Calories in Alcoholic Drinks - Calorie Chart for Alcohol Beverages

Calories in liquid form have often been cited as a major cause of the obesity epidemic throughout the world. On average most Americans consume about 160 calories in sugary drinks, such as popular sodas and energy drinks every day. This is equivalent to about 10% of the average calories required by men and women (daily allowance for women 1940 calories; men 2550).

But a hidden aspect that has not been studied is the calories people get from alcoholic drinks.

The insidious aspect of this is that people tend to overeat when they have had a few drinks on junk food and unhealthy snacks.

Most people are unaware of the calorie content of their favorite drink and that alcohol itself contains calories.

Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, which is just below the level in fat (9 calories/gram), about double the amount in sugar (4 Calories/gram) and honey (3 Calories/gram).

This article provides a detailed chart of the calories in popular alcoholic drinks and reviews the literature to show how many calories the average person is getting from their favorite alcohol containing beverages.

Source

How Many Calories are Consumed Daily in Alcoholic Drinks?

A major research study examined the alcohol drinks consumption of more than 11,000 Americans over the age of 20 years.

The study looked at gender differences and age groups.

The major findings from this and similar studies were:

  • Average alcohol consumption was about 100 calories (equivalent to 1 can of beer or one glass of wine)
  • Alcoholic drinks represented about 16% of the average daily calorie intake
  • Average calories consumed in alcoholic beverage was 150 calories per day for men, which was three times that for women (50 calories per day)
  • 20% men drank more than 300 calories per day in alcoholic beverages (equivalent to two cans of beer or 2 1/2 glasses of wine)
  • 6% of women drink more than 300 calories per day.
  • About 30% of men and 20% of women had at least one alcoholic drink a day
  • Younger male adults were the heaviest drinkers. Men aged 20-39 years consumed about 180 calories of alcohol a day, double that consumed by men over 60 (about 100 calories per day).
  • Younger women consumed about one third of the alcohol of males of a similar age. Women aged 20-39 years consumed an average of about 60 calories per day)
  • Older women (over 60 years of age) consumed about half that of younger women, and about one third of that consumed by older males. Women over 60 consumed about 33 alcohol calories a day.
  • Most men obtained their calories from beer, whereas the study found that the source of calories for women was equally split between beer, wine and spirits.

The figures below detail the findings from the study.

Percent of males and female who consume alcoholic drinks
Percent of males and female who consume alcoholic drinks | Source
Average Calories (kilocalories) consumed from alcoholic drinks for various by age and sex groups
Average Calories (kilocalories) consumed from alcoholic drinks for various by age and sex groups | Source
Mean Calories (kilocalories) consume for various sex, age, and type of alcohol groups
Mean Calories (kilocalories) consume for various sex, age, and type of alcohol groups | Source

Foods containing about 100 Calories

Food
Serving Size
Calories
Potatoes, mashed w/milk and butter
1/2 cup
100
Frozen yogurt, fat-free
1/2 cup
95
Turkey, dark meat with skin
1.5 oz. cooked
94
Prune juice
1/2 cup
90
Whole milk yogurt, plain
1/2 cup
90
Beef jerky
1 oz.
90
Fish, Cod
3 oz. cooked
90
Muffin, corn
1/2 (1 oz.)
88
Chicken breast with skin
1.5 oz. cooked
85
Peanuts, oil roasted
20
85
Almonds
12
84
Cashews
9
83
Bread, white
1 slice
80
Bread, wheat
1 slice
80
Muffin, blueberry
1/2 (1 oz.)
80
Apple
1 medium
80
Avocado
1/4 medium
80
Blueberries
1 cup
80
Cheese, reduced-fat
1 oz.
80
Cottage cheese, fat-free
1/2 cup
80
Feta cheese
1 oz.
80
Peanuts, dry roasted
20
80
Pecans
15
80

The Empty Calories in Alcoholi Beverages and Food Equivalents

Research studies have shown that most people are unaware of calories in drinks.

People on diets often don't include these calories when calculating and tracking their daily calorie consumption, nor do they consider cutting back on these drinks as a priority.

Unlike food, alcoholic beverage have very little or no nutritional value and are effectively 'empty calories'.

