mixer when enjoying a few drinks with friends.
But is diet soda keto-friendly?
This post covers everything you need to know about drinking diet soda on keto. I’ll talk about the best diet sodas, what to avoid and some healthier alternatives.
Can You Drink Diet Soda On Keto?
You can drink diet soda on keto. It isn’t healthy since it triggers inflammation, but it won’t knock you out of ketosis.
But I suggest not drinking too much because many brands add dangerous ingredients to their sugar-free diet soda. Some include:
- Potassium benzoate
- Artificial flavors
- Phosphoric acid
- Acesulfame potassium
These compounds might not interfere with ketosis, but it promotes insulin resistance, heart disease, tooth decay, weight gain and certain types of cancer.
But it’s almost impossible to go from drinking several cans of soda per week to eliminating it from your diet completely. You want to use it as a tool to improve your health.
Before keto, if you’d generally drink two cans of soda per day, consider swapping it out for diet soda. And after a few days, cut back on your consumption. This way, you slowly remove these harmful drinks from your diet instead of quitting cold turkey and giving up when a sugar craving hits.
But not all sugar-free diet sodas are the same. Certain diet beverages are more dangerous than others. So you want to stick to clean diet soda that uses high-quality ingredients.
Zevia: The Best Diet Soda For Keto Dieters
Zevia is one of my go-to keto drinks when struggling with sugar cravings. Zevia is a global brand that’s on a mission to get millions of people healthy by reducing sugar consumption and replacing it with natural ingredients while delivering the same taste.
All Zevia products contain zero calories and carbs with no added sugar or preservatives. You also won’t find any dangerous ingredients like aspartame and phosphoric acid.
But Zevia does offer an overwhelming amount of products. So if you’re struggling to choose a drink, consider some of my favorites drinks.
When you just started eating low-carb, you’d go with friends to grab a drink, but all the mixers are filled with sugar. Some mixers are sugar-free but still contain harmful ingredients.
Fortunately, Zevia noticed this problem and created sugar-free mixers with no calories, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. All ingredients used are also plant-based which is helpful when you’re eating a vegan keto diet.
My favorite flavored drinks are:
- Tonic water
- Ginger beer
On the label, you’ll also notice it only uses four ingredients. Carbonated water, citric acid, natural flavors and organic stevia leaf extract. This makes it the perfect mixer for a night out.
Make sure to take a look at our list of the best low carb cocktails using the Zevia mixers!
Energy drinks are a practical option if you feel lethargic and need some much-needed caffeine. Unfortunately, many energy drinks contain sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and other dangerous additives. Sugar-free energy drinks also tend to use aspartame which negatively affects your health, especially if you’re sensitive to artificial sweeteners.
But Zevia offers a clean 12-ounce energy drink that contains 120 mg of caffeine and comes in flavors like:
- Mango ginger
- Pineapple paradise
- Raspberry lime
- Strawberry kiwi
This way, you can buy a six flavor variety pack, get a caffeine boost and enjoy the different flavors Zevia has to offer.
Compared to popular energy drinks like Monster and Redbull, you won’t notice that Zevia uses no sugar. The high caffeine content also ensures you get a similar pick-me-up to other energy beverages.
The first few years of a child’s life are essential because the body uses the nutrients you give it to build a solid foundation for adulthood. Unfortunately, many children eat junk food like candy, chocolate and soda.
That’s why Zevia created a children’s soda that isn’t as harmful as other beverages and comes in different flavors:
- Fruit punch
- Strawberry lemonade
This makes it a must-have for keto parents because your child can still enjoy the yummy taste of soda without the harmful products.
The Zevia Kidz Fruity soda uses no sugar, GMO, artificial sweeteners or colorings.
Zevia also offers a handy subscription that allows you to save 14%, and you choose to receive your soda every 14, 28 or 42 days.
Now let’s look at what to avoid when buying soda.
What To Avoid When Buying Diet Soda
If your grocery store doesn’t stock Zevia or you want to try something new, consider the following factors when buying keto diet soda.
Sugar Or High-Fructose Corn Syrup
When buying keto soda, the main factor to watch out for is the sugar content. You want a beverage that doesn’t use sugar or carbs. Sometimes brands avoid sugar by using other flavor additives that still contain carbs. So it’s essential to also check carb count.
Soda and fruit juice companies also like using high-fructose corn syrup, which is cheaper and sweeter than regular table sugar. You want to avoid this at all costs.
High-fructose corn syrup kicks you out of ketosis, triggers inflammation and is the most common cause of fatty liver disease behind alcohol.
A soda must be sugar-free with zero carbs and use natural sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, xylitol or erythritol.
Artificial sweeteners fall under the gray area of keto. It won’t interfere with ketosis, but you want to avoid it when possible because it can lead to adverse health effects.
Some studies found that although artificial sweeteners don’t contain carbs that spike blood glucose, they can still lead to insulin resistance.
So if you’re on a more flexible keto diet and don’t have a family history of diabetes, artificial sweeteners might not be a problem.
But if your goal isn’t just to stay in ketosis but also get healthy and reduce inflammation, I’d suggest staying away from sweeteners like:
Instead, opt for the sugar substitutes mentioned above like stevia, xylitol, erythritol and monk fruit.
Soda brands like Coca-Cola use caramel coloring when making diet coke. They do this by heating a GMO carbohydrate like corn with an ammonia compound to produce advanced glycation end-product or AGE.
This AGE creates sticky proteins in your arteries, brain, liver, pancreas and kidneys.
Again, this coloring won’t kick you out of ketosis, but regular, long-term consumption can cause unwanted health effects.
So when you’re shopping for diet soda, look for any weird colorings. Instead, opt for a drink that uses few ingredients and no colorants.
How Often Can I Drink Diet Soda On Keto?
How often you can drink diet soda depends on the type of beverage you’re consuming. If you’re drinking Coke Zero that uses several harmful ingredients, you want to limit it to once every few weeks. This allows your body to recover from the inflammation.
But if you’re drinking something cleaner like Zevia, you can afford to drink it once a day or once every second day.
Healthier Alternatives To Diet Soda On Keto
Here are some tasty yet healthier alternatives to diet drinks on keto.
Homemade Keto Soda
Homemade keto soda tastes just like regular soda. To make keto soda, you’ll only need:
- Two cups of water
- Two cups of sparkling water
- ½ cup of lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
- ¼ cup of your preferred sweetener
- Ice cubes
It’s super easy to make. Simply add your water, sparkling water, lemon juice, sweetener and ice blocks to a large jug, stir and enjoy.
If you’re looking for a caffeine boost, why not make some iced coffee instead of drinking a diet soda or energy drink. It’s more affordable and just as tasty.
Brew a shot of espresso and pour it into a larger cup. Next, add ice blocks to lower the temperature and pour some cold water. From here, you can add sugar-free syrup or a natural sweetener like xylitol with some unsweetened almond milk.
Keto Milkshakes And Smoothies
Homemade milkshakes and smoothies are also keto-friendly drinks. It’s easy to make and only takes a few minutes.
You can make it using spinach, berries, peanut butter or strawberries. If you want a caffeine boost, feel free to add a shot of espresso or tablespoon of instant coffee.
Final Thoughts On Diet Soda On A Ketogenic Diet
Although many diet soda brands use harmful ingredients, they won’t interfere with your keto lifestyle. However, I’d suggest staying away from diet beverages that use aspartame, potassium benzoate and artificial flavors.
Consider healthier alternatives like Zevia, homemade keto soda, iced coffee and smoothies.