It’s more than likely that you’ve heard of the keto diet by now. Honestly, it seems like every man, woman and their hypothetical dog has given the diet a go. One scroll on Instagram and you’ll be inundated with people who have taken on the keto diet and undergone an absolutely insane body transformation as a result.
The diet has been promoted by the likes of Kourtney Kardashian, Megan Fox and LeBron James; all of whom have praised its fat-burning, muscle gaining abilities.
The idea behind the diet is simple: by restricting your carbohydrate intake, your body will go into ketosis and therefore burn your stored fats as fuel, leading to extreme weight loss.
But while a diet that allows you to eat bacon, chicken and steak may sound ideal, the keto comes with a fair amount of side effects. From bad breath to constipation, there a host of things that can go wrong on the keto. But, one of the less spoken about is the fact that you’ll get super drunk, super fast.
Of course, your alcohol tolerance is dependent on a variety of different things – from your genetics and weight to your hydration levels on the day. But on top of this, it’s also impacted by your diet and when you’re on a low-carb diet, you’ll find yourself really feeling the booze more than usual.
For some people, this might be good news, for others, not so much. Drinking on the keto puts you at risk of a nasty hangover, but does make your nights out much cheaper.
The reason for this is due to the fact that your body is fueled by the energy that comes primarily from glucose, which is stored as glycogen. When you’re on the keto, your body depletes its glycogen stores, so it has no choice other than to burn fat, leading to you losing weight.
“When you’ve eaten a lot of carbs and your glycogen stores are filled, the rate at which you get drunk usually slows down,” says Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com. “This is because there are more substances in your bloodstream and body that are capable of absorbing alcohol.”
But, when your body enters a state of ketosis, you don’t have much glycogen present in your bloodstream. This means that alcohol is rapidly sent to your liver and converted to acetaldehyde to be metabolized fast, leading to your feeling intoxicated. Even if you stuff your face beforehand, “a high-protein meal does not have as much of a significant effect (at slowing down intoxication),” says Axe.
If you’re thinking of doing the keto – it’s advisable that you slow down your drinking or stop drinking altogether. But, if you do require a drop of the good stuff, simply have it alongside your meal: “Keto or non-keto, there is evidence that, when alcohol is consumed with a meal, blood concentrations of alcohol may not reach a quarter of those achieved on an empty stomach,” says Seattle-based nutritionist Ginger Hultin.
I guess, then, the lesson to take away from this is that if you’re hoping to get lit on the keto diet, go ahead. But, be cautious, take your time and slow down.