Drinking Alcohol With a Low Carbohydrate Diet: Good or Bad Idea?
Have you recently started a low-carbohydrate diet? Then drinking alcoholic drinks can be a confusing point for you.
Especially if you want to lose weight and still have a drink at his time.
Is drinking alcohol in moderation allowed in a low-carbohydrate diet or should we abstain from it?
And if you still drink, which low-carbohydrate drinks can you choose the best? This article answers all these questions.
Let me immediately disappoint the avid beer drinkers among us: most beers are a ‘no go’ if you follow a low-carbohydrate diet.
Beer contains a high carbohydrate content, because starch is one of the most important ingredients.
Drinking too much beer creates the well-known beer belly in men.
Mixed drinks and cocktails usually also contain a lot of carbohydrates because of ingredients such as added sugars, juices and other high-calorie mixtures that have been added to improve the taste.
Alcohol contains empty calories and can slow down fat burning
alcohol Studies confirm that overdrinking blocks fat burning and can impede weight loss. This is because your body does everything to get the toxic substance alcohol out of your body.
The liver receives the order to break down alcohol first. The fat burning is thus put on a lower burner (source). Food that has just been eaten is then converted more quickly into adipose tissue and eventually stored as body fat (source).
Heavy excessive drinking can also reduce fat burning and increase fatty acid synthesis, leading to an accumulation of triglycerides in the liver. Over time, this can lead to fatty liver (fatty liver disease) (source). This not only has adverse effects on your waist, but also serious consequences for your health.
For those who want to have a drink now and then I’ve made an overview below of alcoholic drinks with little to no carbohydrates (0 to 0.5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml):
- Note: that these alcoholic drinks contain few carbohydrates do not mean that they are low in calories! Excessive alcohol consumption can produce a lot of calories.
The above low-carbohydrate alcoholic drinks are best ordered in a bar or restaurant if you want to drink something. What is immediately noticeable is that almost all are strong drinks that generally contain little or no carbohydrates.
The carbohydrate content of wine may vary slightly, depending on the grape variety and the sweetness of the wine. That is why it is better to go for dry white wine (0.6 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml) if you still want to drink a glass of wine. I always recommend beer because of the large amount of carbohydrates in beer.
Low-carb food lowers alcohol tolerance
In a low-carbohydrate diet, most people need significantly less alcohol to get drunk. If you are driving, be extra careful.
You will notice that you are more likely to get tipsy when drinking alcohol. It certainly saves you money at the bar!
But how can we explain this?
This is probably due to the absence of carbohydrates, although little research has been done on this. My theory is that carbohydrates can serve as a buffer to slow down the breakdown of alcohol in the stomach.
The results of a study with 51 participants supports this idea. The study found that a meal with many carbohydrates (85% of the energy consisted of carbohydrates) significantly reduced the alcohol content in the blood compared to a protein-rich meal (94% of the energy was protein) (source).
That said, research shows that both carbohydrates and fats also reduce the absorption of alcohol, so probably more is going on (source).
Another possibility is the total amount of food you eat. Everyone knows the advice not to drink on an empty stomach, because this can lead to you getting drunk faster. Having food in your stomach slows down this process.
One of the advantages of a low-carbohydrate diet is that it provides a better feeling of satiety, which can result in a lower food intake. After all, you eat less!
In addition, most followers of a low-carbohydrate diet have the goal of losing weight, so these people choose to eat less than the average person.
Because you eat less, you are also quicker when you drink alcohol. Therefore, always try to drink sensibly when you are on a diet.
Excessive alcohol consumption is related to weight gain
In that respect, it does not matter whether you follow a low-carbohydrate diet or not, the best is still to drink alcohol in moderation. That means on average one drink per day for women and two drinks for men.
A study of 15,000 men found that increased alcohol consumption led to a greater risk of weight gain over a 24-year period (source).
If someone likes to drink a drink and follows a low-carbohydrate diet, I do not see any problems with that.
A moderate amount of alcohol – for example, two alcoholic drinks on a Saturday night can not really hurt when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals.
Certain drinks can easily fit into a low-carbohydrate diet if they are drunk in moderation. As you have read, wine and especially liquor are low in carbohydrates.
However, it is best not to drink more than 1-2 drinks a day, because excessive alcohol consumption can slow down fat burning and cause weight gain. My advice is therefore to drink in moderation only on weekends.
However, if you find yourself losing little or no weight, you should drink less alcohol. Because remember that less alcohol is always better if you want to achieve a healthy weight.
Drinking too much can lead to future health problems.
In short, focus on nutrition if you want to stay healthy!
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