Ketosis And Alcohol
When it comes to the ketogenic lifestyle, there are lots of confusing and conflicting opinions floating around, and they can lead to all kinds of mistakes. One of those confusing areas is how alcohol fits into a ketogenic lifestyle. Hopefully, after you read this, you’ll have a pretty good understanding and some tools to use to make informed decisions along the way. First off, not all alcoholic beverages are the same. Alcohol is the same across the board; it’s a macronutrient with seven calories per gram, so that’s the starting point. It’s a byproduct of fermentation. Essentially, a sugar compound is acted upon by yeast and the yeast produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. Depending on the type of sugar compound, you get different kinds of alcoholic beverages. Hard liquor, or spirits, takes the process a little further and adds distillation. That is, essentially, the process of “boiling off” the alcohol and then re-condensing (as it cools) it into more a more concentrated form. When you something marketed as “Distilled 9 times”, that just means they went through the boiling and condensing process nine times. Okay, so that’s where alcohol comes from, but that’s not all there is to it. Like said, the type of sugar compound determines the type of alcohol. For example, beer is made with, basically four ingredients. Barley, hops, water, and yeast. Barley is the primary ingredient, it’s where the sugar (maltose) comes from for the yeast. It’s also very similar to wheat. It’s a very bad carb. And it’s the reason that some people call beer “liquid bread”. It is far too rich in carbohydrates, not just the sugars, but the other “glutenous carbs”. So it’s a definite no for Ketovangelists. Beer does not fit into a ketogenic lifestyle. (Sidenote: A Continue reading >>
Getting Drunk While On The Ketogenic Diet: Is It Safe?
I get it. You want to adopt a healthy lifestyle but you don’t know if drinking alcohol on the ketogenic diet is a smart idea. Obviously alcohol is bad for you. We all know this. And it’s obviously one of the most abused yet socially acceptable substances out there. No one wants to be the guy/gal who doesn’t go out on a friday night just because you’re on a diet. With that being said, it’s important to take necessary precautions especially on a low carb high fat ketogenic diet. It’s completely possible to stay in ketosis and still enjoy a couple drinks here and there. Can I Still Drink Alcohol On The Ketogenic Diet? Yes but you have to be careful. If you want to successfully stay in ketosis, you have to choose your drinks wisely. Drinking low carb or zero carb drinks will ensure that after your body utilizes the alcohol as a source of fuel, that you are back into ketosis immediately after. When we consume alcohol, our body starts working to metabolize it in order to use it as energy. When we start to feel “drunk” this is due to our body’s metabolizing the alcohol. Drinking alcohol disrupts our fat burning processes because it prioritizes the processing of alcohol before anything else since it is toxic to our body’s. This is why some people experience the stalling of weight-loss when they drink alcohol. What Will Happen To My Alcohol Tolerance On The Ketogenic Diet? Since you are restricting any form of glycogen (through carbs) on the ketogenic diet, your liver glycogen storages are already depleted which means you are running off of fats instead of glucose, thus, burning fat more effectively. Someone on a high carb diet has plenty of glycogen stored in their body. This gives your body a buffer before metabolizing alcohol. So what does this all mean ex Continue reading >>
The Ultimate Keto Alcohol Guide
Alcohol on a Low Carb Diet! Alcohol gets a bad rep, and is certainly one of the most abused substances in the world. It can become a serious problem when it interferes with your personal/social life and well-being. To enjoy it we need to exercise moderation and self-control. If you like having a couple of beers, shots or glasses of wine to relax or have a good time on weekends, you’re in good shape! But throw a low carb diet into the mix, and you may find yourself struggling with the quantity of alcohol you’re drinking. People on a keto or low carb diet notice their tolerances significantly drop. And when you realize your favorite drink contains more than 30 grams of carbs in a small serving, you may consider giving alcohol up. Before you give it up, use our Ultimate Keto Alcohol Guide to help navigate your way through your local bar and become a keto connoisseur. How and Why Alcohol Affects Us “…alcohol molecules