When you want to include diet as part of a practical lifestyle, alcohol can be part of the plan. Yes, you can drink alcohol on a keto diet. However, you should know that alcohol is metabolized like a carbohydrate. So, keep in mind it can kick you out of ketosis and slow weight loss.
This does not mean that you should never drink again. If you enjoy an alcoholic beverage with dinner or socializing, once carbohydrate adapted, you can drink in moderation. When drinking alcohol, use these two general drinking tips.
- Be selective in the type of alcohol you drink.
- Stick with the recommended portion.
What Happens When I Drink Alcohol On A Keto Diet?
When you drink alcohol, it can make you feel relaxed but your body metabolizes it as a toxin. So signals are sent to the liver and it then stops its normal function of producing ketones. The body will break down the alcohol as its first priority.
Instead of burning fat and being in ketosis as you were before imbibing alcohol, your liver begins to metabolize the alcohol instead to get rid of the toxins1. This will cause ketosis to slow down or stop. Consider drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage you drink.
There are a few more things you should be aware of:
- On a ketogenic diet, your toleration for alcohol is less, so you will get intoxicated more quickly.
- Alcohol lowers blood sugar, so it can make you hungry and cause you to eat more. 3. It also lowers your inhibition so you may not make the best judgments on food choices. For example, many times beer is paired with pretzels or chips. You may also end up drinking more than you originally anticipated.
The Best and Worst Alcohol To Drink on a Keto Diet
What are the best and worst alcoholic drink choices when following a keto diet? If you want to enjoy alcohol on a keto diet, do it the right way. There are certain kinds of alcohol that are lower in carbs and can be included as part of a keto diet.
You may find it surprising that champagne, wine, lite beer and hard, clear and non-sugary alcohol are ok to drink. Please see the table to find your drink of preference.
Hard liquors, like vodka, brandy and gin are made with carbs but during distillation and fermentation, these are converted to ethyl alcohol. The carb content in these drinks is very low (even zero). This doesn’t raise sugar or insulin levels in your body to disturb the keto process3.
You can also enjoy most wines on a keto or a low-carb diet occasionally. Most dry wines contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar in one glass or serving.
When it comes to beer, it could be bad news for beer buffs. Beer is made from barley, hops, and water. This makes it high in both carbs and calories. But if you still want to enjoy beers, opt for light beers.
Mixers & Cocktails
When it comes to mixing, it doesn’t have to be tricky. If you choose hard liquor, keep the mixers carb and sugar-free.
A rule of thumb is to avoid sugary and flavored mixers. There are many zero calorie flavored options on the market. Any will do. Try:
- Seltzer plain or fruit flavor.
- Sugar-free or diet beverages like diet tonic water or sugar-free lemonade.
|Best and Worst Alcoholic Drinks on a Keto Diet|
(contain less than 5 grams of carbohydrates)
(contain more than 5 grams of carbohydrates)
|Wine||Pinot Noir, Merlo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay||Cosmopolitan, Dessert Wines, Sweet Late Harvest Wine2|
Bud Select, MGD 64, Michelob Ultra, Natural Light,
Rock Green Light, Michelob Ultra Amber, Miller Lite
|New Belguim Fat Tire, Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Corona Extra, O’Douls Amber, O’Douls, Clausthaler3|
|Liquor||Champagne, Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch, Tequila, Brandy, Cognac, Dry Martini, Straight Vodka, Unflavored Rum, Unflavored Gin, Skinny Bitch||Gin & Tonic, White Russian, Coke & Rum, Vodka & OJ.|
Alcohol On A Keto Diet Wrap Up
The bottom line: Go ahead, drink alcohol on a keto diet. When you do, count the carbs and be mindful and treat it as a cheat. If you are not sure how alcohol affects your level of ketosis, try monitoring your ketones. After a day filled with “spirits,” you can monitor ketone levels with Keto Mojo Ketone Strips.
Be aware of how much you drink and what kind of alcohol you are drinking. Stick to the keto-friendly alcoholic drinks listed here.