Drinking alcohol can add up fast. People always are on the lookout for beer vs whiskey calories composition and intake.
In one standard serving of beer, for example, you’ll get about 150 calories, a 5-ounce glass of red wine will give you 125 calories, while a 1.5-ounce shot of gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, or tequila will give you around 100 calories. The same serving size of bourbon, on the other hand, has about 107 calories.
We all know that drinking too much alcohol is unhealthy—but how do different types of drinks compare when it comes to their impact on your waistline?
There’s no universal consensus among nutritionists or researchers as to which specific alcoholic beverage (or any food or drink, for that matter) is the “healthier” choice.
However, we can break down some general facts and common perceptions about different types of drinks to help you make more informed decisions about your drinking habits in the future.
Which has more calories: Beer, whiskey, or wine,?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a 1.5-ounce shot of gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, or tequila has about 100 calories, a 12-ounce glass of standard beer has about 150 calories, and a 5-ounce glass of red wine has about 125 calories.
Let’s check each of the alcoholic drinks in detail as shown in the table below.
|Alcoholic drink||Calories per 8 fluid ounces|
|Beer (regular)||103 calories|
|Beer (light)||69 calories|
|Beer (higher alcohol, craft beers)||113 – 233 calories|
|Red wine||193 calories|
|White wine||192 calories|
However, as you consider the amount of calories in a drink, it’s important to check the amount you need to take per serving. Spirits are served in tots (1.5 fl oz) portions and thus contain less calories per serving as compared to beer.
If your focus is calories and cholesterol, wine is the better choice. You’ll find that a 5 oz. glass of red wine has about 120 calories and 2 grams of fat, while a standard serving of whiskey (1 oz) has about 90 calories and no fat.
This doesn’t take into account any mixers or other ingredients you might consume along with the drink, but at least it provides a straightforward comparison between two popular choices based on nutritional information alone.
Calories in a serving of beer
Alcohol provides empty calories and isn’t considered part of your daily diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that men shouldn’t have more than two alcoholic drinks and women shouldn’t have more than one drink on any given day.
Beer is one of the most popular alcohols in the United States. It’s usually light, refreshing, and best served with a meal or a snack. Beer does contain calories, but it’s not as high in calories as other alcoholic beverages.
A serving size for beer is about 8 oz (or about 10-12 regular beers) which provides 98 Calories. These are typically 12 oz bottles that give you about 240 calories per bottle.
And even though it’s lower in calories than other types of drinks, it still packs a punch when it comes to alcohol content: one serving of beer contains 1/2 ounce as the amount of pure alcohol in a standard drink (1 1/2 ounces).
Calories in a serving of bourbon
A standard serving of bourbon is one and a half ounces, which translates to about 97 calories. A typical mixed drink made with bourbon will contain more calories than this, but the exact number can vary depending on how it’s mixed.
One study found that ordering a whiskey-based drink with a carbonated soda like Coke added an additional 40 calories per 12-ounce serving. That might not seem like much, but keep in mind that studies show you only need to consume an extra 80 or so extra calories a day to gain 10 pounds in one year.
Drinking beer is also associated with weight gain. One 12-ounce bottle of beer can have up to 150 calories—but the type of beer and type of alcohol has an impact on the number of calories in your favorite drink.
If you want to watch your calorie intake, stick to light beers or lower-calorie drinks like wine or vodka cocktails. With these drinks, you won’t be sacrificing any flavor – just some extra pounds!
A 1.5-ounce shot of bourbon contains about 97 calories but will become less healthy when mixed with sodas and sugary mixers like cola or ginger ale. Bourbon is a type of whiskey made from corn, rye, or wheat.
It’s typically distilled to about 80% alcohol by volume (ABV). For comparison purposes, the same amount of beer contains 150 calories. That’s because beer is generally brewed and bottled at a lower alcohol concentration than bourbon.
Whiskey has more calories than other types of drinks like wine and light beers because it’s usually consumed in larger quantities during one sitting.
Calories in Wine: Does Wine have more calories than beer?
Eight ounces of red wine contains an average of 200 calories. Red wine has more calories than white wine because it is usually higher in sugar and fat.
Wine is a low-calorie drink. A standard 8oz glass of red wine contains an average of 200 calories. This is in comparison to the 150 calories you’ll get from a standard serving of beer and the 107 calories you’ll get from a standard serving of bourbon.
The reason for this is that alcohol isn’t just alcohol — it’s ethanol, which has 7 calories per gram. So, if you’re drinking by volume, it’s going to be lower calorie output than eating food with the same volume of alcohol in it.
As an example, imagine you have one serving size (about 8 oz) of two different types of wine: one with 12% ABV and one with 14% ABV.
