Alcohol and Calories

Did you know that each drink contains ‘empty’ calories, which actually have no nutritional value? So while your calorie count goes up when drinking alcohol, those calories are not adding any nutrients, vitamins or energy to your body - just excess weight. 

How many calories are in your drink? As a rough guide, each unit of alcohol contains about 56 calories, but when you add in the other processes used to make a drink and any mixers, the calorie total can be higher and they do vary.

A small gin and tonic = 110 calories, while a large neat vodka comes to 120 calories and a Bacardi and coke = 129 calories. However a single Southern Comfort and Lemonade comes to just 73 calories. 

Most red and white wines have the same calories - a small (125ml) red or white comes to around 100 calories, while a (175ml) medium glass would be around 130 calories and a large (250ml) glass of wine comes to 190 calories - almost 10% of the recommended daily calorie intake for women. 

Its easy to forget that your alcohol intake also includes calories and these add to weight gain, especially if you’re also snacking with your drinks, or eating fried food on the way home from the pub. The healthy option is to eat a healthy meal before or with your drinks and pace yourself.

To reduce the chances of gaining weight from drinking alcohol:

  • Alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water – this will help to prevent you becoming dehydrated.
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach. If you do reach for snacks while drinking, opt for a healthier option – choose a sandwich instead of crisps or chips
  • Eat a healthy dinner before you start drinking.
  • Pace yourself by taking small sips.

Calorie information from Nutra Check (