Best Energy Drinks for a Ketogenic Diet (In-Depth)

From cabbage soup and cigarettes, to tapeworms and celery juice, human civilization has reconceptualized the idea of diets for decades, in many whimsical and sometimes dangerous ways.

However, with the rise in scientific research, modern diet trends are now more based on nutritional facts and empirical evidence than on superstition and old wives’ tales.

There are plenty of diets now for every fitness goal and body type: paleo, Atkins, Mediterranean, low-carb, vegan, probiotic, intermittent fasting, and many more.

Salad
Diet fads are often started by celebrities.

One of the most popular diets nowadays is the ketogenic diet or “keto” for short. In this article, I’ll be talking about which energy drinks are great for you if you follow this diet.

Some keto-certified energy drinks that you can try are KetoUp, LiKuid, Bang Meltdown, Rowdy Energy, and EBOOST Super Fuel. But if you can’t get your hands on these try some keto-friendly ones instead like Celsius, Red Bull Zero, Reign, Bang and Raze.

Read on to learn more about the ketogenic diet, ketosis, the pros and cons of the ketogenic diet, and many more.

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is the metabolic state that your body goes into where it uses fat instead of carbs for fuel. It is actually a very hard state to achieve because people rarely reduce their carb intake low enough to trigger this fat-burning mechanism.

How does Ketosis Work?

When your body is starved of carbs, and by extension glucose (which is our main source of energy) it starts using alternative energy sources to keep things running. And the next closest energy source on the list is fat.

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which there’s a high concentration of ketones in the blood. This happens when fat provides most of the fuel for the body, and there’s limited access to glucose. Glucose (blood sugar) is the preferred fuel source for many cells in the body.

Healthline

When you reduce your carb intake, or remove it completely from your diet, your blood glucose levels drop, triggering a ketogenic state. Your body then begins to convert your body’s fat storage into ketones, which is where the word ketogenic and ketosis comes from.

Ketones simply refer to the chemical that is produced in your body when your body breaks down fatty acids. Ketones, much like glucose, are the usable energy source that can be readily metabolized by the body.

If you want to know more about how ketosis works, watch this video

The Science Insider gives you the full low-down on ketogenic diets

What is a Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet is simply a low-carb, high-fat diet. That may sound counterintuitive since a lot of people want to lose fat, not gain it, but there’s more to it than that.

The primary biological mechanism behind this diet is known as ketosis, whereby your body goes into a metabolic state that makes it incredibly efficient at fat burning.

Woman running in the sunset
Keto burns fat even without exercise, but working out will help speed up the process.

The trick is to drastically reduce your carb intake and slowly replace it with good fats. While in a state of ketosis, your body also turns fat into ketones in the liver, and ketones are good for supplying energy to the brain.

Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet can help you lose weight and improve your health.

Foods to Eat

Here are some foods that you can eat if you’re on a ketogenic diet or are thinking of trying one.

  • meat (red meat, steak, chicken, bacon)
  • fatty fish (salmon, tuna)
  • eggs
  • butter and cream
  • cheese
  • nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds)
  • healthy oils (olive oil, coconut oil)
  • avocados
Meat Platter
High in protein, low in carbs

Foods to Avoid

The following list is some foods that you may need to avoid or limit in order to trigger ketosis:

  • sugary foods (soda, ice cream, candy, cookies)
  • grains and starches (rice, pasta, cereal)
  • beans and legumes (peas, lentils, chickpeas)
  • root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots)
  • condiments or sauces (barbecue sauce, ketchup)
  • unhealthy fats (processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise)
  • alcohol (beer, wine, liquor)

Pros and Cons of a Ketogenic Diet

Like all dietary practices, there are certain advantages and disadvantages that come with drastically changing your relationship with food. However, I would say the pros far outweigh the cons.

And if you’re overweight, have diabetes or are generally interested in improving your metabolic health, keto may just be the thing for you.

