What Alcohol Can You Drink on Keto? 3 Best Options
Are you following a keto diet but wondering if you can still enjoy a drink or two? Don't worry. Just because you're watching your carb intake doesn't mean you have to skip out on happy hour!
We know that sometimes a drink (or two) can help you unwind, and we've got good news — there are keto-friendly alcoholic drinks that won't ruin your progress. Explore keto alcohol options for the ketogenic diet and learn which ones to avoid so you can raise a glass instead of your carb count.
What Is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet. The diet involves drastically reducing your intake of carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy fats, which can put your body into the fat-burning metabolic state called ketosis.
While in ketosis, the body uses ketones and burns fat for energy instead of glucose (a type of sugar). This process can support weight loss by encouraging the body to tap into its fat stores for fuel and support a healthy blood sugar. To achieve ketosis, most people aim to consume less than 50 grams of carbs per day, although this can vary based on individual needs.
The keto diet is high in healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil, and moderate in proteins like meat, poultry, and fish. However, it is not a high-protein diet because consuming excess protein can raise glycogen stores, which can increase glucose in the bloodstream and kick you out of ketosis.
Now that we've covered the keto diet basics, let's dive into the topic: Can you drink alcohol on keto?
Can You Drink Alcohol on Keto?
When it comes to alcohol consumption on a keto diet, the answer is not a simple yes or no. The real question is whether you can stay in ketosis and still have a drink or two.
Drinking alcohol can potentially kick you out of ketosis, but it depends on what you drink and how much. Alcoholic beverages are often high in carbs, which can quickly add up and take you out of ketosis. However, some drinks are relatively low in carbs, and if consumed in moderation, they may not impact your ketone levels significantly.
So, what's the carb count in your favorite drink, and can you fit it into your daily macros? Let's find out!
What Alcohol Can You Drink on Keto?
Who says keto has to be boring? There are plenty of alcohol options available. Whether you prefer a classic cocktail, a refreshing beer, or a glass of wine, there are ways to indulge your cravings without breaking your diet.
Sticking with lower-carb alcohol like wine and spirits is generally best because these drinks contain fewer net carbs and won't kick you out of ketosis. You can also experiment with keto-friendly sweeteners to make delicious keto cocktail recipes at home.
In this section, we'll explore some of the best keto-friendly, low-carb alcohol options so you can have a good time and stay on track.
If you're a wine lover, you'll be happy to know you can still enjoy a glass of wine. Dry wine has little residual sugar, making it a lower-carb choice than sweet wines. Plus, it's a great way to unwind after a long day.
When choosing wine on keto, dry red wines include:
- Cabernet sauvignon
- Pinot noir
Dry white wines include:
- Sauvignon blanc
- Pinot grigio
Sparkling wine like brut is also a great low-carb choice. The sweetness level of wine can vary depending on the brand and winemaker, so it's always a good idea to check the label or ask a sommelier if you're unsure.
While dry wine can be keto-friendly, it does contain carbs and should still be consumed in moderation. As with any alcoholic beverage, overconsumption can hinder weight loss efforts and interrupt ketosis.
If you're looking for a tasty keto-friendly cocktail recipe using dry wine, try a wine spritzer made with club soda and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. You can also experiment with adding keto-friendly sweeteners like stevia or erythritol to create a sweeter wine cocktail.
Hard liquor has one advantage: it contains absolutely zero carbs. So, if you're on a keto diet, you don't have to give up your favorite pure spirits. Whether you're a tequila lover or a whiskey connoisseur, you can still enjoy your favorite drinks.
If you enjoy drinks like whiskey and coke or gin and tonics, don't worry - there are plenty of keto-friendly options! You can swap out regular soda with keto sodas that use natural sweeteners like stevia and erythritol.
Or, you can opt for club soda, seltzer, or sparkling water and add a keto sugar syrup for sweetness. And, if you're a fan of bitters, you're in luck - they're keto-friendly, too! The next time you crave a brandy old fashioned, simply substitute the sugar with a keto sweetener and enjoy your drink without guilt.
If you're a beer lover, you're in luck! There are low-carb beer options out there. These beers generally have a lower carb content than regular beer — but it’s important to remember that they are not zero-carb.
So, next time you're at the store, keep an eye out for low-carb beer options such as Michelob Ultra, Corona Premier, or Budweiser Select 55. These beers contain around two to three grams of carbs per serving.
Remember that moderation is still key, because the carb count can add up before you know it.
What Alcohol Should You Avoid on Keto?
When it comes to weight loss on keto, it's generally best to avoid certain types of alcohol. Liqueurs, for example, are often high in sugar and carbs, making them a no-go for those following a low-carb lifestyle. With that said, let's take a closer look at some of the specific types of alcohol you should try to avoid or limit while on keto.
These popular cocktails are loaded with sugar, which can kick you out of ketosis and ruin your weight loss efforts. Liqueurs like triple sec, amaretto, and Frangelico are also high in sugar and should be avoided.
Many mixed drinks, like margaritas and sangria, are often made with carb-heavy mixers and fruit juice, which should be avoided on a keto diet. Additionally, artificial sweeteners and diet sodas, which are often used as mixers, are not keto-friendly.
This doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite cocktails completely. Simply bring your own keto-friendly sweetener or syrup to add to your drink, or ask your bartender if they have any sugar-free options. You can even add some nutrition to your drink, like with this Bloody Mary-inspired bone broth cocktail.
There are also some great keto cocktail recipes you can try as well. With a bit of creativity and a willingness to experiment, you can still indulge in a tasty cocktail while staying on track with your keto lifestyle.
If you're a fan of sweet wines, you may be disappointed to learn that these types of wine are often high in sugar and carbs. This is especially true of dessert wines like moscato.
Similarly, wine coolers are typically high in sugar and carbs, making them a less-than-ideal choice. However, you can still enjoy a refreshing beverage by trying hard seltzers that are lower in carbs, like White Claw.
If you're a beer enthusiast who enjoys the complexity and nuance of fancier beers, it can be disheartening to think that your keto lifestyle may prevent you from indulging in your favorite brews. However, there are low-carb beer brands out there that can offer a solution.
While even light beer is still too high in carbs to be considered keto-friendly, you might find a great low-carb option that you still enjoy the taste of. Don't be afraid to try different brands and flavors to find the perfect fit for your palate. You may even discover a new favorite brew you would never have tried!
The Bottom Line
Remember, alcohol consumption can slow down the fat-burning process and sabotage your weight loss efforts, so moderation is key. By choosing keto-friendly alcoholic beverages and being mindful of your intake, you can still enjoy a social drink while staying on track with your weight loss goals.
After a night of drinking, it's essential to take care of your body by replenishing it with the proper nutrients. That's where Dr. Kellyann's keto-friendly collection comes in. With its high-quality ingredients, this collection can help you refresh and restore your body after a night of drinking, so you can wake up and start your day feeling your best.
A Review of Ketogenic Diet and Lifestyle | PMC
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) | FoodData Central