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With all the flavors of sparkling water – some sweet and some not – can you drink sparkling water on the keto diet? Let’s find out.
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If you’ve never tried sparkling water, then you’re missing out on an incredibly refreshing, flavorful treat.
Once you’ve gotten into the groove of keto, there’s a lot to love – effortless weight loss, better sleep, more energy, and the list keeps going.
The primary problem many people have with keto is that it can feel somewhat restrictive, including what we drink.
While other people sip and guzzle soda, juice, or milk, we’re left with black coffee and water.
But the diet isn’t really restrictive – it just tells us that we have to look for different, healthier options.
After all, you know that cutting out that sugary stuff is ultimately the best thing you can do for your health. But what do you drink when water with lemon just won’t cut it anymore?
What is sparkling water anyway?
What gives this drink its “sparkle” is carbonation – the same bubbles of carbon dioxide that make soda fizzy. Drinks like La Croix or even something basic like club soda are essentially water filled with gas.
This makes carbonated water a lot like soda, but typically without the sugar.
You’ve certainly seen sparkling water at you grocer – it’s typically canned, and it’s become a booming market.
They’re usually infused with potent fruit flavors, and as the competition increases in this market space, so does the quality of the drinks.
Better, more adventurous flavors mean a better experience for you, the consumer, but not all sparkling water is created equal.
Flavored vs. non-flavored
Some extremely rugged people like chopping firewood with a duck and climbing mountains to go to the store.
For them, unflavored sparkling water is something they enjoy, and although it fits perfectly in a keto diet, it’s also fairly rough.
Carbonated water can have an almost bitter taste, attributed to the carbon dioxide, and while there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s a lot like drinking black coffee in that it’s not for everyone.
Flavored sparkling water itself is usually made with natural flavors, and these are preferable to artificial ones.
We recognize that not everyone follows a squeaky-clean keto lifestyle, but less artificiality is better.
As we spoke about before, these flavors range from what you’d expect – orange, grapefruit, and lime – to delicious artisanal combinations with hibiscus or cucumber and blackberry.
With many different brands to choose from, you’ll find a flavor or flavors that suits your tastes.
Sweetened vs. Unsweetened
Here is where many keto adherents fall into trouble. There are plenty of sweetened sparkling waters on the market, and their sweetness comes from sugar, sugar alcohols, or artificial sweeteners.
Naturally, on keto, you want to avoid sugar-sweetened sparkling water altogether – you might as well drink soda in that case.
Sugar alcohols behave differently and are usually derived by fermenting fruit skin (like in erythritol or monk fruit) or from a non-calorie sweet extract, like stevia.
Your mileage will vary with these, and it will take some trial and error to find what sweetener you like best.
Finally, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are common in store-brand, non-calorie sparkling waters.
Like with diet sodas, there is minimal evidence that these can raise blood insulin, so be careful. In small doses, they’re fine, but they’re not for everyone. Additionally, too many artificial sweeteners can have a laxative effect, so be mindful of that, also.
Brands to Consider
If you have a Trader Joes or Aldi near you, their store-brand, La Vie, is cheap and delicious. They have recently branched out into some cool flavor combinations with currant, blackberry, hibiscus, etc.
La Croix is probably the oldest and most recognizable fruit-flavored, unsweetened sparkling water, and for a good reason, it’s incredibly delicious!
Though they’re more expensive than other brands, they are exceptionally high-quality, and they come in dozens of flavors.
Bubbly has recently popped up in our local grocery store, and we like them as well. All of the waters here are unsweetened, but your local grocery store almost certainly has sweetened, zero-calorie waters as well.
Is sparkling Water keto?
Sparkling water – as long as it’s not sweetened with sugar – is acceptable on a keto diet. In many cases, it can scratch your itch for unhealthy drinks as well. With many brands and a hugely diverse flavor pool, you’re bound to find sparkling water that hits the spot.