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How Many Calories Does a Standard Drink Contain?

author image Juliet Wilkinson
As a bachelor's-prepared registered nurse with more than 15 years of diversified experience, Juliet Wilkinson innerves our health-conscious population through expert articles. She is a motivated professional who believes that preventive care is the first step towards health and well-being.
How Many Calories Does a Standard Drink Contain?
Only two sugary drinks a day can double the risk for heart disease. Photo Credit: tiverylucky/iStock/Getty Images

The calories hiding in each standard drink can vary depending on beverage choice and the added ingredients. A standard drink is any drink that contains about 0.6 fluid ounces of "pure" alcohol, according to the National Institutes of Health. Twelve ounces of regular beer, 5 oz. of wine and a 1.5-oz. shot of 80-proof hard liquor contain approximately the same amount of alcohol and each counts as a single standard drink.

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A 12 oz. serving of the regular, full malt version is 150 calories, whereas light beers hold around 116 calories.


Calorie content of wine varies slightly by type. A single 5-oz. serving of white wine ranges between 110 and 130 calories; the drier reds run from 114 to 120 calories per serving.

80 Proof Liquor

The calorie content of a standard 1.5-oz. shot glass of hard liquor varies by type and proof. A shot of whiskey provides 98 calories.


Those who wish to mix their drinks must add the calories for each added ingredient. Sodas, fruit juices and syrups add sugar calories to the alcohol. Sodas hold approximately 88 per 8-oz. serving. One tablespoon of grenadine syrup is 54 calories and just 1 oz. of fresh, sweetened orange juice is 15 calories.

Diet Sodas

Diet sodas with reduced sugar contain around 50 calories per can. However, if the drinker chooses the no calorie options, available in most popular brands, they host 0 calories per serving.

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