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so I worked with a lot of busy business people a lot of executives that are always having to Wine and Dine clients or go out to business lunches and business dinners and they’re always asking me when it comes down to ketosis what is the effect of drinking alcohol on ketosis in the body will it negatively impact ketosis will it positively impact ketosis how does it affect the liver from metabolizing ketones in the first place well I wanted to do this video to break down how ketosis and drinking are related and how we can really understand the process of metabolization when it comes to alcohol so in order to do that I have to give you the initial breakdown of how alcohol is digested in the body it’s actually quite simple so we don’t need to overcomplicate it when you consume alcohol your body is a couple of different enzymes that convert it into something else the first enzyme is alcohol dehydrogenase the second enzyme is aldehyde dehydrogenase and all these enzymes do is they break alcohol down into something that’s known as acetaldehyde acetaldehyde is extremely extremely extremely toxic alcohol in and of itself isn’t all that toxic the body can actually really let it run through the body pretty easily but these enzymes break it down into something that’s very toxic and it’s toxic because it’s broken down into small pieces that the liver needs to try to metabolize well what that ultimately means is that the liver is always going to prioritize this toxic substance once the liver processes the alcohol into acetaldehyde it converts it even further into something known as acetic acid and acetic acid is totally harmless to the body in fact acetic acid is quite healthy we have acetic acid in things like apple cider vinegar and then from there the acetic acid is broken down into water and carbon dioxide and it’s excreted so it’s a simple process the body can actually relatively efficiently process alcohol but there’s some very important things that you need to know when it comes down to ketosis and alcohol you’re going to make this very clear alcohol will disrupt your ketosis diet however only temporarily so like I mentioned once the liver is processing that acetaldehyde it prioritizes it above all else it’s extremely toxic so the liver says okay everything else goes on the back burner and I need to metabolize this acetaldehyde and get it out of the body what does that mean happens to ketone production well if you’ve watched any of my other videos you know that fatty acid oxidation and ketone production occurs in the liver so when you’re trying to get the benefits of ketosis by helping your fatty acids in the body convert into ketones so you can have energy and burn fat well that alcohol is stopping that is disrupting it it’s stepping in front of it it’s cutting in line so it’s making it so that the liver cannot produce ketones for a short period of time you see when you look at ketosis in general the whole idea is having a high level of free fatty acids in the bloodstream so the liver can actively convert those into ketones if you don’t have free fatty acids in the bloodstream you’re never getting into ketosis and your body’s breaking down muscle tissue and your body is really starving because doesn’t have the energy source it has to get its energy from somewhere that’s why in ketosis we try to eat such a high-fat diet we’re trying to keep the fats mobilized all the time so that they can go through the liver and turn into ketones so I’ll make it very very clear again the alcohol steps in front of the ketone production now that being said alcohol just pauses the fat burning it’s not nearly as bad as having say carbohydrates okay when you have carbohydrates what’s going to happen is you’re actually restoring your liver glycogen levels now your body has to actually erase the damage from the carbohydrates and then ramp up fat burning again whereas alcohol just pauses it carbohydrates allow you to take a step back okay not saying that alcohol and carbohydrates are in the same playing field when it comes to toxicity whole different worlds there but when it comes down to fat metabolism carbs are actually gonna do a little bit more damage than alcohol and this is coming from a guy that doesn’t really drink I’m just being totally honest with you alcohol is not as impactful long-term in ketosis as people may think now the other thing that you’re gonna notice and this might be a good thing depending on how you look at it is the fact that you’re gonna be a cheaper date you’re gonna notice that you require a lot less alcohol to get drunk or to feel intoxicated at all and it simply has to do with the fact that your liver glycogen is low when your liver glycogen is high meaning it has a lot of carbohydrates in it that’s one more thing that the alcohol can get absorbed in when you don’t have those carbohydrates the alcohol goes straight into the liver processing and it gets you drunk really really fast it converts to acetaldehyde very very fast that alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase don’t have any other amylase enzymes to compete with or anything like that they’re just going straight for the gusto and converting it to acetaldehyde so that can be a good thing but you’ll also notice that you recover quite a bit faster you get drunk quicker and then you bounce back a little bit quicker but you also might notice that the hangovers are significantly worse because it’s so much easier to get dehydrated so let’s cut to the chase really