Can I Drink if I’m Eating Keto?
Can I Drink if I’m Eating Keto?
Drinking on Keto
A question I get ALL the time is “can I still drink if I’m eating keto?” With New Year’s Eve – arguably the biggest drinking holiday of the year – right around the corner, I think it’s a great time to answer this boozey inquiry.
Low Carb Drinks
There are many low-carb and zero-carb options for alcohol so you can budget drinks into your day to fit your macronutrient goals. While I totally support letting your hair down once in a while (responsibly, of course), if your goal is weight loss, perhaps you should consider cutting yourself off after one drink, or switching to sparkly water in a fancy glass. Fat metabolism is reduced by as much as 73% after only TWO alcoholic beverages, even if it's a zero-carb drink like straight vodka on the rocks. There are a few reasons for this:
- Alcohol can increase cortisol levels and decrease testosterone, which can break down muscle and slow the metabolism.
- Dehydration – a side effect of drinking alcohol – prevents the liver from releasing stored fat
- Booze increases estrogen by as much as 300%, and the higher your estrogen levels, the slower you’ll break down alcohol and get back to burning fat.
- To put it bluntly, alcohol fucks up your liver to the point that it can permanently change the liver’s cell structure, blocking its ability to metabolize fat, and causing issues such as fatty liver disease and ketoacidosis.
Can Alcohol Cause Ketosis?
Ironically, despite alcohol blocking the body’s ability to use stored fat for fuel, alcohol can actually increase ketone production. This is because the liver converts alcohol into acetate – a type of ketone body. I’ve spoken to a few clients who believe that alcohol can actually induce ketosis, but that’s simply not true. When acetate levels are high, the body burns acetate instead of body fat for fuel. Think of alcohol as the fourth macronutrient; it becomes a fuel source, but if you’re running on alcohol (in the form of acetate), then you aren’t running on fat. Any food you consume while the body is running on acetate will be unused and converted into extra fat on your body. And don’t play – you know you get the munchies when you’re drunk!
Two Drinks, Max
Can you still enjoy a drink from time to time without hindering your progress? Probably, but be sure to stick to the low-carb/zero-carb options, and definitely drink responsibly. Have two full glasses of water (with lemon to keep your pH levels in check) for each alcoholic beverage, and try to stop after one drink, two drinks max.
Don't Say I Didn't Warn You!
Heed my warning: as someone who struggles to have “just one drink” and has gone way overboard in the not-so-distant-past, I can assure you that after being in the wonderful world of ketosis for quite some time, the hangover you will experience after a night of binge-drinking will have you promising God to never drink again if He will just cure you of this awful, awful sickness! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Kate Jaramillo is a ketogenic living expert, wellness mentor, and founder of the popular keto lifestyle website, Ketogenic Living 101, now offering Ketogenic Living Coach Certification, approved by the NASM and AFAA. Kate has been leading the way in the ketogenic community for years. What began as an experiment with a small group of women has turned into a thriving business, helping busy moms make ketogenic living simple, doable and delicious. Kate knows the demands most moms face today, juggling home, family and work. She also knows the power of a ketogenic lifestyle to help women burn fat, prevent disease and clear brain fog. Her online programs and in person trainings help make this lifestyle more accessible to busy women trying to juggle it all. Click here to learn more about how you can adopt a keto lifestyle and business.