Ever asked yourself, “How can I get the most alcohol with the least calories?” Me? I usually gulp down my glass of beer or wine without a second thought, but when you start getting into all those sugary concoctions, things get complicated.
1. Vodka soda vs. vodka tonic
For instance, what do you think has more calories: A vodka soda or vodka tonic?
SheKnows Expert Nutritionist and author of The One One One Diet, Rania Batayneh clears that up, and it’s exactly the opposite of what you’d expect. “Soda water is simply carbonated water, so it contains no calories.”
It also doesn’t have any sugar, where vodka tonics weigh in at 83 calories and 21.5 grams of sugar per serving (and there’s often more than that a serving size in a typical-sized cocktail). Moral of this story? Vodka soda gives you more booze bang for your buck without overloading on calories. Of course, that’s only if you order an actual vodka soda without substituting soda water for Sprite.
2. Vodka soda vs. vodka cranberry
Vodka soda still wins because when you add juice, you add sugar. If you want the sweeter taste that comes with vodka tonic or vodka cranberry cocktails, Batayneh recommends sticking with soda water but asking the bartender to add macerated berries or few drops of juice.
3. Beer vs. wine
What if you’re a beer and wine junkie like myself? A standard bottle of beer is 12 ounces and you reach 100 calories of light beer at 12.5 ounces, whereas a standard pour of wine is 5 ounces and you reach 100 calories of wine at 4 ounces. So if we’re getting nitpicky, which I obviously am, you get more alcohol for your calories with a bottle of light beer.
Lucky for my drinking habits Batayneh says, “A standard serving of wine (5 ounces) and most standard beers are healthy choices — in moderation!”
4. Light beer vs. dark beer
Now is not the time to be a Guinness lover, but dark beer definitely packs more calories; I guess this is how brands like Bud Light made a name for themselves. The breakdown? You can drink 5 more ounces of light beer than dark beer before you reach 100 calories per beverage. You just have to decide if drinking 5 less ounces of a beer you like more is actually worth what you save in calories.
5. The full infographic: What 100 calories of common alcoholic beverages looks like
And a final tip from Batayneh on getting the healthiest cocktail ever: “Cocktails made with one standard serving of liquor and low or no-calorie mixers are generally the healthiest option because they contain the least amount of non-nutritive calories.”
Just always consider whether the nutritive ingredients in your cocktail are worth the extra calories and you have a good rule of thumb. Oh, and everything in moderation! Easier said than done, right?
Images: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows