When I first started a ketogenic diet, I felt all the typical symptoms you may be going through right now. I felt tired, nauseous, and worst of all… for me, at least, I had the worst sore throat.
Usually, when I get a sore throat, that's almost a sign, something even worse is just around the corner. Want to know why you may have a sore throat when first starting keto?
In any case, I didn't want to ruin the progress I made up to that point, but I also wanted some symptom relief for the time being. I was wondering which cough drops I can have that wouldn't set me back.
As funny as it sounds, I was hell-bent on keeping doing what I was doing despite how lousy I felt.
What are some keto friendly cough drops? Most sugar-free cough drops are keto-friendly and will not prevent or knock you out of ketosis. Some keto friendly cough drops include:
- Cold-Eeze sugar-free
- Dr. John's Oral Health sugar-free
- Equate Menthol sugar-free
- Halls Relief sugar-free
In this article, I'll go over whether you can have sugar-free cough drops on keto and which ones may kick you out of ketosis.
I'll also list all the sugar-free cough drops that should be ok while on a ketogenic diet, including some popular brands you may be familiar with, and even how to make your own homemade keto-friendly cough drops.
Can I Have Sugar Free Cough Drops On Keto?
Most sugar-free cough drops are perfectly acceptable on keto, but you should still check the ingredients label to make sure certain ingredients aren't listed. (Honey, fruit juice, etc.)
Even though a cough drop has something sugar-related on the packaging, it may still have an ingredient with plenty of carbs. This is because sugar-related claims can be quite misleading.
When a food package claims “unsweetened” or “No added sugar” that just means it doesn't contain certain types of sugars (i.e., table sugar, fruit juice, etc.)You want to ensure the package says “sugar-free.” Which means it has zero sugar. However, this still means your cough drop can have up to 0.5 grams of sugar.
Therefore, don't go wild on cough drops and pop them like candy. Assuming each cough drop had 0.5 g of carbohydrates per cough drop if you pop in 20 of them, you just had 10 grams of carbohydrates.
Will A Cough Drop Kick Me Out Of Ketosis?
The biggest thing when it comes to being kicked out of ketosis is the number of carbohydrates you consume, generally over the day. Most people following a ketogenic diet will stick to between 20 and 50 grams of net carbs per day.
Net carbs are the number of carbs left after subtracting both fiber and/or sugar alcohols.
If you're sticking to the cough drops that are labeled as “sugar-free,” then they shouldn't kick you out of ketosis.
That is, of course, as long as you take my advice and don't endlessly pop them in like candy.
Remember, all of them will add up, so just keep that in mind. Even though they aren't exactly a food or beverage, a carb is a carb. Make sure you count each cough drop as 0.5 grams of carbohydrates to be on the safe side.
Sugar Free Cough Drops On A Keto Diet
Below is a list of sugar-free cough drops, which should have less than 0.5 g of net carbs per drop.
These are generally safe to take on a keto diet to relieve symptoms such as a sore throat or if you're constantly coughing.
- Dr John's Oral Health Sugar Free
- Equate Sugar Free Cough Drops
- Luden's throat drops
- Halls sugar-free menthol
- Halls Defense
- Halls Breezers
- Halls Relief
- Ricola Herbal
- Herbion Naturals
Another remedy you may want to consider is drinking some ginger tea or steep ginger in hot water.
Are Ricola Cough Drops Keto Friendly
Ricola Herbal Sugar-Free Cough Drops are keto friendly.
The regular Ricola variety isn't as keto-friendly due to ingredients such as honey, starch syrup, and even sugar.
Just make sure you purchase the sugar-free version to ensure you are consuming the least amount of carbohydrates possible.
Here are a few sugar-free Ricola varieties:
- Ricola Herbal
- Ricola Original Swiss Herb
- Ricola Swiss Cherry
- Ricola GreenTea With Echinacea
- Ricola Elderflower
- Ricola Cranberry
- Ricola Sugar-Free Variety Pack
On the safe side, consider counting each sugar-free Ricola cough drop as 0.5g of net carbs.
Are Sugar Free Halls Keto Friendly?
Similar to Ricola, the regular Halls cough drops have more carbohydrates relative to the sugar-free versions. It's best to opt for the Halls varieties that clearly state sugar-free on the label.
Regular Halls cough drops contain such ingredients as glucose syrup and sucrose, which are pure forms of carbohydrates.
Here are a few sugar-free Halls varieties:
On the safe side, consider counting each Halls sugar-free cough drop as 0.5g of net carbs.
Homemade Keto Cough Drops
If you're into making your own home remedy for your sore throat or cough, here are some ideas you can do at home that are keto friendly.
Ginger tea or ginger water
I mentioned this earlier, while not a cough drop, ginger has a whole range of health benefits, including sore throat relief. 1
Homemade honey lemon cough drops with ginger
This recipe from Thank Your Body uses lemon and ginger, but it also has honey in the ingredients list.
Instead of the honey, substitute it out for a sugar-free sweetener like Stevia or Splenda to keep it keto-friendly.
Homemade herbal throat lozenges
Want something a little more “herbal?”
Give this recipe a try which uses ingredients like elderflowers, horehound, and slippery elm bark powder.
Again, the original recipe calls for honey, so substitute the honey for your favorite sugar-free sweetener of choice.
Sugar-free sweeteners for your home made cough drops:
Using a cough drop for symptom relief shouldn't be avoided simply because you're on a keto diet.
Sugar-free alternatives are perfectly acceptable while following a ketogenic diet, but still do have a small number of carbs, though lower compared to their non-sugar-free counterpart.
On the safe side, it's best to count each cough drop as having 0.5g of net carbs per cough drop, so don't pop them endlessly like candy.