How Do Alcoholic Drinks Get Their Alcohol
Alcohol is made from sugar! This process called fermentation turns the sugar present in fruit, grains, or vegetables into alcohol.
For example, wine is made from grapes. The sugar in grapes turns into alcohol. Yeast performs this fermentation using an anaerobic process, meaning in the absence of oxygen. Fermentation is what yeasts use to create their energy.
The most important factor for the keto-friendliness of any drink is the quantity of residual sugar. Residual sugar is what is left after the fermentation process.
Low Carb Diets Are High In Protein
In most studies where low carb and low fat diets are compared, the low carb groups end up eating much more protein.
This is because people replace many low-protein foods with higher protein foods like meat, fish and eggs.
Numerous studies show that protein can reduce appetite, boost metabolism, and help increase muscle mass, which is metabolically active and burns calories around the clock .
Many nutrition experts believe that the high protein content of low-carb diets is the main reason for their effectiveness.
Low carb diets tend to be much higher in protein than low fat diets. Protein can reduce appetite, boost metabolism and help people hold on to muscle mass despite restricting calories.
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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Drinking Alcohol On Keto Can Make You More Intoxicated
As we looked at earlier, when you consume alcohol your liver prioritizes ethanol metabolism over ketosis and gluconeogenesis (the process of turning protein into carbohydrates. The brain will receive less glucose and more acetone, leading to stronger and faster intoxication.
While eating lots of carbs can slow down alcohol absorption, on keto you dont have that option. So it might be good to plan on drinking less and paying closer attention to how you feel after your first drink.
What Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption
These limits differ based on your age, activity level, and other factors.
According to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism , it is up to four alcoholic drinks for men and three for women in any single day and a maximum of 14 drinks for men and seven drinks for women per week.
However, this does depend on your size and body. Four drinks might not affect some people. While with others, it could make them drunk.
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What Alcohol To Drink On A Keto Diet
Theres no real best type of alcohol to drink on a ketogenic diet, but if youre going to drink something, then the best bet would be to consume spirits and liquors which are low in carbs or carb free.
Some of the worst intoxicating beverages to drink are beers, ciders, alcopops, and sweet wines. Its essential to count the total carbs if you are consuming these.
As a rule, most hard liquors that are clear in color are pretty much keto friendly and have zero carbs if drank on their own or on the rocks.
Avoid flavored beverages with added syrups and sugars and always stick to the original whenever possible.
If it tastes sweet then no doubt itll be sugary and keto unfriendly.
Weve included some of the best alcohol options for a keto diet below.
Can You Drink Whiskey On The Keto Diet
Drinks you can enjoy while following a keto diet there are many options that are low-carb. As an example, pure forms of alcohol such as whiskey, gin, tequila, rum, and vodka contain no carbohydrates. To increase the flavor of these beverages, you can combine them with low-carb mixers.
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Tips For Staying In Ketosis While You Drink Alcohol
Does alcohol kick you out of ketosis?
While you can make keto alcohol drinks as stated below.
Though it will not kick you out of ketosis, still should have them in a small quantity.
Does alcohol slow weight loss on keto?
Drinking alcohol have effects on the liver which is responsible to make ketones.
So if it adversely affects the liver then the weight loss process may slow down.
In addition, even if the alcohols are low in carbs, they provide energy for the body and hence slow down the ketosis.
But having keto alcohol once in 3-4 months is okay for a party or so.
What is the best alcohol to drink on keto?
The whisky, tequila or vodka, all are completely free of carbs until you mix them with some sweet drinks.
For flavor, mix it with some fresh fruits or with low-carb mixers.
Is vodka high in carbs?
Vodka is absolutely carb-free.
Can You Have Alcohol On Keto
While its obvious that sweet mixed drinks and beer are full of sugar and carbs that can immediately bring you out of ketosis, straight liquor and dry wine can also cause issues for some people.
When talking about drinking on the keto diet, you have to consider the processes that go into your body metabolizing alcohol, and how that can interfere with your body being in ketosis.
Your health and body are unique to you, so its important to understand that even if you drink a low-carb alcoholic drink, your reaction may not be the same as the person across from you. Listen to your body, and act accordingly.
Take a drink like a vodka soda: It has very few calories and even fewer grams of sugar. However, even though it uses a liquor with no carbs, its not the calories in this simple drink that can cause a problem its how the body processes the liquor in the first place.
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Are There Any Tricks That Would Allow Me To Drink More
As alcohol is a diuretic, youve probably heard the recommendation to pound water before, during, and after drinking to offset the potential dehydration. Like alcohol consumption itself, drinking water is fine if done in moderation. Drinking too much fluid, however, will start flushing electrolytes out of your system, and that can make a hangover even worse. Stick to an eight to 12-ounce glass of water per serving of alcohol and include a pinch of sea salt. The salt contains trace minerals that aid in fluid retention.
Eating food will slow down the absorption of the alcohol, so try to combine your drinking with a main meal. Blood alcohol content can rocket up to three times higher if you dont have any food in your system. Whereas if you eat just before or while drinking, peak alcohol concentration can be reduced by between 9 and 23%. Be sure youre eating the right foods too. While a night of drinking can be part of a cheat meal that finds you eating carb foods as well, its smarter to stick to keto-friendly fare like meat and vegetables. DAgostino says fat, protein, and fiber slow the absorption of alcohol and reduce the load it puts on your digestive system. A big meal may also help you feel more satiated, causing you to drink less.
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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.
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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.
Low Carb Diets Have A Metabolic Advantage
Although this is controversial, many experts do believe that low carb diets have a metabolic advantage.
In other words, that low carb diets increase your energy expenditure, and that people lose more weight than can be explained by reduced calorie intake alone.
There are actually some studies to support this.
