How The Keto Diet Works
To understand what alcohol does to you on a keto diet, first we have to look at what the keto diet is. The keto diet is a strictly low-carb way of eating that works by putting your body into a state known as ketosis. The diet is mainly consisted of fats, with a moderate amount of protein and as little carbohydrate as possible.
On a normal diet your body uses glucose for energy. Whether you are resting, running, or sleeping, your body is using some of this energy to keep your organs and muscles functioning. If you dont eat any carbs, you will not have any glucose to provide this energy for your body.
Fortunately for you, your body has a backup mechanism! it will begin to burn fat if there are no glucose stores available. This is why the keto diet can be so effective for helping people lose fat quickly. The state of burning fat as a primary source of energy is called ketosis, and this is the namesake for the keto diet.
What To Know About Alcohol And A Low Carb Lifestyle
These are the five tips that I consider most important when incorporating alcohol into a low carb lifestyle:
So How Can You Have Alcohol On Keto
Despite the warnings above, you can still enjoy alcohol on a low carb diet. As cliche as it sounds, the key is to do drink responsibly.
Here is how to drink alcohol on keto:
- Drink in moderation. Theres no reason to miss out on an occasional drink when you are out, but limit it to one or two. This will not only keep carbs and calories in check, it will also decrease the chance of stalling weight loss or a hangover the next day.
- Drink plenty of water. Aim for a glass of water for every drink you have, and an extra one before bed. This will reduce dehydration and youll be less likely to get a hangover.
- Choose low carb drink options. I covered low carb alcohol choices at a bar above, but if you miss classic sugar-laden mixed drinks, check out the list below for low carb drink recipes to make at home.
Also Check: Built Bar Net Carbs
Do Sugar Alcohols Have A Downside
Sugar alcohols have pretty nasty side effects if you consume too much of them
In some people sugar alcohols can cause bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea, according to Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer Brad Sly. This is because the sugar alcohol is not completely absorbed in the digestive system and this causes fermentation to occur in the intestines.
And too much of them can undo all your hard work. You can also still gain weight when eating foods that contain sugar alcohol, especially if you eat them in excess, according to Registered Nurses Sue Cotey, RN and Andrea Harris, RN.
Lets take a look at these sweeteners in more detail
Alcohol And Ketosis: Your Need To Know Facts About Alcohol On The Keto Diet
Jan 15, 2019 | Keto Lifestyle |
Can you drink alcohol on the keto diet? If the keto diet is supposed to be a lifelong journey, I was very curious to find out how alcohol and ketosis worked.
Drinking on the weekends is a big part of my life, probably too big. While I resolve to lessen my alcohol consumption, the thought of having to cut out my favourite cocktails completely on this way of eating didnt make me a happy camper.
Ive been doing a lot of reading on this subject and then I did a few tests myself to see what effect liquor has on ketosis and weight loss. These are my personal results.
New to the keto diet? Start here! This will help you to figure out how to stick to this diet and make it a lifestyle for you.
In this post you’ll find:
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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.
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.
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Alcohol On The Keto Diet
Along with carbs, protein, and fat, alcohol is considered to be the fourth macronutrient. It has 7 calories per gram thats almost as calorically dense at fat. Alcohol calories are empty calories, in that they dont provide any nutrients, vitamins or minerals
When we ingest alcohol, our body begins to metabolize it or break it down and turn it into energy. Most of the alcohol we consume is processed by the liver, and the rest is excreted in urine, sweat, and our breath.
Many keto dieters find that drinking too much alcohol too frequently can actually stall their weight loss. Since the body treats ethanol as a toxin, it will work to metabolize it as fast as possible. While the body is processing the alcohol you just drank, it delays that fat-burning processes. Specifically, it slows the process of converting fatty acids to ketones
Should You Drink Alcohol On Keto
Unfortunately how alcohol impacts nutrient metabolism is not well researched on any diet, not even keto. We do know that it can contribute to excess empty calories, poor decision-making, and increased health risks if we arent careful. Keeping your drinking to a reasonable amount or foregoing it all together is likely your best bet.
But like most “cheats“, drinking the occasional glass of keto-approved alcohol is nothing to feel bad about. After all, healthy lifestyles are all about balance and moderation. Of course, this also means the bulk of your keto food choices and behaviors need to emphasize good health first. Otherwise, you’re just adding less healthy options to an already not-so-healthy diet.
If you do decide to include alcohol on keto, stick to low carb and low-calorie beverages and skip the sugary mixers!
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Can You Drink Alcohol On Keto
Yes, you can drink on a ketogenic diet and still see results, but theres a catch. It depends on how much you drink and the types of alcohol you choose.
Alcohol is technically the fourth macronutrient because it provides calories. In fact, alcohol contains nearly double the number of calories of protein and carbs – providing roughly seven calories for each gram consumed.
This matters because calories still matter on keto. Especially if you are trying to lose weight on keto. And because alcohol can pack a lot of calories on a single beverage, it can be easy to overdo it and slow your weight loss, or worse cause unintentional weight gain. Plus, unlike other macronutrients that provide various health and nutritional benefits, alcohol provides little to no nutritional value.
Alcohol is also a toxin that is thought to mess with your normal metabolism . Some theories suggest that heavy drinking might interfere with digestion, absorption, and the body’s ability to use certain nutrients. This may include the prioritization of breaking down and removing alcohol metabolites before anything else – including carbohydrates, fat, and protein from food .
