A lot of people ask: Can you drink alcohol on the keto diet? Or do you have to abstain completely?
The simple answer, yes, you can drink certain types of alcohol in moderation with the keto diet and still reach your goals.
Below we will break down each type of alcohol and make recommendations for each category then we will list a few helpful points with regards to alcohol and keto.
Carb count: 13 grams net carbs per glass
Avoid: most beers, as most are high in carbs
Okay: lighter, American beers are the best option as they are lower in carbs
(i.e. Bud Select, Miller 64, Michelob Ultra, etc.)
Carb count: 1-2 grams net carbs per glass
Avoid: sweetened or flavored champagne, dessert wines, or sweeter wines (i.e., Moscato)
Okay: unsweetened/ unflavored champagne and dry red or white wine
Carb count: 0 g net carbs per shot
Avoid: liqueurs, sweetened or impure spirits
Okay: pure spirits like whiskey, brandy, cognac, vodka, and tequila
Avoid: sodas, simple syrups, juice, and most bitters (as they come with added sweetener)
Okay: sparkling water, citrus (lime, lemon, orange), and olives
5 Helpful Tips for alcohol and the ketogenic diet:
- Most people find that they have a reduced tolerance for alcohol on keto. That means they tend to get “drunk” a lot faster. Thus, be careful to only drink 1 to 2 glasses and don’t drive.
- Hangovers can be worse on keto. Since the keto diet causes one to urinate a bit more, especially in the beginning, alcohol consumption can add to a dehydrated hangover effect. Be sure to drink one glass of water per 1 shot (or glass) of alcohol consumed.
- Alcohol may slow weight loss. The liver will metabolize alcohol before other forms of energy (even ketones). Thus, alcohol consumption may hinder a weight loss process. Be careful to drink only in moderation and take into consideration cutting all alcohol consumption out if you are not able to obtain your weight loss goals with moderate consumption.
- Be careful when ordering mixed drinks from bars or restaurants. Although pure spirits may have 0 carbs, the added sodas and sweeteners to mixed drinks and cocktails are loaded with carbs. Stick to soda water, lime, and ice with any pure spirit.
- One may turn carb cravings into alcohol cravings. Alcohol, like carbs, can be a quick sugar source to the brain. Be careful not to replace one addiction with another. Drink only in moderation.
In summary, you do not have to cut out all alcohol consumption on keto. Stick to very light beers, dry wines, and champagnes, or pure spirits. Drink in moderation, only 1 to 2 glasses in a sitting. Avoid sugary mixers and add-ins.
Take care to hydrate and be mindful of tolerance and hindrance to weight loss. With all that said, we hope that you found this helpful.
– Dr Jerry Hizon