I have 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 article 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 has 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. Let’s make this very clear, alcohol will disrupt your ketosis diet however only temporarily.
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? 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.
Alcohol is stopping that, itis disrupting ,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. 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. 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.
I’ll make it 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. When you have carbohydrates, what happens is you’re actually restoring your liver glycogen levels.
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. I amnot saying that alcohol and carbohydrates are in the same playing field when it comes to toxicity. They are a whole different world there but when it comes down to fat metabolism carbs are actually going to do a little more damage than alcohol.
You willalso notice that you recover quite a bit faster. You get drunk quicker and then you bounce back a little 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, what are the safe drinks, what should you avoid and what do you have well first and foremost you really want to avoid.
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 gins stay away from the brandy stay away from the cognac all that kind of stuff something that has so many congeners in it’s going to put an extra taxation on your liver.
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.