Having PKU does not mean that alcohol is off limits, it’s just important to be aware of the amount and type of alcohol you choose to drink and most importantly that you drink responsibly.
The effect of drinking alcohol is the same for individuals with or without PKU. Alcohol, in any amount, can affect your body in some form. It can change the way your brain processes information and affects your ability to make decisions. In terms of PKU this could be in relation to food choices; for example, you may choose something to eat which could raise your phe levels.
Alcohol is usually measured as a unit.
One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. However, alcohol comes in different strengths and sizes and it can be difficult to ascertain how many units you are drinking. Unit guidelines are the same for men and women and you shouldn’t regularly exceed 14 units. Don’t save up your units, spread them evenly throughout the week.
A standard spirit measure can range from 25 to 35mls and even 50mls in some bars and restaurants which can make it more difficult to monitor unit intake. This is similar with wine glass sizes; a small glass can range from 125-150mls, it’s important to be aware of this to allow you to monitor your intake accurately.
For further information on measuring alcohol intake refer to https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/.
There are many alcoholic drinks, however some do contain phe and therefore like every other protein containing food or drink should be counted.
Most mixers are low protein however some diet mixers will contain aspartame, so it is very important to check labels.
Drinks containing negligible or only a trace amount of protein:
*remember to check for aspartame.
Drinks which need to be counted as phe exchanges:
Drinks to avoid as they contain high levels of phe:
For further information on alcohol choices with PKU, refer to www.nspku.org
Alcoholic drinks that do not contain phe will not affect your blood phe levels, however, remember that the effects of drinking alcohol are the same for individuals with and without PKU.
Important things to keep in mind: