Why Staying Hydrated Is Necessary For The Keto Diet
Getting your daily water intake is super important for dropping a few pounds.
A high-carb diet will encourage more water weight. For every gram of carbohydrates you eat, your body stores 3 to 4 grams of water to support glycogen production.
However, low-carb meal plans can quickly deprive you of hydration. Theres no glucose or carbs for energy sources, so your body doesnt need excess water to store that. Therefore, adequate water consumption is essential on the keto diet.
Men need at least 12 cups of water a day, and women need 9 cups to stay hydrated.
Keto Friendly Beer Options
If youre a craft beer guy like myself, youll be sad to know most craft beers ARE NOT keto friendly. If youre one of those that like a michelob ultra or a bud light, you may be in luck.
Which in that case, Id probably just opt for water.
I kid kind of.
Unfortunately, with beer, they are all usually packed with carbs making them less than ideal if staying in ketosis is a priority.
However, there are plenty of lower carb options if you want a beer from time to time. Below is a list of some popular keto-friendly beers you may indulge in occasionally.
Can You Drink Alcohol On Keto The Takeaway
Though there are many low-carb alcoholic beverages, this doesnt mean that they are necessarily keto-friendly.
Your body processes alcohol differently on a keto diet. Drinking can halt ketosis, increase weight gain while leading to faster and stronger intoxication and worse hangovers.
Drinking on keto can also stimulate reward pathways in the brain associated with sugar cravings, making it easier to indulge in carb-heavy foods.
With all that said, there are likely no drawbacks to enjoying a drink or two every once in a while on a keto diet.
But ultimately the question, can you drink alcohol on keto? has to be answered byyou.
Are you someone who can enjoy an occasional drink without going overboard? Do you have a history of alcoholism? Are you easily triggered by social pressures into overindulging?
Your answer to these questions is all way more important than the carb content of a drink.
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Beverages To Eliminate When Youre On The Keto Diet
Its always easier to hear bad news first. That gets it out of the way, so you can start to get excited about the good news.
So heres the bad news about keto and drinks: the list of beverages you should avoid.
And not to pile on, but almost all of the coffee drinks at Starbucks and most mixed drinks contain lots of sugar and/or carbs and are on the keto naughty list.
Well start the good news even before we get to the next section, though. There are keto-friendly and delicious substitutes for many of the drinks that are off-limits.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol isnt 100% all bad news.
Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol has been shown to be beneficial because it can protect your heart, lower risk of diabetes and reduce the effects of ageing on skin
Some other health benefits of drinking alcohol are that it may reduce your risk of cognitive decline and memory loss.
These health benefits have been hotly debated recently though, and we all know pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldnt drink alcohol.
The difficult part is knowing how much alcohol is healthy to drink on keto.
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Keto Strawberry Lime Rum
This simple drink is sparkling, sophisticated, and full of tart strawberry scrumptiousness.
The Bubly Lime Sparkly Water adds fizz and zest, and the lime and lime juice pile on even more zing.
Youll taste the strawberries, but the rum gets a bit lost under all the other potent ingredients.
Even so, this isnt your typical, sweet strawberry drink. It leans much more towards the sour side. Its still yummy, though.
Raspberry mimosas are show-stoppingly gorgeous bright red and full of delicate bubbles and fresh raspberries.
If you make them right, theyre also low-calorie and low-carb .
It takes 5 minutes to make two drinks, and all youll need are raspberries, dry champagne, raspberry tea, and sugar-free raspberry syrup.
In case you were wondering, yes, theres a strong raspberry flavor in this lovely cocktail.
The Easiest Way To Stick To Your Keto Diet
Cocktails and alcohol aside, the hardest part about going and staying keto is sticking to your diet goals each week. If you’re tired of carb counting, meal planning, cooking, and cleaning, why not leave it to the experts?
Our team of nutrition-trained chefs will hand prepare delicious keto-approved meal plans and ship them directly to your door each week! So you can sit back, see results faster, and contemplate whether or not that happy hour buzz is really worth it.
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Enjoy Social Hours And Celebrations And Stay On The Keto Track
I know that following the ketogenic diet can be tough when youre also trying to maintain your social life. Thats why I compiled these simple rules for enjoying your favorite cocktail while maintaining ketos low-carb, high-fat protocol.
Moderation and hydration are the keys to staying in ketosis.
Im always here for you on your journey to a healthy lifestyle.
MEDICAL AND NUTRITION DISCLAIMERPlease note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I am simply recounting and sharing my own experiences on this blog. Nutritional break downs are done using a commercial nutrition calculator. Nothing I express here should be taken as medical advice and you should consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. I provide nutritional information for my recipes simply as a courtesy to my readers, this should never be construed as medical advice.
