Nutrition Content in Alcohol

Serving size and calories:

  • 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (150 calories)
  • 12 ounces light beer (95-110 calories)
  • 8-9 fluid ounces of malt liquor (165 calories)
  • 5 fluid ounces of table wine (125-165 calories)
  • 3-4 ounces of fortified wine (such as sherry or port) (75-90 calories)
  • 1 ½ ounces of brandy (98 calories)
  • 1 ½ ounces of “hard liquor” (165 calories)
  • 4 fluid ounces margarita (168 calories)
  • 9 fluid ounces Piña Colada (490 calories)
  • 3 ½ fluid ounces whiskey sour (160 calories)
  • 2 fluid ounces daiquiri (112 calories)


  • Alcohol contains empty calories meaning it has no nutritional value.
  • Alcohol supplies energy (7 calories/gram).
  • Drinking a moderate amount means 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men.
  • A big risk that will come from drinking alcohol is the additional calories provided, which may contribute to unwanted weight gain. Alcohol is also known as a discretionary calorie.
  • The liver can metabolize only a limited amount of alcohol per hour— A healthy, average person can eliminate 1/2 ounce of alcohol per hour. Remember, women and men do not metabolize at the same rate
  • More than a dozen studies have shown a positive correlation between moderate alcohol consumption and decreased incidence of heart disease. The protective effect of alcohol is the result of increased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. However, if you don’t drink, the possible   benefits don’t outweigh the risks.
  • If you drink excessively on a regular basis, your nutritional status will become compromised. Alcohol effects every tissue’s nutrient metabolism in different ways.
  • Other risks that come from drinking too much alcohol include: night blindness, cancers, liver damage, high blood pressure, stroke, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal symptoms, decreased sex hormone  production, anemia, and emotional and social problems.
  • Binge drinking means drinking at least 5 drinks at one time if you are a man and 4 drinks at one time if you are a woman.
  • Alcohol consumed by a pregnant woman travels through her bloodstream and across the placenta to her baby. The unborn baby’s body can metabolize the alcohol. The alcohol level in the baby is a lot higher than the mother’s which stays in the baby’s blood longer, leading to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.


  • Red wine contains polyphenols (antioxidants) protecting the lining of the heart’s blood vessels.
  • Generally, the lower the proof, the lower the calories.
  • If you enjoy liqueurs, be careful with portions— the sweet taste adds up calories quickly.
  • Based on calories alone, the best options of alcohol are light beer, scotch on the rocks, or a glass of dry wine.
  • The key is to stick to  serving sizes!

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