If you are an occasional or habitual drinker, letting go of the bottle once you choose to follow a ketogenic lifestyle might prove to be tough. Not that it is bad to indulge while on keto but seeing as it has some strict rules to be followed to get keto-adapted, one might do so once in a while.
However, alcohol will end up slowing your progress at weight loss. Seeing as the liver is tasked with the process of converting fats to ketones, alcohol consumption may affect it both positively and negatively. If you excessively drink alcohol, it can lead to a slow weight loss process or even completely halt it.
Can I drink alcohol on the keto diet?
If you are a ketogenic dieter, the rule of thumb is that anything that has high carbohydrate content is to be avoided. The big question here is to drink or not to drink? The answer is simple, yes you can. However, there are certain things that you must have in mind before you take any alcoholic drink, as there are side effects.
Taking alcohol will not stop ketosis but it will impact it. This is how. According to Atkins nutritionist Colette Heimowitz, as she spoke to Elite Daily when you take alcohol, your body works to get rid of it as soon as possible as it is seen as a toxin. You will manage to stay in ketosis yes because your liver will make ketones out of the alcohol. However, because the alcohol is being processed by the liver so as to eliminate it, it will get to be used before the other nutrients such as fats, hence slowing down the conversion of fats to ketones, and eventually your rate of ketosis.
Additionally, what this does is that it will reduce the rate of weight loss if one’s goal of participating in a keto diet is to shed off some pounds.
Watch out for the carbohydrate content in the alcoholic drinks and sample out the ones that are keto-friendly. One hack that I learned that will make this sampling easy for you is this: any liquor that contains forty-percent alcohol by volume or higher will have zero grams of carbohydrate, and the reverse is true.
So, the higher the alcoholic content, the less the carbohydrate content and vice versa. This, therefore, means that pure alcoholic products such as whiskey, gin, tequila, bourbon, scotch, rum, and vodka are a great pick as they have zero carbs. In addition, liquor mixers are known to have a significant amount of sugars and this is not ideal for a person on the keto diet. As a result, when mixing drinks, you can opt for sugar-free sodas or diet tonic instead of just tonic for an ever lower carb content. Ironically, tonic actually has about 32grams of sugars even though it has a bitter taste.
Get ready for terrible hangovers every time you have alcohol while on ket. See how one is supposed to eat a carb-laden meal so as not too great drunk quickly? Likewise, when drinking while on keto, you will get drunk faster and suffer a far much worse hangover. This is because when your body is in a state of ketosis, your carb stores are at zero and so is your alcohol tolerance hence the higher chances of alcohol reaching your system real quickly and experiencing debilitating hangovers.
Another catch is the irresistible urge to fill up on unhealthy foods. This is because when intoxicated, your social inhibitions are lowered, and therefore when it comes to food, anything goes, even that doughnut filled with tons of sugars. So if alcohol gives you the munchies, then it probably is not a good choice while on keto.
What keto drinks to order at a bar?
Being on the keto diet comes with its fair share of restrictions. But this does not necessarily mean that you cannot let loose and have some fun at your favorite bar where the Deejay plays your music just right. And to that, there are a lot of drinks that one can imbibe while following this diet plan.
Generally, when having any hard liquor, you should steer clear of anything that uses added sugars such as artificial sweeteners as these will increase your calorie content. Anything other than that goes. This, therefore, means you can enjoy hard liquors that are unflavored such as tequila, gin, brandy, whiskey, rum, and vodka. Also, dry wines both red and white, and light beers can do. What is not a good choice are any fruity mixed drinks and hard ciders.
Dry wine: When compared to sweeter wines, dry wines such as Chardonnay, Dry Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc have a lower carbohydrate content. Also, there are a variety of keto-friendly wines to choose from, ranging from dry red wine, dry white wine, dry sparkling wine, and dry rose wine.
Light seltzers: Not to sound fancy and all but these are simply flavored seltzer water that has been spiked and has zero added sugars.
Light beers: Beers usually have a high carb content yet are lower in alcohol volume. However, light beers are in the clear and to be safe and stay within your calorie limit, look up the carb content on the individual beers.
Vodka mixed with soda, and by soda, we are referring to carbonated water and not your usual soda. Moreover, when you mix soda with most of the hard alcohol, it should do, and even better when you add a squeeze of lemon into the mix. This can begin, with whiskey or even tequila. Pick your pleasure and add some soda. Even on their own, they can be consumed as they have really low amounts of carbs and which is even better. The trick lies in what you mix them with. Happy hour folks!
Dry martini: A classic gin cocktail is an ideal drink for a dieter on keto. What makes it so is the fact that it has no added sugars. Perfect right?
How much alcohol can you have on keto?