Hard Liquor: The Best Alcohol For Keto
Most clear liquors that are around 40 percent alcohol contain 0 grams of carbs and sugars on their own, which means theyre keto-friendly in moderation.
The issue arrives if you want to mix your liquor with something to make it more palatable.
Mixing your keto approved spirits with straight water or seltzer is perfectly acceptable on keto, but tonic water can contain 32 to 33 grams of carbs per 12 ounces. Likewise, when you mix hard liquor with things like fruit juice, sodas or behind-the-bar mixers , youre opening yourself up to a lot of unexpected liquid carbs.
If youre really craving a little something more than just plain tequila on the rocks, you can still enjoy refreshing keto alcohol drinks that swap out sugary mixers, or ask the bartender to make you something using bitters.
Some bitters contain as little as 2 grams of carbs per half teaspoon. That may seem like a lot of carbs in a small amount of bitters, but you usually dont need more than a half teaspoon to flavor a drink and help it taste like a cocktail rather than straight liquor.
Diet soda is also an option, but many on keto choose to avoid artificial sweeteners, so choose what fits your diet journey the best.
Keep in mind that flavored alcohols and liqueurs can and often do contain extra sugar. Be mindful of how much you consume, and how those fit into your daily macros.
Heres the rundown on how different types of hard liquor can fit into a keto lifestyle.
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What Cocktails Can I Drink On Keto
Knowing that most pure spirits, or hard alcohol, can fit into your low carb lifestyle is the first half of the battle. If you prefer a mixed drink, youll have to be sure to choose your mixers carefully to avoid sugary juices, sodas, and store-bought cocktail mixes.
For example, if youre a fan of tonic water, make sure to choose diet tonic, as regular tonic water has upwards of 25 grams of sugar per serving. You could also choose to drink your keto friendly alcoholic straight or on the rocks to keep things simple and free from additional carbs. But, for those looking for a cocktail to sip, here are a few keto alcohol drinks ideas to get you started:
- Vodka soda. This cocktail is the king of keto vodka drinks, made simply with vodka, club soda and a lemon or lime wedge. Easy, refreshing, and zero carbs whats not to love?
- Old Fashioned. Traditionally made with whiskey, a dash of orange bitters, and a sugar cube, this cocktail can be made even lower carb with your favorite low carb sweetener.
- Sangria. Depending on the keto friendly fruit involved, a red or white sangria can be a refreshing, low carb beverage to enjoy on a patio or porch.
- And more! Check out cocktails in our New Years article, and browse our Recipes page to find even more adult beverages that can fit into your low carb and keto lifestyle
What Else Can I Drink On Keto Besides Water
Thankfully, there are still plenty of options for beverages you can enjoy and still remain in ketosis, which are really any low-to-no carb drinks, says Tewksbury, such as:
- Fruit-infused waters
- Unsweetened teas
The bottom line: You can drink alcohol on keto if you do so in moderation and go with unsweetened alcoholic beverages that are low in carbohydrates.
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Be Prepared For Worse Hangovers If You Drink While Following A Keto Diet
Eating a carb-heavy meal before drinking can keep you from getting drunk too quickly. By the same token, following a strict keto diet can lead to becoming intoxicated more quickly and suffering a worse hangover.
“When you’ve eaten a lot of carbs and your glycogen stores are filled, the rate at which you get drunk usually slows down,” Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C. tells Men’s Health.
However, skipping the carbs can have an adverse effect on your alcohol tolerance and ability to stave off a killer hangover.
“When you’re in ketosis, alcohol hits your system faster and stronger than it did when your body was housing more carbohydrates. Your alcohol tolerance plummets to near zero when you’re in ketosis,” Dr. Anthony Gustin, D.C., M.S. wrote on Perfect Keto.
If you’re thinking of throwing back a few shots while on a ketogenic diet, you should be prepared for a stronger hangover.
Best And Worst Types Of Alcohol For Weight Loss
Forgoing booze altogether is ideal if losing weight is your health goal, but if you must imbibe, registered dietitians recommend opting for certain alcoholic beverages over others.
Alcohol consumption is on the rise, even though happy hour at bars and restaurants is on hold in many parts of the world. When COVID-19 stay-at-home orders went into effect back in March, during just one week, national alcohol sales increased 54 percent compared with the same week in 2019, and three out of every four adults began consuming alcohol one more day per month year over year, according to a letter published in September 2020 in the journal JAMA Network Open.
You may not think drinking more during the pandemic sounds bad because having a glass of wine with dinner is good for your heart, right? But its not that good, according to some research. A The Lancet found that while alcohol has been shown to provide some protective factors for heart disease and diabetes among women, the positive effects were offset by the fact that alcohol can increase the risk of cancer, accidents, and communicable disease. It seems the answer to the question of whether drinking even in moderation is healthy varies depending on whom you ask.