slow down signals from the brain for actions such as walking and talking” Alcohol is actually the fourth macronutrient, providing our body with 7 calories per gram. If you aren’t familiar with macronutrients, you can read more about macronutrients here. Since alcohol is not needed for survival and is considered toxic to humans, it’s ignored under this umbrella of essential macronutrients. When we ingest alcohol (in the form of ethanol), our body begins to work to metabolize it, or destroy/break it down to get energy. Since alcohol is toxic to our bodies, we begin to metabolize it as soon as possible. The tipsy feeling we get is the alcohol being metabolized. Since alcohol molecules are water and fat soluble, they’re able to pass through and be delivered to pretty much all parts of our body, most importantly, our brain and liver. About 98% of th Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet And Alcohol
Having a social life on a ketogenic diet is something that many find hard to do. There are carbs pretty much everywhere you look, and that’s especially the case when you’re in a bar. Cutting out all the beer and wine is a great start, but sticking with hard liquor is usually the best choice. Even though hard liquor is made from natural sugars, grains, potatoes, and fruits – during the fermentation and distillation process that sugar is converted into ethyl alcohol. Drinking liquor can in fact deepen your level of ketosis, but will slow weight loss down. Ingestion of alcohol has effects on liver metabolism, in which more ketones are produced as you drink more. When your liver is taking care of the alcohol you drink, it’s being converted to a triglyceride which can also positively affect the production of ketones. Be aware that many people experience a heightened level of being drunk and at a quicker rate than usual. While that may be a great thing for some, you need to be careful – especially if you’re driving. Do not drink and drive. Be very careful when on a ketogenic diet and consuming alcohol. There are plenty of people that also experience worse hangover while on a ketogenic diet, so make sure you stay hydrated. The typical advice is to drink 1 glass of water per 1 shot (or glass) of alcohol you drink. Below you’ll find short and quick versions of everything you can drink. Scroll down the page to read a more in-depth explanation on each low-carb alcohol and what you should commonly avoid. Here’s a short list on what you can drink when you want to consume low-carb alcohol. Try not to stray away too much from the suggested list, but if you want more options scroll down and you’ll see a much more comprehensive list (including brands and carb counts)! Continue reading >>
Alcohol On A Keto Diet: What Is Safe To Drink While In Ketosis?
Can you drink alcohol on a keto diet? Yes. It’s okay if you like to go out on the town and party it up. A lot of us do. It’s a part of our lives that we don’t want to stop. But you’re on a keto diet and you know that alcohol isn’t necessarily part of your diet. Don’t hesitate to go out and have a good time just because you’re on a keto diet. You can go out. You can drink. You just have to be smart about your choices when you’re drinking. Note: If you’re just learning about the keto diet then check out our free Guide to the Ketogenic Diet. Alcohol on Keto Diet It may seem like a daunting task, but if you start watching everything you’re drinking, you won’t have to worry about your body getting out of ketosis. Your body will still be able to stay the fat burner it was meant to be. If you don’t keep a close eye on your drinking habits, then you will slip back into your old ways and your body will once again be just a sugar burner and you may slowly see the weight creeping back onto your body. Aren’t sure if your body is in ketosis? Here are 7 Signs You’re in Ketosis. The Breakdown When you drink alcohol, your body is going to start breaking it down immediately because your body sees it as toxic. Go figure. As soon as your body recognizes that alcohol has entered your system, it begins to metabolize it and break it down. When drinking alcohol in excess, you will probably find that your weight loss will start to slow down. It could even stall completely. This is something that you definitely don’t want to happen, especially when you’re starting to see a lot of results. I’m assuming that you are already in ketosis, so your body will start to feel the drinks quicker. Your body is used to burning fats first now, so when you add alcohol, your bo Continue reading >>
Keto Diet Alcohol Guide: Is Booze Okay If It’s Low Carb?
