When looking at the calories in alcohol, there are several things to consider. The first thing to remember about calories in alcohol is that they are essentially "empty" - that is, there is almost no nutrition, and few vitamins, minerals etc, in your drinks.
Secondly, although calories in alcohol come completely from carbohydrates, these drinks don't contain the typical 4 calories per gram that you get from other carbs such as bread, pasta and rice, but a whopping 7 calories per gram. Only fat, at 9 calories per gram, has more.
In addition, the calories in alcohol are metabolised first by the body, before it starts burning fat. What all that means is that a night on the town, or indeed, simply a few drinks at home, can quickly add up. And because drinking usually accompanies a meal, the calories you get from drinking are in addition to what ever else you may be eating.
So what do various drinks contain? The totals vary quite a bit, but some typical drinks include:
- A pint of lager - around 215 calories
- A pint of best bitter - around 190
- A measure of spirit - around 55 calories - NB - not including mixers
- A glass of dry white wine or red wine - about 115
- A glass of sweet white wine - about 165
So if you are watching your weight, limiting your drinks is one of the best ways of reducing your total intake from food and drink, without sacrificing any nutrition.