Low Carb Drinks

About Beverages


Let’s be clear.  Water is the best thing you can put into your body.  It has no calories.  It is life sustaining.  Your body cannot do without it.  It is the base for all other drinks whether naturally (in milk, fruits, etc.) or unnaturally (by man or machine) added.  It makes sense to just get down to drinking water.   

However, not everyone likes to drink water out of the tap.  It is actually the taste coming from tap water that drove me to any other alternative.  I still have an aversion to it.  Well water or treated water with flouride or cholorine just never tasted right to me. Today’s filters make water taste better.  Whether a pitcher filter, refrigerator filter, sink filter or whole house filter in any of their various forms and techniques, they have definitely improved the flavor of tap water.

There are also various bottled or canned waters.  Some proclaim to be the purest.  Some are spring waters.  Some are filtered waters.  Some are mineral waters.  Some add in minerals or electrolytes.  Some are bubbly or carbonated while others are flat or still.  Some have flavors while others do not.   Some pick up a slight taste from the can or plastic or glass bottle while others do not, at least in my perception.  (I mentioned the genetically superior taste buds before, did I not?)

There is much to choose from.

Just try to drink a lot more water than anything else!  Common sense really.  It flushes out all the other junk in your body.  Why add more stuff like sugar or additives to flush out?  Again, my taste buds get in the way… I just sometimes want flavor over common sense.  Eventually my common sense will win out though!  I’m getting there!  So can you!


I was kind of depressed about not being able to drink juice on a low carb lifestyle.  So many juices are astronomically high carb!  While I am missing my Martinelli Apple Juice, Ocean Spray rode to the rescue in the form of it’s Diet juices.  (Not “Light” juices the “Diet” Juices.  Don’t confuse them or your carb counting will be drastically off!) They are more delicious than I could hope for and with varied flavors!  Check them and others out in your grocery aisle!


What’s to say?  I hate the stuff.  I use it to cook with.  I just don’t like the flavor, but millions of people do love milk whether its full or partial-fatted milk or skim milk.  It divides out in baking recipes to lower the per serving carb count, but the carbs are high to just drink a glass of milk.   Good alternatives are unsweetened Almond and Coconut milk.  Maybe its because I’ve not drunk milk in decades, but I find Almond and Coconut Milk delicious and their carb count pretty awesome at 2 grams per 8 ounces versus 11 or 12 grams per 8 ounces of 1% Milk.  Beware, if you get the sweetened versions you will be looking at 8 grams of carbs per 8 ounces.  Unsweetened Almond and Coconut Milk substitute well in recipes too!

Coffee & Tea

Oh there are all sorts of studies about coffee and tea.  I’ll let you Google those for yourself.  Water again is the base for both these drinks in all their iterations.  You can get both hot and iced coffees or teas everywhere these days whether it is in a specialty shop, grocery or restaurant.  There are a multitude of flavors or flavor syrups or drops that you can add to these.  The combinations are endless.  

You can get a kettle, brewing machine, microwave or Keurig-type machine going with some water and do thousands of combinations at home too.

We drink a ton of iced tea in our house either plain or with lemon (me) or with Sweet Leaf Stevia (the husband).  In fact, as long as I’ve known my husband, I don’t remember him without his “tea jug”.  P.S. He loves Stevia and will only drink his tea with it… and he isn’t even diabetic!  

Flavored Syrups

A word about flavored syrups.  There are sugar free versions.  Granted they are mostly Aspartame-based and so I try not to use a great deal of it, but there are many sugar free flavors to choose from.  Vanilla, Almond, Almond Roca, Brown Sugar, Carmel, Chocolate, White Chocolate, Coconut, Hazelnut, Strawberry, Peppermint, Peach, Cherry, Orange, Mango, Lemon, Lime, Pumpkin Pie and more!

We not only put these in coffees and teas but use them to cook with.  I once ruined a pound cake by having too much going on in the kitchen and forgetting to put the Truvia in the cake.  I almost tossed the cake until I remembered I had the syrups.  I poked holes in the cake and doused it with vanilla syrup.  It soaked it right up and was delicious!!!!  We decided that I was on to something!  I might ruin more cakes on purpose just to use the syrups with them.

There are different brands around the country but my favorite (so far) are the Torani brands.  I have found them at Cost Plus/World Markets in abundance.  They have large selections.  In some grocery stores I have found small bottles of their sugar free vanilla and french vanilla on the coffee aisle.   If you don’t feel like seeking them out here is a link for Torani Sugar Free Syrup 4-bottle starter pack.

Hot Chocolate

Swiss Miss makes a Diet Hot Chocolate mix with an okay carb count.  (Not to be confused with their Light Hot Chocolate mix.)  I’ve not found a low carb enough recipe to create, adjust or pass on yet, but I am still looking.

