Whether you enjoy weekly happy hours, social outings with friends, or just a glass of wine at home with dinner, you may wonder how alcohol fits into the low FODMAP lifestyle. Alcohol can come in many forms such as beer, wine, malt liquor, liquor, and cocktails, for example. They can come in a variety of flavors and mixes, with varying strengths and sugar levels.
A standard serving of alcohol is around 5 ounces of wine, 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol), 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol), or 1.5 ounces of liquor. Standard recommendations are that men should have no more than two standard servings of alcohol daily for optimal health, and no more than one serving a day for women. Read below for a guide on which alcohol-based drinks, and how much of each, is ok on a low FODMAP diet.
Alcohol that is OK on a low FODMAP diet
You can still enjoy a drink on the low FODMAP diet. But be sure they are limited to these types of FODMAP-friendly alcohol and the Monash University- certified serving sizes.
- Beer: Limit to 12 ounces daily.
- Gin: Limit to one ounce daily.
- Vodka: Limit to one ounce daily.
- Whiskey: Limit to one ounce daily.
- Red wine: Limit to five ounces daily.
- Sparkling wine: Limit to five ounces daily.
- White wine: Limit to five ounces daily.
It is important to drink plenty of water during the day when you are drinking any alcohol to stay hydrated and healthy. Water will also help you soothe any distress in your gut and is especially important for those with digestive disorders that may involve diarrhea. This is because frequent loose stools can increase your risk of dehydration. Avoid rehydrating with any high sugar sports drinks that may contain fructose or high fructose corn syrup.
Tips for drinking alcohol on a low FODMAP diet
Even if you stick to the list above and drink plenty of water, there are still some things you should remember to stay safe during social hour on the low FODMAP diet.
- No rum: Rum is to be avoided due to its high fructose content that can cause digestive distress in some individuals.
- Be careful with cocktails: Cocktails can contain fruit juices that may not be safe on a low FODMAP diet. Juices like apple, pear, peach, and mango juice should be avoided due to their high fructose content. Also, some prepared cocktail mixes may contain high fructose corn syrup, so be sure to ask your bartender, or check the label if you are your own bartender, so that you do not cause yourself unnecessary digestive distress. Stick to safe juices like cranberry juice (up to eight ounces) or vegetable juice like tomato or carrot juice (up to six ounces). Small amounts of pineapple juice, lemon juice, or lime juice is also FODMAP friendly.
- Limit your fizz: Although fizzy drinks like seltzer or diet soda are low FODMAP, the carbonation can cause gas to get trapped in the stomach and intestines, which can cause bloating, gas, and abdominal cramping. Therefore, limit your intake of such beverages, and avoid those fizzy drinks like tonic water or regular soda which is likely to contain high fructose corn syrup. If you are going to add fizz to your drink, stick to unsweetened seltzer waters and diet sodas.
Alcohol and low FODMAP summary
Enjoy your alcoholic drink but limit your intake to one standard drink a day. And be sure to check the add-ins, if any, in your alcoholic beverage and drink plenty of water to avoid any digestive distress that could disturb your happy hour. If you do get a stomach ache during your down time, then have a bottle of LemonAID on hand to help make your gut happy again. Cheers!