If you’re a boozy babe, you’re likely to ask the million dollar question: “Can I drink alcohol on the keto diet?” This keto diet alcohol guide will point you in the right direction. First, to answer your question: yes, you most certainly can have alcohol on the keto diet. That’s right, not all booze has carbohydrates in it! Most spirits have 0 carbs. Take a shot or four two of vodka, tequila, or gin and you’re still sitting well below your daily carb limit. A glass of white wine, like pinot or sauvignon blanc, only has about 3 net carbohydrates per serving. For the most part, you’re SOL with beer due to the gluten and high carb count. You’ll see in the table below that you can technically make some light beers fit your macros (IIFYM-style), but I’m going to go ahead and give beer a big thumbs down as a keto-approved beverage. In fact, I have a whole comprehensive list of alcoholic beverages sorted by carb count at the bottom of this post if you want to jump to the nitty gritty details of alcohol nutrition data. (CLICK HERE TO SKIP STRAIGHT TO THE KETO ALCOHOL LIST) But before you run off and get white girl wasted with celebratory low carb drinks, there’s a few things you should know about drinking alcohol while you’re in ketosis. I will admit right here and now that alcohol is by far my biggest vice. While my days of telling strangers I love them, sobbing uncontrollably over nothing, and woo-ing too loudly at concerts are over, I do still enjoy a good cocktail (Exhibit A: Vodka Mojito Recipe and Exhibit B: Kamikaze Shot Recipe, two of the keto diet alcohol drink recipes you’ll find on this site). This is a judgement-free zone. The upcoming lecture is just as much for myself as it is for you. The Obligatory Buzz-Kill Alcohol is not a nutrient. Boo Continue reading >>
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 Name Calories (kcal) Carbo Continue reading >>
How Does Alcohol Affect Ketosis?
Whether you are anticipating the holidays or you are on Atkins Induction and breaking the rules with a drink now and then, you might be wondering how alcohol affects ketosis. Many people cannot make it completely through Phase 1 of the Atkins Nutritional Approach without having a drink with dinner, after dinner, or while socializing. Alcohol plays a huge role in many of our lives. We have a drink when we come home from a hard day. We have a drink when we go out to dinner or want to celebrate a special occasion. We even have a drink when we just want to relax and kick back with a few of our friends. Alcohol is just as interwoven within traditional American society as food is, but if you’re attempting to follow a low carb diet, what does that mean? How does alcohol affect ketosis? Dr. Atkins’ Views on Alcohol When Dr. Atkins’ wrote his first low carb diet book back in the early 70s, he believed that alcohol was the number one problem with weight control. Although alcohol isn’t actually a carbohydrate, he handled it as if it were: “But this is one diet where alcohol acts just like a carbohydrate. It makes your body discharge insulin and stops you from putting out FMH.” FMH stands for fat-mobilizing hormone. Due to the upswing in metabolic rate while handling dietary proteins and oxidizing amino acids, Dr. Atkins believed there was a fat mobilizing hormone that made body fat more accessible when carbohydrates were restricted. However, FMH hasn’t turned out to be true. There is no fat-mobilizing hormone. However, alcohol does interfere with what a low-carb diet is attempting to do because of its toxic effects on the body. In the 70s, low-carb dieters were counseled to count each ounce of 100-percent alcohol as 20 total grams of carbohydrates. This was true for Continue reading >>
Can Drinking Kick You Out Of Ketosis?
