Dieting in any form is ever popular but you will be hard pressed to find a more popular and possibly effective diet than the keto diet. The aim of the keto diet is to reduce your carb intake substantially but alcohol is high in carbs right?
Well there is a new breed of low carb, low calorie, alcoholic drinks which are exploding on the market at the minute which might just be the most comparable with the keto diet, the hard seltzer. Can you drink hard seltzers on the ket diet?
Can you drink hard seltzers on the keto diet?
Strictly speaking you should avoid alcohol whilst on the keto diet but one of the best alcoholic drinks you can have is a hard seltzer. They only have 2g of carbs per 12fl oz serving and usually around 100kcal. This means the carb load is very low as is the overall calorie count.
There is even a hard seltzer which has zero carbs and might be the best option of the lot.
What is the keto diet?
The Ketogenic diet or Keto diet for short, is a low carb and high fat diet which can offer many health benefits.
The aim is to slash your carb intake and replace it with fats, this puts your body into a state called a ketotic state or ketosis, hence the name.
When you enter this state, your body becomes much more efficient at burning fat for energy and therefore you lose your stored fat easier.
The most popular version would be the SKD – Standard ketotic diet. Your nutrient breakdown would be 70% fats, 20% protein and only 10% carbs.
With carbs reduced way down to 10%, you have to be very careful what you eat and drink. Beer is known to have carbs so the question is can you drink any non alcoholic beers on the keto diet?
Can you drink alcohol on the keto diet?
You can drink alcohol on keto but there are catches…
- Alcohol in beer is usually accompanied with carbs
- Some alcohol won’t kick you out of ketosis but it will slow it
- Alcohol is fattening and highly calorific on its own anyway
- Your hangovers will be worse and you will get drunk quicker
Therefore you would avoid alcohol on keto if you possibly could.
How many carbs are in hard seltzers?
The industry standard seems to invariably be 2g of carbs per 12fl oz can or a little under 0.6g per 100ml. In anyones book this is particularly low.
There are not many fizzy, long, alcoholic drinks that can match this low carb level. Only a small handful of non alcoholic beers can compare to it.
The actual split of carbs can vary with some brands showing they are all in the form of sugar with others saying only 1g of the carbs is sugar. For practical terms in the keto diet, this doesn’t really effect anything.
Is there a zero carb hard seltzer?
The only product from White Claw which has zero carbs is their “White Claw Pure” hard seltzer. It is marketed as an alternative to vodka and soda which you can add your own fruit to. White Claw doesn’t contain any vodka and the overall calories are the same as the standard White Claw range of products.
The manage to create this zero calorie drink by combining pure alcohol with fizzy water. Both have no carbs. Usually the carbs come from the sweet flavouring but as this has no extra flavouring, it has zero carbs.
How much alcohol is in a hard seltzer?
Most standard hard seltzers on the market in the USA have 5% alcohol by volume. This would include White Claw, Truly, Topo Chico, Vizzy, Corona Tropical etc.
There is a bit of a difference in some of the brands in the UK and EU. For some reason they tend to be sold as 4.5% ABV, this would apply to the likes of White Claw, Topo Chico and Corona Tropical.
White Claw actually have a “Surge” range with a whopping 8% ABV and comes in a 16fl oz can. This equates to over double the amount of alcohol per Surge can vs a normal one.
Where do the 100 calories in hard seltzers come from?
Around 95% of the calories in hard seltzers are directly from the alcohol. Hard seltzers contains 14g of pure alcohol. The other 5% of calories come from the 2g of carbohydrates which is half sugars. Alcohol is much more calorie dense than carbohydrate but the minimal amount of carbs in a hard seltzer helps keep the calories to 100.
For more information, read my article on it here
How many hard seltzers to get drunk?
Let’s use White Claw as an example.
The CDC states it takes the average 160lb adult male, 4 standard beers to get drunk. A standard beer is 12fl oz and 5% ABV which is the same as a White Claw. The 4 White Claws have to be drank over 1-2 hours. If you are a female or lighter then it will take less White Claws, if you are a significantly heavier male, it may take 5+ White Claws to get drunk.
For the full math, read this article
Is beer high in carbs?
What about beer? It has about the same alcohol as a hard seltzer but does it have more carbs?
The USDA state the average alcoholic beer has 3.55g of carbs per 100ml and 12.6g of carbs in a 12fl oz serving. So clearly the average alcoholic beer is quite high and carbs and unlikely to be keto friendly despite being lower than non alcoholic beers on average.
Comparing it with hard seltzers, it is clear that the hard seltzers have a fraction of the carbs of beer. This is a big plus point.
How many carbs and calories are in spirits like vodka or gin?
Unfortunately vodka etc are not zero calories. The USDA state a standard measure of vodka has 97 kcal per standard 1.5 fl oz shot. That equates to about 215kcal per 100ml of vodka. This is based on a 40% ABV vodka.
Some vodka are 37.5%, others are export strength at 43.5%, these will have slightly more or less calories per serving.
They are however free from carbs! This means that the ideal alcohol to have on a ket diet would be a straight spirit. The second best is a hard seltzer.
Can you drink hard seltzers on the keto diet?
So to round up…
Ideally you shouldn’t drink alcohol on the ket diet for the reasons listed above, however if you are then you should be trying to minimise your carb load.
The best solution is a zero carb alcohol such as a straight spirit. White Claw has a zero carb drink called Pure, which would fit the bill nicely.
A close second are the standard hard seltzer ranges. Nearly universally, they have 2g of carbs per 12fl oz can, which is really quite small indeed. Especially when you compare it with beer.
This means you should be able to fit a hard seltzer or two into your keto diet.