Alcohol is a pretty regular part of life for many adults, whether it's getting a happy hour with friends, a fun night out, or a glass of wine in the evenings.
But what happens when you are on keto? Can you still drink? Are there any low-carb options? Well, lucky for you, there are. Just because you're on keto doesn't mean that you need to ditch drinking entirely. Below, you’ll find the details and different options, depending on the frequency of consumption and your own preferences, of course.
Disclaimer: Alcohol’s impact on your body starts from the moment you take your first sip. While an occasional glass of wine with dinner isn’t a cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking wine, beer, or spirits can take its toll. It has been proven that drinking alcohol slows down weight loss…so if that’s your main goal, we wouldn’t recommend consuming it.
Sweet or dry? On keto, the best option would be the second one. A glass of dry wine contains more or less 2 grams of carbs, while a glass of sweet wine contains almost double, or even more. Still, it is unlikely that a glass of dry wine will impact blood sugar or insulin levels significantly.
Beer is a really risky beverage on a low-carb diet; its fermented grain content is like drinking liquid bread. However, its amount of carbs can vary, depending on the brand of the beer. Usually, those labeled as “very light” are the ones that would be keto-approved. Other types of beer are fairly high in carbs and should be consumed with caution, or avoided completely.
Whiskey, vodka, brandy, gin, tequila, and other pure alcohols have zero carbs, so they are fine on a low-carb diet. But most importantly:
- Don’t add juices
- Don’t add soft drinks
- Don’t add sweeteners, like sweet cream
- Adding tonic to zero-carb gin boosts its carbs to 16 grams per serving! An alternative low-carb drink could be vodka, soda water, and lime.
So, summing up, the ranking of the best low-carb alcohol drinks would look like this:
- First place goes to…Champagne or Sparkling wine! It should be extra dry or brut, though.
- Dry wine. Red or white, just how you like it.
- The so-called “Skinny bitch”: vodka, soda water, and lime.
- Whiskey. We like it on the rocks with a twist 😉
- Dry Martini, a classic one.
On the other hand, you may have experienced an unusual lower tolerance to alcohol since you started your keto plan. The reasons for this are still unclear; it could be because the liver is busy producing ketones, and thus, has less capacity to spare for burning alcohol, slowing down the process; but it’s still a common side-effect of low-carb diets.
Keep that in mind and be careful the first time you drink alcohol on low carb. You will probably only need half as many drinks as usual to enjoy yourself. Cheers!