Alcohol. Let’s build a picture of what it does when you consume it.
Knowing the effects of what you consume may create a sense of accountability. Ignorance is bliss, but knowing may improve the quality of life. That, or drive you mad. If you don’t like to read just scroll your self down to the bottom for the take-home message.
When breaking down ethanol it creates acetaldehyde. What is that? Well, the body seems to see it as a toxic threat so what does it do? WOO WOO it slows down fat metabolism so it can deal with the load. No big deal, right? Eh! If you don’t care about losing the ability to burn fat and instead of storing more of it.
It’s just a couple pints of beer. A couple of glasses of wine…right? You and your body may disagree. Did you know that your little ol’ body can only convert acetaldehyde into 30 ml of acetyl CoA per hour! Yes, I used an exclamation mark because this may not be a fun piece of information on football Sunday, haha.
A typical pint of beer is 16 ounces. This will make most people produce just under 23 ml of acetyl CoA, so drinking just ONE has the power to prevent your body from burning fat for an hour. Yes, a WHOLE hour. Can you believe it!? If you start speeding up the rounds at dinner and continue until the last call, well my friend…
…you could produce enough acetyl CoA to disrupt fat metabolism for 9 to 12 hours afterward. That’s a long time. Especially if you’re really working on a goal with your diet and exercise.
Now that we got that fun bit of information out the way you’re probably thinking, “So, wait, can I drink anything!?”
Slow your roll my friend. You can. When you do drink, you can limit the damage by giving preference to the lowest calorie and lowest sugar beverages available. Like what? Think I would come this far without telling you? Bye.
Kidding. Below are some examples:
Best booze bet. Whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, brandy, and tequila have 0 grams of carbs and 95–105 calories per shot.
DRY WHITE WINE
Dry sparkling wines contain 1.3–3 grams carbs and 96–150 calories per five-ounce glass. Other dry whites also fare well, with Brut Cava (2.5 g carbs and 128 calories) and Champagne (2.8 g carbs and 147 calories) rounding out the podium, and Pinot Blanc not far behind (2.85 g carbs and 119 calories).
DRY RED WINE
Pinot noir, Merlot, Cabernet, and Syrah (Shiraz) have 3.4–3.8 grams of carbs per glass and around 120 calories.
LIGHT (LOW-CARB) AND DARK BEER
While beer is one of the more carbohydrate drenched booze choices out there, the lightest of the lightweight beers aren’t overly dangerous to a keto dieter. Budweiser Select contains under 2g carbs and 55 calories per 12 oz, and Miller 64 has 2.4g carbs and 64 calories. Stouts and porters (unfortunately my favorite. Hello Guinness!) are higher in calories than most other beer options, but they also offer more health-boosting properties, so don’t think you should exclude them on the weight of the numbers you see on their nutrition labels alone. Guinness has 125 calories and 9.4g of carbs (of which only 0.8 grams are sugar), but also boasts high levels of flavonoids (for all my winos this should sound familiar), which can help combat inflammation, lower oxidative stress, and reduce the oxygenation of cholesterol.
DRINKS TO AVOID:
ANY ALCOHOL SERVED WITH A SODA, SYRUP, OR FRUIT MIXER.
Sodas cram up to 50 grams of carbs in every 12 ounces. I don’t know about you, but 50 grams of carbs is my daily amount and I’m definitely not wasting it on a soda. Cocktails made with syrups or artificial fruit can pack 20 grams per serving. Beware of the ever so sweet drinks.
Some IPAs contain over 20 grams of carbs and more than 250 calories, and fruity beers can have more than 30 grams carbs and 300-plus calories.
Southern Comfort isn’t too bad with just 4.8 grams of carbs and 98 calories per serving. But Jägermeister, which I personally love, has 17 grams of carbs and 154 calories. Kahlua has 22g carbs, 137 calories, and amaretto 26g carbs, 165 calories. How many of you are shrinking down, haha! No worries being informed is better. I used to love drinks like Irish Car Bombs, but unless it’s for s special occasion it’s something better to be avoided. It packs a holly Holme sized kick.
The amount of tequila’s not the issue. The 100–175 calories and 30 grams of carbs in the mix are. I recommend just asking for just fresh lime juice.
These pack a hefty 15–30 grams carbs and have between 200 and 250 calories.
Moscato, port, and sherry contain up to 18 grams carbs and 75–100 calories per 3 ounces.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE:
To be on the safe side, it seems best to limit yourself to two drinks per night at the most. Remember that moderate drinking is not only tolerable to the body but may be helpful. You know you’ve heard of the centurion who has been drinking scotch their entire life. There are definitely some benefits that seem to increase longevity.
Now you know. Do what you may with this new found bit of information…beer bong anyone?