The higher percentage would contain roughly 16g more ethanol and therefore 320 extra calories than the other type — but both will still have about the same amount of total carbs, fruit sugars, and other nutritive components like protein and vitamins (which can vary depending on what’s in your chosen wine).
Beer vs Whiskey Calories: Is whiskey more fattening than beer?
Beer contains more carbohydrates than whisky, which are sugars the body converts to calories. However, when it comes to calorie count, we’re not just talking about how many there are per ounce. We’re also talking about how much liquid you’re drinking in total.
For example, a 12-ounce can of beer has 150 calories, while a 5-ounce glass of whiskey has 107 calories. So if you’re comparing two drinks that are the same size and type (like an 8-ounce beer vs an 8-ounce whiskey), you would find that the beer drink contains more calories on average.
The reason for this is that alcohol does contain a lot of empty calories from sugar and other additives like carbonation. But your body absorbs them differently than other nutrients due to alcohol’s unique chemical properties as a food source.
Alcohol is absorbed in about one hour whereas normal foods take between four to six hours to digest fully. Thus, the calories from alcohol are processed by your body at a faster rate than what would happen with regular food intake.
Calories in Mixed Drinks
One thing you should know is that alcohol becomes less healthy when mixed with sugary mixers. For example, a Margarita on the rocks has about 215 calories, while a regular Margarita (with no sugar) has only 60 calories.
When you mix alcohol with sodas and other sugary mixers, the calorie content of your drink can increase exponentially. For example, one serving of a drink like Captain Morgan and cola or Long Island Iced Tea would have more than 500 calories.
This is why many people who are trying to lose weight choose to drink some alcohol without any mixers or sweeteners at all. This way they can enjoy their favorite drink without sabotaging their weight loss efforts.
Is beer or whiskey better for weight loss?
You can have a shot of whiskey, gin, or rum instead of beer or wine, but each type of alcohol has a high amount of calories. So, which drink is better for weight loss?
It really depends on how much you consume and what you’re looking to get out of your drinking habits. You may want to drink whiskey if you want that buzzed feeling or are eating a high-protein meal that will make it easier to metabolize the alcohol.
Beer might be more appropriate at happy hour with friends since it has fewer calories than wine or liquor, and it doesn’t seem to increase blood pressure nearly as much as other types of alcohol.
But, when it comes down to it, all alcohols have a high amount of calories per serving size. If you’re trying to lose weight, try limiting your portion size (1 drink is considered one serving).
Best alcohol to drink when on a diet
To ensure you get the least calories when taking alcohol, you can aim for light beer, wine, and pure forms of alcohol — such as gin, rum, or whiskey. These three types of alcoholic drinks offer few or zero carbs per serving when combined with low-carb mixers.
Some of the low-carb mixers you can pair with your alcoholic drink are water/ ice, diet soda, seltzer, or sugar-free tonic water.
When on a diet it may be best to stick to spirits (like vodka, gin, whiskey, or rum) mixed with a zero-calorie beverage (like diet soda), water, seltzer, or ice. The top 5 drinks for weight loss include:
You’ll get about the same amount of alcohol as in beer and wine, but you won’t have any extra calories. In fact, some studies suggest that drinking vodka mixed with diet cola is more satisfying than beer or wine.
Which Type of Alcohol Is Healthier?
You may have heard that red wine is healthier than other alcoholic beverages. If you don’t base your judgment on calories alone, you may get the healthiest drink.
Red wine contains antioxidants, which can protect your cells from damage, and polyphenols, which can promote heart health. In addition to being a type of alcohol, red wine also provides an opportunity for you to indulge in something that’s generally thought to be healthy for you.
It has the perception of being “good for you” because it’s been associated with things like heart health and cancer prevention. Plus, it offers the benefit of giving you a sense of guiltlessness because it doesn’t contain any sugar or carbs (unlike any other type of alcohol).
But while this may sound appealing to people trying to stay within their caloric budget, drinking one glass raises your daily calorie intake by around 150 calories — that’s the same as eating an entire chocolate bar! You could be doing better if you just drank water instead.
Which is better for health, beer or whisky?
Beer and whiskey are both high in calories, but beer has more per ounce. The two drinks also differ in their alcohol content — while beer has four to six percent alcohol, whiskey can have anywhere from 40 percent to 50 percent.
This means that drinking a pint of beer will give you more than double the amount of alcohol than it would take to get drunk off of a shot or two of whiskey. So, if you’re looking for the least-processed drink, you might want to stick with beer.
Will 2 beers a night make me fat?
