Can You Have Alcohol On The Keto Diet?
Can You Have Alcohol On The Keto Diet?
Having a social life on a ketogenic diet is something that many find hard to do. There are carbs pretty much everywhere you look, and that’s especially the case when you’re in a bar.
As booze tends to contain both alcohol and sugar, the question of where it can fit on a ketogenic diet is a big one. After all, “going keto” means cutting carbs way down. However, if you avoid the kinds of alcohol that have higher carbs and consume other types in low to moderate quantities, you don’t need to totally cut it out.
When on a keto diet, most people need significantly less alcohol to get intoxicated. So be careful the first time you drink alcohol on keto. You may only need half as many drinks as usual to enjoy yourself.
The reasons for this common experience are not fully known. Possibly the liver is busy producing ketones or glucose and thus has less capacity to burn alcohol. However, Keto may save you money at the bar!
Lower Carb Alcohol Options
Beer. Bud Select, Miller 64, Michelob Ultra. Most beers are very high in carbs so they should be avoided. Typically lighter beers will have nutrition information online, so make sure to check beforehand.
Wine. Unsweetened/unflavored champagne, dry red wine, and dry white wine. These are going to be the lowest carb wine that you can consume. These typically range in the 4-5g net carbs per glass (5 oz.) range, but you have to be careful.
Liquor. Vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey. All unsweetened and unflavored liquor will have 0g net carbs. Liqueurs and most mixers do have carbs, so avoid them.
Keto Safe Alcohol Mixers
Sparkling water. This is one of the best choices, allowing you to flavor how you’d like.
Diet carbonized water. Normally these come in lots of different flavors and varieties, so double check the nutrition labels.
Diet soda. Many different brands and sweeteners are used in diet sodas, so double check the nutrition labels.
Sugar-free energy drinks. Many brands like Monster, Red Bull, and Bai5 sweeten with erythritol and can be consumed with alcohol.
Water Enhancers. Many brands like Mio, Stur, and Crystal Light offer water enhancers that you can mix in with sparkling water (or normal water) to mix with your alcohol.
Bitters. These are normally a mixture of herbs that are infused into an alcohol base to make a concentrated flavor. Some will contain sugar so it’s recommended that you make these at home.
Drinks To Avoid On The Keto Diet
Any alcohol served with a soda, syrup, or fruit mixer. Sodas cram up to 50 grams of carbs in every 12 ounces. Cocktails made with syrups or artificial fruit can pack 20 grams per serving.
Regular beer. Some IPAs contain over 20 grams of carbs and more than 250 calories, and fruity beers can have more than 30 grams carbs and 300-plus calories.
Liqueur Southern Comfort™ isn’t too bad with just 4.8 grams of carbs and 98 calories per serving. But Jägermeister™ (17g carbs and 154 calories), Kahlua™ (22g carbs, 137 calories), and Amaretto (26g carbs, 165 calories) belong in the Hall of Shame.
Margaritas. The amount of tequila’s not the issue. The 100–175 calories and 30 grams of keto diet-busting carbs in the mix are.
Wine coolers. These pack a hefty 15–30 grams carbs and have between 200 and 250 calories.
After-dinner wines. Moscato™, Port, and Sherry contain up to 18 grams carbs and 75–100 calories per 3 ounces.
Can you drink alcohol on a keto diet? Yes. Just be sure to be smart about your choices when you’re drinking.
Be careful how alcohol triggers your own cravings for overconsumption. Watch out for lower tolerance and other harmful effects of mixing alcohol with keto, and potentially note the positive impact on cravings on keto. Finally, of course, never drink and drive.
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