Ketosis Changes The Way Our Bodies Respond To Alcohol
The first thing youll probably notice the first time you have a drink after starting keto is that your alcohol tolerance is really low!
Depending on your perspective this can be a good thing or a bad thing. It will certainly mean youre a cheap date.
There are lots of things that affect your alcohol tolerance.
- How frequently and how heavily you drink
- Diet also has an impact and keto is a great example of this.
How To Eat Enough Fat On Keto Diet Without Dairy And Nuts
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Is Diet Soda Good To Drink On The Keto Diet
For you, it seems like diet soda checks all the right boxes. Its low-cal, has no carbs, and contains no sugar either. Youre ready to crack open a can today to treat yourself after a long day at work or an especially strenuous workout at the gym.
Not so fast.
While its true that Diet Coke, Diet Barqs, or Diet Sprite wont increase your carb load for the day, diet drinks can wreak a lot of other havoc on your health. Here are some of the effects of drinking diet soda that make it not so keto-friendly.
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Avoid All Sugary Mixers Chasers And Additives
Drinking alcohol on keto comes with the very important caveat that you should never drink with sugary mixers, chasers or additives.
As we explained above, pure liquors on their own contain no carbs. It is when you begin to add sodas, juices, and liqueurs that the carbs start to add up.
As the civilized and productive adults that you are, you shant only be taking shots when you go out.
Thats not a great look, especially in professional settings. Most bars and restaurants dont have hard seltzer on tap or in cans yet. So, what to do? What else can you drink?
The best mixer for the keto diet is seltzer water. However, some bars and restaurants may only have club soda, which is also fine. Unlike seltzer water, club soda contains sodium.
Adding salt to your diet is actually beneficial when you are in ketosis. Because your body is using fat for fuel, it is easy to lose too many electrolytes. Adding extra salt into your diet is a good thing, within reason.
Feel free to squeeze in extra lemon or lime .
You can also opt for a martini. Vermouth has less than 1g net carb per serving, so you dont need to worry too much about it being mixed in.
If you are being very strict with your intake, you can order it extra dry. Olive juice has 0g net carbs, so feel free to order it as dirty as youd like.
If you are drinking at home or at a friends house, you can make keto-friendly mixers from scratch.
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High Carb Meals Slow Alcohol Absorption
If youve ever drunk alcohol on an empty stomach youll know that youre going to feel intoxicated more quickly than if youd eaten.
When you drink on an empty stomach, the stomach absorbs alcohol much faster.
You may have noticed that you need a larger amount of alcohol to reach the same effect after a large carb based meal. We know that alcohol absorption is prolonged for around 2 hours after a high carb meal.
Whilst Im not aware of any scientific studies that directly compare alcohol absorption after low carb and high carb meals, anecdotally it does seem that alcohol is absorbed more quickly after a low carb meal than after a high carb meal.
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When To Avoid Alcohol
Should you avoid alcohol entirely when you are on the keto diet? There are some warning signs to look for.
If drinking makes you crave food, avoid it. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and you will be more likely to lose track of what youre consuming.
Do you drink to excess? Getting drunk wreaks havoc on your body. Its best to enjoy one drink at a time if you are going to drink at all. If you think you might have a problem binge drinking, seek help.
Finally, if you always crave the sweeter drinks, maybe stop drinking entirely. As you read above, the sweet drinks have too many sugar and carbs to help you stay in ketosis.
Mixed Drinks / Cocktails
If things seem likely to go off the rails with cocktails for carb counts, your worry is with good cause. It’s actually the mixers in mixed drinks that tend to contain all of the sugar. This is fairly straightforward: sugary sodas, fruit juices, and liqueurs are sweet from sugar, whether added or naturally occurring. When you add any of them to alcohol, you increase the carbohydrate count significantly and make yourself much more likely to fall out of ketosis. You also increase your chances of a hangover from the sugar content.
There’s no doubt that cocktails are more enjoyable than sipping on straight alcohol. If cocktails are your drink of choice, pick simple low or no calorie mixers such as soda water, stevia sweetened soda, pure cranberry juice, flavored sparkling water, or tea.
