When you start with the keto diet, sore throat is very normal to experience, the reason is the diuretic nature that keto has on your body. Dehydration and deficiency in electrolytes, especially potassium and sodium, are the main reasons for a sore throat when you start a ketogenic diet. You are then in a dilemma as you do not want to spoil your keto diet but still use cough drops to relieve your sore throat.
Which cough drops are keto-friendly? Most of the sugar-free cough drops are keto-friendly. Some of the keto-friendly cough drops are:
- Sound Health Menthol sugar-free
- Cold Eeze sugar-free
- Halls Relief sugar-free
- Olba’s Lozenges sugar-free
Can You Take Sugar-Free Cough Drops On Keto?
Most of the sugar-free cough drops are perfectly good on a keto diet, but checking the ingredient label is still wise, just to check out for certain ingredients such as honey, fruit juice etc. The sugar-related claims can sometimes be misleading, and it might contain an ingredient with plenty of carbs. When a package of food says “unsweetened” or “no added sugar” it just means that it does not contain certain types of sugar like table sugar or fruit juice etc.
You need to make sure that a product that says sugar-free has zero sugar. However, it may still contain 0.5 grams of sugar. Therefore you cannot just keep popping in your mouth like candy. If it has 0.5 grams of sugar and you take 20, you will be consuming 10 grams of sugar.
On keto diet net carbs for a day are between 20 to 50 grams. If you are careful in choosing cough drops that are in fact sugar-free and do not consume them endlessly, then they should not kick you out of ketosis.
Just remember all the cough drops you take will be added up, just to be on the safe side, make sure to count each cough drop as 0.5 grams of carbs.
Homemade Keto Cough Drops
If you want to be sure of what you are consuming and you want to opt for your own home remedy for your cough or sore throat, here are some keto-friendly ideas you can try at home:
Ginger Tea Or Ginger Water
Although they are not cough drops, ginger has many health benefits, and sore throat relief is one of them.
Homemade Honey Lemon Cough Drops With Ginger
The recipe uses lemon ginger and honey. But you can substitute the honey with sugar-free sweeteners like stevia or Splenda to make them keto-friendly.
Homemade Herbal Throat Lozenges
If you want something more herbal, use this recipe which contains elderflowers, slippery elm bark powder and horehound. This recipe also uses honey, but you can substitute it with a sugar-free sweetener of your choice.
Getting sick is not something anyone likes and not being able to relieve a sore throat just because you are on a keto diet does not make it any easier. Just because you are on a keto diet, you should not avoid cough drops for symptom relief. On keto, sugar-free alternatives are perfectly fine to use, but you need to keep their intake limited, just count each as 0.5-gram carbs and you can take them and not kick your body out of ketosis.