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Drinking Alcohol on the Ketogenic Diet

Updated on June 27, 2017

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 Name
Calories (kcal)
Carbohydrates (g)
Rum
69
0
Vodka
69
0
Gin
65
0
Whiskey
69
0
Scotch
69
0
Tequila
69
0
Cognac
69
2
The number of calories and carbohydrates in one ounce of hard liquor.

Calories and Carbohydrates in Wine (5 oz.)

Type of Wine
Calories (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
The calories and carbohydrates in five ounces of wine. Note: Avoid dessert wines, ports, and sherries.

Calories and Carbohydrates in Beer (12 oz.)

Type of Beer
Calories (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
Calories and carbohydrates in 12 ounces of beer.

Keto Poll!

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    • AliceFSpencer profile image

      AliceFSpencer 5 years ago from Texas

      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

    • ketogenicdiet profile image
      Author

      ketogenicdiet 5 years ago from New York, NY

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

    • profile image

      Yoni 3 years ago

      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

    • profile image

      Chris 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Dan 14 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Angela 14 months ago

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

    • profile image

      laura miles 8 months ago

      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.

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