Can you drink alcohol on keto? The answer is, it depends!
Like so many other nutrition topics, when it comes to alcohol we are all individuals. Our alcohol tolerance depends on many factors including age, hormones, nutrient status, liver detoxification, genetics, and goals.
For so many women embarking on their High Fiber Keto journey, weight loss and metabolic health is a primary goal of diet change. At least initially, alcohol is going to make it more challenging to get and stay in ketosis. What’s more is that as we get older and enter the peri-menopause and menopause years, the body just doesn’t tolerate alcohol like it used to. And alcohol can make hot flashes and other symptoms worse.
On the other hand, many find that after an initial period of time following a strict keto plan (I recommend following my 22-day meal plan as outlined in High Fiber Keto), they can add in an occasional glass of wine without losing any of the benefits they’ve gained. The key is to fully shift the metabolism to a fat-burning mode and begin to see weight loss and metabolic results before experimenting with bringing alcohol back into the diet.
When it comes to keto alcohol, let’s go over a few of my trusted tips:
- Have alcohol along with a high-fat keto meal. Alcohol on an empty stomach is sure to spike blood sugar and go straight to your head. Instead, if the alcohol has a chance to digest more slowly with a keto meal, it will lessen the negative metabolic effects.
- Skip the mixers. Soda, juice or other sugar mixers aren’t going to do your keto diet any favors, and the sugar is likely to make you feel worse than a little bit of alcohol. If drinking hard alcohol, go for soda water or sparkling water. I like to add some bitters for the digestive effects and liver support.
Choose keto-friendly alcoholic drinks. Like I said, how keto-friendly alcohol actually is will vary greatly from person to person, but my top choice would be organic red wine (the dryer the better because dry means less carbs!). Resveratrol, the famous polyphenol from red wine boosts autophagy and protects the heart (2). Pro tip: If you want the benefits of resveratrol without the alcohol, try a supplement!
I also like mezcal, clean or with a little real green juice, made with fresh lime, cucumber, and mint. Mezcal is a good option since it’s made from 100% distilled agave and is additive-free and grain-free.
When it comes to keto alcohol drinks, eating out or consuming fast food, there is certainly a lot of grey area to explore. I firmly believe it is important to master the rules of High Fiber Keto before you begin breaking them.
Ready to build your solid foundation of lifestyle change? My new book High Fiber Keto walks you through the ins, outs and all the science behind keto. And from there, you’ll find a lot of room to experiment to uncover exactly what works for your body!