When it comes to just how much one can drink while on keto, moderation seems to be the key. One might be tempted by all the low carbohydrate and keto-approved drinks that are on the market. Always learn to keep yourself in check even with all those keto-friendly alcoholic drinks out there.
Furthermore, if your aim is to lose weight with keto, then have into consideration your weight loss goals when choosing when and how much to imbibe. If possible, try not to have your drinks on a regular basis.
Overall, whether the goal is to lose or maintain weight or just to maintain overall body health, you can drink occasionally and try to set the maximum number of drinks to one or two keto-approved drinks. Another thing to keep you in check is the fact that all types of alcohol, even ones with low-carb content have adverse health effects.
How to stay in ketosis while drinking?
Because we are constantly trying to find ways to make the super strict keto diet easy to adhere to, here’s a keto alcohol guide to help minimize the impact of your indulgence. Do not let a few drinks derail your keto progress.
Save your daily carb allowance for when you will be having your drinks later on. For example, your daily carbohydrate allowance is 30grams. So if you choose to limit your intake to 5grams of high-fat and low-carb meals during the day, then when you drink you can have 25grams of carbs left to consume without necessarily having to get out of ketosis.
Note, however, that we do not recommend this habit frequently as we promote eating quality foods filled with nutrients and minerals.
Simply stick to the hard stuff. Vodka, tequila, whiskey, and gin are hard liquor and contain a really low amount of carbs. Additionally, they mix perfectly with equally carb-free mixers such as carbonated water. To add to that, top-shelf alcohol although expensive, tends to be purer and leads to low levels of alcohol ketones in the bloodstream.
You can maintain ketosis using exogenous ketones. An example is Beta-hydroxybutyrate, also referred to as BHB, which helps in lowering one’s appetite and carbohydrate cravings, restores electrolytes, and overall supports ketosis. As a result, it is a great choice to take them at any time; before indulging, during, or after so that your body stays in the ketogenic state.
Fasting. This is another way to get back into ketosis. After a night out or even day drinking, you can fast soon after your hangover subsides. A full-day fast will do just the trick and get you right back on track and quickly.
How long to get back into ketosis after drinking
The duration it will take for your body to get back into ketosis after drinking will depend on an individual’s metabolism. This is because your body will work to eliminate the alcohol first before turning to carbohydrates and fats. Also, if you are a seasoned keto-dieter before you indulged, your body might take as short as a day to three days to get back into ketosis.
How to order a keto margarita at a bar
A keto margarita also goes by the name skinny margarita. This is not your regular margarita as it is the low-carb version of the latter. If you want to order one at a restaurant or any eatery joint, request it be made with freshly squeezed lime juice and not a mix.
What can you drink with vodka on keto?
Low carbohydrate cranberry and lime vodka cocktail is the go-to combination, especially on a low-carb diet. This cocktail is simple to prepare and it is made by pouring and stirring. For that extra tang, you can throw in some extra lime juice. Moreover, you can opt for seltzer water with your vodka and add lemon and lime, lots of them!
What soft drinks are keto-friendly?
At the beginning of the keto journey, all dieters will at one point experience carbohydrate cravings as their body is trying to switch to ketones in fats as its main source of fuel. Therefore, diet sodas are just the go-to drinks to quell those carb cravings, as most of them do not use added sugars. Also, the ones used are acceptable and have less to zero carb content.
When it comes to buying a diet drink, always check the nutritional values section to see its carb content. Ideally, it should have less than five grams of the total amount of sugars or contain twenty calories from carbohydrates. Generally, clear diet drinks have fewer questionable ingredients hence are a good choice for keto-dieters.
Zevia is one of the most sought-after soft drinks that have zero calories. It is sweetened with a blend of monk fruit extract, erythritol, and stevia extract.
Sparkling waters such as LaCroix, Bubbly, and Perrier are also great choices. Good thing? They are as sweet as they come because they have no added artificial sweeteners.
In addition, Coke Zero, Diet Pepsi, Sprite Zero, and Diet Coke are marked as keto-friendly soft drinks as they contain zero calories or carbs, hence will not kick you out of ketosis. The same is not true for their full-sugar originals which have up to forty grams of added sugars and are definitely not good for a keto dieter. However, excessive consumption of these diet sodas has been known to cause adverse health effects.
Saving the best for last, you can just stick to the best ketogenic-friendly drink and which is easily available and cheap too. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you WATER! Its carb content too is obvious. It’s a zero and one also would not have to deal with the tastes of artificial sweeteners. If you want that all-natural taste, be sure to toss in some lemon, berries, or lime. Lastly, drinking water also helps your body function smoothly and rehydrate too as it moves into a metabolic state of ketosis.