The table opposite shows a list of foods that provide about 100 calories, equivalent to the average amount consumed in alcoholic drinks every day.

The table below shows the calorie content of popular drinks.

Only light beer and small servings of spirits have less than 100 calories.

Effect of Alcohol on Snack and Food Consumption

Everyone is aware that when having a few drinks most people eat lots of snacks such as peanuts and chips. After several drinks, many people also tend to eat junk foods, and high fat foods.

Research studies have shown that having an alcohol drink before a meal generally led to a 20% boost in the number of calories consumed at the meal.

The average boost to the overall calorie intake for the meal plus the alcohol drinks was about 33%.

Calorie Contants of Common Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic drink
Calories
Mai tai, 4 oz.
310
Margarita, 4 oz.
270
Frozen daiquiri, 4 oz.
216
Wine, dessert, sweet, 4 oz.
180
Beer, regular, 12 oz.
150
Gin, 1.5 oz.
110
Whiskey, 1.5 oz.
105
Beer, lite, 12 oz.
100
Rum, 1.5 oz.
96
Vodka, 1.5 oz.
96
Wine spritzer, 4 oz.
49

Drinks with the Highest and Lowest Calorie Densities (Cal/100ml) and Exercise Equivalents

Beverages
Calories per 100 ml
Time in Minutes Equivalent (Brisk Walk) to Burn Calories in a Standard Serve
FIFTEEN HIGHEST
 
 
Liqueurs
440
40
Creme liqueur (50, 15% ABV)
350
37
80-proof gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila
229
21
Brandy, cognac
229
21
Martini (extra dry)
217
29
Cosmopolitan
186
31
Pina Colada
179
97
Vermouth, sweet
164
30
Manhattan
164
35
Port
158
19
Margarita
147
36
Whiskey sour
143
26
Sherry
132
16
TEN LOWEST
 
 
Spirit with energy drink (e.g. 25ml vodka, 40% ABV, 150 energy drink)
70
26
Red Wine
67
20
Spirit and mixer (e.g. 25ml vodka, 40% ABV, 150 cola)
67
25
Dry white Wine
63
19
Spirit with fruit juice (e.g. 25ml vodka, 40% ABV, 150 orange juice)
62
23
Alcopop (275ml, 5% ABV)
62
36
Pint of strong lager (beer) (568ml, 8.5% ABV)
59
71
Beer - Regular
44
32
Pint of lager (beer) (568 ml, 5% ABV)
44
53
Pint of cider (568ml, 5% ABV)
43
52
Spirit and sugar-free mixer (e.g. 25ml vodka, 40% ABV, 150 diet cola)
33
12
Beer - Light
32
23

Most people are well aware that when they drink alcohol they are hungrier and generally eat more than usual? The late-night munchies is a reality. This occurs because alcohol stimulates the appetite and can impair your judgment and control especially for those on a weight-loss plan.

Tips for reducing food calorie intake when consuming alcohol:

  • Learn to sip alcoholic drinks to limit the number you drink
  • Use water to quench your thirst when drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Keep to your self-imposed limits of drinks and snacks
  • Choose light versions of drinks whenever you can, or small glass sizes
  • Make sure the snacks available are the low calorie and healthy type
  • Limit the number of drinks before meals, and drink them during the meal instead
  • Always have food in your stomach before you have a drink
  • Swap one nonalcoholic drink for each alcoholic drink during a session
  • Resist the temptation to gorge on fast foods after drinking

Chart of Calories in Alcoholic Beverages

The chart opposite lists the drink with the highest and lowest calories per 100ml, and the minutes of brisk walking that would be required to burn the equivalent number of calories.

Understandable the highest calories are for the pure spirit rinks because of the high calorie content of the alcohol itself.

Light beer has the lowest calorie density along with red and white wine and the diluted spirit drinks.

If you intend to walk off the extra calories consumed in drinks by walking you may be in for a shock.

Even a standard serve of light beer, or one of the other beers, is equivalent to about 30 minutes brisk walking, and if you have two glasses and you are up for an hour walk.

One pint of strong lager is equivalent to 70 minutes of walking and a nip of liqueur 40 minutes.

A more detailed chart is provided below that includes most common drinks with their standard serving sizes in millilitres and fluid ounces.

