Everything You Need To Know About Ketogenic Diet and Alcohol

Let me be real with you for a second…

I was born in the USSR and spent the majority of my life there. Alcohol is running through my veins from generations to generations of Eastern European drinking culture.

It is only logical to create the ultimate keto diet alcohol cheat sheet.

Alcohol is not only a topic that I want to discuss but I also want to share some Russian hacks that I use to stay ketogenic and tipsy at the same time.

Keto diet macros

keto diet macros

 

Most people on ketogenic diet track their macros. Macros are macronutrients in short. There are 3 main macronutrients that provide us with energy throughout the day: protein, fat, and carbs.

Where does ketosis and alcohol fit in?

Interestingly enough, alcohol is the fourth macronutrient. It provides us with plenty of fun and energy on weekends.

Alcohol runs at 7 calories per gram. That is a lot of energy!

In comparison, fat runs at 9 calories per gram, protein and carbs at 4 calories per gram.

It should give you an idea that drinking a lot can easily put you overboard with your daily keto caloric intake. I want to admit that I have done this multiple times.

No worries, alcohol during keto can be done.

So, for example, you go out with your friends and it feels like a fun night so you take 2 tequila shots.

What happens to that liquor in your body?

BTW, high five on that keto sodium intake with tequila. It definitely helped you out.

Our body processes alcohol as a toxic substance. About 98% of it gets metabolized by our liver and another %2 is excreted through our keto urine, keto sweat, and even keto breath.

Russian Alcohol Hack #1:

Before you start drinking, take 2-3 activated charcoal pills. No hangover since 1995. Proven to work for me.

Keto alcohol tolerance

keto alcohol tolerance

 

Let’s go back to the two tequila shots that you just took. If you are fat adapted you should start feeling tipsy pretty quickly.

Let’s go back to the two tequila shots that you just took. If you are fat adapted you should start feeling tipsy pretty quickly.

It will most likely happen much quicker, than if you were not on keto diet.

It occurs for a couple of reasons.

First, because of the carb depletion, you will start processing alcohol before your body resumes processing fat for energy, so the two tequila shots you took will start metabolizing immediately.

Secondly, even due to low inhibition threshold you WILL NOT eat carbs ( taco bell, wendy’s, pizza etc.), which traditionally slows down alcohol metabolism and it makes you feel not as drunk.

Hey, at least your nights out are not going to be as expensive as they used to be, and you will be staying in ketosis.

Russian Alcohol Hack #2:

If you ever take shots of any hard liquor, keep it in a freezer beforehand for at least 3 hours. Even the worst liquor will taste very smooth and you will take shots like a champ.

Does keto weight loss stalls on alcohol?

keto weight loss stalls

 

You had a great night out with friends and you didn’t eat that jumbo slice of pizza. Good for you!

While on a ketogenic diet, you are considered to be a fat burning machine.

It happens because your body is depleted of glycogen stores and it uses fat as the main energy source.

Glycogen is a polysaccharide that is derived from glucose (carbs that we consume). It functions as a secondary long-term energy storage. The primary energy storage is fat that is stored in our body.

If the primary energy storage is fat in your body, why don’t we burn it first?

Our body is very efficient when it comes to most things. In order to use fat as energy, it needs to do extra steps to turn it into ketones.

It is not smart to do extra steps when you have glycogen readily available for energy. So our body uses glycogen until there is very little amount of it left.

When it comes to alcohol, the best analogy would be an annoying friend (alcohol) who comes uninvited to your house (liver) while you need to get work done (burn fat).

You seem to like your friend’s company but you are trying to kick him out of the house as fast as possible so you can continue doing work.

Whether alcohol stalls your ketogenic progress, it varies from person to person. For me, it does not stall the progress, unless I drink more than I should.

Russian Alcohol Hack #3:

If you ever take shots of vodka or any other liquor, right after the shot try to smell something strong (bread, pickles, friend’s hair) or whatever near you. It masks the harshness of vodka.

Drunk keto snacks and your keto meal before drinking

keto snacks

 

When you are on a ketogenic diet, preparation for drinking is far more important than drinking itself.

What you eat and drink before will define how you feel in the morning.

My typical ketogenic meal before the night out involves broccoli ( potassium and magnesium ), chicken thighs (fat, protein), and 16 oz of beef bone broth ( sodium ).

For snacks, I use salted sunflower seeds. It is hard to eat too much of them because of all the work that you have to do.

Don’t forget about activated charcoal from my hack #1.

What about drunk keto munchies after you had far too many?

For me, I always keep a jar of peanut butter ready, chicken or beef broth, and of course, my favorite drunk snack – scrambled eggs.

Peanut butter works best because after eating two spoonfuls you are thirsty and it forces you to drink water and ultimately rehydrate your body.

Keto Alcohol Hangover

keto hangover

 

Ouch… This keto hangover might feel much worse than you expected.

There is a reason for that. If you are on ketogenic diet, your glycogen stores are extremely low.

Each gram of glycogen is bound to 3-4 grams water. So now, naturally, you have much less water stored in your body.

On top of this, alcohol decreases the body’s production of the antidiuretic hormone, which causes increased urination.

As a result, you might have one of the worst hangovers ever if you don’t take care of your body beforehand.

Life happens and now you have to deal with it. Here is a least of traditional and non-traditional cures against keto alcohol hangover.

Our goal is to rehydrate our body, get rid of upset stomach, and dull the pain from alcohol “withdrawal”.

I usually start my morning with a glass of water with electrolytes in them. I use LyteShow. Today is not the day when you skip on your water. 64 oz is your goal.

A lot of Russians drink pickle juice as a hangover cure. It acts similarly to electrolytes but it is also good for upset stomach. It has helped me multiple times in my early drinking career.

Breakfast is crucial. I make plenty of eggs with spinach. Spinach will help to boost your vitamin C levels. Eggs act as a hangover cure because they have a special protein albumin that helps to rehydrate your body.

Some people recommend coffee to help with a headache because it is a vasoconstrictor.

For me, coffee is one of the biggest reasons for excessive urination and I would rather not lose more fluids at this point.

Some studies might argue that coffee doesn’t cause a person to urinate more. I am just talking from my personal experience.

I take ibuprofen to dull my headache, while I am trying to rehydrate my body. My friends take Alka-Seltzer or Pepto-Bismol. I have never done it but it seems to work for my friends.

If I have a queasy stomach in the morning, I drink mint or ginger tea. They are both notorious for curing upset stomach. Chicken broth also helps.

People say that you should just have another drink, but it is a horrible idea. Don’t prolong the inevitable. Just deal with it now instead of Monday morning.

The Ultimate Keto Diet Alcohol List (360+ items)

keto alcohol list

 

Here I combined multiple resources and came up with a list of 360+ items that includes both mixers and alcohol sorted by carb content in them.

I would definitely try to stick with keto friendly alcohol on this list.

Download full free keto diet alcohol and mixers speadsheet now!

 

Conclusion

Ketogenic diet and alcohol can coexist together. You should take preparation for drinking seriously if you don’t want to end up with keto hangover in the morning.

Have a keto friendly meal with plenty of electrolytes before you go out, stay hydrated, watch out for hidden carbs and calories in mixed drinks, and don’t go bananas on carbs when drunk.

The best advice that I can give though is to drink responsibly and don’t drive drunk.

What is your alcohol story while being on keto diet?