Best energy drinks for a keto diet (stay in ketosis)

Different energy drinks

Are you thinking of starting a keto diet? Or maybe you are already on one. You’re most likely extremely mindful of what you’re eating and drinking if you are on a ketogenic diet.

You may have asked yourself the big question, can I drink energy drinks while on a keto diet?

Well, I won’t make you wait for the answer.

Yes, you can still enjoy energy drinks while you’re on a ketogenic diet. 

But, there’s quite a bit to it, so read on for all the details. 

Now you may also ask, how can I provide my body with the required nutrients if I follow a Keto diet? 

Well, I think that energy drinks can help provide some extra energy and nutrients while following a keto diet.

They are useful as they can provide an extra energy boost without you having to feast on carbs.

Keep reading to find out which energy drinks are perfect for your health and body during a keto diet, and which ones you might want to avoid.

Energy drinks and ketosis

Caffeine

There is no hard science around the precise relationship between caffeine and ketosis. This is an area that needs to be studied further to fully understand how caffeine affects someone on a keto diet. 

There is a small amount of information online on the matter, but it’s mostly not hard science. Rather, it’s typically one persons opinion and experience. 

However, this study suggests that caffeine consumption is indeed very good for increasing plasma ketones. Do your own research, but that seems fairly positive to me. 

How does this relate to keto diets and energy drinks? 

Simple: caffeine is not just OK while you’re on a keto diet, it actually appears to be beneficial

That’s a tick in the box for caffeinated beverages – including energy drinks

For me, I prefer my energy drinks to contain somewhere between 50 and 100mg of caffeine per serve. That’s enough to give me a sufficient energy boost and it’s also enough to kickstart the positive affects referred to in the study I mentioned above. 

Any more than 100mg of caffeine is too much for me. I find that I’m unable to focus or think clearly, and sometimes I have noticeable dips in my energy levels a couple of hours after drinking those stronger energy drinks – even if they don’t contain sugar. 

Sugar

It’s obvious that you should keep your sugar intake to a minimum while on a keto diet. 

This means that if you are going to drink an energy drink, you should choose one with little or no sugar if you want to remain in a state of ketosis. 

This is a commonsense approach, even for those that aren’t following a keto diet – too much sugar is clearly bad for you. 

Price

Not specifically related to ketogenic diets, but more to do with getting the best value for money – why spend more money than you need to?

When it comes to energy drinks, there are some quite expensive brands out there. There are also some affordable options that are very good in my opinion

Putting all of this together, I suggest that you choose an affordable energy drink that contains a sensible amount of caffeine that’s also sugar-free. 

My favorite energy drink ticks all of those boxes, but more on that later. 

What is a Keto diet?

Keto diet (also known as a ketogenic diet) is a low-carb (usually less than 50g per day), high-fat diet. A keto diet forces the body to provide energy by burning fat instead of carbohydrates. 

The drastic decline in the intake of carbohydrates causes the body to switch to a metabolic state known as ketosis. It can take around 3-4 days for the body to enter a state of ketosis when starting this diet.

Ketosis is a metabolic process whereby the body becomes extremely efficient at burning fat and protein to produce glucose (energy) instead of carbohydrates. Ketosis will also turn fat into ketones. This is useful in supplying energy to the brain. Ketones are produced by the liver as a by-product of this reaction. 

What ingredients are good and bad for a keto diet?

• Carbohydrates

When following a keto diet, it’s vital that the carbohydrate intake should be minimized. Less than  50g per day will help the body to stay in ketosis. 

Many energy drinks usually contain upwards of 30g of carbohydrates per serving, which are almost entirely simple sugars. If you’re going to consume energy drinks, you should pay close attention to the sugar (and carbohydrate) content of your chosen energy drink.

• Protein

The recommended protein intake is somewhere around 50g (for women) and 60g (for men) per day. It should be noted that these are rough guidelines and may differ from individual to individual. Here’s a second opinion that more or less matches those guidelines. 

