Alcohol and Wegovy®: A Good Mix?

Alcohol and Wegovy®: A Good Mix?

We’re all familiar with the notion that alcohol can sabotage your weight loss plans. But here’s the twist: does the same hold true when you’re on Wegovy?

It’s a question that’s been leaving me pleasantly surprised as I’ve noticed a trend among Wegovy users—they’re raising fewer glasses than before. It’s a revelation that’s led me to rethink how much time I spend counseling patients about alcohol intake during their weight loss journey.

But let’s talk about alcohol and Wegovy here, including:

  • Its impact on weight loss
  • Research on how Wegovy can affect drinking habits
  • Whether alcohol can worsen the side effects of this weight loss medication
  • Tips on what and how much to drink
  • Alternatives to alcoholic beverages

Do People Drink Less on Wegovy?

It’s important not to jump to conclusions without solid scientific evidence.

But researchers are looking into whether there’s a link between using medications like Wegovy® and Ozempic®—which contain semaglutide—and changes in drinking habits. Some experts have noticed differences in how patients on these meds drink.

A recent case study involving six people with alcohol use disorder found that semaglutide for weight loss seemed to reduce their desire to drink in ALL of them. This discovery raises interesting questions that need more investigation.

I hear many people saying that the desire to drink is “just gone.”

Can Alcohol Worsen Wegovy Side Effects?

There are a few common side effects of this medication that can be worsened by alcohol consumption, including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Other gastrointestinal (GI) issues
  • Increased risk of low blood sugar
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

A more serious side effect that is worsened by alcohol is pancreatitis.

Talk to your doctor about the topic if you have any questions or concerns, especially if you take other medications.

Alcohol Can Sabotage Your Weight Loss Efforts

The truth is, you can drink while taking Wegovy, but excessive alcohol consumption can significantly sabotage your weight-loss efforts. It’s often underestimated in terms of its caloric content and impact on metabolism. Not only does it pack a punch in calories, but it also triggers cravings for unhealthy foods.

Moreover, alcohol consumption can interfere with your sleep, leaving you feeling tired and less motivated to work out the following day.

What to Drink Instead of Alcohol

Alternatives to alcohol

When seeking alternatives to alcohol, there’s a plethora of refreshing and health-conscious options to consider. Opting for non-alcoholic beverages not only supports your well-being but also provides a variety of enjoyable flavors. Here are some enticing alternatives:

  1. Sparkling Water: Infused with fruit slices or herbs, sparkling water offers a refreshing fizz without the calories or alcohol. 
  2. Herbal Tea: Enjoy the soothing benefits of herbal tea, which comes in a wide array of flavors such as chamomile, peppermint, ginger, or fruity blends. Herbal teas are also calming and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
  3. Fruit Infusions: Create your own flavorful concoctions by infusing water with slices of fresh fruit, herbs, or even vegetables. Try combinations like strawberry-basil, citrus-mint, or cucumber-lime for a hydrating and vitamin-rich beverage.
  4. Mocktails: Get creative in the kitchen and craft your own mocktails using fresh fruit juices, sparkling water, and herbs. Mocktails like virgin mojitos, pina coladas, or cranberry spritzers offer the fun and flavor of cocktails without the alcohol.
  5. Kombucha: This fermented tea beverage not only provides a tangy, effervescent taste but also contains probiotics that support gut health. With a wide range of flavors available, kombucha is a versatile and trendy alternative to alcoholic drinks. 
  6. Sparkling Juices: Indulge in the sweetness of sparkling juices, which come in various fruit flavors like apple, pear, or grape. Sparkling apple cider or grape juice mimics the celebratory feel of champagne without the alcohol content.
  7. Coconut Water: Rehydrate and replenish electrolytes with the natural goodness of coconut water. Low in calories and sugar, coconut water offers a refreshing and hydrating option, perfect for sipping on a hot day.

Remember, the key to enjoying alcohol-free beverages is to experiment with different flavors and combinations until you find the ones that suit your taste preferences. 

Low-Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

If you drink, opt for options that are lower in calories, sugar, and carbs. Here are some choices that can be more waistline-friendly:

  1. Light Beer: Light beers typically have fewer calories and carbohydrates compared to regular beers. Choosing light beer can help reduce calorie intake while still enjoying a refreshing beverage.
  2. Wine: Opting for dry wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Merlot can be a better choice for weight loss. 
  3. Spirits with Low-Calorie Mixers: Choosing spirits like vodka, gin, or tequila and mixing them with low-calorie options like soda water, diet tonic, or freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice can keep calorie intake in check.
  4. Champagne or Prosecco: Sparkling wines like champagne or prosecco typically have fewer calories and carbs compared to other alcoholic beverages. Enjoying a glass of bubbly can add a festive touch to celebrations without derailing weight loss goals.
  5. Light Cocktails: Opt for cocktails made with low-calorie mixers and minimal added sugars. Examples include vodka soda with a splash of cranberry juice, gin and tonic with fresh lime, or a mojito made with soda water and fresh mint.

Remember to consume alcoholic beverages in moderation. Additionally, staying hydrated by alternating alcoholic drinks with water can help prevent overconsumption and mitigate potential negative effects on weight loss efforts. As always, it’s essential to prioritize overall balance and moderation when incorporating alcoholic beverages into a weight loss plan.

In My Experience

I’m looking forward to the results of the research on the topic of how Wegovy affects alcohol intake. Certainly, I often hear my patients saying that they’ve lost interest in alcohol, so they either don’t drink more than one drink or don’t drink at all. 

However, I still talk to them about drinking in moderation and making healthier choices overall. I’ve seen patients who have successfully lost weight while still enjoying alcohol in moderation. It’s all about finding balance and making mindful decisions.

Other helpful blogs:

5 Foods to Avoid While Taking Wegovy®

Wegovy® Diet Plan

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