Is tequila OK on keto?

Quick Answers

Tequila can be keto-friendly in moderation. Pure tequila contains no carbs or sugar and minimal calories, making it a low-carb alcohol option. However, many tequila drinks contain high-sugar mixers that can quickly add carbs and take you out of ketosis.

Stick to 1-2 ounces of pure, unflavored tequila per day and avoid sugary margarita mixes to keep your keto diet on track. Clear liquors like tequila, vodka, gin, and rum tend to be the best keto alcohol choices.

What is Tequila?

Tequila is a distilled alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of blue agave plants. It must contain at least 51% blue agave sugar/syrup to be labeled as tequila. The fermented agave juice is double-distilled into clear tequila.

Types of Tequila

There are several major types of tequila:

Type Description
Blanco (Silver) Unaged clear tequila aged less than 2 months in steel or oak barrels
Joven (Gold) Unaged silver tequila with added color and flavor
Reposado Aged 2 months to 1 year in oak barrels
Añejo Aged 1-3 years in small oak barrels
Extra Añejo Aged over 3 years in oak barrels

The aging process gives tequila a darker golden color and richer, smoother flavor. However, aging does not significantly affect the carbohydrate content.

Is Tequila Keto-Friendly?

Straight tequila contains no carbs, sugar, or calories. This makes it a keto-friendly alcohol option.

Here are the nutrition facts for 1.5 oz (a standard shot) of unflavored blanco tequila:

Nutrition Facts 1.5 oz Tequila
Calories 105
Fat 0 g
Carbs 0 g
Protein 0 g

As you can see, pure tequila contains zero carbs, making it a keto-approved alcohol.

The main concern with drinking alcohol on the keto diet is that it can take you out of ketosis. Your liver will always metabolize alcohol first before any other macros like carbs, protein or fat.

So when alcohol is present, your body will stop burning fat for fuel and use the alcohol for energy instead. This temporarily pauses ketosis.

However, pure tequila has minimal effects on blood sugar and insulin compared to beer, wine, and sugary cocktails. It’s one of the least disruptive keto alcohol options when consumed in moderation.

Keto Alcohol Rules

Here are some general guidelines for drinking alcohol on a keto diet:

– Stick to 1-2 servings of liquor max per day
– Avoid beer, wine, and sugary cocktails
– Stay hydrated with water to minimize hangovers
– Don’t drink on an empty stomach
– Watch calories, as alcohol is high in empty calories

Is Tequila Better Than Other Types of Alcohol on Keto?

Compared to beer, wine, and sugary mixed drinks, straight tequila is one of the better keto alcohol choices.

Here’s how different types of alcohol compare:

Drink (5 oz serving) Calories Carbs
Wine 125 3.7g
Beer 153 12.2g
Rum & Cola 155 18.9g
Margarita 168 17.1g
Vodka Soda 105 0g
Tequila 105 0g

As you can see, tequila and vodka have the lowest carb content compared to beer, wine, and sugary cocktails.

Hard liquors like tequila, vodka, gin, and rum contain minimal residual carbs and sugar from the distilling process. They are the most keto-friendly alcohol options.

Wine and beer both contain carbs from the fermentation process. And cocktails like margaritas and rum & colas get their high carb counts from sugary mixers.

So if you’re on a keto diet, straight shots of clear liquor like tequila are better alcohol choices than beer, wine, or sugary drinks.

Low-Carb Tequila Cocktail Mixers

You can make tequila keto-friendly by choosing low-carb, low-sugar mixers:

– Seltzer or soda water
– Diet tonic or cola
– Lime or lemon juice
– Cucumber, berries, mint
– Low-carb energy drinks
– Plain or flavored sparkling water

Avoid sugary fruit juices, regular margarita mixes, tonic water, colas, and other high-sugar mixers to keep your ketosis on track.

Keto-Friendly Tequila Cocktail Recipes

Here are some delicious low-carb tequila cocktails to enjoy on a keto diet:

Keto Margarita

Ingredients Nutrition per Serving
  • 2 oz blanco tequila
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz orange liqueur
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 122 calories
  • 2g net carbs

– Mix tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur in a shaker with ice.
– Wet the rim of a glass and dip into salt.
– Shake cocktail and strain into salted glass over fresh ice.
– Garnish with lime wedge.

