I have had my share of friends go Keto over the last couple years, so naturally one night as I was sitting with a whiskey in my hand I wondered “Can I drink whiskey if I go keto”. If you’re following a low-carb or ketogenic diet, you may be wondering this as well. You may also be wondering if some of your other favorite alcoholic drinks are keto-friendly. In this article, we’ll take a look at whether bourbon and whiskey fit into a keto diet and what to keep in mind when drinking alcoholic beverages on a low-carb diet.

Are Bourbon and Whiskey Keto Friendly?

Firstly, let’s clarify what a ketogenic diet is. A keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that encourages your body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis. When you’re in ketosis, your body uses ketones for energy instead of glucose, which is typically derived from carbohydrates. For this reason, the keto diet limits carbohydrates and promotes the consumption of healthy fats.

So, are bourbon and whiskey keto-friendly? Yes, they can be! Both bourbon and whiskey are low in carbohydrates, with most containing less than one gram of carbs per serving. That means you can enjoy them in moderation while following a keto diet.

It’s important to note that not all alcoholic drinks are created equal when it comes to carb content. Some alcoholic drinks, such as sweet liqueurs, fruit juice mixers, and beer (even light beer), can be high in carbohydrates and can easily kick you out of ketosis. If you’re following a strict keto diet, it’s best to avoid these types of drinks altogether.

When drinking bourbon or whiskey on a low-carb diet, it’s also essential to pay attention to the mixers you use. Soda and fruit juice mixers can quickly add up in carbs and added sugar, so it’s best to avoid them. If you really need to mix your drink (we recommend drinking on the rocks or neat with no mixer), try mixing your bourbon or whiskey with seltzer, diet soda, or bitters for added flavor without the extra carbs.

You may also want to try a low-carb or keto cocktail recipe, such as an old fashioned or whiskey sour. These cocktails use low-carb sweeteners like simple syrup and are often garnished with low-carb fruits like lemon or lime. Keep in mind that even low-carb cocktails should be consumed in moderation and within your daily carb count.

Hard liquors like bourbon and whiskey are distilled from fermented grains and the end product should not have any carbohydrates or sugars due to the distillation process which coverts the sugar in the grain to alchole. Therefore, they won’t raise your blood sugar and can be enjoyed in moderation while following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. In contrast, beer and wine contain carbohydrates from the fermentation process, and their carb content can vary widely depending on the type of beer or wine.

Is Wine Keto-Friendly?

All of our wine loving readers (including my wife) get ready to celebrate because, wine can be considered keto-friendly in moderation, as it typically contains lower carbs compared to other alcoholic beverages. However, it’s important to be mindful of your wine choices and consumption to stay within the parameters of a ketogenic diet.

When it comes to wine, opt for dry wines, such as red or white wines, as they generally contain fewer carbs compared to sweet wines. Dry wines typically have around 2-4 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving, making them a better option for those following a keto diet.

To further minimize carb intake, avoid fortified wines or dessert wines, as they tend to be higher in sugar and carbs. It’s also essential to watch your portion sizes and not exceed moderate consumption, as excessive alcohol intake can hinder ketosis and negatively impact your health goals.

When enjoying wine on a keto diet, it’s best to pair it with low-carb, high-fat foods to balance your macros. Opt for keto-friendly snacks like cheese, nuts, or charcuterie boards that are low in carbs but high in fats to complement your wine choices.

Is Beer Keto-Friendly?

Beer can be a trickier choice for those following a keto diet. Most beers contain a high number of carbs, which can quickly add up and put you over your daily limit. However, there are some options that can work for keto dieters. Light beers are a good option as they generally have fewer carbs than regular beers. Some light beers even advertise that they are “low carb” on the label. Another option is to look for “low-carb” beers, which have fewer carbs than regular beers. However, it’s important to note that even low-carb beers still have some carbohydrates, so it’s important to monitor your intake and factor them into your daily carb count. Overall, while beer can be enjoyed in moderation on a keto diet, it’s important to choose wisely and keep track of your carb intake. 

If beer is more your style, here are a few keto friendly beers to try out:

  • Budweiser Select 55 (1.9g per 8-ounce can)
  • Corona Premier (2.6g per 12-ounce can or bottle)
  • Michelob Ultra (2.6g per 12-ounce can or bottle)
  • Miller Lite (3.2g per 12-ounce can or bottle)

Is Tequila Keto-Friendly?

Tequila is a popular choice among keto dieters due to its low-carb content, making it an excellent alcoholic beverage to enjoy while following the keto diet. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant and goes through a distillation process (just like whiskey!), which eliminates most of the carbohydrates. However, it is essential to choose a high-quality tequila that is 100% agave and avoid any cheaper tequilas that may contain added sugars or other additives that can negatively impact blood sugar levels. We want to stress this again. 100%, pure agave, tequila or agave should be your only choice here. A spirit can be referred to as tequila as long as it is 51% agave which means that your Jose Cuervos of the world will be skimping on the good stuff and finishing the batch up with cheaper, non tequila, alternatives. When drinking tequila on a keto diet, it’s best to drink it straight or mixed with a keto-friendly mixer like soda water or a splash of lime juice. Avoid any sweetened mixers or sugary fruit juices, as these can significantly increase carb intake. Overall, tequila is a great low-carb option for keto dieters to enjoy in moderation while following their diet plan.

Your new Alcohol tolerance on a keto diet

It’s important to prioritize your safety and the safety of others when it comes to drinking alcohol on a ketogenic diet. One big thing to keep in mind is that you might not be able to put the drinks back like you used to before Keto. With the reduced carb intake on keto, alcohol can be processed faster, leading to a quicker onset of intoxication. This means that you may feel the effects of alcohol more quickly and be caught off guard.

It’s essential to be mindful of your alcohol intake and pay attention to how it affects you now, rather than relying on your previous alcohol tolerance. It’s always best to appoint a sober designated driver or make alternative transportation arrangements to ensure that you and others stay safe on a night out or in.

Remember, your health and well-being should always take precedence over indulging in alcohol. Taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach and being responsible with your alcohol consumption is crucial while following a ketogenic lifestyle. Your life and the safety of others are worth more than just one extra drink. Stay mindful and make responsible choices when it comes to alcohol on the keto diet. Cheers to a safe and enjoyable experience!

To Sum All This Up

In conclusion, bourbon and whiskey can be keto-friendly alcoholic beverages, as they are low in carbohydrates and can fit into a low-carb or ketogenic diet. However, it’s important to keep in mind the types of mixers and sweeteners you use when drinking alcohol on a low-carb diet. Stick to low-carb mixers like seltzer, diet soda, or bitters, and avoid high-carb mixers like fruit juice or added sugar. Additionally, be sure to consume alcohol in moderation and keep track of your carb count. With these tips, you can enjoy a glass of bourbon or whiskey without kicking yourself out of ketosis!