The drinks are listed by number of calories in a standard serve, but the chart can be sorted using the column headings.

A selection of soft drinks, colas and fruit juices is provided for comparison.

This shows that 100ml of all the non-alcoholic drinks have less calories than the alcoholic ones, except for vodka with diet cola.

A glass of Red or White wine has fewer calories than a light beer, despite the higher calorie density in wine.

This chart can be used as a guide to control calorie intake while enjoying alcoholic beverages.

Chart of Calories in Common Alcoholic Beverages

(click column header to sort results)
Beverages  
Serving Size (ml)  
Serving Size ( fl. oz.)  
Calories  
Time equivalent Brisk walk  
Calories per 100 ml  
Calories per fl. oz.  
Pina Colada
257
9
460
97
179
51.1
Pint of strong lager (beer) (568ml, 8.5% ABV)
568
19.88
335
71
59
16.9
Pint of lager (beer) (568 ml, 5% ABV)
568
19.88
250
53
44
12.6
Pint of cider (568ml, 5% ABV)
568
19.88
244
52
43
12.3
Liqueurs
43
1.5
188
40
440
125.3
Large glass of wine (250, 13% ABV)
250
8.75
178
38
71
20.3
Creme liqueur (50, 15% ABV)
50
1.75
175
37
350
100
Double spirit and mixer (e.g. 50 vodka, 40% ABV, 150 cola)
200
7
172
36
86
24.6
Alcopop (275ml, 5% ABV)
275
9.63
170
36
62
17.7
Margarita
114
4
168
36
147
42
Manhattan
100
3.5
164
35
164
46.9
Beer - Regular
342
12
149
32
44
12.4
Cosmopolitan
78
2.75
146
31
186
53.1
Mojito
171
6
143
30
84
23.8
Vermouth, sweet
86
3
140
30
164
46.7
Martini (extra dry)
64
2.25
139
29
217
61.8
Sweet Wine
143
5
126
27
88
25.2
Martini (traditional)
64
2.25
124
26
193
55.1
Standard glass of wine (175ml, 13% ABV)
175
6.13
124
26
71
20.2
Daquiri
114
4
122
26
107
30.5
Spirit with energy drink (e.g. 25ml vodka, 40% ABV, 150 energy drink)
175
6.13
122
26
70
19.9
Whiskey sour
86
3
122
26
143
40.7
Spirit and mixer (e.g. 25ml vodka, 40% ABV, 150 cola)
175
6.13
117
25
67
19.1
Champagne/ Sparkling Wine (150, 9.5% ABV)
150
5.25
111
23
74
21.1
Beer - Light
342
12
110
23
32
9.2
Spirit with fruit juice (e.g. 25ml vodka, 40% ABV, 150 orange juice)
175
6.13
109
23
62
17.8
Vermouth, dry
86
3
105
22
123
35
80-proof gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila
43
1.5
98
21
229
65.3
Brandy, cognac
43
1.5
98
21
229
65.3
Red Wine
143
5
96
20
67
19.2
Dry white Wine
143
5
90
19
63
18
Port
57
2
90
19
158
45
Small glass of wine (125ml, 13% ABV)
125
4.38
89
19
71
20.3
Champagne
114
4
84
18
74
21
Sherry
57
2
75
16
132
37.5
Spirit and sugar-free mixer (e.g. 25ml vodka, 40% ABV, 150 diet cola)
175
6.13
57
12
33
9.3
Non_Alcoholic Beverages
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prune Juice
100
3.51
77
16
77
21.9
Pomegranate Juice
100
3.51
68
14
68
19.4
Pineapple Juice
100
3.51
56
12
56
16
V8 Vegetable Juice
100
3.51
50
11
50
14.2
Apple Juice
100
3.51
49
10
49
14
Orange Juice
100
3.51
47
10
47
13.4
Lemonade
100
3.51
42
9
42
12
Carrot Juice
100
3.51
40
8
40
11.4
Cola soft drink
100
3.51
38
8
38
10.8
Tomato Juice
100
3.51
17
4
17
4.8

© 2013 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 1 comment

Imogen French profile image

Imogen French 3 years ago from Southwest England

Very useful info for those on a calorie controlled diet - it's easy to forget those "empty calories" in alcoholic drinks.

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