Can I Drink Alcohol On A Keto (ketogenic) Diet Or Low Carb Diet?
Yes, you can drink alcohol but it can throw your body out of ketosis, this is because the body burns alcohol before it burns fat so if you drink alcohol quite a few times a week you can imagine the result. The best advice is to abstain completely but as we all know this is sometimes easier said then done.
You therefore need to drink in moderation – perhaps mirroring the 5/2 diet and drink alcohol for two days (Friday and Saturday?) out of every seven. When drinking in moderation you need to choose a low-carb drink such as dry wines, spirits or low-carb beers.
You will probably discover the beer and cocktails you normally drink are classed as high-carb although there are some low-carb beers than can be consumed when you are on the Keto (ketogenic) diet.
Remember the golden rule if you are on the keto diet: on the Keto diet 70 to 80% of our daily intake should be fats, 20 to 25% should be proteins and 5 to 10% should be carbohydrates.
Champagne And Wines
Champagne contains 1 carb
Red wine and white wine both contain 3 carbs (dry white wine). You can drink this freely.
Sweet wines such as Gewurztraminers and Rieslings both contain about 4 carbs.
Dessert wines or fortified wines such as Sherry and Port all contain around 5 carbs.
The lowest carb alcoholic spirits are:
Brandy, dry martini, tequila, rum, vodka and whiskey, all contain 0 carbs.
The highest carb spirits are:
Margarita 8 carbs
Cosmopolitan 13 carbs (contains 2 oz Tequila, 1 oz Lime juice, 1 oz Cointreau. Cointreau is an orange liqueur which contains 7 carbs, lime juice contains 2 carbs making 9 carbs total).
Gin and Tonic 16 carbs (there are no carbs in the gin but lots of carbs in the tonic so avoid this drink completely OR swap soda water for the tonic to reduce the carbs to zero)
White Russian 17 carbs (coffee liqueur, vodka and fresh cream. It’s the coffee liqueur that contains the high carbs, 16.7g for every 52g or 1.5 floz)
Vodka and Orange Juice 28 carbs (it’s the orange juice that is so high in carbs so try drinking/making a ‘Skinny Bitch’ instead)
Rum and Coke 39 carbs (it’s the coke that contains all the carbs, the rum has no carbs)
My favourite drink using vodka is a ‘Skinny Bitch’ – mix Vodka, soda water, ice and a slice of lime or lemon. Soda water contains no carbs so is a perfect mixer. Tonic water on the other hand contains 9 carbs so this should be avoided, always check the carb content of any mixers.
Be careful what you add to the above spirits, you cannot add juices or sugary extras like Coca Cola. Always find out how many carbs a mixer contains eg. Soda water contains no carbs but tonic water contains 9 carbs.
Lots of people who enjoy a tipple buy Clean Collective Mojito Mandarin & lime or Watermelon and Cucumber Lime Vodka RTD premixed drinks. These drinks have a 5% alcohol content and contain vodka, sparkling water and fruit flavours. They contain zero carbs, zero sugar and no preservatives. You can buy these in packs of four (x 4 300 ml).
Most beers contain a high amount of carbs, the most popular low carb beer for those on Keto is the first on the list below:
Pure Blonde 0.9 carbs per 12 oz or 355ml bottle
Miller Lite 3.2g carbs
Beck’s Premier Light 3.9g carbs
Corona Light 5.00g carbs
Beers with a higher carb count include:
Heineken 11 carbs
Stella Artois 13 carbs
Corona Extra 14 carbs
Guinness 14 carbs
Drinking Alcohol On Keto
Frequently people find that alcohol effects them far more quickly than it did before, presumably because there are no carbs to absorb the alcohol. Because of this these people give up drinking alcohol entirely.
Many people give up alcohol altogether when they start on the keto diet and overhaul their lifestyle entirely. There are obviously many benefits to this – losing weight more quickly, not suffering from hangovers the following day , getting a better night’s sleep, having more energy the following day, a clearer complexion, no longer suffering from gout and other health conditions, saving money, etc.
Alternative Non-Alcoholic Drinks
The healthiest option is to drink soda water or carbonated water, add ice and a slice of lime or lemon. Most pubs offer soda water from the tap at no cost. Another advantage of not consuming alcohol is that you tend to snack less as most people find alcohol gives them a case of the munchies. You save money on the alcohol and the bar snacks!
When you are at home you could add VitalZing water drops to the water of your choice. Choose from various flavours such as Coconut, Lemon Lime, Mandarin, Mango, Peach, Pineapple, Raspberry and Strawberry Kiwi. They come in 45ml bottles and make 90 drinks approximately. They contain zero carbs and zero sugars.
You will find it takes time for your taste buds to adjust to different drinks, VitalZing recommends adding ten drops to your glass of water but you may find you need to add more drops at first then you can modify the amount of drops as your tastebuds adapt. Most of us have a natural ‘sweet tooth’ but you will probably find you lose your sweet tooth as you adapt on the keto or low carb diet.
Lastly if it is cold and dark outside on a winter’s evening snuggle under the duvet with your favourite book and drink a soothing fruit tea, my favourite is peppermint. Most fruit teas contain zero carbs and zero sugars, there are many different flavours to choose from.
Abstain Or Moderate – Advice and Help Is Available
Many people struggle to find a replacement for alcohol, for me its a good book!
Lots of help/advice/support is available online such as the ‘Hello Sunday Morning’ site.
There are many books available from the more scientific ‘Easy Way To Control Alcohol’ written by Allen Carr to the more personal ‘Mrs D Is Going Without’ by Lotta Dann.
Have you given up alcohol completely? Do you have any tips you would like to share? Did you find alcohol effected you more severly when you switched to a keto or low carb diet? Do you have any advice for others?