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Can I Drink Seltzers On Keto
Seltzers, also known as Hard Seltzers or Tonic Water are a type of highball drink made with carbonated water , some alcohol, and flavorings.
Unfortunately, theres no general rule for seltzers. Some are keto-friendly, some arent.
Lets break down how to identify a low-carb Seltzer:
- The main ingredient must be sparkling water or soda water .
- The spirit or alcohol must be one of the low-carb spirits from the list above.
- The flavoring must be low in carbs
- There might be artificial sweeteners
There are a few things to watch out for:
- Many Seltzers have a lable No Sugar on them. It does not mean no carbs. It strictly means no sucrose . Some of these drinks are still heavily loaded with other dissacharides or monosacharides.
- Some Seltzers proudly show how low in calories they are, make sure these are not coming from carbs!
Gin And Diet Tonic Cocktail
The standard gin and tonic cocktail is a no-go for people undergoing a keto diet. Nevertheless, many of these classic and favorite drinks can be transformed into healthier beverages.
In general, gin is a distilled beverage that contains no carbohydrates. Still, flavored gin is available that may also be an ingredient for this cocktail. For a keto-friendly drink, be sure to stick with the pure alcohol gin.
Contrastingly, tonic water, the other main ingredient of the cocktail, is heavy in sugar and not keto-friendly in its original form. To make this keto-friendly, have a diet tonic water instead, with natural or artificial sweeteners. Both kinds of sweeteners are fine, but of course, a natural sweetener is the best option.
How Does Alcohol Affect Your Body
Depending on how much and how often you drink, there are several short-term and long-term effects that alcohol can have on your body.
Your liver can safely metabolize about 1 drink per hour. After that, you risk feeling other side-effects that people commonly refer to as feeling buzzed or drunk.
Short-term side effects of drinking are:
- Loss of coordination
- Irregular heartbeat
Binge drinking could also lead to alcohol poisoning and even death. For this article, however, we are going to be tackling responsible drinking drinks in moderation. That means less than 4 drinks per day.
Fatty Liver Lay Off The Booze Until It Heals
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a huge health epidemic, impacting increasing numbers worldwide including 25% of the US population.16 Research suggests that one of the major contributors is the overconsumption of fructose and sugar sweetened beverages.17 Dr. Evelyne Bourdua-Roy wrote about how common NAFLD is among the patients in her GP practice but also how reversible it is on a low-carb, low-fructose, high-fat, no-alcohol diet in her article How fat is your liver?
The takeaway: Anyone with any fatty or fibrotic liver issues should avoid fructose and alcohol until the liver has healed. If you have liver problems you should avoid alcohol under all circumstances, says Lustig.
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The Keto Diet And Alcohol
Just because you are on the keto diet doesnt mean you have to give up drinking entirely. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about drinking.
Will it kick you out of ketosis? What is the best alcohol to drink? What drinks should you definitely avoid?
This guide will cover all of that and more. We will look really closely at what alcohol is, how it affects your body, which to drink, and what to avoid.
You will also learn how many carbs are in your favorite mixed drinks. It might even make you rethink about ordering that margarita at that Mexican restaurant tonight.
Can You Drink Alcohol On The Keto Diet The Best And Worst Drinks
What could go wrong? Having a social life and trying to win that long overdue promise to maintain a trendy lifestyle diet? Some say it is impossible to do two different things without compromising the other. But what if that is not the case? What if the only thing stopping you from achieving both a quality lifestyle and a healthy, fun social life is not knowing the science behind what you are eating?
One must not choose between going out to a party and having some drinks versus staying at home just to fulfill their strict diet routine without even knowing if its backed up by science. Numerous myths are circling the internet, and it is about time to shatter some of those.
An individual who commits to becoming healthy starts a diet plan and focuses on nutrients that they need is still definitely allowed to drink or consume alcohol. Theres a negative connotation that individuals who consume alcohol are more likely to live an unhealthy lifestyle. But that is not always the case.
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Top 5 Keto Alcoholic Drinks
If youre still wondering how to include alcohol in your keto diet, were going to wrap this up with our top 5 favorite keto alcoholic drinks.