I hardly ever drink, but when I do its vodka soda with a lime or a NorCal margarita. I was reading MDA's post about alcohol and he said that a clear (or even brown) unflavored liquor has no fat, protein, or carbs. I was wondering if it can kick you out of ketosis if you drink? Im not planning on drinking anytime soon (except MAYBE a glass of wine with the family on Christmas dinner) and Im not even sure if Im in ketosis yet (although Ive had a slightly metallic taste in my mouth for 2 days) but I was more curious than anything Continue reading >>
Keto Diet And Alcohol
The ketogenic diet is a great way to lose weight, but it is also a lifestyle change that will stay with you for life. While you won’t be eating the extremely low levels of carbs you eat while you are losing weight once you reach your goals, you will need to restrict carbs in your diet permanently to keep those results. Of course, there are some things you have to give up during the strict, initial induction phase (which makes up the first ten to twelve days of your ketogenic diet plan) that you may not want to commit to giving up for the rest of your life. A key one of these, for many people, is alcohol. How does alcohol affect ketosis? Alcohol does have an impact on weight loss through a ketogenic diet, even when you drink low carb or carb free alcoholic beverages. This is because the body can use alcohol as a source of fuel. It isn’t stored as glycogen, like carbs, so once it is burned off you will go straight back into ketosis, however this does mean you are losing some fat burning time when you drink. How much this affects your weight loss varies between individuals. Some people find their weight loss stalls if they drink anything alcoholic, whereas others find they can drink responsible amounts of wine, hard liquor or a low carb beer (they do exist) and keep losing weight. Can I drink alcohol on a Ketogenic Diet? If you enjoy alcohol then as long as you have finished induction, you can try incorporating some low carb alcoholic drinks into your ketogenic diet, and monitor the results. Some people find they can drink vodka with no problems but their weight loss stalls if they drink wine. It is a case of experimenting and seeing what works for you, and then weighing up the pros and cons of having a drink when you want to. If it is a special occasion, you might acc Continue reading >>
Keto Diet Alcohol Rules: What To Drink, What To Avoid
Boy, doesn’t that bottle of wine above look like it’s ominously laying in a casket? Alcohol is infamously known as the fourth macronutrient. If you enjoy a drink or two but aren’t sure if that fits into the keto diet alcohol guidelines, let’s shed some light on the keto diet alcohol rules so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your goals. Let’s not sugar coat this: When you drink alcohol, your body is getting the signal that there is a toxic substance present. It will then send all it’s resources to the liver to process the toxin as quickly as possible, taking resources from other processes, one of which, is fat oxidation (re: ketone production). This means drinking alcohol slows ketone production. It’s true that partying looks a little different when you’re keto. Some people consider it (or rationalize it) that it’s their cheat meal. There are some legitimate concerns when it comes to consuming alcohol on a ketogenic diet. Here are some of the biggest things to keep in mind before reaching for your next drink. Keto Diet Alcohol Rules: What to Avoid and Why Let’s first acknowledge that not all alcoholic drinks are created equal. Of course, alcohol (ethanol) the molecule itself, is always the same. Yeast acts on a sugar compound to make both carbon dioxide and the alcohol. But the type of sugar compound used and the type of drink mixture is what determines how your body uses the alcohol. For example, let’s look at beer. It’s made from barley, hops, yeast, and water. Barley is the main ingredient broken down to the sugar maltose, which is what the yeast acts on. Beer is a dangerous drink for those going keto because the process leaves it rich in carbohydrates, which can stop or slow ketosis. In the same vein, some other drinks Continue reading >>
Atkins Diet & Red Wine
The Atkins Diet is a controversial diet plan shrouded in myth and controversy. It works by changing the way your body powers itself, something that can only be accomplished through a dramatic alteration in eating habits. Though alcohol is not recommended while on the Atkins Diet, moderate amounts of red wine can be consumed during certain periods. Video of the Day The Atkins Diet works by forcing your body to burn fat for energy instead of sugar. This is the primary goal of the initial Induction phase of the Atkins Diet, which imposes the greatest restrictions on foods and carbohydrate intake. Ketosis is the name for this condition because a consequence of fat metabolism is the production of chemicals called ketones, or ketone bodies. In a state of ketosis, ketones are used by the brain instead of sugar as the main source of energy. Induction is so named because the goal of this phase is to induce a state of ketosis. Alcohol and Induction Just as the body will naturally burn carbohydrates for energy before fat, it will also metabolize alcohol first. Thus, drinking alcoholic beverages can interfere with the onset of ketosis. For this reason, all alcohol is forbidden during the first two weeks of Induction. One glass of wine is allowed occasionally after the first two weeks. Once you’ve entered ketosis, consuming alcohol will not necessarily reverse the process or prevent weight loss. After the first two weeks, you can enjoy red wine in moderation on the Atkins Diet, but you must count the energy in it towards your daily intake. A 3.5-ounce glass of red wine contains alcohol equivalent to about 4.3 grams of carbohydrates. Alcohol has little to no effect on the glycemic index. This means it does not cause a spike in blood sugar. If you must drink alcohol while on the Atk Continue reading >>
Does Alcohol Stop Ketosis?