If you’re finding it extremely difficult to shed weight, despite having a low carbohydrate intake, your protein intake could be the issue.

Certain foods (cheese and nuts) contain a significant amount of protein. The key to losing weight may lie in avoiding such foods or reducing your intake of them.

Almost all energy drinks contain less than 1g of protein per serve. Therefore, energy drinks will have little to no impact on your protein intake during a keto diet.

• Fat

Fat is considered to be the primary energy source for an individual who follows a keto diet. Therefore, reducing fat intake is not too important, you can eat a lot of it. However, for health reasons, it would be advisable to not consume excess fats over and above the requirements of a keto diet.

Energy drinks generally don’t contain fat, so there’s no impact on your keto diet in relation to your energy drink consumption.

• Sugar

Sugar is a big no-no for a ketogenic diet. However, you can still enjoy sweetness by consuming artificial sweeteners, which aren’t metabolized by the body. Artificial sweeteners are used in most energy drinks that are advertised as sugar-free.

These include Red Bull Total Zero, Rockstar Zero carbs and REIZE.

Keto, energy drinks and intermittent fasting

As you probably already know, combining a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting can have powerful effects on your health. It can also assist with achieving the body of your dreams very quickly. 

You’ll be happy to know that energy drinks are also compatible with intermittent fasting. In fact, I wrote an entire article about the topic if you’re interested to learn more about it. 

Or, you can check out my other article about energy drinks and weight loss for detailed information about the relationship between losing a few unwanted pounds and still enjoying your favorite energy drinks. 

Foods that helps and food that should be avoided for a keto diet.

A image of grilled chicken.
Low-carb, high fat food which helps to stay in ketosis. Looks delicious too!

Food that helps ketosis;

   • Low carb veggies (avacado, nuts, butter and salad dressings)

   • Seafood (salmon and other foods that are virtually carb-free)

   • Meat & poultry

   • Eggs

   • Berries

Find out more about which types of foods you should consume while on a keto diet.

An image of various vegetables
Many vegetables should be avoided during a keto diet due to their high carb content.

Food that should be avoided

   • Grains 

   • Beans and legumes

   • Low-fat dairy

   • Most fruit 

   • Sugar

   • Starchy vegetables 

For a more detailed food list for ketogenic diets, click here.

Can you drink energy drinks while on a keto diet?

Yes, you can drink energy drinks during a keto diet.

However, you should try to avoid energy drinks that are high in carbohydrates and sugar. This is because sugar and carbohydrates can throw your body out of ketosis.

Hence, while on a keto diet, sugar-free, low calorie and no carb energy drinks are recommended.

As mentioned above in this article, caffeine also appears to be beneficial for ketogenic diets. That’s good news if you enjoy energy drinks. 

However, some energy drinks have crazy-high amounts of caffeine, while others have a moderate dose. It’s up to you to figure out what you prefer, but I generally avoid energy drinks that contain more than 100mg of caffeine per serve, regardless of whether I’m following a strict keto diet or not. 

Keep reading to find out which energy drinks are most suitable for you if you’re on a keto diet.

Best energy drinks for a keto diet

All the energy drinks listed below are keto-friendly.

However, they do contain varying sweeteners, such as sucralose, aspartame, erythritol and others. Each person reacts to sweeteners differently. Try a few sips at a time and assess how your body reacts to any new energy drink that you try for the first time.

Disclaimer: You might be kicked out of ketosis, although it is quite rare. Try these energy drinks in moderation initially to find out how your body reacts to them.

• Red Bull Total Zero

The energy drink that is famous all over the world, now it has a sugarless and a 0 calorie version. All of the ingredients in Red Bull Total Zero are keto-friendly. Instead of regular sugar, Red Bull Total Zero uses aspartame and sucralose for sweeteners.

Ingredients: Caffeine, B vitamins, taurine, aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame K and water.

It contains 80mg of caffeine per 8.4 fl.oz can, which is quite moderate. Therefore, Red Bull is a good option if you are sensitive to caffeine.

