Alright kids... we all love to throw one back now and again when we're traveling! For many of you who are like I was, you probably like to do this way too much. It's cool. No judgement. Just saying, we know who we are and when 5-10 drinks sounds like a mid-day snack, my friend... you have a problem.
That said, I know many a traveler that frequent, and have met many a friend in, an airport or hotel bar. This is something many of us to to escape the monotony of travel and because" "Fuck it... it's been a long day and a drink really helps me unwind!".
The Lies We Tell Ourselves
I'm just going to start out and say, while it may seem that way, there are a number of fallacies about drinking on the road and we're going to tackle a few of them here. So buckle up and suck it up buttercup... here comes the truth about drinking and not just the effects on your Keto diet, but on your overall travel experience, stress levels, sleep, etc.
Alchohol helps me relax
Maybe... for a short period of time, but guess what? Alcohol is a depressant. It may help initially relax you, but the problem is this raises your cortisol levels (the stress chemical!), inhibits your production of the happy chemicals, and does some shit to your brain you really just don't want. It dehydrates you, stops your body from consuming ketones in favor of alcohol, etc.
Now, you may already know this, but so did I, and guess what? It just makes you stress more that you fucked up. That you gave in and then it to turns into just one more. And just one more 10 times over is a shitload of booze, calories, and enough to really make your life shitty the next day.
Short story, it may help you relax in that very moment, but the long-term (and this is what we're after), is that you end up raising your stress levels which is exactly why you started drinking in the first place!
Alcohol helps me sleep
Bullshit. While it may initially make you tired, alcohol messes with your ability to stay asleep. This, in turn, messes with the amount you sleep (super critical to keep your brain healthy!), which in turn messes with your cortisol levels, which, in turn messes with your stress. See the original point above about relaxing, but... alcohol as a sleep aid just isn't an answer.
It's just a couple drinks... how bad could it be?
This is where it's a bit fuzzy. We'll talk about some Keto-friendly booze here in a moment, but let's start with what happens when you have alcohol and how it affects your ketosis.
While your body is in ketosis, you produce ketones which your body consumes for energy and signals to your body that you should tap your fat reserves for energy. This process is awesome and is how we keep ourselves lean, mean, fat-burning machines! When we consume alcohol, something very interesting happens...
Our bodies switch over from using ketones and fat for energy, to burning off the alcohol. This effectively puts our ketosis on pause for some time. In addition, alcohol has a pretty high level of calories and we often over-consume leading to a high calorie count that, well... Garbage in = Garbage out right? That's how this works kids.
So... if you're gonna drink. Pay attention and be prepared to see your progres slow down significantly. Trust me. I've seen it, I've done it, and you need to own your actions and their consequences.
Here's where things get fun and, if you're going to drink, stick to these. Some of the best categories are:
These contains essentially zero net carbs and are generally (when we're talking about an ounce at a time) low calories (100 calories or so). Keep in mind, the above spiel about it messing with your ketosis 100% applies here, so... at your own peril.
Here's where you stick to the really dry reds. I often only stick to very dry Sabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. These usually contain about 4-5g of carbs and thus, if we're sticking to our Keto diets, should really only be about a single glass at a time.
Look, you can read a lot of bullshit out there about Coors or Miller Lite or whatever, but I'll just candidly say: Cut out the beer. This one can be incredibly complex and just isn't worth tracking.
Overall, I won't say don't have a drink. God knows I do. The key here is keep it in moderation and pay attention! Be willing to accept that you're intentionally slowing your fat-torching down significantly. Consider the tradeoffs, understand the effects on stress and sleep, and make an adult decision to do it or don't.
What do you think? Am I full of it? Have you noticed the same thing? Leave some thoughts below!