Not all drinks are created equal, and some are more damaging than others. One of the carnivore diet goals is to remove or eliminate things that could be causing harm.
This article should point you in the right direction and explain why it may be a good idea to remove certain drinks from your drink list.
If you are totally new to the carnivore diet, I would highly suggest picking up the book by the Carnivore Diet advocate himself, Dr. Shawn Baker, called “The Carnivore Diet.”
What drinks might be holding you back on Carnivore
On the carnivore diet, you only eat food from the animal kingdom, and you avoid all plant-based foods. The same applies to drinks; technically, you should only drink water and drinks from the animal kingdom like milk… and even animal blood if you want to follow the Maasai menu.
However, in reality, drinks are a grey area for many people on a carnivore diet. They might be 100% strict with their food, but they will drink coffee and alcohol on occasion… which are plant-based.
My view on drinks is when you first start on a carnivore diet, you should go super strict with it for 90 days, regarding both food and drinks.
Then you can bring some things like coffee back into your diet, but if you feel worse after having reintroduced it, then coffee might be an issue for you, and you may want just to eliminate it for good!
7 Non-Carnivore Diet Drinks
This is not a definitive list, and knowledge of your own health should be applied, but these are examples of bad drinks for most people on a carnivore diet.
Coca-Cola and other similar drinks
Any standard sugary fizzy drink should be avoided, whether Cola, Lemonade, Tango, or Mountain Dew. There is a frightening amount of ingredients, many of which you might not even be able to pronounce, never mind know what they are.
However, the main issue is the huge amount of sugar in them. A large 32fl oz cup of Coke from a fast-food chain will have upwards of 65g of sugar in it. That is insane.
Diet Pepsi and other Similar Drinks
So, if you cannot have Coca-Cola, then a good choice would be to switch to Diet Coke or something similar as they have zero calories and zero sugar.
It is a better choice than normal coke, but I would not say it is a good choice. You see, they must try to get a nice flavored drink without using sugar.
Therefore, diet sodas are filled with a huge number of artificial flavorings and sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to drive sugar cravings just as much as sugar, so be very careful if you have a sweet tooth.
These can fall under the same issues as the above.
You have sports drinks like the original Lucozade, which is full of sugar, or you can have sugar-free types like Gatorade Zero. These are arguably worse as they hide under the pretense of being healthy.
If you think you need electrolytes pre, during, and post-exercise. Then you would be better off taking a raw electrolyte, and salt mix by Redmond Real Salt called Re-Lyte.
Plus, our readers and viewers get a 15% off discount using this link or by typing “Wild” at checkout.
Low fat milk
The carnivore diet is in the same ballpark as the ketogenic diet, so you are looking to keep carbs very low whilst not being scared of fat.
Low-Fat dairy products should be avoided, especially low-fat milk.
This is because it will be higher in sugar per 100ml, and you are missing out on a lot of essential vitamins and minerals which would have been in the fat.
Plus, skimmed milk looks like when you dunk your paintbrush in a jar of water to clean it, and it tastes like it too.
It is also easy to get caught out by things like milkshakes, especially if you are looking for a treat. A milkshake can seem like a good idea, and it could be if you made it yourself.
However, like most things, if you buy one from a shop or food establishment, then be prepared for many sweeteners.
Whether direct sugar or artificial sweeteners. For example, there are over 20 ingredients in a Mcdonald’s milkshake… including corn syrup and nitrous oxide!
We go into great detail on whether you should add milk to your carnivore diet in this popular article:
Fake milks…almond, soy, oat
Nothing winds me up more than things like soy, almond, and oat milk! THEY ARE NOT MILK!
Have you ever tried milking an Almond… it is a slow process, ha-ha.
They are always low fat and always make bogus claims about being good for the environment and your heart.
I have a rule; if something says it is fortified with vitamins and minerals, then I know the actual product is trash, and it probably has poor nutrient density. It is the opposite of what you are looking for on a carnivore diet.
Concentrated fruit juice
People often try to trip me up on my carnivore diet by claiming we have always eaten fruit, so why can’t we have it now.
Well, we would have eaten fruit in season, now we have it all year round, the fruit was tiny and fibrous, we have since spliced them to be modern-day sugar bombs, and even if there was still a case for eating fruit, there could not be a case for drinking fruit juice.
It enables you to consume a lot more fructose than if you were eating the equivalent amount of the actual fruit. There is around 8g of sugar in 100g of fruit juice, which is only 1g shy of Coke.
As with anything, a bit of common sense is required on the carnivore diet. Someone could ask in a carnivore diet group, “am I ok to drink coffee.” Then all hell will break loose, but most people do drink coffee, as far as I know.
However, it depends on the coffee. I am a big fan of organic Bulletproof/Butter coffee, and drinking that daily is a lot different from drinking a holiday flavored specialty coffee from Starbucks.
So, be careful as the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks has 380 calories and 52g of carbs in it.
No brainer alcohol
I shouldn’t even have to add this to the list, but alcohol in all forms is just plain out not healthy for you…even wine. If you are on the carnivore diet, you are probably seeking better health so just eliminate the alcohol.
However, if you need more reasons why this article will hopefully convince you why it’s a bad idea and which alcohols are worse than others.
- 11 Reasons to Quit Alcohol on a Carnivore Diet (#2 is Scary)
- Can You Drink Alcohol On The Carnivore Diet? (Why and Why not?)
What can you drink?
If you are going for a true, strict carnivore diet, then the choices are limited, but we dive in way deeper on our what you can drink in this link. It’s a quick but effective read that will surely motivate you.
My favorite carnivore diet drink is bone broth, and it’s easy to make on your own, but when in a bind, you can pick these up.
My view is the sicker you are, the stricter you should be. So, if you want to heal from an autoimmune disease, then you may be better off only eating meat and drinking water.
If you are just after body composition improvements, then you could eat meat, eggs, spices, herbs, coffee, herbals teas, and some occasional zero-calorie soft drinks.
If in doubt, always read the label. If there are more than a trace amount of carbs, then it is usually best to avoid.
Looking to keep the carnivore diet way more interesting, then check out our Wild Lumens YouTube channel for tasty food and drink recipes.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or dietician, or nutritionist. Consult with and ask your doctor about any diet or medical-related questions. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.