How Many Calories are There in Alcohol? A Break-down by Type

“I don’t drink, I'm on a diet!” Even if just hearing this sentence sparks off your automatic eye roll, you’ve probably also had a little moment when you wondered to yourself if your Friday after-work drinks are the reason for your six-pack gradually becoming a one-pack. So let's see how many calories alcoholic drinks have...

Good news or the bad news?

While there are some calories in alcoholic drinks, there’s no reason to fear you'll be putting on pounds just from having an occasional drink or two. Add to this the fact that because of the way our bodies digest alcohol, the calories stored in it are almost never 100% metabolized.
That's the good news about alcohol and calories.

Source: Flickr / iaramburuAnd the bad? Well, drinking alcohol makes you hungry. Very hungry.

Midnight burgers and 3am kebabs that you just can’t go without after a few drinks … well, let's face it, these things are loaded with calories. The same goes for that big pile of fried comfort goodies you have for 'the-morning-after' breakfast.

Metro UK did a calorie count of a random night out and it came to a - (those of a sensitive disposition stop reading here!) - whopping 5,725 calories. To burn those bad boys off, there’s a serious workout needed.

How to avoid calories in alcohol and keep your six-pack intact

The answer is simple: drink moderately and choose your drinks well and wisely, because not all of them are equally bad for your waistline. Some calories in your drink come from alcohol and others from sugar, the latter being the ones to avoid.

A sweet drink like Piña Colada cocktail, for instance, can easily have close to 400 calories. Other sweet drinks, such as sweet liqueurs, sweet wines and soda mixers, are filled with sugar calories too.

Source: Flickr / hectoryanesNext up in our calorie count are beer and wine. Both of them can have a wide range when it comes to the sugar content, but in general a glass of wine (1 dcl) is considered to have about 100 calories and a pint of beer 170 calories.

A rule of thumb is that lagers and wheat beers are lower in carbs and therefore calories than the darker, heavier types of beer.

Further down the scale, distilled spirits are pretty much “zero carb”, meaning that their calories come from alcohol, not sugars. How many calories are we talking about? On average, about 65 calories per 30 ml (1 oz.) shot of Whisky, Gin and the likes.

So, the calorie count committee would say that opting for a spirit the next time you're having a drink will do the least harm to your six-pack and waistline.
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