I get it. You want to adopt a healthy lifestyle but you don’t know if drinking alcohol on the ketogenic diet is a smart idea.
Obviously alcohol is bad for you. We all know this. And it’s obviously one of the most abused yet socially acceptable substances out there.
No one wants to be the guy/gal who doesn’t go out on a friday night just because you’re on a diet.
With that being said, it’s important to take necessary precautions especially on a low carb high fat ketogenic diet.
It’s completely possible to stay in ketosis and still enjoy a couple drinks here and there.
Yes but you have to be careful.
If you want to successfully stay in ketosis, you have to choose your drinks wisely. Drinking low carb or zero carb drinks will ensure that after your body utilizes the alcohol as a source of fuel, that you are back into ketosis immediately after.
When we consume alcohol, our body starts working to metabolize it in order to use it as energy. When we start to feel “drunk” this is due to our body’s metabolizing the alcohol.
Drinking alcohol disrupts our fat burning processes because it prioritizes the processing of alcohol before anything else since it is toxic to our body’s. This is why some people experience the stalling of weight-loss when they drink alcohol.
Since you are restricting any form of glycogen (through carbs) on the ketogenic diet, your liver glycogen storages are already depleted which means you are running off of fats instead of glucose, thus, burning fat more effectively.
Someone on a high carb diet has plenty of glycogen stored in their body. This gives your body a buffer before metabolizing alcohol.
So what does this all mean exactly?
It means your alcohol tolerance is going to be almost non-existent when you adopt a ketogenic diet.
You have to drink slowly when going low carb because with the restriction of carbs, you begin to metabolize alcohol almost immediately. A lot of people who go keto report feeling drunk almost instantly when drinking alcohol on the ketogenic diet.
In short, you’ll get drunk.. FAST. So be careful.
With all of the warnings I have mentioned previously, that shouldn’t stop us from having a fun night out just because we’re on a ketogenic diet.
Here are some keto-approved low carb drinks that you should consume sparingly:
Always go for the unsweetened liquors, anything sweet should NOT be touching your precious keto lips.
These are mostly zero carbs if you go for unsweetened. I personally like to mix these with either a club soda or a zero calorie monster or redbull.
I understand drinking energy drinks with liquor is VERY BAD for you but it’s fun once in a while and it’s not like I go out to drink every weekend. (Nor should you).
My personal favorite is a sugar free redbull and vodka.
Remember to stay away from anything sweetened such as Jagermeister or Grand Marnier.
If you love beer, maybe the ketogenic diet isn’t the best of ideas. It just might not suit your lifestyle. Most of the beer that actually taste good is high in carbohydrates.
That’s not to say you can’t drink any beer on the keto diet. Some of the beers on the lighter side are okay to drink in moderation.
Here’a a list I found on reddit that displays the acceptable beers to drink on keto:
Per 12 oz. serving… careful with the pints!
- Bud Select 55: 55 calories, 1.9 carbs
- MGD 64: 64 calories, 2.4 carbs
- Rolling Rock Green Light: 92 calories, 2.4 carbs
- Michelob Ultra: 95 calories, 2.6 carbs
- Bud Select: 99 calories, 3.1 carbs
- Miller Lite: 96 calories, 3.2 carbs
- Natural Light (for the keto frat guys): 95 calories, 3.2 carbs
- Michelob Ultra Amber: 114 calories, 3.7 carbs
- Coors Light: 102 calories, 5 carbs
- Amstel Light: 95 calories, 5 carbs
- Bud Light: 110 calories, 6.6 carbs
Miller Lite, Bud Select, and Mich Ultra are probably the winners in terms of carbs:taste ratio.
While not as carb heavy as beer, you still need to be very cautious of drinking wine that contain too much sugar.
From the same list on reddit, stick to these types of wine when going keto:
Reds (5 oz. serving):
- Merlot: 120 calories, 3.7 carbs
- Pinot Noir: 121 calories, 3.4 carbs
- Cabernet: 120 calories, 3.8 carbs
Whites (5 oz. serving):
- Chardonnay: 118 calories, 3.7 carbs
- Pinot Gris/Grigio: 122 calories, 3.2 carbs
- Riesling: 118 calories, 5.5 carbs
- Champagne/Sparkling whites: 96 calories, 1.5 carbs
- Dessert wines, ports, and sherries are sweetened and should be avoided.
As you can see, the main goal is to stick to the alcohol that contains the smallest amounts of carbs. In general, I try to stick to the clear hard liquor and I usually don’t drink more than twice a month. I could be different from you though, if you really like to have a beer or a glass of wine at the end of the day, then just stick to the low carb stuff.
Drinking on the keto diet is clearly 100% possible, it’s just going to take some additional planning in order to stay low carb.
Surprisingly, alcohol is actually known to make your ketone levels high if you are drinking hard liquor. This is because consuming alcohol effects the metabolism of your liver meaning, ketones are being produced as you drink.
Again, I can’t emphasize how important it is to be very careful when drinking alcohol on the ketogenic diet. Since your alcohol tolerance is significantly lower, you won’t realize how drunk you are and out of nowhere you’ll just be stumbling around slurring your words and telling everyone how awesome the ketogenic diet is.
My simple advice? Just stick to liquor and don’t drink too often.
When I do go out to drink i’ll only have a couple drinks here and there and just enjoy myself. Be sure to sign up for my email list below for more tips and stories.