Alcoholic drinks and low-carb diets
Eating a ketogenic diet requires that you give up many common treats. But what about drinking? Can alcoholic beverages be incorporated with a successful keto diet?
The good news is that pure spirits: gin, vodka, whiskey, and the like, are themselves free of carbohydrates.
Common mixers are often sugary. Non-diet sodas and tonics are typically high in carbs and make the worst alcoholic drinks for keto.
The alternatives to hard liquor have inherent carbs.
Wine is low in carbs, around 4 grams of carbs per glass, so moderation is key. Keep track of your net carbs per day to know how much you can drink without going over your limit.
Beer is more difficult. Some beers have too many carbs in a single serving for any ketogenic diet. Others would make any incidental food carbs throughout the day difficult to accommodate on a strict keto diet.
Low-carb "light" beers are made, so if you really desire to keep beer in your life on keto, check these out to see if you like them!
Best drinks for the ketogenic diet
With thoughtful selection, however, you can get all the flavor of your favorite mixers with none of the carb intake.
Try these zero-carb mixers for low-carb alcoholic drinks!
- Diet soda
- Sugar-free tonic water
- Sugar-free flavor packets
Mix and match flavors and liquids, and you can find zero carbs alcoholic beverages that taste delicious!
Does alcohol kick you out of ketosis?
Drinking alcohol doesn't necessarily kick you out of ketosis, but it is an area requiring moderation and planning.
Careless drinking without regard for the ingredients used can give your body too many carbs, and indeed this will "kick" you out of ketosis. Adding something simple like fruit juice to liquor can introduce enough sugar to disrupt your diet!
If proper attention is paid to the nutritional content of your ingredients, however, one can absolutely enjoy a moderate amount of alcohol and still adhere to a keto diet.
What's the best alcohol to drink on keto?
There is no "best" alcohol, per se. All alcohol is difficult for the body to process and contains empty calories, those with no nutritional value.
But if you want to drink alcohol on a low-carb diet, there are certainly better options than others.
As stated, pure spirits (like vodka, whiskey, gin, etc.) have no carbohydrates. They can be enjoyed straight-up, over ice, or mixed with a zero-carb complement like diet tonic water.
Wine has carbs, but few enough that it can be drank in moderation. Make sure you know the carbohydrate content of your choice and explore the newer low-carb varieties.
For beer enthusiasts, light beer is a good alternative, provided that you like the taste.
Can you drink on keto and still lose weight?
While it's certainly possible to lose weight on keto while ingesting alcohol, drinking will make any weight loss attempt much more difficult.
This is because alcohol is high in calories but provides no nutritional value. Your daily calories are used up, but you're getting none of the stuff which will help you feel full and energized.
Take time to evaluate
If you're serious about losing weight, take a hard look at your drinking habits. Apart from the calories, regular drinking will decrease your energy, making it more difficult to commit to a healthier lifestyle.
Even if you intend to reintroduce drinking alcohol to your diet, consider taking a sobriety break when embarking on a new eating plan like the keto diet, to see what effect it has on you.
What is the healthiest alcoholic drink?
While no alcoholic drinks can be said to be healthy, some are worse than others.
Avoid sugary concoctions, spirits mixed with soda, juice, or sweet liqueurs. Wine and beer have carbohydrates, so the quantity must be closely monitored to remain in a ketogenic state.
It goes without saying that moderation is key. Any alcohol consumed in excess will have negative health effects.
To enjoy alcohol responsibly, know your limit and stick to a low-carb alcoholic beverage that will preserve your ketogenic state.