My Top 5 Whole30 Compliant Drinks
I’m one of those weird people who is completely content drinking water 99% of the time. I really love water, and probably drink about a gallon a day (no joke).
When I started trying to lose weight several years ago, I laughed at all of the people suggesting that I “just drink more water.” I know it’s an issue for plenty of people, but definitely not me.
My husband on the other hand, is a drink person. He loves drinks, and I don’t mean the alcoholic kind. He just really loves “tasty beverages” (in his own words).
Even though I’m content with water most of the time, I’m definitely not opposed to switching it up occasionally. In fact, I enjoy hot tea every morning as part of my normal routine.
Plus, there are those times when you have company over and they are normal people who might want something else besides my typical 64 oz. mug of ice water.
And then, there’s that 1% of the time when I’m absolutely not content with water.
So, what shouldn’t you drink during your Whole30?
Although you’re encouraged to eat copious amounts of vegetables and conservative amounts of fruit, drinking your fruits and vegetables is not really recommended. According to this article on the Whole9 Life website, vegetable juice is acceptable. But do you really want to just have an acceptable Whole30?
The reason why Melissa and Dallas discourage drinking your food is because it’s much more satisfying and satiating to eat your food. So drinking your food may leave you feeling less satisfied than eating it, and thus more likely to eat something else or make poor decisions afterwards.
Obviously, sugary drinks are out of the question. So that means no sodas (not even diet). No sweet tea (this is hard for us Southerners). No alcohol (not even red wine *gasp*). No energy drinks. Nada. But you already know all this because you’ve read the Whole30 Program Rules, right? 🙂
You may feel like this doesn’t leave you with very many options, but don’t get discouraged! There are plenty of Whole30 compliant beverages out there. And they’re so much better for you than a can of sugary, carbonated water with food coloring (gross).
So, what can you drink besides water during a Whole30?
Yes, my favorite. But wait, I said, “what can you drink besides water.” Well, I wanted to start with water because it’s your best choice, but also because there are tons of ways to “spice up” your water and make it more interesting.
While fruit juice itself isn’t really a good option during a Whole30, flavoring your water with fruit is A-OK, and quite delicious.
Add fresh berries, mint (or other herbs), lemon, lime or orange slices, and even chunks of strawberries or pineapple. Let it steep for an hour or two and drink up the delicious nectar. You can also add any of this to your tea!
2. Iced Tea
While sweet tea is out of the question, unsweetened tea is perfectly fine. If you’re anything like pre-Whole30 me, you may turn up your nose at unsweetened tea. I grew up in the south, in TEXAS, where sweet tea is like a holy beverage. I was so accustomed to the taste of (southern) sweet tea, that I’m pretty sure I didn’t really know what tea tasted like. So when I first tried iced tea without anything else added to it, it was quite a shock.
Needless to say, I did NOT like it. It tasted bitter and quite unappealing. However, as my taste buds slowly adapted to not being bombarded with sugar on a daily basis, I realized that unsweetened tea was actually delicious. I don’t know when it happened, but one day I tasted it and said, “hey, this is actually kind of good.” I haven’t looked back since.
I now drink unsweetened tea ALL the time (probably too much), and I absolutely love it. I can actually taste the tea (and it’s fantastic)! I like to “treat” myself to unsweetened iced tea when I go to restaurants and on weekends. I’ve even converted my husband to drinking it! That’s something I never thought possible. He really likes sweet drinks, but after just a few tries, he’s jumped on the unsweetened tea train (choo choo!).
Tip: If you’re having trouble making the switch over to unsweetened tea, try adding some fresh lemon juice to spruce it up. It helps cut any bitterness your taste buds might be registering as part of their no-sugar protest.
3. Hot Tea
I’ve always loved me some hot tea. It’s such a comforting drink, especially during the colder winter months (who am I kidding, I drink this stuff all year round). Green tea, black tea, herbal tea, I love them all. I’ve recently gone on a green tea kick, and have been loving how it helps me feel refreshed in the mornings.
Try it with some fresh squeezed lemon, a cinnamon stick, or a few mint leaves for a little something different!
For years I didn’t like coffee. I would try to drink it and “acquire” a taste (I have no idea why), but the only way I could even bear it was if I added tons of sugar and cream to obliterate the coffee flavor. During my first Whole30, I started drinking my iced tea without sugar. I was shocked at how amazing it was, and I could actually taste the tea (not just the sugar)!
I decided to give coffee another try, black — and I really enjoyed it! I now only drink black coffee (hot) or iced coffee sometimes with a splash of almond milk. No need for sugar and cream! I don’t drink coffee everyday, but I do like a nice hot cup of coffee on a cold morning, or an iced coffee on a hot day.
Kombucha is one of my favorite Whole30 compliant beverages aside from water and tea. In fact, if you don’t already know what kombucha is, it’s basically fermented tea. Sounds lovely, right? Although it can be a bit of an acquired taste, it’s actually very good for you, so as long as you read your labels and make sure it’s all compliant.
