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Drinking Alcohol on the Ketogenic Diet

drinking-alcohol-on-the-ketogenic-diet

On a ketogenic diet, you train your body to begin using fats for energy rather than carbohydrates. This is also known as a state of ketosis which is indicated by the production of a by-product called ketones. What happens to ketone levels when you introduce alcohol into the mix?

Interestingly enough, our bodies treat alcohol like any carbohydrate, in that it is sent to the front of the line to be used as energy. While your body burns calories from the alcohol you consumed, ketosis will be "paused." You won't get kicked out and have to reinitiate it, but ketone production will momentarily cease while your body burns the alcohol.

Effects of Drinking and Caution

One of the best features of ketogenic dieting is that you can easily drink alcohol in moderation without setting your diet goals back. There are a few things you should remember when drinking alcohol while in ketosis:

  • Ketogenic dieters experience notoriously bad hangovers. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water in between drinks.
  • While drinking liquor won't ruin your diet, all things in moderation. Excess carbohydrates and calories will still slow down your weight loss, so make sure you keep drinking to a minimum when possible.
  • Don't forget to consider mixers when calculating your carb counts. Use diet sodas and artificially sweetened juices instead of their full-carbohydrate counterparts.
  • Don't let alcohol affect your willpower! The intoxicating effects may tempt you to stray from your diet, but don't eat those french fries! Try to have some low carb snacks lined up that you can resort to when you get hungry.

Below are a few of the most popular types of alcohol, along with their calorie and carbohydrate counts. Have fun and be safe!

Calories and Carbohydrates in Liquor (1 oz.)

Alcohol NameCalories (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)

Rum

69

0

Vodka

69

0

Gin

65

0

Whiskey

69

0

Scotch

69

0

Tequila

69

0

Cognac

69

2

Calories and Carbohydrates in Wine (5 oz.)

Type of WineCalories (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)

Merlot

120

3.7

Pinot Noir

121

3.4

Cabernet

120

3.8

Chardonnay

118

3.7

Pinot Grigio

122

3.2

Riesling

118

5.5

Champagne

96

1.5

Sparkling White

96

1.5

Calories and Carbohydrates in Beer (12 oz.)

Type of BeerCalories (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)

Bud Select

55

1.9

MGD 64

64

2.4

Rolling Rock Green Light

92

2.4

Michelob Ultra

95

2.6

Bud Select

99

3.1

Miller Lite

96

3.2

Natural Light

95

3.2

Michelob Ultra Amber

114

3.7

Coors Light

102

5

Amstel Light

95

5

Bud Light

110

6.6

Keto Poll!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

SL on May 23, 2018:

Bud Select is listed twice with different numbers. Was the first one supposed to be Bud Light?

helen neudorf on April 07, 2018:

i .drink nutrl vodka drinks .flavors r lemon.lime.grapefriut.its 5% alcohol and 98 calories,and 0 carbs. great girly drink.tastes like a sparling water drink. i love beer so im gonna c if i can get that 0 carb beer!!!

JD on October 04, 2017:

I've been drinking Big Head beer (Australia) 0.0 carbs, it's like a dream come true...

laura miles on November 16, 2016:

I have noticed while doing the low carb high fat diet that my tolerance for alcoholic drinks has increased. Because the pino I drink or the gin soda lemon i drink is very low in carbs, while i still get drunk i am not wasted. I have always drank a pint of water/pink himalyen salt solé in between . I dont get hangovers anymore or crave salty high sugar foods anymore. Because my blood sugar is so stable, alcohol doesnt move it up so much....it's weired.

Angela on May 20, 2016:

The wine carbs are wrong above. Champagne and sparkling wine are higher while your reds are lower. Re-check the numbers.

Dan on May 15, 2016:

We have a beer in Australia that is 4.2% vol and 0.0 carbohydrates. It's called 'big head'

I drink this and stay in ketosis no problems at all.

Chris on February 25, 2015:

Sugar will take you out of Ketosis very quickly; this is why desert wines are a no no.

Yoni on November 23, 2013:

Hi,

Could you please explain the note under the wine listing - why to avoid dessert wines, ports, and sherries? Is it the high carb content or is there another reason?

Thanks,

Yoni

ketogenicdiet (author) from New York, NY on February 24, 2012:

I get where you're coming from, Alice. A glass of wine here and there can definitely keep you sane when dieting!

AliceFSpencer from Texas on February 23, 2012:

Nice hub it's so funny every meal plan I start my only request is that I can fit a glass of wine in the mix :) enjoyed

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