I hardly ever drink, but when I do its vodka soda with a lime or a NorCal margarita. I was reading MDA's post about alcohol and he said that a clear (or even brown) unflavored liquor has no fat, protein, or carbs.
I was wondering if it can kick you out of ketosis if you drink?
Im not planning on drinking anytime soon (except MAYBE a glass of wine with the family on Christmas dinner) and Im not even sure if Im in ketosis yet (although Ive had a slightly metallic taste in my mouth for 2 days) but I was more curious than anything
asked byHoover (1683)
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on December 21, 2011
at 01:28 PM
My experience back when I first did Atkins and measured with the ketostix darned near obsessively, was "yes".
And so when someone posted links over on my blog to studies on a Spanish ketogenic diet that included 200-400 mL wine per day, I wondered over whether this could be truly a ketogenic diet. So I went looking around and discovered that ketonuria can actually be caused by alcohol consumption under certain circumstances!
Since fatty acids are oxidized to make the ketones, and alcohol suppresses fatty acid oxidation, alcohol will temporarily reduce new ketone formation. But perhaps b/c the alcohol must be metabolized "in real time", excess acetyl CoA in the pike gets converted and "dumped" as ketones.
In any case, once the alcohol is gone, the ketone production should pick up where it was left off provided that alcohol was not accompanied by any significant amount of carbs. Which, in retrospect, is what I think happened that first Atkins stint.
Low carbers beware: Those flavor infused spirits have some sugar in them. It's not on the label, they don't taste sweet like liqueurs, but if you let a bit sit out to evaporate you'll find they leave a sticky residue. I think the flavored vodka I used to drink was responsible for kicking me out of ketosis because I was getting just enough carb with the ethanol.
on December 21, 2011
at 02:36 PM
My understanding has been that alcohol stops ketosis because your body preferentially burns the alcohol before anything else. If you're burning alcohol instead of fat, you aren't producing ketones.
However, it's still not the same as eating a bunch of carbs, because it only stops the burning of fat; it doesn't reverse the process by raising insulin levels and shifting the body into fat storage mode. As soon as the alcohol is gone, your body should go right back to burning fat, without the need to alter its hormonal makeup1. So if you have to choose between vodka or soda, take the vodka. Alcohol with carbs is the worst, because you burn the alcohol, leaving the carbs nowhere to go except into storage, hence the beer belly.
And as Evelyn says, be careful, because sugar sneaks into drinks. Only plain distilled spirits like vodka and gin are truly zero-carb. If anything is added to it, there's probably sugar (or corn syrup) involved. And there's certainly sugar in your vodka soda unless you use diet soda, so it's best to learn to drink it on the rocks. (But then you'll notice the flavor, so you'll start wanting good vodka; the cheap stuff is pretty harsh without something to cover it up. A vodka martini made with the 'bar' label is a manly drink for sure.)
The Drs. Eades seem to have good luck with dry red wine, but they make sure to count the carbs in it. They like it and think it has beneficial effects, so it's worth it to them to cut food carbs back a bit to make room for a glass or two of wine (according to their earlier books; I haven't checked lately).
 The time needed for the body to "shift" from high insulin production to going heavier on glucagon, and all the other changes in various hormones and enzymes and so on that go with that, was always a concern on low-carb groups back in the day, but I don't know how big a deal it really is. It does seem to take a few days or more for the body to completely adjust from high-carb to low-carb. But I suspect that's because a lot of stored glycogen has to be burned off, not because it takes that long for hormone levels to change. After all, as I understand it, everyone shifts into fat-burning mode in the wee hours of the morning when they haven't eaten for several hours. And some people lost weight very well on the early Carbohydrate Addicts Diet, which allowed a single high-carb meal every day, so clearly they managed to get into fat-burning mode in less than 24 hours, probably quite a bit less. So I don't know if being "knocked out of ketosis" is really that big a deal, in the sense that it takes days to get back into it. It's probably more like hours or even minutes after the offending comestibles are out of the system.
on June 17, 2012
at 05:47 PM
Red wine does NOT always hault ketosis. Dry red wine. Not a sweet one. I drink 2-3 glasses weekly. Never once did it stop me registering ketonic. Dr. Peter Attia's blog address the science on why you can drink it. Basically there is only 4% sugar by weight in red wine and in moderation shouldnt knock you out of ketosis. My ketotic friend tried it too. Yay!! Still in ketosis.
on August 27, 2013
at 04:12 PM
I have been really strict with my diet but after a disagreement with my boyfriend, i had 3 glasses of red wine and fell over completely drunk, was sick which has never happened to me before, however, i wa wondering after that little episode, would I still be in Ketosis, I have lost 5lb in the first week, but realise its just fluid I am losing, for the second week of induction, do we lose more weight or more fluid?
on March 26, 2013
at 08:21 AM
Yes. I had less than a pint of beer on the weekend (with some carbs) and now I am out of ketosis :( NEVER DOING IT AGAIN BEFORE THE GOAL IS MET!!!