In short, yes you can drink on a Keto diet and alcohol will not kick you out of ketosis. You would never drink pure alcohol so it’s the stuff that’s mixed with the alcohol that can kick you out of ketosis. We have put together this handy guide to let you know what’s fine, what’s definitely not fine, and some things to watch out for.
Can you drink beer and cider on Keto?
There are some restrictions you will probably want to adhere to on beer, but generally you will want to stick with lower carb, light beer. Take a look at our list of the best low carb beer where we have found some good beers for those on a keto diet.
Craft beers, ales and stouts are all pretty much are normally packed with carbs so should be avoided generally.
Cider is pretty much a no-go, most ciders are full of sugar. Even the stronger, dryer ciders such as Weston’s Old Rosie contain upwards of 20g sugar per pint.
Alcopops that are marketed as ciders such as Rekorderlig and Old Mout, and other similar ‘ciders’ can contain over 35-40g sugars per pint!
Spirits are your best bet when on Keto diet as many of them contain less than 1g or even no carbs per 25ml serving, if you stick to any spririts 37.5% or above and stay away from liquers and pre mixed spirit drinks.
Flavoured spirits should generally be avoided, flavoured vodkas can have an extra 100-200 kcal and often contain sugar.
Sugary liquer drinks such as Jagermeister and Baileys contain upwards of 10g sugar per 25ml serving so should be avoided. This is drinks such as Jagermeister, Aperol, and Baileys. If you want to consume the least amount of sugar possible you should stick with spirits that are 37.5% or above which will be lower calorie and are generally carb free spirits.
Cocktails should also be avoided because although the main ingredients are spirits, they are normally mixed with sugary syrups and juices. If you make cocktails yourself and know all the ingredients it can be possible to make keto friendly cocktails if you keep the ingredients simple and use carb free mixers.
Low Carb Mixers
Mixers that are keto friendly include:
- Diet soda – diet Coke, Pepsi Max, 7up Free most diet drinks contain zero sugar and zero carbs
- Diet energy drinks – sugar free Red Bull, Monster Ultra, etc. Most bars will stock the sugar free version of the energy drinks that are normally extremely sugary. Just ask for sugar free energy drink when ordering.
Watch out for
- Slimline tonic – these are not the same as diet soda drinks. For example Fever Tree light tonic contains around 4g carbs and 3g sugar per 100ml. These might be ok for you in moderation but watch out. In a single gin and slimline tonic you might be getting 50-75ml tonic which would be around 2g sugar.
Cocktails and Mixed Drinks
OK in small quantities:
- Pimms and diet lemonade – 1.2g sugar per serving, make sure you’re drinking with a diet, sugar free mixer. Pre mixed Pimms drinks will be with full sugar lemonade normally
- Gin and slimline tonic – ~2g sugar per serving depending on the tonic. The gin has no carbs so you can drink gin and soda or gin and diet lemonade on keto.
- Long island ice tea – even with diet Coke or Coke Zero this will have simple syrup or a pre mixed cocktail mixture in it which are pretty much sugar and water.
Can you drink wine on keto?
Wine is generally fine in moderation, stay away from sweetened wine with added sugar and flavourings. You want to watch out for wine based drinks that are sold in a wine bottle, look like wine but are not actually wine. The first thing to look for is the percentage of alcohol in the wine, if it’s below around 11-12% then it’s almost definitely a wine based drink you should stay away from.
The second thing to watch out for is the style of wine, sweeter wines will have more sugar than dryer wines. Sparkling wines come in brut styles which means all of the sugar has been fermented into alcohol, so there will be no residual sugars when you drink it resulting in much lower carb content.
- Prosecco / Champagne / Sparkling Wine – somewhat surprisingly this can be a good choice for keto. A brut prosecco can have around 1-2g carbs per 125ml serving. A less dry sparkling wine can have closer to 3-5g carbs per serving. So make sure you are buying brut when buying your sparkling wines.
- Red Wine – a bitter red wine can contain less than 1g carbs per serving, whilst a less dry red wine may have up to 6g sugar per serving.
- White Wine – these are harder to say in general because of the way they are made. Generally a dry white wine will have 0.5-2g carbs per glass, while a sweeter white wine will have around 4-6g carbs per glass.
- Rose Wine – again the range is wide so you should judge based on the particular drink you want but dry rose wine carbs are around 1-3g per glass while a sweet rose wine could have 5-8g sugar.
One big thing that can catch people out is following all the correct rules in keeping their drinks low carb, but then lose self control and start snacking on non keto foods. Most people’s favourite drunk foods are probably not keto friendly at all, kebabs, fried chicken, burgers, etc – all loaded with carbs. There are some keto friendly fast food options available so you just have to trust in yourself and keep strict if you want to stay on your diet.