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Juicing on the Keto Diet & Keto Juice Alternatives

Juicing on the Keto Diet & Keto Juice Alternatives

Juice is often a go-to beverage. It is a fast and easy way to get nutrients from fruit and veggies, especially if you have a good juicer.

That’s fine for the regular population but juicing while on keto is more complicated. You can make keto juice. To do so, you need to be very careful about the ingredients you choose.

You might also simply look at alternatives to juice, ones that are better for you and are less complicated. Either way, you’ll find answers in this article.

Juicing for Keto

Keto smoothie with greens

When juicing on a keto diet - ingredients are everything.

Most juice recipes rely on choices like apples, oranges, carrots and cucumber. These are high in sugar and can make the juice taste wonderful. Of course, that’s no good if you’re on a keto diet.

Ingredients to Consider

As a result, you need to focus on ingredients that are low in carbs and high in fiber. Key choices include:

  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Beets

This is also why most ​juice recipes for keto end up being green juices. You can also focus on lists of low carb vegetables and fruits as a guide to possible ingredients.

Lemons can also be useful.

The recommendation might seem odd, as lemons are tart rather than sweet. But, that tart aspect helps to balance out some of the bitterness associated with vegetable-heavy juices.

Look for Variation

We’re often told to ‘eat the rainbow’ and this is true on a keto diet too. The various colors present in fruits and vegetables come from plant-based compounds like carotenoids and anthocyanins. These compounds have many potential benefits for health.

Choosing a range of different colors ensures you’re getting the maximum selection of nutrients.

Calculate the Carbs

Of course, you’ll want to figure the carb content of the ingredients that you use. The easiest way is to calculate carbs for every piece of produce that you use, even though you’re not consuming the whole thing.

Don’t be Afraid to Try Different Combinations

It will take some trial an error to find combinations of ingredients that you like. Still, that can be an enjoyable process.

You can use the 5:1 rule as a rough guide. This means you want roughly five vegetables for every piece of fruit that you use, as vegetables tend to be lower in carbs.

There are also plenty of recipes to choose from. These can be a good starting point. You might then choose to substitute some ingredients to tailor your juice.

The examples below are some recipes worth looking at:

Just be aware that ​this type of juice may be less sweet than conventional juice, as the drink will contain much less sugar.

An Alternative Approach

You don’t have to drink straight juice either. Some keto dieters decrease their carb intake by watering down the juice.

For example, a 16 oz glass that’s half water and half juice will contain half as many carbs as 16 oz of straight juice. This can sometimes be a way to have the flavor and ingredients you want, with fewer carbs

You might even find you prefer juice this way.

Should You Juice on a Keto Diet?

There are various opinions about whether juicing is a good idea.

It is an effective way to get some nutrients and many people enjoy the flavor of juice.

Still, you would get more benefits from consuming the whole fruit or using it in a smoothie. With juicing, you miss out on the fiber and may get less of other nutrients.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. If you’re careful about your choices, drinking juice while on keto is entirely possible. And let’s be honest, it’s still more healthy than plenty of other options.

Keto Juice Alternatives

Infused water with lemon and limes

If you choose the right ingredients, you can still drink juice on a keto diet.

In many cases, the juice you end up with might not seem that appealing. Or, you might want something easier to make some of the time. That’s where alternatives come in. These are all low carb options that can be a good choice.

Water

Water is the simplest alternative to juice and the easiest to find. It is also critical for health and has many significant benefits. Drinking too little water is surprisingly easy, so make sure you stay hydrated.

You can also use a carbonator to make sparkling water if you want something a little different.

Infused Waters

If water on its own isn’t enough, try adding in some flavor. The simplest approach is to use a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. You can also try infused water. To do so, you simply leave slices of fruit, vegetable and/or herbs in water. Some of the flavors move into the water over time, creating healthy flavored water.

The biggest challenge is the carb count. It’s impossible to know precisely how many carbs you’ll end up consuming. This would vary dramatically depending on the ingredients, the infusion time, temperature and other factors.

  • You could decrease the carb content by focusing on low carb fruits and vegetables. For example, ginger and lemon can be a good flavor combination and both are fairly low in carbs
  • In their keto guide, Ruled.me recommends counting the carbs from any fruits you use in your water – even though you’re not eating the fruit. This approach means you’ll be overestimating rather than underestimating your carb intake.

There is plenty of inspiration online too.

Water Enhancers

You can also turn to water enhancers. These add a little flavor to your water, without many extra carbs. However, many of them are processed, so it’s important to choose the brand carefully.

One popular option is Stur. This product uses stevia as a sweetener and includes natural fruit extracts. As such, it’s one of the more natural options on the market.

Even then, it’s important to be careful with serving sizes. Because Stur uses natural extracts there will be a very small amount of carbs present. Excessive consumption could potentially kick you out of ketosis. This is true for many products that claim to carb free.

Coffee and Tea

Whether you have them hot or cold, coffee and tea area great keto diet additions. Coffee contains almost no carbs and the same is true for most teas. Just watch out for herbal teas, as some will use sugar derivatives or dried fruit to add sweetness.

The real challenge is what you add to your coffee or tea. Many additions will significantly increase the carb content, which you don’t want. Thankfully, there are plenty of keto creamer options that can help. You can also focus on Bulletproof or keto coffee, which involves the addition of healthy fats.

Smoothies

Smoothies are the logical alternative to juice. They tend to be healthier, as you are getting fiber from the plants, rather than just the juice. It’s also easier to add in healthy fats. This creates a better balance of nutrients overall.

As with juicing, you need to choose your ingredients carefully. The list below highlights a few recipes to get you started:

Commercial Products

There are also various low-calorie drinks you can try. In particular, anything that’s advertised as zero calories will be almost entirely carb free. The low-calorie versions of SoBe Water and Vitamin Water are both examples.

If you’re going to try these, pay close attention to the ingredients label. Most will use various added ingredients, including sweeteners, preservatives and naturally occurring acids. Some combinations will be healthier than others.

For example, Bai Flavored Water relies on erythritol and stevia for sweetness, while using mostly natural ingredients. This one contains 1 carb per serving, so it’s not carb free. Still, it’s a viable alternative to juice.

The main thing to remember is that these aren’t natural products. It’s always best to rely on whole foods when you can. As such, flavored water ​is best as an occasional ​drink, like during a road trip. ​On a day-to-day basis, infused water ​is a better choice. ​

What About Diet Soda?

Diet soft drinks seem like an easy keto alternative and most contain zero carbs. Even so, they’re incredibly controversial. Some of the sweeteners used, including aspartame, have been linked to health risks.

Most of the evidence comes from animal studies, but it is significant enough to be a serious cause for concern (1,2). Ryan from Precision Nutrition breaks down the various ingredients and their potential risks in more detail.

As that article points out, the final decision comes down to you. Diet soda may be safe enough in small doses, but there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. Many of them may also help improve your health.

Final Thoughts

There is no shortage of different options for beverages on a keto diet. Any of the choices discussed in this article can be viable and they all have their own advantages.

As is often the case, the best answer depends on your own wants and needs. Some people enjoy ​keto smoothies and juices, while others prefer to save their daily carbs for their meals. The most important goals are to keep an eye on your carb intake and to choose what best suits your needs overall.

Turmeric Smoothie

Want to Improve Your Health?

Turmeric Smoothie

Better health starts in the kitchen, with the food that you eat and the meals you prepare. Getting the best outcomes involves making good choices about the food and the ingredients that you use. 

Check out my recommended products to see where you can get started. 

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