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Does Alcohol Kick You Out of Ketosis?

Published February 17, 2019 (Revised: February 05, 2020) Read Time: 9 minutes
Ben Kissam

Written By: Ben Kissam, BS

Ben has a B.S. in Movement and Sports Science and over 7 years Certified Personal Training Experience.

alcohol-and-ketosis
<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Ben Kissam, BS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2020/02/alcohol-and-ketosis-thumbnail-0080.jpg" } }, "headline":"Does Alcohol Kick You Out of Ketosis?", "datePublished":"2019-02-17", "dateModified": "2020-02-05", "description":"Can you drink alcohol on keto or will it kick you out of ketosis? Here is the breakdown of what you should or shouldn’t drink on keto.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2020/02/alcohol-and-ketosis-thumbnail-0080.jpg" } </script> <script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How much alcohol can you have on keto?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "There isn’t one straight answer about how much alcohol you can have on keto. It will depend on what your carb goals are for the day and what type of alcohol you are drinking." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "Which alcohol has the least amount of sugar?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Although you may be concerned about the sugar content in alcohol, for keto it’s not just sugar you have to look at, you have to be more concerned about your overall carb intake. The amount of sugar in wine, for example, can vary a lot by the brand and the manufacturing process." } }] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Alcohol and Health</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Alcohol and Weight Loss</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">How Much Alcohol Can You Have on Keto?</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">Which Alcohol Has the Least Amount of Sugar?</a></li> <li><a href="#section5">Keto and Alcohol: The Bottom Line</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>When you’re following a keto diet, you might wonder if you can enjoy a drink every once in a while.</p> <p>Sure, alcohol has “empty” calories, with very little nutrition. But what about alcohol and ketosis? Will drinking kick you out of ketosis and derail all your efforts? </p> <p>Can you enjoy your favorite adult beverage while sticking to your keto diet?</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <h2>Alcohol and Health</h2> <p>Some types of alcohol, like red wine, are seen as “healthy” because of antioxidants called polyphenols that they contain. These plant compounds have been found to be beneficial for heart health and may reduce the risk of breast cancer. <sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955286399000807" rel="nofollow noreferrer">1</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/1097-4644(20000901)78:3%3C429::AID-JCB8%3E3.0.CO;2-M" rel="nofollow noreferrer">2</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.CIR.0000034445.31543.43" rel="nofollow noreferrer">3</a></sup></p> <p>But, this doesn’t mean that alcohol should be considered a health drink. Alcohol (yes, even red wine) is a substance that can increase inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.</p> <p>Alcohol consumption has been associated with increased blood pressure, liver disease, stroke, pancreatitis, and certain types of cancer, such as colon and liver cancer. <sup><a target="_blank" href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/1097-4644(20000901)78:3%3C429::AID-JCB8%3E3.0.CO;2-M" rel="nofollow noreferrer">4</a></sup> Because of these dangers, alcohol is not a healthy choice for any diet.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/alcohol-on-keto-0080.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/alcohol-on-keto-0080.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/alcohol-on-keto-0080.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/alcohol-on-keto-LR-0080.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alcohol on keto"> </picture> <h2 id="section2">Alcohol and Weight Loss</h2> <p>Most alcohol does not have enough carbs to kick you out of ketosis, but it may stall your weight loss efforts. If you are eating a keto diet primarily for weight loss, alcohol is loaded with additional calories, which can stall your progress.</p> <p>Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, almost as much as fat.<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499328" rel="nofollow noreferrer">5</a></sup> This means, a shot of hard liquor has about 100 calories. If you drink 3-4 in a night, even if they are low in sugar, this adds up and can stall your weight loss. </p> <p>The other problem is how alcohol is metabolized once it enters your body. </p> <p>Alcohol, as we mentioned, has many negative side effects and increases oxidative stress. Therefore, the body immediately tries to get rid of it. This means the liver is busy neutralizing the alcohol and not producing ketones or burning fat. </p> <p>Drinking alcohol could therefore slow down your progress, since the liver will have to turn its attention to the alcohol you just consumed. <sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC329642/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">6</a></sup></p> <p>Alcohol also lowers your inhibitions. This is why the fast food drive thru line is busy between midnight and 2am. Drinking may make it more difficult to stick with your diet and you may find yourself diving head first into a high carb food, derailing your efforts.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/beer-on-keto-0080.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/beer-on-keto-0080.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/beer-on-keto-0080.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/beer-on-keto-LR-0080.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="beer on keto"> </picture> <h2 id="section3">How much alcohol can you have on keto?</h2> <p>The amount of alcohol you can have will depend on the type of drink you choose. Most hard alcohol, such as gin, rum, or vodka, have 0 grams of carbs. These can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or with a sugar free mixer.</p> <p>But, if hard alcohol is mixed with juice or soda, then the carb content can skyrocket. </p> <p>Wine can vary in its carb content, depending how dry it is. Cheaper wines also tend to contain more residual sugar. Sweet wines like port or riesling are higher in carbs.</p> <p>Beer can also vary in carb content. There are many “low carb” beers available these days that only have 1-3 grams of carbs. If you are a beer connoisseur, these probably will taste more like water than beer and may not be worth drinking. </p> <p>Since alcohol is low in sugar, just one drink won’t kick you out of ketosis. But, there isn’t one straight answer about how much alcohol you can have on keto. It will depend on what your carb goals are for the day and what type of alcohol you are drinking.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <h2>Which alcohol has the least amount of sugar?</h2> <p>Although you may be concerned about the sugar content in alcohol, for keto it’s not just sugar you have to look at, you have to be more concerned about your overall carb intake. The amount of sugar in wine, for example, can vary a lot by the brand and the manufacturing process.</p> <p>To make your choice easier, if you do decide to have a drink, here is a list of common alcoholic beverages with their carb content:</p> <ul> <li>0 grams of carbs: 1.5 oz vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey</li> <li>1-5 grams of carbs: 12 oz light or low carb beer</li> <li>2 grams of carbs: 4 oz dry white and red wine, champagne</li> <li>4-5 grams of carbs: 4 oz sweet white wine, dessert wine</li> <li>10-15 grams of carbs: 12 oz regular beer</li> <li>15-25 grams of carbs: mixed drinks (Cosmopolitan, White Russian, Rum and Coke)</li> <li>25-30 grams of carbs: 12 oz wine coolers</li> </ul> <p>If you want to stay in ketosis, stick with alcohol that has zero carbs or watch your portions on the drinks that do contain carbs.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/wine-on-keto-0080.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/wine-on-keto-0080.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/wine-on-keto-0080.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/wine-on-keto-LR-0080.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="wine on keto"> </picture> <h2 id="section5">Keto and alcohol: The bottom line</h2> <p>Drinking alcohol occasionally and in moderation will likely not kick you out of ketosis. Most alcohol is not a major source of carbohydrates. </p> <p>But, the amount you choose to drink could derail your weight loss progress. Alcohol is a significant source of calories and may slow down the fat-burning process. </p> <p>Although drinking might be part of socializing for you, alcohol is not a healthy beverage. So, moderating your intake will help you lose weight and will help you become the "healthier you" you're aiming for in the long run.</p> </section> </article>

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