Does alcohol stop ketosis? What happens if you eat more fat than your body needs? And will a slightly higher carb intake kick you out of ketosis? Get the answers in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt: Alcohol stopping ketosis? We are trying to get into ketosis and measuring blood ketones which seem to be sitting around 1.0 mmol/L. We have adjusted and readjusted our protein and carb amounts to be within the limits you suggest. Last night I had three vodkas – being no-carb alcohol, can this still affect ketosis levels or would we be doing something else wrong? Thank you, Meg Alcohol should not have any major effect on ketosis, as long as it’s no-carb alcohol like vodka (without sweet ingredients in a drink of course). If anything, pure alcohol tends to somewhat increase ketosis. For best results choose low-carb alcoholic drinks like wine or other low-carb drinks, see the guide below. Also note that many people get more sensitive to alcohol on a ketogenic diet. Be careful and never drink and drive, this is especially true on keto. Best, Andreas Eenfeldt If I eat more fat than my body needs for fuel, what happens to the excess? I understand that if one eats more carbs (glucose) and/or protein than one’s body can immediately use, the excess can be stored as fat. What happens to dietary fat if one eats more of it than can be used? Is it, too, stored, or does the body excrete it? Kathleen It’s mostly stored, though there may be a slight increase in calories burned on low carb. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry, and this should not really be an issue on a low-carb diet, as fat is very satiating. Best, Andreas Eenfeldt Will going moderate low carb >50 carbs turn brain back to using carbs for fuel instead of ketones? I think I need to up carbs for energy. I e Continue reading >>
Another very common question asked by those new to a Zero Carb diet is: Can I Drink Alcohol on a Zero Carb Diet? There have been many posts about this subject in the Facebook group Zeroing in on Health. I have selected some of the best comments from these discussions and posted them here for easy reference. While occasional or even moderate consumption of dry, non-sweet alcohol might be okay for some people. Those who are new to a Zero Carb diet are strongly encouraged to abstain from it during their initial 30-Day trial. Once you have a clear baseline of how you feel on just meat and water, then you can easily test out other things like dairy or alcohol and get a much better idea of how your body is personally affected by them. … Dr. Paul Mabry: I’m a retired MD with years of low carb ketogenic blogging experience. I’m day 6 on this new and from all my research intuitively beautiful way of eating. There have been some questions about alcohol so I wanted to post this short answer on the basic science of alcohol in layman’s terms which apply equally to low carb and zero carb: Moderate alcohol can be accommodated on the diet. Alcohol is metabolized exclusively in the liver and does not stimulate the release of Insulin which is the big enemy of people like me who suffer from the metabolic syndrome. Things to know if you’re going to drink alcohol is that many forms contain carbs that can torpedo any weight loss. The worst offenders are beers, even lite ones, sweet wines though all wines contain carbs the dry ones contain the least and some drinks like hard cider and lemonade are as bad as drinking Coke. You will have to count carbs if you consume these. Drinks like Rum, Scotch, Whiskey and Vodka have zero carbs if you drink them with water. However, Scotch and Whi Continue reading >>