Low Carb Partying - What to Know Before Drinking Alcohol on the Keto Diet

Low Carb Partying - What to Know Before Drinking Alcohol on the Keto Diet

A survey from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism revealed that over 70% of Americans over 18 reported drinking alcohol within the previous year.  

Responsible consumption of alcohol is such a popular social past-time, there’s no reason that those who follow the keto diet should be left out of the party - or is there? Since those who follow the keto diet consume such few carbs, alcohol does have different effects on those who are in ketosis. Discover these differences so you know what to expect when walking into that bar with your friends while on keto.

Keto and Alcohol on National TV - Vinny Guadagnino

The topic of drinking alcohol while following the keto diet was recently brought to the forefront, courtesy of a group of partiers that have become popular in the past decade: The gang from the Jersey Shore. Known for their one-of-a-kind lingo and cocky attitudes, one of their members has become a popular spokesperson for the keto diet. Seen on TV avoiding the crust of his pizza and removing the bun from a burger, Vinny Guadagnino proudly uses the hashtag, #KetoGuido.

Alcohol Consumption and Keto on Full Display

As one might expect, it didn’t take long before the Jersey Shore cast hit the club and began drinking. Those who follow keto may appreciate the comical scenes where Vinny insists that he gets drunk faster due to his low carb diet. While the advanced age is most likely a factor that explains why alcohol is hitting him harder, what is the legitimate effect of being on keto? Does keto really make the effects of alcohol more prevalent and intense?

The Truth About Alcohol Consumption on Keto

Since keto leaves you feeling less full than a high carb diet, it’s easy to see why Vinny would attribute his increased drunkenness to his keto diet. But according to Cynthia Sass, master of public health and contributing nutrition editor to Health, the keto diet should leave you less susceptible to drunkenness. The reason is simple: Carbs are burned quickly so they are less likely to absorb alcohol than proteins and fats, which take a lot longer to burn.

Which Drinks Are Best for Partying on Keto?

Much like the criteria for choosing foods on keto, drinks that have low sugar and few carbs are ideal for those on a low-carb diet. Here are some useful tips about the adult beverages that have low carbs and are less likely to interfere with your keto lifestyle:

    • A shot of vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, scotch, brandy, or cognac has no carbs.

    • Mix any of the above with water, club soda, or diet soda for a zero carb beverage.  

    • Many types of red wine, including Merlot, have between 3-4 g of carbohydrates.

    • Sparkling white wines and champagnes contain only 1.5 g of carbs per 5 oz glass.  

    • Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are white wines with only 3.2 and 3.7 g of carbs.

    • Low carb beers include Michelob Ultra and Bud Select at less than 3 g of carbs each.

Are There Beverages that Keto People Should Avoid Altogether?

To a large degree, it’s pretty easy to distinguish the drinks that are loaded with sugar from those that aren’t. Nonetheless, there are some subtleties worth noting when it comes to drinks to avoid on keto. Stay away from drinks on this list to boost your chances of staying in ketosis.

    • Avoid all syrupy liqueurs like Jagermeister, Curacao, and amaretto - they’re full of sugar.

    • Dessert wines and fruity wines have the most sugar and should be avoided on keto.

    • The most high-carb beers are red, amber, and dark varieties.

    • Careful with cocktails - many of their ingredients are high in sugar.    

Can Keto Help to Curb Alcohol Cravings?

One advantage of the keto diet is that it balances out the fluctuations in your blood sugar, preventing the major surges that cause cravings. While this helps to curb sugar cravings throughout the day, it also has the effect of reducing the need for alcohol. Director of the documentary, Fat Head, Tom Naughton, summed up his experience with diminishing alcohol cravings once he started the keto diet:

I thought I needed a 12-step program. Turns out I actually needed a medium-rare steak.

Useful Resources for Your Next Trip to the Bar or Club

Take the guesswork out of knowing which drinks are low in carbs and sugar, versus the choices that will throw you out of ketosis.

    • Video About Keto and Alcohol from Keto Connect

Explore the issue of drinking while on keto with two members of keto connect. It’s a 7-minute video so it’s perfect for a quick refresher on how alcohol affects you on keto before you hit the party.

Beer is the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverage in America, and there’s no reason for those on keto to miss out on the fun. This chart will help you figure out which beers are low-carb and which will toss you out of ketosis.

Learning How Partying Fits Into the Keto Lifestyle

Just because you follow the keto diet doesn’t mean you have to miss out on festivities with friends and family. Like everything on keto, responsible drinking just takes a little extra planning and awareness. When you’re looking in the mirror and can truly smile at your hard-earned results, this extra planning will be well-worth the effort.