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On the SCDiet, there are a wide assortment of refreshing beverages that are permitted. However, other than bottled water, you will not find them in vending machines as sugar, corn syrup and/or other problematic chemicals have been added. We can be creative and make our own. For example, bottled or powdered lemonade is full of sugars. Even so called "diet" types are full of problematic chemicals. You can have lemonade on SCD. Just do as your grandmother or great grandmother always did. Squeeze a lemon (or an orange or any combination of real fruit juices), add enough cold water to make the drink at least 50 percent water, stir in honey or saccharine to taste, throw in the ice cubes and sit back and enjoy.


If you add Perrier water or club soda to real fruit juices with honey or saccharine, your beverage can be a spritzer, your own (and healthier) version of soda. Be sure to keep the beverage at least 50 percent Perrier water or club soda.

SCD Ginger Ale - Marilyn posted this recipe for making your own SCD legal ginger ale. Brew a strong ginger tea, sweeten it with a little honey and chill it. When ready to drink, add chilled legal sparkling water and you have a nice glass of legal ginger ale.


As with any new food, each type of juice must be tested a very little at a time (a teaspoon full and then, if that was okay, gradually increase the amount over the days) to determine if you are ready for it yet. Some people are very sensitive to fruits and for some, juices should be considered an advanced food. The rest of this discussion will assume that you have tested your ingredients. Elaine advised that all juices or any type must be diluted half and half water. The dilution is to slow the impact on the fructose on the liver and imitates the effect of eating a piece of fruit. The fiber in the flesh that is eaten when one eats a piece of fruit automatically slows down the absorption rate of the fructose.

Be cautions with the amount of juice that you drink. All fruits contain fructose and too much fruit and fruit juice can cause digestive problems for those on SCD. Some people have purchased juicer machines and make their own combinations of vegetables and fruit into juice. Be sure to use only ingredients that you have already tested and to dilute all juice half and half with water.

In general, bottled, boxed and canned juices are not permitted and the BTVC book relates (page 184 in the 2010 edition) that there have been labeling problems in the past with regard to added sweeteners. However, some companies have given written assurance and are SCD legal (if diluted). Things can and do change so the comments below are not a substitute for checking the ingredients.

Elaine writes in BTVC on page 184 (2010 edition)that Welches 100% grape juice, Dole pineapple ad pine-apple juices, Knudsen juices and Black River Juice Company (Canada) do not have added sugars.

Tropicana plain 100% orange juice in a carton is okay, but not the one with added calcium.

Electrolyte Drinks

Gatorade and other sports drinks are loaded with sugar and are inappropriate for the SCDiet. BodyBio ( notes that sugar is not the right ingredient for replacing body fluids anyway. The best drink has electrolytes and does not have a lot of sugar. E-lyte is a balanced electrolyte concentrate that can be used to make sports drinks, add balance to the diet or use in colonoscopy preparation.

See Medical Procedures and Hospital Stays for a discussion of colonoscopy preparation.

E-lyte is a proprietary blend of water, sodium potassium, magnesium and other SCD allowable ingredients. It is sold in concentrated form and available at and Elete is another brand of electrolyte drink also available at

Since E-lyte and Elete taste a little flat, most add some flavoring: fruit juices as discussed in the section on juices, broth, honey or tomato juice. Do not use red or purple juices for a colonoscopy preparation.

You can also make your own electrolytic drink. See Sports Drinks for some recipes of homemade electrolytic drinks.


Smoothies or "SCD milk shakes" are an SCD delight. Made with SCD yogurt, they are just plain wonderful. Just grab your blender and do your own thing. A suggested starting place is one half a cup of yogurt, one half a cup of fruit (fresh or frozen), 2 ice cubes and a squirt of honey. Blend in a blender or food processor. You can use a hand eggbeater but if you do, do not mix with the ice. Instead of fruit, try honey, legal vanilla extract and maybe a little nutmeg or cinnamon and you have a vanilla SCD milk shake. If you like your drink a bit thinner, either add water or use yogurt made with skim milk. Smoothies are so wonderful that restraint must be exercised as too much of a good thing can cause digestive problems. Elaine said that no more than 3 cups of yogurt should be consumed per day. See Yogurt


Among other effects, caffeine is an irritant to the digestive system. For those trying to heal their digestive system, caffeine must be limited. Only weak coffee is permitted. If desired, sweeten with honey or saccharine. Do not use sugar, milk or cream.