Diet Drinks

Now of course most everyone knows all the sugar free or “diet” drink options on the market.  Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper make sure of that in their media bombardments.  Granted those diet or “zero” drinks are good options when trying to wean off of sugar drinks.  However, until lower glycemic options are used more in those drinks, they are still an issue for us.    Too, there are all sorts of controversial side affects of sugar substitutes currently used in diet soft drinks (ice creams, candies, gums, etc.)

There are studies suggesting that diet drinks, aside from their artificial ingredients, actually are associated with Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.  Logic would say that less sugar or no sugar (using alternative additives) would be okay for diabetics, but some studies show this not to be the case.  One major study “showed a 67 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes in people who drank diet soda daily. As such, diet soda may not be the healthiest option for people looking to control or prevent type 2 diabetes.”  

I’ll be the first one to admit that I am a Diet Mountain Dew addict.   I love the stuff!  I have to have it first think in the morning or I have a terrible day… just like any coffee junkie you know.  I used to drink a six-pack a day.  I now drink one in the morning because I know it isn’t that good for me.   Eventually, I will stop drinking it all together, but baby steps.  I’m working on food.  Then I’ll work more on the drink.  If I can do it… YOU can do it!

Odd thing I’ve noticed.  If I have two diet drinks in one day… I crave more food.  I don’t know if there is scientific basis for this, but it happens to me!  This has happened to me the last five times I’ve doubled my drinks.  Logic would say not to buy them.  Stress or a good sale often puts them in my grocery cart. Scientists would say stress can cause the food cravings, but cravings have happened when I didn’t stress drink one too.  Yesterday I drank two and was ravenous. Not sure if there is anything to that, but it has made me wonder! 

Flavored Water Drops


One of the best ideas to control the flavor of your water, should you desire flavor, is the advent of water flavor enhancers.  There are many many brand and off-brand names out there.  Because of glycemic index and my preferred taste, I tend to gravitate toward Stevia based drops.  

My absolute favorite drops are from Sweet Leaf (they of the best tasting Stevia out there!) and are called Water Drops.  They are a little hard to find sometimes, but are the most delicious.  There is Peach Mango, Strawberry Kiwi, Raspberry Lemonade and Lemon Lime.   The Peach Mango and Strawberry Kiwi are delicious.  (I finally found the Lemon Lime and Rasberry Lemonade and they are not to my tastes.)  I go to the grocery and buy all they have and hoard them.  (Maybe people like me are the reason they are hard to find… hmmmm.) I almost won’t share them at home, but I love my husband too much to keep a good thing from him.  Sweet Leaf also has regular flavor drops in Vanilla, Coconut, Carmel and Chocolate to flavor water and other drinks as well.

The Skinny Girl brand of water drops are quite good as well.  My favorite is the White Cherry.  They also have Blueberry Acai, Tangerine Pink Grapefruit and my husband’s favorite Pineapple Coconut.  

There are other brands such as Mio and Stur that use stevia as well.  Check them out!   I particularly like the Mio enhanced vitamins and electrolytes.

MAKE SURE you read the labels to check for the Stevia brand mark or that it is in the ingredient list.  There are other low carb options out there, but if you can get a better glycemic sugar… why not go for that instead!?!

Wine, Beer & Spirits

If you are on a low carb diet and enjoy drinking socially occasionally, as I do, then you will find yourself initially lamenting the low carb lifestyle.  What I’ve discovered is that not all is lost!  If you find yourself with carbs to spare for the day, you can work in a drink every now and then.   

Dry wines are the best. That’s red or white.  Although there is literature suggesting Red is better for Metabolic Syndrome, and so I stick with Reds.  It stands to reason that sweet wines are the worst.

While we miss our German beers and craft beers that are high in carbs, there are decent tasting low carb beers out there.   Michelob Ultra beers are low carb and taste pretty good to us.  They even have an amber version, which my husband prefers.  We tend to drink a beer with our low carb pizza or when grilling out.  This fills the bill nicely!  Coors, Busch, Budweiser all make low carb beers.  An awesome list can be found at Low Carbe Diem.

Pure spirits are the best like whiskey, vodka and tequila.  Dry Martini’s and Vodka/Soda/Lime are low carb. Mixers are the worst!  Be careful of juices and sodas.  A good guide can be found at the Diet Doctor.  

If you do drink, please be responsible when you drink!  Your liver will thank you as well as your fellow humans!  If you are on a low carb diet, then alcohol could effect you more.  Don’t ever drink and drive!  As a victim of a drunk driver as well as having a friend and her unborn child killed by a drunk driver… it is a small request that you keep yourself and others safe on the road by acting responsibly.


And truly… and lastly… I’ll go back to the beginning… water really is the best thing we can drink!


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