Can You Actually Drink Alcohol On The Keto Diet: Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or just eat a little healthier, the keto diet has probably been introduced to your diet-related search history. Once a niche trend, keto has become one of America’s most popular diets (whether it’s actually safe or not). But a rumor about one particularly restrictive aspect of the keto diet might have turned you off “you can’t drink alcohol on the keto diet”.
This is a partially true rumor. Yes, on the keto diet you can drink alcohol. But no, most of the types you can’t drink. And in one night you probably ought to be extra careful not to drink too much.
Ketosis is a critical aspect of eating keto, the state your body resorts to when it needs to use fats for fuel instead of other groups of nutrients (i.e. carbs). When your body releases ketones in ketosis — the substances that are responsible for the horrid side effect known as “keto breath.” The idea (whether it’s true or not) is that when the body has to burn fat for fuel, body fat will burn faster, too.
Types Of Alcohol Contain Carbs On The Keto Diet?
But dieters must limit their carbohydrate intake to just 5 percent of their overall caloric intake in order to maintain this state of ketosis. How many grams of carbs this entails depends on the individual, but most recommendations are about 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Some people must eat less than 10 grams a day.
Many alcohol types contain carbs— and many of them. As a result, many booze types are off-limited on keto.
For instance, beer contains about 13 grams of carbs per can. And that’s just your average beer— some beers contain even more, especially those that are dark or sour. As for wine, the number of carb depends partly on the wine’s sweetness. Your average giant contains 5.5 grams per glass of carbs.
Other alcohol types are less carb-heavy. For example, some types of champagne contain as little as 1 gram per glass of carbs. A tequila shot has zero. However, drinking these kinds of alcohol adds calories to your diet. And many people typically try the keto diet to avoid excess calorie.
Can You Drink Alcohol On The Keto Diet?
Besides calorie consideration, to maintain ketosis, any carb you consume from alcohol must be restricted from the rest of your diet. You could, of course, technically fit a beer within your carb limit, depending on how much you eat personally. But that means that in the form of nutritious (and often necessary) food, you can not eat those carbs. Your poison would have to be picked: hungry and drunk or sober and fed. Most people who try the keto diet opt for the latter, as you can imagine.
According to many anecdotal accounts, drinking on the keto diet can also make you feel drunker faster. There’s a reason people advise you to eat a heavy meal before you engage in any heavy drink. There are more substances in your system that can soak up the booze when your glycogen stores are full (i.e. you’ve eaten lots of carbs). Studies show that pre-drinking high-carb meals are effective in reducing blood alcohol content. You have very little glycogen available when your body is in ketosis. That means that your liver gets access to everything that booze faster resulting in a faster, more intense level of drunkenness due to higher blood alcohol content. Your drinking may become more dangerous faster.
If you choose to drink during the keto diet, be careful about your intake. Keep in mind that if you’re taking one too many carb-free tequila shots, you’ll be in for an especially nasty hangover. And if you’re drinking waaaay too many carb-free tequila shots, be aware of these signs of alcohol intoxication to look out and stay safe.