Pros of Ketogenic Diet

These are just some of the benefits associated with going on a ketogenic diet, and there is still ongoing research exploring other potential benefits it may have on the human body

Cons of Ketogenic Diet

While ketogenic diets are usually safe for most people, you may experience some side effects when you first start out. But don’t worry, these usually clear up once your body gets used to it.

The general rule of thumb is to start slow and begin with a low-carb diet before limiting and removing carbs completely from your regime.

  • The “Keto Flu
  • diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting
  • poor energy and mental function
  • decreased exercise performance
  • increased hunger
  • digestive discomfort
  • sleep issues
  • nausea

What Should a Ketogenic Energy Drink Contain?

Now we get to the heart of the matter. Keto-friendly energy drinks. The fact is, any sugar-free, carb-free energy drink will fit the bill if you’re on a ketogenic diet, but there are a lot of them in the market.

Caffeine

You may be wondering if caffeine affects ketosis, after all, they are a major ingredient in many energy drinks, and frankly unavoidable.

The good news is, caffeine may actually help you release more ketones and increase your body’s fat burning capabilities. So there really is nothing wrong with consuming energy drinks while on a ketogenic diet.

Of course, more caffeine isn’t necessarily better. You generally should only have caffeinated products well within your caffeine tolerance limits.

As a ground rule, the FDA recommends you have no more than 400mg of caffeine per day, any more and you’ll start to experience side effects such as:

  • Restlessness and shakiness
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety

So while it might be tempting to consume more caffeine to invigorate your body’s metabolism, it’s best to not add too much of the stuff, just in case you suffer from a caffeine-induced headache.

Sweeteners

While sugar is definitely out of the question, artificial sweeteners on the hand are not off the table.

While the AHA does set the daily sugar limit you should definitely follow, if you’re following a ketogenic diet, it makes sense to cut out added sugars entirely, to the whole point of keto diets being the removal of carbs from your diet.

That being said, artificial sweeteners suffer no such restrictions, as they oftentimes have zero caloric content and

In fact, they are a necessary component especially since they mask the oftentimes unpleasant flavors of other ingredients, like caffeine, which can be quite bitter on its own.

Some good zero to low-calorie artificial sweeteners that do not affect ketosis include stevia, sucralose, erythritol, xylitol, and monk fruit sweetener. So you may want to look for these ingredients when you’re shopping for

Ketogenic Ingredients

Some keto-specific energy drinks and supplements have ingredients that speed up or boost ketosis in your body, allowing you to get into a ketogenic state much quicker than if you were trying it through diet alone. One of the most commonly used ketogenic ingredient is ketone supplements.

There are two kinds of ketones: endogenous and exogenous. Endogenous ketones are made naturally by the body through ketogenesis. Exogenous ketones on the other hand are supplied by an external source, such as a supplement.

Exogenous ketone supplements use beta-hydroxybutyrate because it is metabolized most efficiently by the body.

Consuming an exogenous ketone supplement results in a drastic rise in blood ketones allowing you to enter a ketogenic state much faster.

While all of this may sound great, keep in mind that you’re regular energy drinks don’t necesarrily contain the right amount of a supplement to be effective, even if it is stated on the ingredients list.

So if you really want to get the most out of your diet, you might be better of with actual keto supplements than scrounging around the energy drink scene looking for a quick boost.

Keto-Certified Energy Drinks

I’ve compiled two lists for keto-certified and keto-friendly energy drinks along with their ingredients. Some keto energy drinks on the first list may be hard to get your hands on, so I’ve included some keto-friendly ones as well.

These brands have official keto certification, which means they either have the “Keto” stamp or the word Keto is mentioned somewhere in the product description.

LiKuid Energy

LiKuid Energy is a ketogenic energy drink fortified with BHB salts and ketones to enhance ketosis.

One 16 fl oz serving contains 300mg of caffeine. The product has 10 calories, zero fat, zero carbs and zero sugar. It is sweetened with organic stevia. A 12 pack of LiKuid Energy costs about $38.

