You generally don't think of the calories in Smirnoff vodka when you pour yourself a crystal-clear shot. However, this popular alcoholic beverage boasts a relatively low calorie count, which makes it appealing to liquor enthusiasts who are watching their weight.
A 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof Smirnoff vodka packs 96 calories. This lower-end result compares favorably with high-calorie mixed drinks, which often contain sugared sodas and flavored syrups.
Calories in Smirnoff Vodka
For health-conscious consumers who want to casually drink without wrecking their diets, the calories in Smirnoff vodka might be a refreshing surprise. Standard Smirnoff vodka, along with comparable vodka brands, has a 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) rating and carries an 80-proof label, notes the Center on Addiction.
To determine vodka calories per shot, the USDA notes that a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof vodka contains a relatively small 96 calories. This vodka calories per shot data point may enable you to include a vodka-based mixed drink in your daily eating plan.
Besides the low number of calories per shot, there are also zero carbs in vodka. So, if you're following a low-carb (or carb-free) diet, the non-existent carbs in vodka could make this alcoholic beverage an occasional addition to your menu. Vodka also contains no sugar, fiber, fatty acids or cholesterol.
Read more: Are There Any Health Benefits of Vodka?
Drinking Low-Calorie Beverages
Despite Smirnoff vodka's low-range number of calories, it doesn't win the "lowest-calorie alcoholic beverage" award. That nod goes to light beer, which can clock in with as few as 55 calories for a 12-ounce bottle or can, says the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Non-alcoholic beers begin at a slightly higher 60 calories per serving.
In contrast, a 6-ounce glass of low-calorie wine packs 120 calories, while a comparable glass of regular white or red wine racks up 150 calories, on average. Several cocktails, including a Manhattan and classic martini, each measure about the same calories per glass as regular wine.
Regardless of your alcoholic beverage choice, consuming alcohol in moderation can provide some specific health benefits. The University of Southern California notes that moderate alcohol consumption of wine, beer or hard liquor can help to reduce heart disease and stroke risks.
For reference, the Mayo Clinic defines "moderate alcohol consumption" differently for men and women. Healthy women of any age, along with men over 65, should have a maximum of one drink daily. Healthy men aged 65 and younger should not consume more than two drinks per day. For 80-proof distilled spirits (including vodka), one drink equals 1.5 ounces of an alcoholic beverage.
Read more: 5 Hidden Health Benefits of Alcohol
How Alcohol Discourages Weight Loss
Although moderate alcohol consumption can provide some health benefits, you'll find it difficult to lose weight while you're drinking any form of alcohol, states Harvard Health Publishing. Each gram of alcohol contains seven calories, which adds to your daily calorie count.
In addition, drinking alcohol with your meal increases your food consumption — alcohol generally decreases inhibitions, so you may be more likely to eat more bread or enjoy that dessert, packing on extra calories that could sabotage your diet.
After you down an alcoholic drink (or two), your body must quickly begin to metabolize that alcohol, explains the Cleveland Clinic. Unlike consumption of foods that contain proteins, fats and carbohydrates, your body doesn't have a mechanism for storing the alcohol you just drank.
Your body essentially puts all other metabolic processes on hold, and drops everything to get that alcohol through your system. That's where your liver jumps in, as it's tasked with detoxifying your system and getting the alcohol out of your blood. The end result is that your body metabolizes other foods more slowly, setting the stage for weight gain.
- USDA: "Alcoholic Beverage, Distilled, Vodka, 80 Proof"
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: "Which Alcohol Packs the Most…and Least…Calories"
- University of Southern California: "Yes, It’s True: Wine Is Good for You – to a Point"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Should Alcoholic Drinks Come With Calorie Labels?"
- Cleveland Clinic: "6 Surprising Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health – Not Just Your Liver"
- Center on Addiction: "Commonly Used Alcohol and Nicotine Products"
- Mayo Clinic: "Alcohol: Weighing Risks and Potential Benefits"