quick what are the safe drinks what should you avoid and what does you have well first and foremost you really want to avoid the beers plain and simple turn-key tells us just 86 the beers you don’t need them first of all they’re super high in carbs or super high in gluten and extremely high and the phytoestrogens that are going to emulate estrogen in your body and make you soft and make you feel not so good okay if you are gonna drink I highly recommend you go for the hard stuff and the triple distilled or quadruple distilled drinks talking about things like vodka talking about tequila and maybe some gin stay away from the brandy stay away from the cognac all that kind of stuff something that has so many congeners in it it’s going to put an extra taxation on your liver now as far as the diluting schoo go with seltzer water something like that okay so some triple distilled vodka with some seltzer water would be a perfect drink when you’re in ketosis and a lot of people asking about the wines well believe it or not red wine shirt has antioxidants in it but I’ll be honest with you the antioxidant effect of red wine is so minimal it’s practically a joke you’re better off going from the lower carbohydrate content of a white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc a simple four ounce serving of Sauvignon Blanc only has about 2.7 grams of carbohydrates so there you go that might be the best choice for you but all this being said at the end of the day they’re putting a tax on your liver okay your liver needs to operate efficiently and if you’re constantly taxing it with alcohol and acetaldehyde you are long-term going to affect your ketosis results so when word to the wise would be try to limit your drinking to one night a week and do it with the above listed drinks so as always if you have any ideas on future videos to make your ketosis lite easier or make your intermittent fasting life easier put them in the comment section below so that my team and I can see them so we can get you the best content ever I’ll see you in the next video
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How Alcohol Affects a Ketogenic Diet: Carbs- Thomas DeLauer
Ketosis and Alcohol:
Alcohol is metabolized by several processes or pathways. The most common of these pathways involves two enzymes – alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase. (ALDH)
These enzymes help break apart the alcohol molecule, making it possible to eliminate it from the body. First, ADH metabolizes alcohol to acetaldehyde, a highly toxic substance and known carcinogen. Then, in a second step, acetaldehyde is further metabolized down to another, less active byproduct, acetate, which then is broken down into water and carbon dioxide for easy elimination. Acetaldehyde has the potential to cause significant damage in the liver, where the bulk of alcohol metabolism takes place. Some alcohol metabolism also occurs in other tissues, including the pancreas and the brain, causing damage to cells and tissues. Additionally, small amounts of alcohol are metabolized to acetaldehyde in the gastrointestinal tract, exposing these tissues to acetaldehyde’s damaging effects.
Drinking and Ketosis:
Not all alcoholic beverages are the same, but alcohol is the same across the board; it’s a macronutrient with seven calories per gram and a byproduct of fermentation. Essentially, a sugar compound is acted upon by yeast and the yeast produces alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Can Slow Weight Loss:
You can still drink and stay in ketosis, however, it can slow down weight loss and fat loss. The liver will start to process alcohol as quickly as possible, which means it’s used by the body before all other nutrients – alcohol will be burned off before your body resumes burning fat for energy as the alcohol you intake will start to be metabolized immediately. Having a drink means you’ll convert less fatty acids to ketones, meaning there’s less fat being burned in the process – so alcohol will temporarily reduce new ketone formation. This is because fatty acids are oxidized to make the ketones, and alcohol suppresses fatty acid oxidation. However, it’s still not the same as eating too many 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.
Get Drunk Quicker:
You’ll also notice your alcohol tolerance is lower when eating a keto diet, especially if you incorporate fasting. Since someone following a low-carb diet will have their glycogen stores depleted and will be running on fats instead of glucose, the alcohol will be metabolized by the liver much faster than someone with high glycogen stores to burn through. You won’t have the carbs to soak up the alcohol.
You need to be mindful of carbs, particularly in beer, as excessive consumption could kick you out of ketosis.
(Not usually made with added sugars or flavorings, so it’s a good default zero-carb choice.) Tequila, vodka, etc.
Diet tonic water, Seltzer water, and Erythritol or stevia instead of sugar
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon (3.8 grams), Merlot (3.7 grams)
Whites: Sauvignon Blanc (2.7 grams), Chardonnay (3.7 grams)
For beers, choose light options like:
Rolling Rock Green Light: 2.4 carbs
Natural Light: 3.2 carbs
Miller Lite: 3.2 carbs
Alcohol’s Effects on the Body | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). (n.d.). Retrieved from
NIAAA Publications. (n.d.). Retrieved from
The Ultimate Keto Alcohol Guide | Tasteaholics.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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