From the Whole30 website
Kombucha: Read your labels
We like the probiotic benefits of ‘booch, and we think it makes a fine addition to your Whole30 menu. Just read your labels carefully—sugar listed in the ingredients generally means that it was added after fermentation, and that’s a no-go. Some varieties, like GT Dave’s Enlightened flavors, have fruits and fruit juices added, which are just fine.
Do you have any favorite Whole30 compliant beverages? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
a question about kombucha. What about sugars added after first fermentation for second fermentation (flavoring phase)? I brew my own and use fruit juice or small sugar/elderberries and allow tea to ferment for a few more days.
Hi Jeni, sugar added after fermentation would make the kombucha not Whole30 compliant unfortunately, but it seems like what you’re doing is A-OK. If you’re using fruit juice or elderberries to flavor the kombucha after the first or second fermentation, the natural sugars in the fruit are totally fine! As long as you’re not adding actual sugar after the first fermentation.
I think it’s awesome that you brew your own! I’d love to get your recipe and try it myself 🙂
I like carbonated water (seltzer water) with a little unsweetened tart cherry juice concentrate for flavoring. That should be Whole30 compliant, isn’t it?
Yes! Just make sure you read all the ingredients — I’m not familiar with unsweetened cherry juice concentrate. I would probably prefer to add a couple of fresh cherries and muddle them to bring out the juices and flavor 🙂 But as long as there aren’t added ingredients in your concentrate, it should be fine!
If sugar is used for the actual fermentation but not after then is it okay?
That’s an inventive answer to an innsieetrtg question
Not sure if anyone has tried them, but are the “Sparkling Ice” drinks compliant? It’s described as naturally flavored sparkling water and the ingredients seem fine, just wanted to check!
If the ingredients are okay, then you have nothing to worry about 🙂 Make sure there aren’t any sugars hiding in there. Pay attention to any ingredients that you don’t recognize and do a google search if you’re not sure!
There is sucralose in the ingredients list so that would make it not acceptable to this program.
No, sparkling ice is not Whole30 compliant. That sneaky fake sugar “sucralose” makes it a no go!!
Sparking Ice is not compliant. It has Sucalose, an artificial sweetener. I opt for pure sparkling water. It takes a bit of getting used to, but its very refreshing once you get past the less sugary palate.
I looked at some of the Sparkling Ice drinks. They all had sucralose. So not compliant.
I believe sparkling ice has sucralose which is not good.
It has sucrose in the sparkling ice drink…too bad it is tasty!
The sparkling ice drinks have fake sugar, I believe.
Sparkling Ice is NOT okay because they use artificial sweeteners.
Almost all of the sparkling ice drinks contain sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener. The only ice that is compliant are the ice essence drinks.
Sparkling Ice is sweetened with Sucralose, so it is NOT compliant.
Can you drink diet tonic. Only has sodium
As long as you read the ingredients and make sure that everything is compliant (google is your friend!) you should be in the clear.
I’ve never heard of diet tonic, but beware of things that have the word “diet” in the name as they usually include some sort of artificial sweetener. However, if, as you say, it only has sodium, it should be okay. But make sure you check for hidden sugars going by different names! 🙂
Are Bai drinks whole30 compliant?
Unfortunately not, as I believe it has stevia added as a sweetener! 🙁
Orange and lime LaCroix waters are my favorites!
Is caramel color ok in the ingredients of an unsweet tea while doing W30?
Unfortunately caramel color isn’t compliant according to sources at the Whole30 forum. It seems like it’s another disguise for sugar!
Is homemade kombucha recipe using brown rice syrup instead of sugar in first ferment acceptable on whole 30 or because it is produced from rice makes it a non paleo ingredient?
I’m not really sure about that one. I would post on the Whole30 forums and see if you have any luck there! It’s probably going to end up being a personal preference. Traditional kombucha made with regular sugar is fine, as long as no sugar is added after the fermenting process.
I have been googling to see if Tazo teas are Whole 30 compliant. I cannot truly find a straight forward answer. There are a couple of ingredients that are questionable……licorice root and licorice extract. Any help is greatly appreciated!
Hey Crystal, I did a quick search and according to the whole30 forum licorice root is just fine 🙂 When in doubt I always check there!
Is matcha tea Whole 30 compliant? I typically make mine by boiling water, almond milk (homemade) with honey (which I’ll have to stop clearly 😉 and vanilla. So minus the honey, would this drink be ok?
Matcha on its own is Whole30 compliant as is almond milk (almonds and water). I love matcha!! Sorry for not getting to your question sooner. I hope you were able to find your answer elsewhere!
So I buy Kombucha at a place that makes it in house. There’s is made with Green tea and honey. She said they do not add any sugar or honey after it’s fermented but that there is still sugars left over after the process. Is that ok to drink?
Yes, that is okay as far as I know. A small amount of sugar is required for the fermentation process, but as long as they don’t add any afterwards, it should still be very low in sugar overall (maybe 2-3g per serving at the most unless they add fruit or juice for flavor, then there may be more) and perfectly fine for your Whole30.