Can I Drink On Keto?

Can I drink on keto?

Sure! Provided you have no medical conditions that would otherwise prohibit it, it’s perfectly fine to drink in moderation while you’re low-carbing it. BUT, you have to be aware of the carb and calorie counts of whatever you’re drinking!

Bear in mind that alcohol IS caloric. Your body has no mechanism to store the energy in alcohol, so you will metabolize the calories in alcohol before any other energy sources. That means that while your body is metabolizing alcohol, it is NOT metabolizing fat. Consuming alcohol will not knock you out of keto, but it will delay the results.

And now, the cheat sheet:

Straight Liquor

  • UNSWEETENED Vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, scotch, brandy, cognac (80 proof): 0g carbs, 64 calories PER OUNCE. A shot/jigger is 1.5 oz, or 96 calories.
  • Mix any of the above with water, club soda, or diet soda to keep the 0g carbs. Tonic contains sugar and carbs! Martini lovers: be advised that dry vermouth contains carbs, so order ’em extra dry. The few drops probably won’t hurt.
  • Liquers, like amaretto, Jagermeister, Grand Marnier, curacao, cordials, sweet vermouth, limoncello, etc (basically anything sweet) contain sugars. Not always drank on their own, but they frequently sneak their way into cocktails.

Wine

Wines can vary based on any number of factors, but here are some averages:

Reds (5 oz. serving):

  • Merlot: 120 calories, 3.7 carbs
  • Pinot Noir: 121 calories, 3.4 carbs
  • Cabernet: 120 calories, 3.8 carbs

Whites (5 oz. serving):

  • Chardonnay: 118 calories, 3.7 carbs
  • Pinot Gris/Grigio: 122 calories, 3.2 carbs
  • Riesling: 118 calories, 5.5 carbs
  • Champagne/Sparkling whites: 96 calories, 1.5 carbs
  • Dessert wines, ports, and sherries are sweetened and should be avoided.

Beer

Unfortunately for beer fans, most of the good stuff is very high in carbs and calories. Especially anything red, amber, or dark. But all is not lost: some lighter beers are ok to drink.

Per 12 oz. serving… careful with the pints!

  • Bud Select 55: 55 calories, 1.9 carbs
  • MGD 64: 64 calories, 2.4 carbs
  • Rolling Rock Green Light: 92 calories, 2.4 carbs
  • Michelob Ultra: 95 calories, 2.6 carbs
  • Bud Select: 99 calories, 3.1 carbs
  • Miller Lite: 96 calories, 3.2 carbs
  • Natural Light (for the keto frat guys): 95 calories, 3.2 carbs
  • Michelob Ultra Amber: 114 calories, 3.7 carbs
  • Coors Light: 102 calories, 5 carbs
  • Amstel Light: 95 calories, 5 carbs
  • Bud Light: 110 calories, 6.6 carbs

Miller Lite, Bud Select, and Mich Ultra are probably the winners in terms of carbs:taste ratio.

Don’t Forget!

  • Booze counts toward your daily calorie and carb counts!
  • Alcohol delays fat-burning!
  • Ketosis lowers your alcohol tolerance, so take it easy!
  • Beware of the drunk munchies!
  • Alcohol dehydrates you! Order a couple waters, and drink a glass before bed.
  • Unsure of the nutritional value of your favorite drink? Look it up and let us know! If it tastes sweet, it’s probably sugary and keto-unfriendly!

Keto does not mean the end of a social life. You can hit up the bars, but do so responsibly. Happy boozing!

edit: nutritional statistics were compiled from a variety of sources such as calorieking.com.. The FDA measures the nutritive value of ethyl alcohol at 7.07 calories per gram. [source: section N9].

Atkins on the metabolism of alcohol:
“The body burns alcohol for fuel when alcohol is available. So when it is burning alcohol, your body will not burn fat. This does not stop weight loss; it simply postpones it. Since alcohol does not get stored as glycogen, you immediately get back into lipolysis after the alcohol is used up. But keep in mind that alcohol consumption may increase yeast-related symptoms in some people and interfere with weight loss. If it does not slow your weight loss, and occasional glass of wine is acceptable once you are out of Induction so long as you count the carbohydrates in your daily tally.” 

Red Wine

Varietal Calories Carbs
Merlot 120 3.7
Pinot Noir 121 3.4
Cabernet 120 3.8

White Wine

Varietal Calories Carbs
Chardonnay 118 3.7
Pinot Gris/Grigio 122 3.2
Riesling 118 5.5
Champagne/Sparkling whites 96 1.5

Beer

Beer Calories Carbs
Bud Select 55 55 1.9
MGD 64 64 2.4
Rolling Rock Green Light 92 2.4
Michelob Ultra 95 2.6
Bud Select 99 3.1
Miller Lite 96 3.2
Natural Light 95 3.2
Michelob Ultra Amber 114 3.7
Coors Light 102 5
Amstel Light 95 5
Bud Light 110 6.6

Compliments of Reddit