Lastly, getting drunk on alcohol can lead to poor decision-making, including when it comes to your diet. After a few too many, you may not care how many carbs are in your food or how many calories you should be eating.
Unsure of your keto macros? Learn your macros in just a few minutes, using this keto macro calculator:
How Many Beers Can You Drink And Stay In Ketosis
If you consider that one can of beer contains 13 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein. For every 7 g of protein, you are permitted one beer, but the remaining carbs for the day are severely restricted. She says if you consume too many carbohydrates from beer, then you wont be able to eat any green vegetables or berries.
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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.
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.
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Keto Drinking Tip #: Bank Your Carbohydrates
Let’s say that 5% of your daily caloric intake in carbs equates to 30g. If you stick to high-fat, extremely low carb foods during the day and limit your daytime intake to 5g, then come happy hour, that’s 25g of carbs you can theoretically consume without kicking yourself out of ketosis.
That could mean a low-carb dinner worth 10g of carbs, plus:
- 5 glasses of Budweiser Select 55
- 8 glasses of Champagne
- A lot of Dry Martinis
Keto Drinking Tip #: Stick With Hard Liquor
Hereâs a delicious keto cocktail recipe:
- 1.5oz Vodka
- 1 can of soda water
- Ice to taste
Generally speaking, top-shelf liquor tends to be purer and many people claim a lesser impact both in hangover strength and blood ketone levels. Those might be a bit expensive, but you can use it as an excuse to treat yourself to the good stuff )
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Dont Let A Night Out Derail Your Keto Progress
When people are making massive progress, and they slip up, they are far more likely to let a small cheat kick them off of their healthy track.
We donât want you to let a night out, or a cheat meal or a slip up derail your progress. Youâve made great strides to get to where you are now. Letting one night out derail you is like getting a flat tire and then slashing the other three tires.
The best thing about keto is that it can be a lifestyle. And to make a lifestyle sustainable, you have to be able to let loose sometimes. Even the strictest of keto-ers indulge in some carbs sometimes.
When youâre fat adapted, you can do so with minimal impact to your ketone levels. And until then, you just need to take a few precautions like the ones above.
Can You Drink On Keto And Still Lose Weight
While it’s certainly possible to lose weight on keto while ingesting alcohol, drinking will make any weight loss attempt much more difficult.
This is because alcohol is high in calories but provides no nutritional value. Your daily calories are used up, but you’re getting none of the stuff which will help you feel full and energized.
Take time to evaluate
If you’re serious about losing weight, take a hard look at your drinking habits. Apart from the calories, regular drinking will decrease your energy, making it more difficult to commit to a healthier lifestyle.
Even if you intend to reintroduce drinking alcohol to your diet, consider taking a sobriety break when embarking on a new eating plan like the keto diet, to see what effect it has on you.
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What Alcohol To Avoid On Keto
And here is a list of NOT keto friendly alcohol drinks:
- Most mixed drinks Anything with simple syrup, agave, margarita mix, sweet & sour mix, vermouth, etc. Most mixed drinks will fall into this category.
TIP: If you want to make a keto drink with simple syrup, use this keto simple syrup recipe instead, or get my premade Wholesome Yum Keto Simple Syrup below.
What Alcohol Can I Drink On Keto
- Pure Spirits. Hard alcohol like vodka, rum, tequila, whiskey, and gin all contain zero carbs and are the most keto friendly alcohol choise.
- Hard seltzer. White Claw started the hard seltzer craze with their 2g carb per can beverages, plus more options like Truly and Bon & Viv make it easy to find your favorite.
- Some wines. Not all wines are ideal keto alcohol drinks depending on the type, carbs range from 0-4 grams a glass. Look for dry varietieslike brut champagne for sparkling Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio for white and Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for redto stay on the lower end of the spectrum. Additionally, a higher alcohol content in the wine also indicates that it will have fewer carbs. Stick with wines that are greater than 12% alcohol.
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Drink Tequila It Is The Most Keto
Tequila is your new go-to. Actually, any straight-up hard liquor is free of carbs, so technically you can take your pick of any of them. Just make sure it is a once in a while indulgence, and not a 5pm daily ritual.
Also remember that no alcohol is free of calories and that those can really add up, especially when they are, empty calories. Overconsumption can lead to all kinds of other dietary issues.
The reason we suggest tequila as the top choice is because it metabolizes differently than other spirits. This is because, unlike any other alcohol it is distilled from the blue agave plant.
When you drink tequila, you are ingesting a spirit derived from agavins, which are the sugars found in the plant. They are fermented and then distilled. This specific form of sugar is not digestible and therefore acts as a dietary fiber in your system.
If you count carbs, you likely understand that you subtract dietary fiber from the total carbohydrates to determine the amount of net carbs. So, we are telling you that tequila has no carbs and that the agavins count as negative points on your total!
This means that your glucose levels will actually lower and your insulin levels will rise, contributing to overall lower blood sugar. Tequila can also act as an appetite suppressant. Hallelujah! Who is ready for a shot?
Can You Drink Beer And Liquor On Keto
The keto diet does not preclude you from enjoying low-carb alcoholic beverages. In addition to wine, light beer, and pure forms of alcohol like whiskey, rum, and gin, low-carb mixers like seltzer, diet soda, or sugar-free tonic water add few or no carbohydrates per serving.
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