I don’t know about you, but I love to have my liquor every now and then. Before I decided to embark on my keto journey, I was reluctant because I thought I had to give up alcohol all together, but thankfully, that has not been the case. Over the years, there have been numerous concerns about the impact of alcohol consumption on ketosis.
Despite these concerns, consuming alcohol while practicing the ketogenic diet is not all bad. Most people don’t know that practicing a keto diet doesn’t totally forbid you from taking alcohol. Even with the limits of the keto diet, you can occasionally enjoy a drink and still achieve your desired weight or result.
Although alcohol could be harmful if taken excessively (really what isn’t?), there are some positives too. Alcohol consumption can boost your mood and help you overcome numerous health problems. So, revisiting your former practice of indulging in a drink every once in a while might not be a bad idea.
In this article, you will learn about the effects of alcohol and how you can maintain ketosis without giving up alcohol.
Drinking alcohol during the ketogenic diet can influence the process of losing weight either negatively or positively.
When alcohol is not consumed excessively, it can deter your body from absorbing and using favorable micronutrients. Some of the micronutrients you stand to loose by overindulging are;
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B9
While it is important to note that excessive consumption of alcohol could deter ketosis , if consumed in moderation, its effect on your diet is not all bad.
Positive Effects of Alcohol Consumption During Ketosis
Below are some of the positive effects of alcohol on your keto diet
- It helps to Boost Your Mood
Although a lot of people believe that alcohol slows down weight loss and causes weight gain, this is not true in all cases. Alcohol can sometimes boost your mood as well as your overall well being.
The positive effects of taking alcohol can be felt even when you take it in small doses. You can get your desired satisfaction, avoid the negative impact of alcohol, get an amazing boost to your health and even improve your overall social behavior with just a glass.
- It improves Cardiovascular Health and Reduces Pain
Alcohol has been discovered to help with cardiovascular health as well as reduce pain. For centuries, people have used alcohol to numb pain during a treatment process or after an injury; and it works.
It also helps to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, but this doesn’t mean it should be taken in excess, as excessive alcohol intake might defeat the purpose.
So, when you take alcohol, ensure that you take in little quantities as alcohol consumption can get addictive. In order to maintain your diet, you can regulate your drinking by capping it at a glass 2 to 3 times a week. This will keep you accountable and help you track your diet.
- It reduces Blood Sugar
Most people only know about the negative impact alcohol can have on blood sugar levels and that it increases blood sugar. Nonetheless, taking specific low sugar alcohols can reduce your sugar levels.
Most alcohol drinks with this effect have a common denominator, no sugar. Therefore, staying away from sugary alcoholic drinks will go a long way in helping your body sugar levels and maintaining ketosis.
Negative impact of Alcohol on Ketosis
When you take alcohol, your body first metabolizes alcohol before other macronutrients. After this process, your body works to break down stored fat into fatty acids and ketones. When it is taken in excess, it can slow down your body metabolism.
Other negative effects of alcohol on ketosis includes;
- It Raises Your Calorie Levels
A standard glass of wine or 5% strength beer is equivalent to approximately 150 calories, the exact amount of calories in one ounce of potato chips. It means your diet goes in vain.
Remember that to maintain ketosis you need to burn the number of calories you consume. If you are consuming more calories than you are burning, you will begin to gain weight.
What this means is that you can still take alcohol and lose weight simultaneously. You just have to learn to balance it up and make sure you’re not taking in more calories from alcohol than you’re burning.
- It can Accelerate Food Cravings
The keto diet can be a platform to master self-control. But what happens when you slip and take more than a few bottles of alcohol at a go? It can impact your diet negatively.
Drinking alcohol excessively has often been linked to an unhealthy diet. People are more likely to eat foods that are rich in sugar and unhealthy fats after consuming a large quantity of alcohol.
All this can make starting your keto diet less attractive. But despite it all, you can still enjoy some alcohol occasionally. Doing this moderately will help you to enjoy the benefits of keto diet without totally stopping alcohol intake.
- It can Increase Blood Sugar
Your favorite alcohol drink may contain many teaspoons of sugar in just one glass. For instance, Baileys Original Irish Cream contains 11.2 grams of sugar per ounce.
So, if you are really looking forward to losing weight and you love to enjoy a few glasses of alcohol every now and then, you can opt for low carb options like low sugar free mixers and pure-form alcohols. You should also avoid flavored alcohol. This will help to regulate your body sugar levels.
So, I Can’t Drink During Keto Diet?
Yes, you can, but you need to drink it right. You don’t have to sacrifice alcohol when you are on a ketogenic diet.
After all, some alcohols also have health benefits, such as supporting heart health and boosting blood sugar levels. Red wine can also help you improve heart health but it should not be taken in excess.
There are methods to enjoy your drink during a keto diet. In fact, you might begin to feel more motivated to maintain your keto diet while consuming alcohol.
To get the best out of your keto diet journey as well as enjoy a drink every now and then, you can opt for low-carb alcohol and low-carb mixers.
So when taking alcohol, moderation is key. An occasional glass of low carb alcohol will help achieve your desired weight, protect your heart, and boost your mood.
You can choose from various low-carb alcohols if you are following a ketogenic diet. Drinks like, whiskey, tequila, rum, gin, and vodka, are pure forms of alcohol and don’t contain carbs.
You can drink these beverages alone or combine them with low-carb mixers to give a shot to your taste bud.
Wine and some types of beers are also low in carbs, usually containing 3 to 4 grams per serving. So, choose any of them to cherish your evening.
If you want to add mixers in your drink, they should be keto-friendly. Don't use common mixers such as soda, juice, energy drinks, and sweeteners. They can make your diet journey ineffective due to their high carb levels.
Instead, use low-carbs mixers such as sugar-free tonic water, diet soda, seltzer, and powdered flavor pockets. These mixers not only provide you low-carbs but also keep you in the right state for your diet.
So, if you are on a ketogenic diet and feel a craving for alcohol, go, have a drink. But remember to drink low-carb alcohol and use mixers that will help maintain your diet. You can opt for any of the alcohol and/or mixers mentioned above or choose others that don't contain high calories.