Keto The Rules of Drinking Alcohol on the Keto Diet

The Rules of Drinking Alcohol on the Keto Diet

Keto is a high-fat and low-carb diet that many take on in order to reach a constant state of ketosis. And what is ketosis? It’s the fat-burning state that keeps your body burning the fat you take in, turning it into energy. This is why a great side effect of many on keto is weight loss.

But the keto lifestyle isn’t an easy one. It typically requires careful planning in order to stick within your daily carb allotment and keep your body in the fat-burning state. And for those aiming to lose a significant amount of weight, it means they have to be extra diligent about what goes into their daily food intake. Starting with foods such as sweets, snacks and other high-carb indulgences like soft drinks and alcohol.

But contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to enjoy alcohol in moderation on keto! Just choose wisely.

In this article, we’ll break down the best and worst alcoholic drinks to choose on the keto diet.

The Laws On Liquor

The good news is, pure forms of alcohol like whiskey, gin, tequila, rum and vodka are all completely free of carbs – making them technically keto compliant if enjoyed in moderation.

Type of alcoholServing sizeCarb content
Rum1.5 ounces (44 ml)0 grams
Vodka1.5 ounces (44 ml)0 grams
Gin1.5 ounces (44 ml)0 grams
Tequila1.5 ounces (44 ml)0 grams
Whiskey1.5 ounces (44 ml)0 grams

Wine and Beer

Fortunately for many, there are wines and beers out there that could also fit into a keto lifestyle. But remember, there are guidelines to follow and consider in order to not completely wreck your efforts.

When it comes to regular beer? Forget it! Light beer is risky enough as it is, and the regular stuff you’re used to is produced from starch and can contain upwards of 12 grams of carbs in just one can. As for wine, try to opt for organic wines instead, as they have a lower sugar count and are packed with beneficial antioxidants. If you’re going to be drinking, you might as well get something out of it, right? 

Type of alcoholServing sizeCarb content
Red wine5 ounces (148 ml)3–4 grams
White wine5 ounces (148 ml)3–4 grams
Light beer12 ounces (355 ml)3 grams
Regular beer12-ounce (355-ml) can12 grams

The Skinny on Cocktails

Generally speaking, some of our favorite traditional cocktails and mixed drinks usually rely on high-carb, sugary ingredients like juice, soda, and syrups such as grenadine which send carb and sugar counts through the roof.

Type of alcoholServing sizeCarb content
Margarita1 cup (240 ml)13 grams
Bloody Mary1 cup (240 ml)10 grams
Whiskey sour3.5 ounces (105 ml)14 grams
Sangria1 cup (240 ml)27 grams
Piña colada4.5 ounces (133 ml)32 grams
Cosmopolitan3.5 ounces (105 ml)22 grams

To keep your cocktails keto-compliant, we recommend that you prepare your liquor-based beverages and wine spritzers straight, with ice, or with low-carb mixers like sparkling water, soda water and lemon or lime for more flavor. If you’re below your carb allotment for the day (and you’re feeling adventurous!), blueberries and mint make excellent additions to your low-carb cocktails as well.

Type of mixerServing sizeCarb content
Seltzer1 cup (240 ml)0 grams
Sugar-free tonic water1 cup (240 ml)0 grams
Crystal Light drink mix1/2 teaspoon (2 grams)0 grams

Remember: Don’t Go Crazy

Although there are plenty of low-carb, keto-friendly alcoholic beverages available, that doesn’t mean that they should become a regular part of your routine, or you should drink them liberally. Indulging in too much alcohol while following a ketogenic diet can slow down your keto progress. If you’re only having one glass of something strong, you might be okay (or at least be able to get back into ketosis faster), but overdoing it can mean you’ll be out of ketosis for up at least TWO days with your liver working hard to break down the alcohol you’ve consumed.

So, stay safe and make good decisions when it comes to consuming adult beverages while on keto. Debunk the myths that this lifestyle is super straight-edged, boring and stiff, but remember that at the same time, it’s still strict and you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste because of one night of fun.


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