If you’re concerned about whether it’s safe to drink Red Bull every day, I covered that topic in a lot of detail in my other article, which you should definitely check out before making Red Bull your ketogenic drink of choice.

The caffeine content is good and it’s sugar-free too, but the price is usually a little higher than some other options. 

Check the current price on Amazon

• Rockstar Zero Carb or Rockstar Ultra Zero

zero calories and sugar energy drink
Rockstar Zero Carb energy drink has zero calories and zero sugar

One of the top energy drink companies, Rockstar has produced various kinds of energy drinks over the years since its establishment. Among them, Rockstar Zero Carb and Rockstar Pure Zero seem to be keto-friendly and both of them don’ contain any sugar either.

However, It must be noted that both of these energy drinks contain an extremely alarming 240mg of caffeine in a single 16 fl.oz can. I don’t know about you, but that’s too much for me

I personally would only advise drinking these before starting your daily workout or in the morning when you need some caffeine to wake you up. If I were you, I wouldn’t be drinking any of this energy drink in the evening or at night because it will probably disrupt your sleeping cycle, or worse, cause you to become addicted to caffeine.

Similar to Redbull Zero (and all energy drinks for that matter), too much Rockstar Zero Carb can be bad for you. With all energy drinks, it’s important to drink them in moderation to avoid any unwanted side-effects

Click here to check the latest prices on Amazon.

• Monster Zero Ultra

A can of Monster energy Zero Ultra
A keto friendly, Monster Zero Ultra.

Another keto-friendly energy drink with zero sugar and calories is Monster Ultra Zero. If you’re a fan of Monster energy drink, you will probably like Monster Zero Ultra too. 

Although Monster Zero Ultra contains 140mg of caffeine per can (more than my preferred 50-100mg per can) it might be a perfect energy drink to power up your tired body.

However, keep in mind that it’s probably not a great idea to drink this energy drink in the afternoon or evening because it might disrupt your sleep due to the fairly high caffeine content.

If you’re wondering about the difference between Red Bull and Monster energy drinks, I wrote an entire article that looks at every difference between the two brands that you might find interesting. 

Check the current price of Monster Zero Ultra on Amazon

•Celsius Sparkling energy drink

There are a wide range of flavors available
A variety of flavors of Celsius Sparkling energy drinks. They are quite delicious too!

    Celsius Sparkling energy drink contains zero sugar which is keto-friendly. It also contains 200mg of caffeine per can, which is quite a lot. Celsius is marketed as a fitness energy drink that helps with providing energy to those that need an extra boost during workouts. 

    For keto-diet beginners, it would be best not to consume it at night or before going to bed due to the high caffeine content, which might mess with your sleep schedule. 

    Celsius is quite a good energy drink, despite the high caffeine content. Check out my in-depth Celsius energy drink review article here. 

    Check the latest price of Celsius energy drink on Amazon.

    • REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)

    REIZE Energy Drink is the most keto-friendly energy drink
    REIZE is my favorite keto-friendly energy drink.

    REIZE might be the most convenient energy drink available. It’s a powdered energy drink that is portable and convenient to carry around, as it only weighs 4g per sachet.

    Instant energy, just add water!

    It’s keto-friendly as it is sugar-free and doesn’t contain any carbohydrates. I like the caffeine content, 50mg, which is enough to give you a nice energy boost, but won’t blow your head off or leave you unable to concentrate. It’s a very sensible amount. 

    Personally, I love the energy boost that I get from drinking REIZE. The combination of caffeine, taurine, ginseng and B group vitamins all work together to give a long lasting boost, with no crash. 

    At around $1 per drink including delivery, REIZE is great value for money. You can choose monthly deliveries (set and forget) or one-time purchases – talk about convenience. 

    Give REIZE a try today and you might just find that it’s the perfect energy drink for you if you are on a ketogenic diet.

    Marty Spargo

    I started my own energy drink brand in 2014 and am passionate about educating people about energy drinks so that they can properly understand the ingredients, benefits and risks without being influenced by the marketing messages put out by some brands. You can read my full bio here.

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