Keto is a diet gaining popularity over the past few years, and it's easy to see why. People are using it to improve their health and manage weight loss. However, some wonder whether or not drinking vodka on keto is wise.
What is the impact of alcohol on the keto diet? This article will explore the benefits of vodka and how drinking it will impact your keto diet.
What is Vodka?
Vodka is a distilled spirit that started to thrive in the countries of Russia and Poland. It is most commonly produced from grains or potatoes.
Now one of the most popular liquors, it is made in many parts of the world. A very famous choice of liquor for cocktails and shots in bars, it is undoubtedly consumed and drunk by many people around the globe.
Is Vodka Allowed on Keto Diet?
Vodka naturally contains zero carbs as a distilled spirit like brandy, gin, rum, tequila, and whiskey. Having zero carbs makes it easy to incorporate into your daily carb allowance. But remember that it is still a liquor and that the ketogenic diet is not just about being low carb.
How is Vodka Made?
Vodka is a relatively versatile liquor that can be made from any type of grain. It is also varied because there are no set rules and regulations regarding its production, which means anyone can try different ingredients or alter the process as they wish.
In Poland, vodka has traditionally been distilled using potatoes. However, many distillers have started to experiment with other ingredients like beets and grapes in recent years.
As a rectified spirit, vodka is distilled at least three times, with some others going for five times or even more. A vodka brand would naturally announce or let known the number of times their vodka has been distilled.
It is because of the assumption that the more times vodka is distilled, the cleaner and smoother it becomes. To an extent, this is, in fact, correct. When it is distilled more, the vodka becomes purer and more pristine, removing more impurities along the way.
A difference it has with wine is that it does not need aging. Therefore, it can be sold and drunk right away.
What Does Vodka Taste Like?
Despite its lack of distinct flavor, vodka is a complex spirit. It shows variation in its mouthfeel or texture instead. These textures can range from delicate, oily, watery, and silky to medicinal. As there are no set regulations in its production, it's difficult to categorize all vodka into two or three categories due to the vast number of variations that exist today.
Contrary to widespread assumption, vodka is not void of taste and odor. In fact, there are noticeable differences in taste between vodka if you look hard enough.
There is a subtle flavor, and more often, it tastes like grains. With constant trying of different brands and observing, together with years of drinking alcohol, it will be possible to ascertain the differences they have with each other.
Another distinction between varieties of vodka would be the "heat." It refers to the burning feeling you get on your tongue or the back of your throat when drinking vodka. Cheaper vodkas tend to have this burn, while more expensive brands are smoother.
Benefits of Drinking Vodka
Like any other alcohol, vodka is not the healthiest option, but that doesn't mean there aren't some benefits. It can still contribute to your health and wellness.
Helps Relieve Stress
It is inevitable to have some off days where you're just tired and stressed that you just want to stop and take a break. Each of us has a different way to relax and unwind.
Some prefer doing activities like sports, games, or parties. For the more introverted ones, they choose to rest at home reading books or watching some movies. Then some people enjoy consuming alcohol like vodka to unwind through the night.
More and more people nowadays prefer to sip on some liquors like vodka to relieve stress. The media and television may be attributed to this, as most characters on screen tend to drink alcohol when problems arise.
Even science agrees that vodka is a great way to relieve stress. According to some studies, drinking vodka can indeed help reduce stress.
Helps You Sleep Faster
Like most benefits of alcohol, it can only be achieved when consumed moderately and avoiding consumption of high amounts. When vodka is drunk in moderation, it is shown to help induce sleep and stimulate sleep latency.
Especially for insomniacs, the difficulty of falling asleep is a big problem. For this reason, it is good to drink vodka right before bed to help you fall asleep faster.
But remember to consume only a sufficient amount because drinking more than you should likely result in the opposite effect and reduce your total amount of sleep.
Healthier for the Heart
Drinking vodka may help increase blood flow and circulation in the body, preventing stroke, blood clots, and other heart diseases.
Take a look at the ingredients printed on some of the cleaners and hygienic products in your house. Most often than not, you'll find alcohol among them.
Vodka, as an alcohol, is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic. It may be used to relieve toothaches and treat wounds. You can even use this alcoholic beverage to clean some things in your house.
Aside from treating toothaches, you can also use vodka as a mouthwash. You heard that right. Take a swish of vodka and gargle it in your mouth to get rid of that bad breath.
This might come as a surprise, but vodka's disinfectant properties allow it to be a natural astringent or toner. Dilute the vodka with equal parts of water, and this can help deep-clean your pores.
Additionally, with its drying and detoxifying properties, vodka can also help treat acne breakouts. Suppose you happen to have dry or sensitive skin. In that case, though, you may want to use something more suitable for your skin, as vodka's dehydrating properties might not be ideal for you.
Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels
As an alcoholic drink, vodka can increase HDL, which is the good cholesterol in your body. The good cholesterol counters the LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, and helps prevent clogging of the arteries.
Reduces Risk of Weight Gain
Liquors are often associated with the so-called "beer belly." It is true in a way, but only cheap beers with high amounts of sugar and calories are responsible for that.
As explained earlier, vodka is commonly made from grains, potatoes, and sometimes grapes. Aside from this, other factors like alcohol level, proofing, and flavoring influence the total amount of calories present in the vodka.
How Many Calories in Vodka Shot?
It is important to note that the number of calories in vodka shots varies depending on the size of the glass. For example, a 1.5-ounce shot of vodka (80 proof) has around 96 calories, while a 2-ounce shot has about 154 calories. Keep in mind though that different kinds of vodka brands have different calorie counts.
What is the Impact of Vodka on Your Keto Diet?
Like all other alcoholic beverages, vodka will not necessarily halt your ketosis. But keep in mind that it will probably slow it down and will negatively affect the weight loss you're striving for.
The alcohol will slow down your ketosis because your body will halt ketone production until the alcohol in your body is dealt with. The body considers alcohol as a possibly toxic substance. So once it enters your body, it will deem it more important to process and eventually eliminate the alcohol.
Because of how the body perceives alcohol and ketosis, the body will inevitably halt the ketone production and the fat-burning process.
Not to mention that heavy drinking will likely lead to overeating as well. Once intoxicated, you might not have the self-restraint to avoid foods that are not keto-friendly.
Is Vodka Better than Beer for Keto Diet?
In general, hard liquor like vodka and beer have almost the same health benefits, not considering which is more keto-friendly. Beer has antioxidants in the form of phenolic compounds. These antioxidants may be regarded as cancer-fighting and have some health benefits.
But what really supplies the most health benefits in most liquors, spirits, wine, and beer is ethanol. It is a form of alcohol that, when consumed moderately, will surely be beneficial for your health.
Although when considering the ketogenic diet, vodka is a better keto-friendly beverage than beer. A distilled spirit like vodka contains zero carbohydrates, which is already a plus for the low-carb keto diet. Compared to beer, you can only consider light beers, which can have about 3 to 7 grams of carbs on average.
Additionally, hard liquor like vodka also has a significantly lower calorie content than beer. Consuming a beverage with a lower calorie content will lower the risk of possible weight gain.
Tips to Stay on Track with Keto Diet While Drinking Alcohol
To keep on track with the ketogenic diet while also choosing to drink alcohol, always observe your body's reaction and how it responds to the alcoholic drinks while you're in keto.
While it is true that being in ketosis lowers your alcohol tolerance, it still varies between people. If it seems that you get intoxicated very quickly, then maybe sticking to one drink would be the right choice. Don't make it a habit to drink alcohol every day, especially for no particular reason.
It is also advisable to monitor your actions if ever you get intoxicated. Once you know what alcohol on the keto diet does to your body, you can make better decisions. Make sure that you don't give in to the temptations and remind yourself to only stick to keto-friendly foods and drinks.
Drinking Vodka on Keto FAQ
1. Does vodka take you out of ketosis?
No. Drinking vodka will not take you out of ketosis, but it will slow down its rate.
2. How much vodka can you drink while on a ketogenic diet?
Vodka is a distilled spirit that is naturally zero-carb. Still, vodka is an alcoholic beverage. It is best to consider its other aspects and how they can affect you. It will not be an issue for the daily carb allowance of the keto diet, but it will affect ketosis.
Overconsumption will also possibly result in weight gain, which is the opposite of the goal of the ketogenic diet. Being in ketosis will also lower your alcohol tolerance. Being under the influence might make you lose the determination to stray away from foods not allowed for the keto diet.
At the end of the day, the phrase "moderation is key" is still the best choice. It is best to limit oneself to one drink for women and two drinks for men in a day.
3. Does vodka slow down weight loss?
Yes. Vodka will slow down your weight loss as it slows down your rate of ketosis. When alcohol enters your body, ketone production will be delayed, and the process of fat burning will also halt.
4. Is vodka bad for a low-carb diet?
If you're only going for a low-carb diet, then no, vodka is not bad for you. It naturally contains zero carbs or empty calories, unlike most alcoholic beverages.
5. Can I drink vodka every day while on a keto diet?
The phrase "moderation is key" still stands. Occasional drinking can be beneficial for you, but drinking daily will be too much. Especially for those on a keto diet, as alcohol will ultimately slow down the fat-burning process and will interrupt your overall diet.
With so many people interested in the keto diet, it's necessary to answer the questions that may arise. Hopefully, the information provided in this blog helped you understand what vodka does to your diet and whether or not this is a keto-friendly alcoholic beverage.