Here are the best and worst types of alcohol to drink if youre watching your weight.
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Can You Have Diet Drinks On Keto
You should avoid drinking diet soda on the keto diet, since it contains artificial sweeteners that disrupt blood sugar levels. This may cause the body to store fat instead of burning it. Any sugar-free diet sodas can bring you out of ketosis quickly.
Even though diet soda has almost zero net carbs, it wont benefit your weight loss progress. Opt for sparkling water if you want something fizzy to drink. Diet sodas, like diet coke especially, can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Will Drinking Kick You Out Of Ketosis
Getting into ketosis and staying there is primarily driven by following a very low-carb diet. So as long as you dont go over your recommended daily net carb intake, the occasional drink likely wont cause concern.
Additionally, alcohol itself doesnt undo your bodys ability to produce ketones. In fact, the opposite may be true. Alcohol consumption has been associated with a decrease in blood sugar and an increase in ketone production in a few different studies .
However, this absolutely does not mean you should drink a lot on keto to increase ketone levels.
Excessive alcohol consumption can not only lead to serious health concerns but can also be deadly for diabetics because of its role in increased ketone production, leading to alcoholic ketoacidosis .
It is also thought that being in ketosis can decrease alcohol tolerance. However, there is not much research to support this theory.
For this and many other reasons, sound medical advice suggests that if you do choose to drink, only do so in moderation and keep your intake below one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men .
Bottom line, you are better off avoiding alcohol altogether.
If you do choose to drink occasionally, here are the best and worst types of alcohol for keto.
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Reduced Alcohol Tolerance And Hangovers
Have you ever heard the advice to not drink on an empty stomach, or to eat starchy carbs before an evening of drinking?
Eating a carb-heavy meal before drinking can keep you from getting drunk too quickly. By the same logic, following a strict keto diet can lead to becoming intoxicated more quickly and suffering a worse hangover.
On the keto diet, you may feel drunker, faster. Without the carbs and glycogen stores, the alcohol hits your system faster and stronger. When on a keto diet, most people need significantly less alcohol to get intoxicated.
Some people also experience a worse hangover on the keto diet. To avoid this, make sure to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water at least one large glass of water for each alcoholic drink you consume.
Struggling To Cook Healthy Well Help You Prep
Get plenty of calories and nutrients right here.
That said, thereâs research that shows people who frequently drink small amounts have lower BMIs than people who drink less frequently, but drink more when they do imbibe.
The takeaway? Alcohol doesnât have to be completely taboo if youâre trying to lose weight. Whatâs most important is knowing which drinks you should be ordering to keep calories in check.
Here are 6 drinks that are okay to order, plus mixers to blend in with your liquor of choice.
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Lower Tolerance Worse Hangovers
Many people posting in forums and discussion groups about the ketogenic diet report that their alcohol tolerance is much lower, and their hangovers much worse on a low-carb diet.21 However, there isnt much scientific research yet to explain why tolerance seems to be reduced, just theories. But it does appear that people on a low-carb or keto diet can become intoxicated at lower levels of alcohol consumption. While you should never drink and drive, you may need to be even more aware of the risk for impairment when following a low-carb or keto diet. 22
More severe hangovers may possibly be the result of dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, although the precise mechanism responsible for hangovers has yet to be determined.23 Carbs tend to cause the body to hold on to water, whereas a low-carb or ketogenic diet increases fluid loss, especially in the beginning. Alternate water between any alcoholic drinks, and consider adding some salt and taking magnesium and potassium supplements.24 Read our electrolyte supplementation guide for further details.
In addition, alcohol may lower blood glucose because the liver is busy metabolizing the alcohol and unable to produce glucose through gluconeogenesis.25
The takeway: be careful. Alcohol and its harms are much more potent on a ketogenic diet. See point 1: Moderation is key.
Low Carb And Keto Alcohol Drinks What To Order
Whether youre out at a bar or fixing yourself a drink at home, there are plenty of options to stay true to your low carb or keto lifestyleespecially if you have the added versatility of a flexible ketogenic diet like Atkins20® or Atkins40®*. When consumed in moderation, alcohol can be enjoyed as part of your keto lifestyle. Keep in mind that while many of these choices are low in carbs, alcohol still provides calories and the body needs to burn off those alcohol calories before it can get back into fat burning mode. If you notice that your weight-loss has stalled, you may need to cut back on alcohol. Read on to discover which keto friendly alcohol and drinks to stick to and which to avoid.
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Keto Alcohol: Your Guide To Drinking On The Keto Diet
Is it okay to drink alcohol on the keto diet? In short, yes as long as you drink alcohol in moderation. Having one or two keto-friendly drinks wont kick you out of ketosis. The trick is knowing what types of alcoholic drinks are keto-compliant, and what types of drinks to avoid on the keto diet.