How Many Calories Does 1 Gram of Alcohol Contain?

Alcohol provides your body with calories, although these calories do not typically provide nutritional benefits such as protein, minerals or vitamins. Therefore, the calories consumed in alcohol are considered to be nutritionally empty.

Beer has fewer calories per fluid ounce than wine or liquor. Credit: Slawomir Fajer/iStock/Getty Images

Calories by Weight

In a pure form, alcohol has a calorie content of approximately seven calories per gram. In alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine or liquor, alcohol is diluted by the water content of these drinks. In the United States, liquor defined as 100 proof is actually only 50 percent alcohol. Therefore, 20 grams of liquor at 100 proof would contain 10 g of alcohol. This would equate to approximately 70 calories from alcohol.

Calories by Volume

There are approximately 150 calories in each of the following drink measures: 1.5 ounces of distilled liquor, 12 ounces of beer and a 5-ounce glass of wine. The calorie content of distilled liquor is higher than that of the same volume of beer or wine because the liquor has a higher alcohol concentration and content per fluid ounce.


Heavy alcohol consumption can cause damage to your liver, and may be a sign of alcoholism. If you are following a calorie-restricted diet, you may find that alcohol has a greater effect on you. It is believed that drinking significant amounts of alcohol during pregnancy may be dangerous to the developing fetus.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.