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How many calories in Alcohol?

How many calories in Alcohol?
Celebrity Slim UK
Writer and expert1 year ago
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Alcohol and Calories

Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories, meaning they provide little to no health value. Some are higher than others, but you might be surprised at just how many calories are in your favourite drink!

A survey conducted by suggests that the British public are clueless when it comes to calories in alcohol, which makes losing weight even more troublesome!

Out of 2,000 British adults involved, almost half surveyed had no idea how many calories were in popular alcoholic beverages. Results found 1,815 calories were consumed through alcohol alone on average per person each week!

That means we are consuming 94,380 empty calories from alcohol per year. To put it in perspective, it’s equivalent to popping down to your local subway and downing the following:

• Footlong Spicy Italian Sub – 962 calories • Turkey Salad – 108 calories • Ham Salad – 123 calories • Chocolate Chip Cookie – 220 calories

Every week!

This means if we were to give up alcohol, we could lose up to 12kg – almost 2 stone – in one year!

Test yourself, do you know how many calories are in your favourite alcoholic beverage?

How many calories in a unit of alcohol? Accuracy of guesses

Drink Calories Calories per unit of alcohol Percentage of people who had no idea of calorie content
Pint of Lager 230 85 65%
Pint of Cider 216 83 59%
Pint of Guinness 218 88 61%
Small glass of wine (175ml) 159 69 59%
Shot of vodka (25ml) 51 54 79%
Shot of gin (25ml) 52 55 80%
Shot of tequila (25ml) 55 55 81%
Shot of sambuca (25ml) 80 84 73%
An alcopop (275ml) 170 155 64%
A double gin and tonic (standard measures) 160 85 63%
A double vodka and red bull (standard measures) 171 91 64%
A double rum and coke (standard measures) 167 84 64%


Glasses of Rosé

We have established that drinking alcohol will increase your calorie intake but cutting back can help to lose weight and maintain it. If someone is overweight and they consume alcohol frequently, cutting down on the drinks would result in noticeable weight loss.

Drinks with the most and the fewest calories

Drink Volume (mL) ABV (%) Units Calories Calories per Unit
Champagne 125 12 1.5 89 59
Spirit 25 40 1 61 61
Wine 175 13 2.3 69 69
Beer 568 4 2.3 79 79
Cider 568 4.5 2.6 83 83
Beer 330 5 1.6 89 89
Alcopop 275 4 1.1 155 155

Which alcohol has the least calories?

One drink that has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years is ‘hard’ seltzer. If you’re not familiar, they are pre-mixed drinks combining flavoured mineral water and alcohol - primarily vodka. They lack the sugar and carbs found in most pre-mixers. As we are becoming more aware about the negative health impacts of overconsuming sugar, these drinks have flooded the market. You’re getting the health benefits of sparkling mineral water with some added flavour and of course, a serving of alcohol!

Hard Seltzer next to a sign that reads "Hard Seltzer"

How many calories in a Vodka shot?

Vodka is often a go to on a diet because it’s sugar free with no carbs or fat, it has no nutrition, the calories are coming from the alcohol alone. A standard serving of vodka (25mL) with the typical alcohol content of 40% comes in around 55 calories. Vodka is a great spirit to enjoy when you’re watching your weight. Beware of mixers! Most people will put in a mixer to make it taste better, if you’re one of those people, then try to mix it with drinks that aren’t filled with sugar, sugar free drinks and mineral water are optimal!

Avoiding weight gain from alcohol consumption

  • Drink at a slower pace
  • Drink a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage – this will help with feelings of dehydration (hangover) the next day!
  • Eat a healthy dinner before you start drinking – it will keep you fuller for longer and stop you from snacking while drinking
  • See if a friend is willing to cut down with you, moral support can make a huge difference and you’re more likely to stay on track with your mate’s encouragement!

Keep in mind that excessive drinking can have negative impacts on your health, it affects more than your weight! Drinking in moderation is sensible and can be a very social thing. Just be sure to pay attention to what you are drinking and pace yourself. It is possible to drink on a diet! Sometimes it just takes a little extra effort.

Celebrity Slim UK
Writer and expert
View Celebrity Slim UK's profile