Think Before You Drink: Nutrition Facts


Friends drinking beer

Everyone has their “drink.” It could be a sugary drink made up of fruit juices like a pina-colada. It could be a tart drink such as a vodka tonic or tequila seltzer. It could even be as ridged as a whiskey on the rocks, a dark beer brew, or a nice glass of wine.
We all have varying taste buds, goals, and intentions when it comes to drinking. The most common preference driver, however, is probably calorie concern. Many people attempt drinking like they do with trying out the newest fad diet.
Companies like Skinny Girl produce low-cal mixers and even lower calorie wines help justify the nutrition behind a glass of trouble. Some may even believe that some liquor is better than others. Sadly, many of these popular myths and talked-up product marketing may be far from the truth.


There may be rumored belief that some liquors are better than others. Clear liquor is thought to be lower in calories than darker liquor, and some may seem stronger than others.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), all liquor is pretty much the same. It ranges from 80, 90, and 100 proof, all of which share roughly the same amount of calories with one shot of any liquor ranging from 64 to 82 calories, regardless of the source. And if this liquor is flavored, it can go up in calories.


When picking your cocktail of choice, a necessity to pair with the poison. This can either be soda, fruit juice, or sometimes even water. All of these mixers range in calories, sugar content, and can add up quickly depending on the ratio of alcohol to mixer. Fat secret shows calorie values of various juices (apple, cranberry, grape, orange, etc.) ranging from 94 to 154 for a one-cup serving, grapefruit being lowest and grape being highest. As for soda, an average 12oz. can comes out to be 140 calories, with about 30 grams of it being sugar.

Trying to Stay On the Lighter Side

It may seem like a smarted idea to grab the drink advertised as “light” or “low calorie,” but the entire idea behind it may be completely bogus. Most people do not drink because they enjoy the taste, and even less probably prefer the taste of Bud Lite to regular Budweiser.
These “light” beverages are just watered down versions of the actual product. You can’t squeeze out excess calories from a simple shot of liquor, and you can’t strain the sugars out of wine. All you’re doing is stripping it of taste and potency.
If drinking to get a buzz, it just means that you’ll have to drink more of it to get the same effect. Chugging Natural Lights and pretending that it’s healthier than drinking the regular stuff is nonsensical and far from the truth.

The Bottom Line

Drinking is not healthy, and it never will be. There is no escaping the calories in your alcohol choices, no matter the source.
Whiskey, tequila, and rum may not sit the same with everyone, but choosing one over the other will not save you calories. Mixers themselves will always add calories and sugar to your cocktail, unless you choose water or seltzer.
As for “lighter” choices, there may be no point in spending the extra cash on a fancy watered down drink. You can’t escape the reality behind drinking and it’s nutrition.
The best habit you can practice is moderation, just like every other alcohol commercial preaches. If you want to enjoy a frozen margarita, do so, just not every other day.



Rachel Jimenez

An Exercise Science major at USF with a love for dance, food, and sarcastic banter. Oh, and she was gluten free before it was cool. instagram: @sassycalves twitter: @itsraayy

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