Can You Drink Alcohol On Keto? Sabotaging Your Own Results

by Josh | Last Updated:  September 14, 2020
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In adapting to a ketogenic lifestyle many people have this question and aren’t able to locate concrete information without online keto fanatic groups telling them that they are all bad. This isn’t entirely true and we would like to cover it in detail below to help you enjoy a night out but also how to not abuse it.

Can you drink alcohol on Keto? Should you decide to drink you will want to stick with hard alcohols instead of beer to limit carb content. Mixers should be diet or similar zero carb sources that allow you to maintain ketosis afterwards. Your body preferentially burns alcohol to carbs and fat so you may experience bloat and other weight side effects afterwards.

Everyone wants to cut loose sometimes and enjoy a night out with the friends or coworkers. We just want to tell you what are the best ways to make it through this experience and to be ready to move forward the next day without too many repercussions.

Why You Should Wait 2-3 Months After Starting Keto To Drink

When you are first beginning a ketogenic lifestyle your body is already putting effort into adapting to burning fat in place of carbohydrates.

This can take up to 2 months for most people to fully become adapted and if you can reach this point you may be able to fit an evening of drinking in without setting yourself up for failure.

Jack and Coke at sunset on the waterfront in downtown - Can You Drink Alcohol On Keto
Jack and Coke at sunset on the waterfront in downtown

The reason I say 3 months is to be well adapted and have been well adapted for a longer period, the longer you can go between sessions of consumption the better your body can rebound.

You will want to watch out though as you will get intoxicated easier than normal as you won’t have the bread, pretzels, etc to help absorb the alcohol.

If you take many shots normally I would recommend slowing way down and trying 1 and then giving time for it to hit you to see where your level is at. Please don’t over consume and get yourself sick on the first time or you may want to quit the diet or never drink again.

Why Do I Suggest Not To Drink Beer

Beers are made from grain, grain is inflammatory to our bodies. That is my primary issue along with carbohydrate counts that are well above what you should consume in a given day.

Low Carb beers could be consumed but they add up quickly and you can find that your intake moves you into non-ketogenic levels.

I would also like to point out that carbohydrates aren’t the devil but many of those “low carb” beers are still 2-5 grams per beer.

When I see people go out drinking they can easily pound 10 beers which would be your daily carbohydrate allowance, but without the healthy nutrition that would typically come from the carbohydrates being eaten.

These are shallow and meaningless carbohydrates which don’t help you be strong and healthy, instead they weaken the systems and force the body to do work to repair and replace damaged cells.

Each time this occurs you delay your end goals by an amount of time, I don’t choose to defer my health and the body I want to a night of drinking.

If you feel it is within your goals to have a drink or two ten do it responsibly and plan as you will not handle your alcohol the same way on a ketogenic diet, it will hit you much harder without you being prepared. Please make sure to have Uber or a driver already prepared for ahead of the event to save yourself or others.

What Happens In Your Body When You Consume Alcohol

Whenever you consume alcohol it is toxic to your system and needs to be managed with priority over all other substances. This means your body will manage it over blood sugar irregularities which is a bad thing in most cases as your blood sugar has to be managed in a very small window for proper health. Drinking leads to liver inflammation and problems with storage of fats.

Drinking Injures The Liver

Every time you drink alcohol the liver is what will need to process it as fast as it can to detoxify your body. This taxes the liver and is a concern for people who are already dealing with Alcoholic or Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

You are trying to heal your liver which is what has led to most people having a very big waistline. The liver stores much of the bad internal fat when it is taxed beyond its ability to handle.

In short, in a perfect world, you wouldn’t drink if you have a bad height to waist ratio. This ratio is your waist in inches divided by your height in inches. This should be a value of 0.5 or less.

For Example: 71 inches tall with a 35 inch waist. 35/71 = .49

This measurement would put you in the solidly healthy realm for liver and internal fat. This doesn’t make you “healthy”, but that you are correctly managing liver health and your body is recovering from any bad toxins without the liver reacting badly.

Why You Don’t Want To Consume Traditional Mixers In Hard Alcohol

Most mixers will contain sugars and maybe other carbohydrates, since you are more than likely not drinking this at home you won’t know what is in the mixer and how it could impact you. This is the primary reason why you should decline traditional mixers in with your hard alcohols.

For example:

Traditional sweet and sour mixers on AVERAGE have 52 grams of sugar in a serving. That is a serving size that may be much smaller then what is added to your drink as noted you aren’t mixing yourself and someone else may be heavy on it.

Josh K

Instead you would want to have Coke Zero, Diet Coke/Pepsi or similar mixers with your drinks. While these aren’t perfect and do contain artificial sweeteners you are looking to try and minimize the impact to yourself.

This is how you can manage to make the drinking impact lowered. It may take you some time to adjust as many people say they can taste the “fakeness” of the sweeteners used for diet sodas.

Good List Of Mixers And Values (Opens In New Tab)

Good Mixers For Keto:

Bad Mixers For Keto:

Enjoy The Evening Don’t Penalize Yourself The Next Day

This one rule will save you from creating stress on yourself. Please don’t penalize yourself with “fasting” away to bad day. Just learn how to handle what life throws at you and adapt yourself to fit it.

This behavior of penalizing yourself is prevalent in groups online and it is a bad way to manage yourself, please don’t use food as a tool for behaviors. More than likely that is what got you to a place where you are now where you are wanting to make a change.

If you find you are always having issues controlling yourself when going out then maybe you need to stop going out for a tie period while you figure out your goals.

Sometimes the best way to see what your goals are is to really see your life, if you drink often ad consistently then like it or not this is one of your goals, whether a conscious thought or not.

Final Thoughts on Can You Drink Alcohol on Keto

I hope that you figure out how you want to proceed on your ketogenic lifestyle, whether this should include alcohol is up to you. I would remind everyone to always be safe and responsible so that you can continue your journey.

If you love to drink and hang out you can do it with only moderate impacts if you choose to handle it correctly. Make sure to manage the hidden carbs within the drinks and only allow a limited amount of alcohol to make sure you can recover properly.

I would love to hear what your opinions on this subject are. Please feel free to share this on social media if it hits home and you feel strongly on the subject.

I grew up in a home where most our days were spent inside, and sports were not a family priority. I did play soccer and baseball as a kid, but the older I got, the more I lost interest. To regain my health, I decided to adhere to the three tenets of health and longevity. I hope you will join me, by making it your purpose to live as long and well as possible.