Paloma Cocktail

Ingredients Nutrition per Serving
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz sparkling water
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 122 calories
  • 9g net carbs

– Mix tequila, grapefruit juice and lime in a glass over ice.
– Top with sparkling water and salt.
– Garnish with lime wedge.

Keto Tequila Sunrise

Ingredients Nutrition per Serving
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 4 oz diet orange soda
  • 2 oz water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 122 calories
  • 0g net carbs

– Fill glass with ice and water. Add tequila.
– Slowly pour orange soda down inside edge of glass.
– Add pinch of salt.

Spicy Skinny Margarita

Ingredients Nutrition per Serving
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz water
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 122 calories
  • 2g net carbs

– Mix tequila, lime juice, water and cayenne in a shaker with ice.
– Shake and strain into a chilled glass over ice.
– Garnish with lime wedge.

Should You Avoid Flavored Tequila on Keto?

Flavored tequila like mango, coconut, citrus or jalapeño flavored varieties may contain added sugars or flavorings that can add carbs.

If you’re strict keto, it’s best to avoid flavored tequila to keep your carb count low. Stick to pure 100% agave tequila.

However, if you follow a more moderate low-carb diet, you may be able to fit a small serving of flavored tequila. Just be sure to account for the extra carbs and limit your portion size.

For example, here are the nutrition facts for 1.5 oz of mango flavored tequila:

Nutrition Facts Mango Tequila (1.5 oz)
Calories 105
Fat 0g
Carbs 7g
Sugar 7g

As you can see, the flavored tequila contains 7g of carbs and sugar per serving.

So while it’s not ideal for a strict keto diet, having one flavored tequila drink may be ok if it fits into your daily carb limit. But avoid making it a regular habit.

Is Tequila Gluten-Free?

Most tequila is gluten-free, which is another perk for people on gluten-free diets.

As a distilled spirit, pure tequila is naturally gluten-free. The distillation process removes gluten protein from the fermented agave juice, resulting in gluten content below 20 ppm.

Some tequila brands may add colors, flavors or sugars after distillation that contain gluten. But most 100% pure agave tequila brands are certified gluten-free.

If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, double check that your tequila is labeled “gluten-free” on the bottle to be safe.

You should also avoid tequila mixed drinks containing beer, wheat or malt-based liquors like gin or whiskey, since these contain gluten. And avoid tequila cocktails made with flour-containing margarita mixes.

Overall, unflavored 100% agave tequila that is distilled from gluten-free agave is considered gluten-free and safe for gluten-free diets.

Tips for Drinking Tequila on Keto

Here are some tips to enjoy tequila without kicking yourself out of ketosis:

– Stick to 1-2 oz servings max per day
– Sip it straight without sugary mixers
– Mix with low-carb ingredients like seltzer, diet soda, cucumber, berries, citrus
– Avoid beer, wine, margaritas, and sweet cocktails
– Check carb counts if using flavored tequila
– Opt for 100% agave tequila
– Stay hydrated with water between drinks
– Don’t drink tequila on an empty stomach
– Be careful not to overdo your alcohol intake

Tequila and Weight Loss

Tequila doesn’t directly lead to weight loss, but it can fit into a healthy keto lifestyle when consumed moderately.

Alcohol itself is relatively high in calories, providing 7 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram of carbs or protein.

So excess drinking can easily lead to weight gain if you go over your calorie needs, even if the drink is low-carb.

But in moderation, tequila’s low carb count makes it one of the best options if you want to imbibe while on a keto or low-carb weight loss diet. Just account for the calories in your daily intake.

Tequila may also have some unique benefits for weight loss compared to other alcohols. Some research has found that:

– Tequila may help lower blood sugar compared to other spirits [1]
– Agavins contained in tequila may aid weight loss [2]
– Tequila may have probiotic benefits from agave fermentation [3]

However, research is limited and these potential benefits need further study.

Overall, tequila is one of the best keto-friendly alcohol choices. But moderation is still key.


Pure tequila can fit into a keto diet in moderation thanks to its zero carb, zero sugar nutrition stats. It’s one of the best low-carb alcoholic drink options.

Just stick to 1-2 servings max per day, avoid sugary margarita mixes, and beware of potential hidden carbs in flavored tequilas. Pair it with low-carb mixers and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Prioritize getting all your nutrients from a well-formulated keto diet first before adding alcohol. But an occasional low-carb tequila drink won’t sabotage your ketosis when enjoyed sensibly. Tequila on keto can be A-OK.

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