If you're searching for a low-calorie alcoholic beverage that takes mere minutes to prepare, put a vodka and soda water on your shortlist. This no-frills cocktail ticks both those boxes.
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A vodka and soda water contains 133 calories for a 225-gram serving. That’s approximately an 8-ounce drink containing 2 ounces of vodka, topped off with soda water.
Vodka Soda Calories and Nutrition
You might find it tough to pin down a calorie-friendly drink that satisfies your tastes. Consider that working out the calories of each drink is based on one shot (or 1.5 ounces) of an alcoholic beverage, states the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
For starters, note that one shot of 80-proof vodka, whiskey, rum, gin or tequila contains 100 calories. Adding syrups, juices and flavorings to an alcoholic beverage can really rack up the calorie count.
If you're searching for a lower-calorie cocktail, give consideration to an easy-to-make vodka and soda water. The USDA notes that this no-frills mixed drink only packs 133 calories for a standard 225-gram drink, equivalent to roughly eight ounces.
The USDA also points out that a vodka and soda water doesn't contain any carbohydrates, sugar or fat. Because this concoction doesn't have any protein or fiber, however, drinking it provides you with zero nutritional benefits. However, the lower vodka soda calories number puts a positive spin on this cocktail.
For a mixed drink with a slightly different character, Marshfield Clinic recommends replacing the soda water with fizzy, effervescent seltzer. This popular carbonated water often features enticing fruit flavorings that don't add calories or sugar, but might give your mixed drinks a little extra taste. Consider adding a slice of lemon, lime or other fresh fruit to your vodka seltzer for some added zing.
Low-Calorie Beer and Wine
Maybe you're a beer or wine aficionado, but you also want to stay within your daily calorie guidelines. If that's the case, the U.S. National Library of Medicine presents several potential low-calorie beverage options.
A 12-ounce bottle of light beer comes in with 105 calories, while regular beer packs 145 calories. Craft beer racks up a higher calorie count, due to its elevated carb number and added ingredients. Beers that display higher alcohol by volume (ABV) numbers typically contain more calories.
On the wine front, two ounces of sherry only contains 75 calories, while four ounces of champagne has 85 calories. A five-ounce glass of white wine has 120 calories, while a similar-sized glass of red wine contains 125 calories. Generally speaking, sweeter wines tend to be higher in calories.
Read more: 5 Hidden Health Benefits of Alcohol
Moderate vs. Heavy Alcohol Consumption
Regardless of your choice of alcoholic beverages, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you stay within the moderate alcohol use guidelines. If you're a healthy woman of any age, or a man over age 65, that means you shouldn't consume more than one drink each day.
If you're a healthy man who's 65 or younger, you shouldn't have more than two drinks daily. One drink equals 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (such as vodka or rum), five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer.
Moderate alcohol consumption has several possible health benefits. You may decrease your risk of contracting, and potentially dying from, coronary heart disease. Moderate alcohol use could also reduce your risk of having an ischemic stroke or developing diabetes. On the flip side, even light drinkers have a small risk of developing certain cancers.
Heavy drinking has no health benefits, and it raises your risk of developing serious health conditions. By definition, heavy drinking means consuming more than three drinks daily or more than seven drinks weekly for women and men over 65. For men 65 and younger, heavy drinking means downing more than four drinks each day or more than 14 drinks weekly.
Read more: 9 Scary Side Effects of Social Drinking