Low Carb Drinking: The Complete Guide to Keto Alcohol and Ketosis

Not only is eating Keto both easy and delicious, but it's also one of the healthiest and easiest ways to lose weight and keep it off. Doctors are even recommending Keto to help combat everything from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) to metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The Keto diet also improves mental clarity and cognitive function. 

As if that weren't enough, you can even drink alcohol on the Keto diet!

Don't reach for that margarita quite yet, though. Smart keto alcohol consumption means knowing which types of alcohol to drink and which to avoid. 

Happily, Smartvine has your back. We've put together a complete guide to keto and alcohol to help you unwind without undoing all your hard-won progress.

Keto Alcohol Consumption Basics

The first step in balancing Keto and alcohol consumption is understanding the links between alcohol and ketosis. Drinking alcohol can derail your Keto health gains in three ways:

  • Sugar or carbs
  • Total calories
  • Delayed ketone production 

Sugar and Carbs

Ironically, alcohol may be the most Keto-friendly ingredient in your favorite Happy Hour drinks. 

Many mixed drinks contain fruit juices,  simple syrups, and other high-carb or high-sugar components. Drinks like Margaritas, Pina Coladas, and Cosmopolitans are all but guaranteed to throw you straight out of ketosis. 

Choosing low carb, low sugar alcohol drinks is an essential part of successfully drinking alcohol while on a Keto diet

Total Calories

While Keto is about counting carbs rather than calories, your total calorie intake still matters. Alcohol always contains empty calories. 

Excess low-carb calories won't end up getting stored as fat on your body, but they can bring your Keto weight loss to a grinding halt. This is because your body is too busy burning off the surplus of newly consumed calories to burn off pre-existing fat. 

Delayed Ketone Production 

Your tongue may love the taste of alcohol, but your liver will always consider it a mild poison. To protect you from alcohol's toxic effects, your liver will put everything else on hold while it processes the alcohol you consume. 

One of those key tasks your liver will put on hold is turning fatty acids into ketones. This won't necessarily dump you out of ketosis, but it will definitely slow you down. 

A Note About Side Effects

It’s important to be aware of how your Keto diet may affect your body’s response to alcohol. Some dieters notice a few changes, such as:

  • Reduced tolerance
  • Harsh hangovers
  • Food cravings 

Reduced Tolerance

People on Keto diets typically have lower alcohol tolerances than people eating high-carb diets. This is because high-carb eaters have more stored glycogen on their bodies, which slows the rate of alcohol metabolism. 

Harsh Hangovers

Drinking while on a Keto diet also makes you more prone to hangovers. Scientists aren't sure why this happens yet, but the phenomenon is well-documented. Current theories suggest it may be related to electrolyte function, but more research is needed to say for sure. 

Staying hydrated can help, as can diluting drinks with sparkling mineral water. Drinking slowly and consuming less than you think you can get away with are also good practices, particularly if you are new to Keto or only just beginning to experiment with alcohol on a keto diet.  

Food Cravings

For many dieters, drinking alcohol can trigger food cravings. Specifically, people tend to crave fried or high-carb foods they wouldn't otherwise eat.  

Since alcohol also lowers your inhibitions, this can be a recipe for late-night carb binging, which will undo your Keto progress in a hurry. Choosing your drinks mindfully can help. 

What Not to Drink

Now that you know the science behind making smart Keto alcohol choices, let's talk about examples. 

What common drinks should you avoid to keep your calories and carbs within Keto-friendly ranges?

  • Beer
  • Wine coolers
  • Sweet wines and wine-based drinks such as Sangria
  • Fruity mixed drinks such as Margaritas, Pina Coladas, and Cosmopolitans
  • Rum
  • Brandy
  • Whiskey sours

All of these drinks are inherently high-sugar and high-carb, putting them at the top of the list of drinks most likely to wreck your diet. 

What to Drink Instead

So what should you drink? 

In general, all of the following can be good choices:

  • Dry red and white wines, including champagne
  • Distilled hard liquors such as vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, and scotch
  • Low-carb beers 
  • Low-carb hard seltzers

Remember to always check labels before purchasing or drinking alcoholic beverages. Hidden ingredients such as mixers or flavoring agents can add unexpected sugar or carbs, even to products marketed as "low-carb."  

Unwind With Smartvine

By now you may be shaking your head. "But who has time for all that?".  "Who wants to hunt down Keto-friendly wines and liquors while worrying about hidden hazards every time they want to share a drink with friends?" 

Just thinking about it sounds exhausting, right? But who wants to give up drinking entirely? 

Not us. That's why we created Smartvine wines in the first place!

We believe that sharing drinks with friends is an integral part of living one's best life. Smartvine wines have only one gram of sugar per bottle and only 2 carbs per glass.

With any of our wines, you can enjoy yourself with your friends stress-free. Even if you drink the whole bottle, you won't consume enough carbs to kick you out of ketosis! 

Smartvine is perfect for sharing, too. In addition to being Paleo- and Keto-friendly, it is:

  • Certified Vegan
  • Enhanced with a botanical ‘day after remedy’ to protect your liver and mitigate hangovers
  • Low in sugar (only 1 gram in the entire bottle)
  • 100% chemical and Glyphosate free
  • No added sulfites

Smartvine was created by a Certified Nutritionist so that you can have your health and social life, too! 

Wine and Wellness

Savvy Keto alcohol consumption can give you the best of both worlds: wine and wellness all in one delicious package! Smartvine makes Keto-friendly drinking easy. 

Check out our shop to learn more about our wines or explore our Wine Club for the ultimate in convenience and savings today. 

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