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Keto Alcohol: Drinking Alcohol With Keto Diet

Written by Decyry Jhoy Serrano, RPh

Alcohol is one of the beverages many individuals indulge in.

This substance is highly addictive and it comes on different alcohol levels.

According to a study in Spain, alcohol consumption can cause weight gain.

For keto dieters who want to lose weight, they may wonder if they can still consume alcohol.

Do Alcohol Drinks Contain Zero Carbs?

For those who are on a keto diet and those who want to achieve weight loss, it is necessary to learn how many net carbs are there in every alcoholic beverage.

Generally, many types of alcohol contain high carb counts, especially those that are found in soft drinks, sweets, and desserts.

For example, beer or liquid bread has around 3-12 grams of carbs per 355 ml serving.

One of the primary ingredients of beer include starch and this increases the carb count of the beverage.

Furthermore, net carbs may also vary depending on the alcohol content of the beer. If it is a light beer, the grams of carbs per serving are lower.

Another example includes mixed drinks. These mixed drinks are high in sugar as they are flavorful beverages.

Unfortunately, the higher the sugar content means the more net carbs. 

Some of the common alcoholic drinks and their net carbs content will be discussed below:

  • Margarita – per 240 ml serving can provide 13 grams of carbs
  • Bloody Mary – per 240 ml serving can provide 10 grams of carbohydrates
  • Hard lemonade – per 325 ml serving can provide 34 grams of carbohydrates
  • Daiquiri – per 200 ml serving can provide 33 grams of net carbs
  • Whiskey sour – per 104 ml serving can provide 14 grams of carbohydrates
  • Pina colada – per 133 ml serving can provide 32 grams of carbohydrates
  • Tequila sunrise – per 240 ml serving can provide 34 grams of carbohydrates

Can You Drink Alcohol While on a Keto Diet?

Although alcohol does not contain zero carbohydrates, this beverage is rich in empty calories, around 7 grams per serving.

This means that alcohol calories contain no vitamins, minerals, or nutrients that are essential for your body’s health.

Since there are no micro and macronutrients from liquors, drinking alcohol may only lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Alcoholic drinks do not contain protein and fiber as well.

So, what about weight?

Do flavored alcohols cause weight gain or weight loss?

Unflavored and flavored alcoholic drinks can promote weight gain over time.

If you consume these beverages for a short period or just one drink, this would not generally affect your weight.

But, if you regularly consume liquors, think again, especially if you are on a keto diet.

So, if you are on a keto diet and your goal is to lose weight, it is highly recommended to avoid these beverages.

Alcohol and Fat Burning

If you wonder how alcohol can cause weight gain, here it is.

Alcohol blocks the ability of your body to burn fat. According to a study in Pennsylvania, when you drink any of these beverages, your body metabolizes the substance and uses it as an energy source.

This can cause extra net carbs, fats, and protein to be stored as body fat.

For heavy drinkers, alcohol causes an increase in the synthesis of fatty acids. Eventually, this can only stimulate fatty liver disease.

Looking at these, it is safe to say that alcohol does not only affect your weight but your overall health as well.

The Effects of Drinking While on a Keto

It is still fine to consume alcoholic beverages while you are on a keto diet as long as you are drinking those that contain zero carbs. 

Always remember that if you are on a keto diet, you should only consume low-carb foods because your main goal is to keep your body under ketosis. 

When talking about drinking alcohol while on a keto diet, you have to understand that drinking liquor, even if it is just from a shot glass, may cause different reactions in your body.

The problem is how your body manages the alcoholic drinks you take.

Some keto dieters can consume liquors without affecting ketosis while others may negatively affect your diet lifestyle.

Keep in mind keto alcohol tolerance as well.

Carbohydrates make you feel full and when you consume alcohol while eating these net carbs, your body metabolizes alcohol slower.

But, when you are on a keto diet, you consume low-carb foods.

Thus, your body processes alcohol faster.

Thus, when you drink alcoholic beverages without enough net carbs on your body, you will feel the effects of alcohol faster because your body needs significantly less alcohol to get intoxicated.

Keto And Alcohol: Best and Worst Alcohol Drinks On Keto Diet

Women taking alcohol

  • So, what drinks can you take while on a keto diet?
  • Are all low-carb drinks compatible with the keto lifestyle?

In this section, we will discuss the keto-friendly beers and low-carb beers you can consider.

Top Alcohol On Keto Diet

1) Champagne

Champagne is a low-carb drink that offers around 4-5 grams of carbs per glass.

A shot of this low-carb liquor can still allow you to celebrate a special event even if you are on a keto diet.

Yes, this low-carb drink will not hinder you from achieving weight loss.

2) Light beers

Most beers contain high net carbs but there are still lighter options.

One of these includes pale lager and per can of this liquid bread contains 5-6 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

If you love liquor and are on a keto diet, you can still enjoy low-carb drinks but drink them moderately to support your weight loss goals.

3) Red wine and white wine

Those who are on a keto diet and want to achieve weight loss can also consider drinking wine such as cabernet sauvignon.

Aside from red and white wines, sparkling wine and dry wine are also great low-carb drink options. Per standard glass, these drinks provide around 4-5 grams of net carbs per serving.

Take note that these drinks may contain artificial sweeteners that can increase your blood sugar.

So, before you buy, check the label first. 

Among these low-carb beverages, dry wine has the lowest sugar content. Per glass of dry wine can give 0-10 grams of sugar only.

4) Spirits

Another keto alcohol choice is pure spirits.

These low-carb beverages provide 0 grams of net carbs! Some examples of pure spirits are gin, whiskey, vodka soda, and rum. 

These beverages also contain significantly less alcohol content compared to other liquors.

Among these, a vodka soda is the best option. Vodka soda does not contain any sugar or fat as well.

5) Mixers

If you are on a low-carb diet and you still want to try some liquors, you might want to consider mixers.

Most of these contain no net carbs and they have lesser sugar contents.

Some of these are diet sodas, sparkling water, and tonic water. When you choose the tonic water, make sure that you are going for a diet tonic.

Compared to regular water, diet tonic offers lower carbohydrate content.

What Beers Should Be Avoided While on a Ketogenic Diet?

Energy drinks, fruit juices such as orange juice, and lemonade are all high in net carbs.

In this section, we will discuss the other beers you should be avoiding.

1) Cocktails

If you are on a keto diet, one of the worst drinks you should avoid includes cocktails.

These are sugary and sweet mixed drinks that may contain up to 47 grams of carbohydrates.

Remember, a strict keto diet allows less than 50 grams of net carbs per day.

2) Coolers

Wine coolers should also be avoided if you are on a keto diet.

The fruit juice in these worst drinks is high in sugar and per glass may give about 14 grams of net carbs.

If you have no other choices, you can go for diet cranberry juice or diet soda instead.

3) Sangria

One of the worst alcoholic drinks is sangria. This beverage usually contains a mix of wine, fruit juice, and a mixer.

This mixture is truly high in net carbs! Per glass of sangria can provide up to 20 grams of net carbs.

Final Thoughts

Generally, alcohol should be avoided if you are on a keto diet.

But, for those who want to taste these beverages, there are still some options.

Some liquors such as champagne, light liquid bread, red and white wines, spirits, and mixers offer zero carbohydrate contents and these are the best options for a healthy keto lifestyle.

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