Beer is Better than Milk for Good Health & Weight: So are Wine & Distilled Spirits (Liquor)

Why Beer is Better than Milk

Beer is better than milk for promoting good health. It’s also better than than milk for reducing or maintaining weight. Not only is beer better than milk. So are wine and liquor (distilled spirits). Spirits include whiskey, rum, vodka, tequila, etc.

Beer wine and spirits all have fewer calories and less sodium than milk. And none has any fat or cholesterol, with which milk is loaded. Furthermore, while milk is associated with weight gain, alcohol beverages are not. See Alcohol, Calories and Weight Gain.

(one cup regular milk)
(can or bottle)
80 proof distilled spirits
(1.5 oz shot or jigger)
Calories 148 125 145 97
Sodium (mg) 120 8 18 0.4
Fat (g) 5 0 0 0
Cholesterol (mg) 34 0 0 0

Source:  USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

But there is one important difference. You can drink all the milk you want before driving. Not so with alcohol.

How to Avoid Intoxication

It’s easy to have a good time at a party or other gathering while still avoiding intoxication. Here are some tips.

  • beer is better than milkThe typical bottle of beer, glass of wine or spirits drink each contains the same amount of alcohol. When it comes to alcohol content, a drink is a drink is a drink. They’re all the same to a breathalyzer.
  • Sip your drinks slowly. Enjoy and savor them.
  • Have a non-alcohol beverage for every alcohol one you take.
  • Avoid drinking games. They promote excessive drinking in short periods of time.
  • Limit alcohol drinks to no more than one per hour
  • Accept a drink only when you really want one. If someone tries to force a drink on you, ask for a non-alcohol beverage instead. If that fails, “lose” your drink by setting it down somewhere and leaving it.
  • Avoid pressure to drink. Simply choose a beverage that looks like an alcohol drinks. They include tomato juice, lemonade, iced water, and water with ice cubes. Also club soda with orange juice, tonic water with a twist of lemon or lime. And don’t forget either orange juice or 7-Up with grenadine. They all taste good.
  • Beware of unfamiliar drinks. Some drinks, such as zombies and other fruit drinks, can be deceiving. That’s because their acolhol content is not detectable. Therefore, it is dificult to space consumption of them properly.
  • Use alcohol carefully in connection with pharmaceuticals. Read their labels for any warnings about drinking.

Never drive if you’re not completely sober. And don’t let anyone else.


Resources for Beer is Better than Milk

Bamford, C. Beer: Health and Nutrition. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2004.

Clemens, R., et al. Milk and Milk Products in Human Nutrition. Vevey, Switzerland: Nestle Nutrition Inst, 2011.

Gastineau, C., et al. Fermented Food Beverages in Nutrition. NY: Academic Press, 1979.

Lange, E., and Vogel. Milk Consumption and Health. NY: Nova Biomedical, 2009.

Park, Y., and Haenlein, G. Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition: Production, Composition, and Health. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

Sahidi, F., et al. Nutraceutical Beverages. Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health. Washington, DC: Am Chem Soc, 2004.