Can You Drink Alcohol If You're On The Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that is often used to lose weight and improve energy levels. The main goal of the diet is to significantly reduce your daily carb intake, so your body can enter a state of ketosis and start burning fat (via Women's Health). Because of how restrictive the keto diet is, there are quite a few foods and beverages that are off-limits, but alcohol doesn't necessarily have to be one of them. 

While there are certain alcoholic drinks you might want to avoid if you're on the keto diet, you can still drink alcohol and stay in ketosis. "Alcohol itself does not reduce ketone levels," Colleen Tewksbury, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Women's Health. "Many alcoholic drinks, however, are high in carbs and could lower ketone levels. This includes sugary drinks like mixed drinks and cocktails." In other words, it's the sugar and carbs, not the alcohol that determines whether or not an alcoholic drink is keto-friendly.

The best alcoholic drinks for the keto diet

Although you might want to stay away from sugary cocktails and mixers while you're in ketosis, there are plenty of other alcoholic beverages you can enjoy on the keto diet. Not all alcoholic options are equal when it comes to staying in ketosis. For instance, pure alcohol contains little-to-no carbohydrates (via Healthline). Tequila, gin, whiskey, vodka, and rum are completely free of carbs, while wine and light beer contain 3 to 4 grams of carbs per serving. 

If you're not a fan of drinking liquor straight up, there are a few low-carb mixers you can use to improve the taste of your beverage. Some keto-friendly drink mixers include seltzer, diet soda, sugar-free tonic water, and Crystal Light drink mix. Regardless of the carb content of your beverage, it's important to drink responsibly and in moderation. Excessive drinking is bad for your overall health and can lead to serious health conditions and complications. 

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).