Instant Coffee is not allowed because of unknown chemicals either added or used in the process.

Decaffeinated Coffee - The major concern with finding decaffeinated coffee in a store is that one does not know what chemicals were used in the decaffeinating process. Decaffeination by the use of steam is SCD legal.


Alcoholic Beverages

Beer - The good news is that while on SCD, you will not get a beer belly. No beer of any kind is permitted, including non-alcoholic beer. The reason is because beer is made by brewing (fermenting) grains with yeast but not distilled. Yeast must be avoided by those on SCD. Among other things, yeast tends to overgrow in the gut.

Wine - Dry white wine is allowed, specifically mentioned in Breaking the Vicious Cycle. Dry red wine is also allowed. Passover wines, or any wines for that matter, that have added corn syrup or sugar for extra sweetness are not allowed.

In the 1950's in New York, a popular summer adult drink was called a "spritzer." Take one ounce of white wine, add seven ounces of cold water or club soda, throw in some ice cubes and stir. Some add an optional garnish of a wedge of lemon or lime.

Sweet liquors - Cordials, brandy, liqueurs or sherry are not permitted because sugar has been added after the fermentation process.

Hard (alcoholic) cider - Hard cider by itself is SCD legal. Hard cider drink combinations are not allowed as other illegal ingredients have probably been added. Hard lemonade is not allowed as it cans contains sugar or corn syrup. You can be creative and make your own drink combinations using SCD legal ingredients.

Whiskey - Bourbon, gin, rye, Scotch, vodka, whiskey and other distilled grains are permitted. Clear colorless rum is okay but brown rum is not. While the grains themselves are illegal on SCD, the distillation process has converted the polysaccharides into alcohol.

Be creative using SCD legal ingredients. How about fruit slushies with vodka? You can use SCDlegal orange juice, apple juice, strawberries, etc. Be sure to dilute the juice. Lemon or limeade with vodka and honey.

A Bloody Mary is a popular drink that you can do. If you are a guest, play it safe and bring your own SCD legal tomato juice and spices to the party. When you feel you have had enough alcohol, just carry your glass of SCD legal tomato juice with a celery stick in it no one will know the difference.

It has been posted that in America, since many of the whiskeys are only distilled once, a small amount of harmful glutens or corn proteins may still remain in the whiskey. Persons with sensitive digestive systems may react badly to even these traces of grain. Other whiskeys are distilled twice, reducing the chance of grain residue. Since Jameson Irish Whiskey is distilled 3 times, there is a very low probably of traces of gluten or corn proteins remaining. For those on SCD, when you purchase whiskey, select one that has been distilled more than once so there will be less of a chance of a bad reaction due to grain residue.

Mead - You must ferment your own to be sure it only has permissible ingredients. Mead is made out of honey, water and yeast. The yeast must be completely filtered out.

Mixers - Club soda is permitted as a mixer. Some people substitute water for club soda as a mixer as the carbonation disturbs their sensitive digestive systems. See the section above on fruit juices for legal SCD fruit juices to use as mixers. Tequila with lime and some Perrier mineral water is legal. SCD ginger ale can be a mixer - see above.

How soon can one have alcohol? - Alcohol is not advisable for those just starting the diet. Some are fine with having a little dry wine after two or three months. Others are not ready. Everyone's healing is different. It is wise so be conservative and cautious with alcohol to avoid digestive set backs.

How much? - With regard to whiskey, Breaking the Vicious Cycle advises "occasionally" but does not elaborate. This is generally interpreted to mean a single drink, once in a while. Alcohol puts stress on the liver, the organ that has to process all alcohol. SCD is about digestive healing and the liver is a vital part of the digestive system.

The term, "occasionally" certainly does not mean getting smashed. In fact, just getting high can create a special problem for those on SCD. The loss of inhibition and the suppression of the rational part of the brain can make those nachos chips and sour cream dip start to look too good to resist. It is hard to imagine anything more awful than having a hangover and a digestive flare up at the same time.

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