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Alcohol

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Whilst alcohol can be a source of pleasure and enjoyment, drinking too much or at the wrong times can affect your health.

To stay safe it is recommended that:

  • Men have less than 3 - 4 units per day 
  • Women have less than 2 – 3 units per day      

It is generally accepted that oneunit equals ½ pint of normal strength beer, or one small glass (125mls) of wine or one pub measure of spirit, (25mls). Over the last few years the alcohol in content in drinks has increased. A pint of premium strength beer/lager is likely to contain 2.8 units while a 440ml can of super-strength lager would contain 4units.

One standard bottle of ‘Alcopops’ is likely to contain 1.7units. 

 

Alcohol Continuum 

 

Alcohol consumption inspires a variety of dietary questions: How many calories in a pint of lager? Does red wine have more calories than white? Let’s weigh in on how alcohol affects weight loss

Alcohol and body weight

The calories in alcohol add up to increased body fat, so consider these points the next time you have that extra drink: 
  

 

  • Alcohol is mainly just a source of 'empty calories', meaning it has no nutritive value other than providing energy. Although most alcoholic drinks contain sugars and traces of vitamins and minerals,it's not usually in amounts that make any significant contribution to the diet   
  •  People who are overweight actually gain weight more easily when they drink alcohol. 
  • Calories from alcohol tend to be stored in the gut. If you want six-pack abs, you’ll need to cut down on the booze.  

Calorie content of common alcoholic beverages 

Although alcohol itself doesn’t contain fat, it is packed with calories. And when you add in mixers – juice, sugar and other ingredients – the calories really can add up.  

  • Beer: Non-alcoholic beer actually has the same calories as alcoholic beer: 148 calories in a pint. If you drink a light beer – like Bud Light – you’ll only take in around 99 calories per pint.   
  •  Wine: Dry wine contains fewer calories than sweeter wine. For example, a glass of dry wine has about 106 calories and a glass of sweet dessert wine has a whopping 226 calories. If you drink a glass of wine before dinner, another glass with dinner and a sweet wine for dessert, you've added more than 400 calories to your meal.  

You'll be glad to hear that champagne contains the same amount of calories as other dry wines, 106 calories per glass. 

 

The hard stuff
The calories in gin, rum, vodka or whiskey depends on the proof, which is twice the percentage of alcohol. For example, 90 proof vodka contains 45 per cent alcohol; 100 proof contains 50 per cent alcohol. And it’s easy to guess which has more calories: The higher the proof, the higher the calories. Here’s the damage:
 

  • Double shot 80 proof contains 97 calories  
  • Double shot 90 proof contains 110 calories 
  • Double shot 100 proof contains 124 calories 

Calorie content of other types of liquor varies greatly. Watch the really sweet stuff, though. A serving of schnapps has 108 calories, and crème de menthe will set you back 186 calories.

 

Mixed drinks

Obviously, the larger the drink the higher the calorie content. If your favourite watering hole serves pond-sized margaritas, you can easily drink more than 400 calories (without the crisps and guacamole). Choose a smaller cocktail like a Cosmopolitan and you’ll only take in about a third of the calories. In a common serving size, here’s how many calories your favourite drink contains:  

 

  • Bloody Mary: 115 calories (the celery adds less than five calories)  
  • Gin and tonic: 171 calories  
  • Pina colada: 262 calories  
  • Whiskey sour: 122 calories 

Adding it all up
One
 beer very night adds 1,036 additional calories per week, or 15 pounds to your stomach per year. No wonder they call it a beer belly. Three glasses of dry wine a week will cost you 318 calories, or an additional three miles on the treadmill just to walk off the extra calories. If you’re watching your weight, try this advice:

  • Don’t drink alcohol regularly  
  • Remember that the calories from alcohol add up quickly, and they go straight to the fat in your abdomen 
  • Most people eat high-calorie snacks when they drink alcohol, a double whammy in terms of weight gain