Nothing says celebration like a glass of bubbly! Although Champagne can be very expensive other kinds of sparkling wines or Cava come in a variety of prices and can be enjoyed as an aperitif, with your food or as a stand-alone drink.
There must be a reason why humans have been drinking wine for thousands of years. One of them is probably that it tastes really good with food. Ben Franklin even called wine constant proof that God loves us. Fortunately, drinking an occasional glass of dry wine is fine on a low-carb diet.
A vodka & soda or gin & soda is your drink if you want to skip sugar and artificial sweeteners. This sparkling drink with vodka, soda, lime and ice tastes way better than it might sound.
Even though whiskey is made from various forms of grains, its zero carb and gluten free. It comes in many different classes and types. Too much ice can kill the flavor but serving it with a little dash of water can actually enhance the flavor.
Does Alcohol On Keto Offer Any Health Benefits
Though there havent been any studies exploring possible benefits of drinking alcohol on keto, there is evidence that moderate consumption of alcohol may offer some health benefits to some people.
Studies show that for women, moderate alcohol consumption can lower fasting insulin and glycemic levels, especially if consumed in the evening. These studies also tell us that moderate alcohol consumption does not lead to an increase in blood sugar for both men and women.
A 2006 study found that women drinking red wine at least once per week were 16% less likely to get diabetes than women who drank less regularly.
These outcomes occur because the liver prioritizes the metabolism of alcohol over complex carbs into blood sugar. So when on a low-carb, no-sugar keto diet, these effects are questionable.
However, It should also be noted that the alcohol-diabetes link has a serious limit. A 2009 study found that consuming more than 4 glasses of beer or wine per day for women and 4.5 for men, doubled the risk of type 2 diabetes.
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Several Spirits Contain Zero Carbs
According to Healthline, there are several spirits that contain no carbs which makes them suitable for the low-carb keto diet. For example, ½ oz of gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey all contain zero carbs. The next best choice would be a 12 oz light beer, which has around three grams of carbs, and now, you may even be able to find a zero-carb beer. Red and white wines contain only about three to four grams of carbs per 5 oz glass. The Spruce Eats, however, warns that sweeter wines do tend to have a higher carb content, and can get to as many as 10 grams per 4 oz pour.
What you should avoid on a keto diet, are cocktails that are high in carbs from the use of sodas, syrups, juices, and sweeteners. One 240ml cup of sangria can have 27 grams of carbs whereas a serving of Pina colada can have up to 32! Instead, Healthline recommends making your own cocktails using keto-friendly low-carb mixers. Sugar-free tonic waters, seltzers, and diet sodas all tend to have zero carbs. Mix gin with a sugar-free tonic and you’ll have an alcoholic drink with no carbs at all!
If you are drinking alcohol, Elite Daily says that you should be prepared for the effect of booze to hit you much harder. Because your body is getting its fuel from fat and not carbs, you’ll find your alcohol tolerance to be much lower than usual.
The Health Risks & Potential Benefits Of Alcohol
Alcohol itself is generally not considered to be a healthful substance.
Excessive intake can reduce fat burning , is linked with increased abdominal fat , and can potentially contribute to numerous long-term health risks .
That being said, you might have heard of the potential benefits of the occasional drink. Some studies even suggest an inverse relationship between light to moderate drinking and heart attack risk and death from all cardiovascular causes in certain populations .
This may seem confusing at first, but as the Harvard School of Public Health note:
The risks exceed benefits until middle age, when cardiovascular disease begins to account for an increasingly large share of the burden of disease and death.
A few more important takeaways from the same source:
- If you dont drink, there is no need to start. You can get similar heart-healthy outcomes with exercise and dietary choices, without the added risks posed by alcohol.
- For males with no history of alcoholism but a moderate to high risk for heart disease, one daily alcoholic beverage may reduce that risk, particularly if you have low HDL.
- Females with no history of alcoholism but a moderate to high risk for heart disease must balance the potential benefits of light drinking against the small increase in breast cancer risk.
- If you already drink alcohol, do not consume more than 2 drinks a day for males or 1 drink a day for females, and ensure you consume at least 400 micrograms of folate a day.
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