Can I drink alcohol when I quit sugar?

Can I drink alcohol when I quit sugar?

Can I drink alcohol when I quit sugar? A common concern for many sugar-quitting newbies is whether or not quitting sugar means you have to compromise your social life. But for those of you who enjoy an occasional drink, we’ve got good news. 

Just like any decision you have to make when you head out the bar with mates, can you drink alcohol when you quit sugar boils down to one thing: personal preference.

1. Can you drink alcohol when you quit sugar?

  • ✔️ Beer: while this beverage does contain a lot of sugar, it’s in the form of maltose (not fructose) which our bodies can metabolise just fine.
  • ✔️ Spirits: Dry spirits like gin, vodka and whiskey are very low in fructose.
  • ✔️ Wine: Believe it or not but wine contains very minimal amounts of fructose.
    • Read more below in question number two.
  • ❌ Champagne or “sparkling”: Though similar in the fermentation process of red and white wine (as mentioned above), champagne does tend to retain quite a lot of the fructose from the grapes. Which is why we don’t think this is the best option.
  • ❌ Dessert wine: A stack of sugar remains unfermented in these wines. We recommend not even touching the stuff.

2. What about the fructose in wine?

  • Believe it or not, but wine actually contains minimal fructose. How?
  • The fructose in the grapes is what ferments to become alcohol, leaving the finished product low in sugar.
  • If the wine has been fermented to “dry” (red or white) it contains very low levels of residual sugar (less than 1g per litre).
  • Red wine is lower in fructose than white wine and is definitely the better option in our opinion.
  • Read our interview with Rosemount Estate to find out even more.

3. Can you drink alcohol on the I Quit Sugar: 8-Week Program?

  • During our program, we allow one glass of wine (preferably red) with dinner a few nights a week. Why? Because quitting sugar doesn’t have to mean quitting the things you enjoy.
  • While quitting sugar, your liver is under a little strain as you detox all the toxins (and addiction) out. Drinking any more than one glass of alcohol with a meal per day will only tax your liver more.
  • You may also find once you cut out sugar, that your tolerance for alcohol is much lower and wish to avoid it while going through the 8-Week Program.
  • Check out all the other things you are still allowed to do while on our Program.

4. Tips for sugar-free boozing.

  • Alcohol-free is always going to be your safest bet.
  • Soda or plain mineral water with a squeeze of lemon or lime is surprisingly satisfying. We love asking the bartender to jazz it up with a slice of cucumber or some fresh mint.
  • Clear spirits like vodka and gin mixed with soda water and fresh lemon and lime are probably the lowest sugar alcoholic drinks you’re going to be able to get.
  • Gin, soda water and fresh cucumber is one of our favourites. So refreshing.
  • STAY AWAY FROM SOFT DRINKS AND TONIC WATER… they are loaded with sugar!


  • There are a few words of caution we need to pass on before you booze up.
  • Alcohol still has a multitude of metabolism and health issues that come with excessive consumption, not to mention it’s an addictive substance.
  • Although most alcohol is low in fructose, it is still very high in empty calories.
  • Only ever drink spirits with soda water. Mixers, including tonic water, are full of sugar – about 8-10 teaspoons in one tall glass. Ditto fruit juices.
  • A beer is equivalent to a sausage roll. Two glasses of champagne are the equivalent of about 1/5 of your daily energy intake. Yeah, hurts to hear!
  • Remember, when it comes to alcoholic drinks, once you have too many it’s very hard to make sensible food choices. You’re far more likely to reach for that slice of cake after a few drinks than you would be sober. Just something to keep in mind.

Register your interest to our 8-Week Program today.

Registrations for the January intake opens in December 2015.

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