It’s important to note that the study only analyzed beer drinkers and didn’t compare them to other groups of people, such as those who don’t drink. The researchers also noted that more research is needed on this topic before we can draw any conclusions about the causal relationship between beer and body weight or belly fat.
Researchers at a German university found that in one year, moderate beer drinking (less than 17 oz/ 500 ml per day) didn’t lead to increased body weight or belly fat gain as would be expected by an increase in calorie intake.
In fact, they found that men who drank moderately over 12 months actually lost an average of 0.2 inches from their waist circumference (so technically they had slightly slimmer waists than those who didn’t drink).
The men in this study averaged just 2 beers per day in addition to their normal diet. When we consider the obesity epidemic in America, it’s worth noting that alcohol is not a problem—the problem is overeating!
Alcohol has been shown to help with weight loss when part of a balanced diet and exercise routine. What matters most is how many calories are consumed versus burned each day.**
Does whisky make you gain weight?
If not mixed with soda or sugary mixers, Whisky contains absolutely no fat, and barely any carbohydrates or sugar, making it a better choice for diabetics than most other alcoholic drinks.
This is not to say that whisky causes weight gain, but rather the drinker should be mindful of how many calories they consume in other foods and drinks to avoid consuming too many or too few.
Does beer cause belly fat?
Yes, if taken regularly in huge portions leads to too many calories that can turn your trim waistline into a belly that protrudes over your pants.
We all know that drinking too much alcohol is unhealthy—but which type of alcohol is worse for you in terms of its nutritional value?
Which one is actually worse for you? The answers aren’t always simple — and there’s no universal consensus among nutritionists or researchers as to which specific alcoholic beverage (or any food or drink, for that matter) is the “healthier” choice.
However, we can break down some general facts and common perceptions about different types of drinks to help you make more informed decisions about your drinking habits in the future. Beer has about 150 calories per standard serving size, while bourbon has 107 calories per serving.
Alcoholic drink that won’t make you fat
If you want to avoid becoming fat, you should take vodka, gin, and tequila since the three have lower caloric counts and they are easy to consume with a zero calories drink such as water, soda water, or ice.
Overall, the alcohol with the least calories is vodka. A standard serving of vodka has about 96 calories and zero carbs. Gin has about 120 calories per serving, and tequila has about 116. Beer comes in at 150 calories, and bourbon at 107.
Still, it’s important to remember that these numbers are just averages—a single drink can vary greatly in its caloric content depending on what type of liquor it contains or what else you put into it.
Difference between whiskey and beer
Bourbon, for example, has a higher percentage of alcohol than beer. In order to be considered bourbon in the U.S., it must have at least 40% alcohol (which is 80 proof). Beer, on the other hand, typically ranges from 3-6%.
The higher percentage of alcohol in bourbon means that you’ll get more calories per serving. Whiskey and beer also differ in terms of flavor. Whiskey is made from fermented grains like corn or rye with a small amount of barley malt added.
Beer is made by fermenting barley malt with hops and yeast until the sugars are converted into alcohol. This process can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks depending on the type of beer you’re making (e.g., lager takes about 3 weeks).
Bourbon is distilled until it reaches a point where no sugar remains and all that’s left is ethanol and water — whereas beer does not undergo the distillation process.
While heavier alcohols like vodka, gin, whiskey, and tequila may contain more calories than lighter drinks like wine and beer, it’s important to note that none of these drinks are “better for you”.
No matter what type of alcohol you consume or how much of it you drink, it will still have a negative impact on your body.
That said, if you’re looking to minimize your caloric intake while drinking outside the home — alcohol that is — it might be worth opting for a lower-calorie liquor as opposed to a dark beer. This can help cut down on calories without compromising taste.
Which drink has more calories: Whiskey or beer?
To answer this question, we’d need to know the calorie count of a “standard serving” of each drink. Beer typically comes in 12-ounce servings, while bourbon is typically sold by the shot (1.5 ounces). According to our calculations, a standard serving of beer is about 150 calories and a standard serving of bourbon is about 107 calories. Not surprisingly, beer edges out whiskey on this one—though not by much!
Which alcohol is healthier for you?
It’s difficult to say which specific type of alcohol would be considered the “healthier” choice since different people have different nutritional needs and preferences. It also depends heavily on how much you’re drinking at a time, as well as your age and how active you are. That said, research has shown that people who only drink beer tend to have lower BMIs than those who only drink liquor or wine—though it’s worth noting that those who drank liquor or wine tended to consume fewer total alcoholic drinks per week than those who only drank beer. That being said, there isn’t necessarily anything inherently better about beer vs. liquor – your lifestyle habits and diet will play a bigger role in determining your health than what type of alcohol you’re consuming.