Keto Diet – Should We Drink Alcohol? A Cautionary Tale


We need to go somewhere. Some place warm. A place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano.

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide enjoy poisoning themselves on a daily basis for the slight boost in confidence and sociability. It is very casually consumed by many people, despite causing stupor, unconsciousness, and death. Obviously, alcohol in moderation isn’t going to immediately kill you, but it can still lead to binge drinking, physical dependence, cancer, and alcoholism.

Zooming out and looking at the issue on a societal scale, have you ever wondered what the net social cost is for having alcohol available to the general public? Lots of countries still prohibit the manufacture and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

LOL but who cares about that? Getting wasted with your friends is one of America’s past times. We didn’t even let the party stop after Prohibition. We love booze so much that we started killing each other over it.

The Cool Carnivore has had a very tumultuous relationship with alcohol, to put it mildly. I started drinking in high school and actually got my party phase out of me before college even rolled around. Beer, wine, liquor, whatever. You name it, I liked it. Going out to bars and having fun was a common ritual; it was a constant that I always had with my social group to keep that steady cohesion. If bars didn’t exist, what the hell would we do for fun?

With starting the keto diet a year ago, I was disappointed to find out that having a few Keystones (the ultimate white trash beer) would knock me out of ketosis and all my hard work and discipline would be for nothing. It seemed as if burning fat and acting like a hooligan were mutually exclusive. I didn’t want to be destined to be a chubby lard ass forever, so it was time to do some research.

I found this sweet infographic from DraftMag.com to see which beer I could drink:

It doesn’t take a beer connoisseur to see that if you want to cut carbs while sipping beer, you’re going to have to significantly sacrifice the flavor, which in turn also sacrifices the pleasant aspects of getting trashed. Bud Select and Natty Light? I’d almost rather drink my own urine.

My mind then turned to other alcoholic beverages. I had to turn away from fermented drinks because they were obviously derived from barley, wheat, rye, rice, and corn. Once you’re fat-adapted from the food you eat, those ingredients will make you shudder with pure terror.

What about distilled drinks? For example, rum is made from sugarcane products, such as molasses. On first glance, I wouldn’t be able to drink rum on my diet. However, carbohydrates are removed during the distilling processes! The same goes for other hard liquors such as vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey! This opens up all sorts of possibilities!

One cool realization I had was how much faster I could get drunk if this was my only option. Drinking straight tequila would get me plastered in no time. What a much more efficient way of boozing! Those of you who are keto/carnivore dieters, please be super CAREFUL before you start doing this.

I learned a painful lesson, the extra-hard way. I was not unaware that ketosis completely eliminated my ability to handle alcohol. It DRAMATICALLY lowered by alcohol tolerance. I was blindsided by this because I used to pride myself on my prowess at stomaching tons of booze.

One fateful night I was invited out to a bar with a bunch of coworkers. Earlier that day I had gotten a LEGIT deal on a full slab of tasty ribeye. $4.99/lb for grade A choice ribeye. DUH. For dinner that night I had cut myself three steaks, probably weighing around 2.5 pounds in total. I smashed them all in a matter of minutes, and I was ready for a night on the town!

This coincided with the time where I had this newfound knowledge about the carb content of various alcoholic beverages. I didn’t even drink at the bar while all of my friends were getting sloshed. I knew we were stopping by a liquor store on the way back to my pal’s place, so that is where I was gonna buy some vodka and I would “catch up” with them later.

We stopped and I was actually gifted a bottle of vodka and a 2 liter of Sprite Zero because they were well aware of me being that “crazy only meat-eating guy”. Also, I wasn’t going to drink vodka straight because I wasn’t a degenerate alcoholic who enjoyed that.

When we got back to his apartment I poured a bit of vodka in a glass with a generous amount of Sprite Zero. Perfect! An average tasting mixed drink with a way higher alcoholic content than the beer they were drinking. Time to catch up!

Using distance running as a metaphor, I not only caught up to them, but I lapped them. Twice. I probably had three drinks total, none with a truly significant amount of vodka. Within an hour I had turned into a complete animal. I have a habit of always being the center of attention, and I get very passionate and worked up over nothing. This was amplified by the alcohol. There were around ten of us and for the next three hours, I was speaking 90% of the time. Going OFF about conspiracy theories such as how JFK was murdered by the CIA and how aliens have actually been recovered from UFO crash sites and it had been declassified by actual FBI documents.

It was a complete shitshow. But they were entertained. At least, so I thought. By the time it was time for all of us to call in a night I was what I considered to be mildly-drunk. I had been drinking for approximately four hours, but I had been drinking pretty slowly.

When I got home, I opened my front door and immediately was stricken with a bout of complete and utter illness. The vodka was hitting me like a goddamned freight train. I stumbled to the kitchen and REGURGITATED three giant-ass ribeye steaks into the sink (which still tasted good, I might add). For the next ten minutes, I was dry heaving as my body was purging itself of the poison it had absorbed. But it was too late! The alcohol was in my bloodstream, ready to make the next few hours of my life a living hell. I was puking so loudly and violently that I woke my girlfriend sleeping a few rooms over, and she was VERY concerned for my health.

The whole time I was thinking “WTF? I didn’t even drink that much.” I unintentionally made a complete ass of myself. I had only been forced to vomit one other time, and that was from chugging a half handle of UV cherry when I was 16. This was the time I realized that ketosis had turned me into a 6-year-old girl who was drinking alcohol for the first time. I woke up the next morning feeling like I was beaten up in some gang initiation ritual.

When eating the standard American diet, your body stores lots and lots of glycogen. In ketosis, your body has very depressed levels of this glycogen because you aren’t getting any glucose from the foods you eat. Low levels of glycogen mean that there are fewer substances in your body to absorb alcohol.

If you are new to the ketogenic or carnivore lifestyle, feel free to drink hard liquors, but remember to tread carefully! Your tolerance will likely be a lot lower than you might think!

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