A study conducted in 2012 found that a very low carb diet increased energy expenditure compared to a low fat diet, during a period of weight maintenance .
The increase was around 250 calories, which is equivalent to an hour of moderate-intensity exercise per day!
However, another study has suggested that it may be the high protein part of the diet that causes the increase in calories burned .
That being said, there are other mechanisms that may cause an additional metabolic advantage.
On a very low carb, ketogenic diet, when carb intake is kept extremely low, a lot of protein is being transformed into glucose in the beginning, a process called gluconeogenesis .
This is an inefficient process, and can lead to hundreds of calories being wasted. However, this is mostly temporary as ketones should start replacing some of that glucose as brain fuel within a few days .
Low-carb diets appear to have a metabolic advantage, but most of it is caused by the increased protein intake. In the beginning of a very low carb, ketogenic diet, some calories are wasted when glucose is produced.
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Can Drinking Alcohol Kick You Out Of Ketosis
While a single glass of something hard won’t throw you out of ketosis, drinking alcohol when on a keto diet will decrease your rate of ketosis. Alcohol can be converted into ketones by the liver. So, in theory, if you drink, you’ll keep producing ketones and remain in ketosis.
On the other hand, your body recognizes alcohol as a poison. It will seek to eliminate it as quickly as possible. Alcohol is swiftly processed by the liver, which means the system utilizes it before all other healthful elements, including fat, slowing the conversion of fatty acids to ketones.
Lets Talk Keto Hangover
Now that we have covered what alcohol is and isnt keto-friendly, we have to discuss hangover.
Your hangover is going to be worse if you are a keto dieter.
The very reason why it happens is that carbs are acting as a buffer for alcohol in your bloodstream. Slowing down the rate at which it hits your system.
On a keto diet, your glucose reserves are low, and therefore alcohol hits you much faster and much harder than if you were not on a keto diet. Your alcohol tolerance is much lower on a keto diet.
In conclusion, more than ever, it is important to drink responsibly when you are on a ketogenic diet!
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How Does Alcohol Impact Keto
From an overall health standpoint, we know that consuming alcohol is less than ideal in most cases. But what about the impact on Keto specifically?
Alcohol wont necessarily always kick you out of Ketosis, but will more than likely slow it down, impacting any weight loss efforts in a negative way.
Heres how it works:
Alcohol metabolism is prioritized in the liver over ketone production, largely because of the potential negative impact alcohol can have on the body.
Its first broken down to acetaldehyde – a highly toxic substance thats a known carcinogen – before then being converted to acetate, a less active byproduct. This is divided into water and carbon dioxide, before being eliminated from the body .
The main takeaway is that the body is smart.
Because alcohol is potentially so toxic, processing and eliminating it takes precedence over keeping you in Ketosis. Hence, when under the influence, ketone production and the fat burning process are both temporarily delayed until the alcohol is cleared from your system .
As noted by Keto Nutritionist Maria Emmerich :
To make matters worse, the more you drink the more you tend to eat and unfortunately, drinking will make your liver work to convert the alcohol into acetate, which means that the foods you consume at this time will be converted into extra fat on your body.
An interesting side note:
So with the downsides of alcohol on Keto covered, which alcoholic drinks have the green light for Keto when consumed in moderation?
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.
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My Take On Keto Alcohol Drinks
Bring on the party with these keto drinks.
Absolutely colorful and sparkling.
Whether its a keto party at home or a cool summer drink at the pool, these drinks will always add glamour and refreshment to your day.
It can be hard to find a drink that is low in carbs and high in alcohol content. However, these keto alcohol drinks are out there for those who want a stiff drink without all of the sugar!
The keto alcohol market is growing, and its likely because people are looking for a way to maintain their diet while drinking.
If youre on the ketogenic diet, but still want to enjoy an alcoholic drink at your next party or social event, there are plenty of options out there that wont put too much strain on your new lifestyle.
Its Okay To Drink Alcohol On Keto
If there is anything that you should take from this post is that it is okay to drink alcohol while on the Ketogenic Diet.
Its more about understanding what you are drinking which is no different than understanding what you are eating.
Drinking on a keto diet is something that can be very simple.
Dont worry about the diet so much that you forget to have a little fun and have a few drinks every once in a while. Allow yourself to relax and follow the rules above so you can enjoy a night out without having to compromise the hard work youve done with the diet.
Most importantly, if you know you are going to go out and have some drinks, try to plan ahead on what you are going to order.
If you arent sure and you dont mind the taste of lemon or lime then do a vodka soda with a ton of lemon in it. That always seems to do the job for me.
If you find that a night of drinking has knocked you out of ketosis then here are 6 tips to get you back into ketosis.
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Why Do Low Carb Diets Work The Mechanism Explained
Low-carb diets work.
That is pretty much a scientific fact at this point.
At least 23 high quality studies in humans have shown this to be true.
In many cases, a low-carb diet causes 2-3 times more weight loss as the standard low-fat diet that were still being told to follow (
Low-carb diets also appear to have an outstanding safety profile. No serious side effects have been reported.
In fact, the studies show that these diets cause majorimprovements in many important risk factors .
Triglycerides go way down and HDL goes way up. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels also tend to decrease significantly .
A high percentage of the fat lost on a low carb diet comes from the belly area and the liver. This is the dangerous visceral fat that builds up in and around the organs, driving inflammation and disease .
These diets are particularly effective for people with metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes. The evidence is overwhelming.
However, there is a lot of controversy about why these diets work.
People like to debate the mechanism, the stuff that is actually going on in our organs and cells that makes the weight go off.
Unfortunately, this is not fully known, and chances are that it is multifactorial as in, there are many different reasons why these diets are so effective .
In this article, I take look at some of the most convincing explanations for the effectiveness of low carb diets.