Pruvit KetoUp

KetoUp “a super fuel that provides the body with what it needs for optimal health and peak performance.” It is fortified with exogenous ketones to help you get into a ketogenic state faster.

This energy drink is keto-certified. It contains 25 calories and is sweetened using stevia and erythritol. It contains 3g of carbs and 2g of sugar.

According to their official site, a single 335ml serving contains the same amount of caffeine as an 8-12oz cup of coffee. This is equivalent to 95-136mg of caffeine. A 4-pack costs around $44

Bang Meltdown

Bang Energy
Bang for your buck

Bang Meltdown is a ketogenic energy drink that is fortified with “goBHB® D-Ketones” and “Hydro Fusion™ Electrolyte Matrix” to enhance ketosis.

It has 10 calories and zero sugar. There is 225mg of caffeine in the product. Bang Meltdown is sweetened with sucralose. One 12-pack costs about $34.

For more information on the original Bang Energy Drinks and how well they work for ketogenic diets, have a look at my Bang Review article to find out more.

Rowdy Energy

Rowdy Energy Drinks
16 fl.oz can of Rowdy Energy

Rowdy Energy is a zero-sugar ketogenic energy drink formulated with electrolytes to keep you “hydrated, energized, and on-course”

Rowdy Energy also contains the nootropic L-theanine to give you a “powerful lift without the unwanted and irritable crash”. It also helps with muscle recovery & cognitive performance.

The Zero Sugar versions have 5 calories and 5g of carbs. The sweeteners used in this product include erythritol, stevia and monk fruit extract. One 12-pack costs about $30.

EBoost Super Fuel

EBoost Super Fuel is a keto-certified energy drink. It is fortified with electrolytes to keep you hydrated, “huperzine-A, resveratrol, + 5-HTP for sharpness, stress and mood support”, hovenia dulcis and milk thistle for hangover recovery, and 10 essential vitamins and minerals to maintain your health.

The product contains 20 calories, 4g of carbohydrates, 110mg caffeine from green coffee beans and green tea leaf, and is sweetened with honey and steviol glycosides. One 12-pack costs $33.

Keto-Friendly Energy Drinks

The following list contains some keto-friendly brands that we’ve covered before in previous articles. While these brands don’t have official Keto Certified stamps, they fit all the criteria for a typical keto-friendly beverage.

BrandCaloriesCaffeineCarbsAverage Price
(1 can)
Celsius 20200mg2g$8.50
Red Bull Zero080mg0g$2.50
Reign Body Fuel10300mg3g$2.00
Bang0300mg0g$1.90
Raze0300mg0g$5.00
Keto-Friendly Energy Drinks

You can click on the links if you want to know more about the ingredients used in each brand. It will make you more informed as to whether they are suitable for you or otherwise.

Conclusion

One thing to note is that if you want to enter ketosis quicker, you should try the brands with exogenous ketones like LiKuid Energy, Pruvit KetoUp, and Bang Meltdown.

However, these are much more expensive than dollar store brands like Red Bull and Celsius, which will not put you into a ketogenic state but merely assist your ketogenic diet.

However, if I were to recommend a good cheap ketogenic energy drink, Bang Meltdown is a good option because it is more easily available than the other brands.

Keto diets are incredibly popular among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts because they can help you lose fat quickly. So it’s no surprise why there are a lot of keto-specific energy drink brands out there in the market.

When your body is low on carbs you will naturally feel more tired and less energetic, at least until your body learns to process fat into energy. So energy drinks are important if you want to hit the maximum rep in your workouts or reach a new mile on the treadmill.

Caffeine is such a great energy booster to enhance your physical performance, and while your body is low on glucose, all that fat will melt away in no time. So try out these keto energy drinks to see which ones are the right fit for you, and you’ll soon reach those fitness goals in no time.

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About Adrian Carter

Adrian writes about energy drinks and their ingredients to shine a light on the facts behind the brand names.

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