If you've ever spent an afternoon at a shady beach bar, or sampled the ice-cold brews at your neighborhood gathering spot, you've probably encountered Corona beer. Launched in Mexico in 1925, this popular brand, often served with lime, is one of the top imported beers in the United States.
For a 12-ounce serving, Corona Premier has only 90 calories, followed by Corona Light’s slightly higher 99 calories. Corona Extra clocks in at 149 calories, while Corona Familiar packs 157 calories.
Comparing Calories in Beer
The Corona family of beers encompasses five related brands, each with a distinct character. First up is Corona Premier, which is designed for low-carb beer enthusiasts who want to indulge without sabotaging their eating plan. Each 12-fluid-ounce serving contains only 90 calories and 2.6 grams of carbohydrates, with a 4 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) rating.
Corona Extra is positioned between more robust European imported beers and less-hearty domestic brews. It has a slightly higher 4.6 percent ABV rating, 14 grams of carbs and 149 calories. This beer might appeal to beer aficionados who aren't concerned about watching the numbers.
For beer drinkers who prefer a lighter pilsner-like lager, Corona Light, containing 99 calories, may be just the ticket. Corona Familiar, with a more hefty 157 calories, contains a heartier flavor and higher alcohol content than the other Corona brands.
Finally, Corona Refresca, with its tropical-themed varieties of Guava Lime, Passionfruit Lime and Coconut Lime, contains between 178 and 191 calories per serving.
Read more: What Vitamins Does Beer Have?
Finding the Lowest-Calorie Beer
Determining the lowest-calorie beer is harder than it sounds, notes UnityPoint. A beer's calorie count varies with the manufacturer and the beer variety. On average, each 12-fluid-ounce beer has around 150 calories per serving, with light beer containing 50 to 100 calories. As a comparison, Heineken's Dutch-brewed lager has 142 calories.
A beer's calories generally depend on its alcohol content and carbohydrates, or sugars and starches coming from unfermented grain. Alcohol content is the major factor, which is why light beer contains fewer calories than higher-alcohol varieties. And, with so many beers on the market, it's tough to pinpoint the lowest-calorie beer.
Drinking excessive quantities of any beer isn't recommended. According to the Mayo Clinic, woman of any age and men aged 65 or older should only consume up to one alcoholic drink daily.
For men up to age 65, consuming up to two alcoholic drinks per day meets the guidelines. One drink equals 12 fluid ounces of beer, 5 fluid ounces of wine or 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
Read more: 18 Healthy Beers
Alcohol Consumption and Your Health
Moderate alcohol consumption does have some health benefits, states the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Your body's heart and overall circulatory system may see improvements. Moderate drinking could also contribute to increased protection against gallstones and type 2 diabetes.
Conversely, heavy drinking can seriously damage your heart and liver. Your chances of developing certain cancers, including breast cancer, can also increase. Excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to depression and can potentially lead to violent behaviors. If you're pregnant, heavy drinking can harm your unborn child.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stress that your reaction to alcohol can be affected by age, gender and race or ethnic origin. Your general physical condition, amount of food you eat before drinking and alcohol consumption rate are also determinants.
- Corona USA: "Our Cervezas"
- UnityPoint Health: "Calories in Beer & How to Make Smarter Choices"
- Mayo Clinic: "Alcohol: Weighing Risks and Potential Benefits"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Alcohol and Public Health"
- Heineken: "Lager"