Alcoholic Beverages: The Calories May Surprise You

There are a lot of misconceptions as to which alcoholic beverage is the “best” choice when trying to watch calories.  Many people gravitate toward hard alcohol because they feel that it is a better choice than beer, but this is not necessarily true.  In fact, just 1.5 ounces (a shot glass) of hard alcohol often has more calories than a light beer.  To make matters worse, hard alcohol is often mixed with sugary beverages which increases calories even more (i.e. rum and coke, vodka and orange juice). 

The following is a breakdown as to the typical calorie content of alcoholic beverages:

Type of Alcohol Calories
Wine (4 ounces) 70-90 calories
Light Beer (12 ounces) 90-110 calories
Regular Beer (12 ounces) 150-160 calories
Hard Alcohol, 80 proof (1.5 ounces) 100 calories
Hard Alcohol, 100 proof (1.5 ounces) 120 calories
Mixed Drinks (4 ounces) 200 calories

If you’re going to have a drink, the best choice is a glass of wine.  A light beer is probably the second best choice.  Watch out for the mixed drinks because they are high in calories, and some of the drinks like oversized daiquiris and margaritas can end up being a whopping 500 calories or more.  

No matter what you choose, moderation is the key.  Not only is alcohol high in calories but it also stimulates appetite and lowers inhibitions.  Not such a great combination for anyone trying to manage weight or lead a healthy lifestyle.