Calories, Carbs, and Fats in Beverages

The calories, carbs, and fats in beverages can sabotage the best intentions to lose or maintain weight. That’s because we tend to be unaware of just how fattening some beverages really are.

Discover the Facts

The following list presents the calories, carbs, and fats found in standard servings of both alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic Beverage Calories Carbs (grams) Fats (grams) Sodium (mg)
Beer (regular) 146 13.13 .000 14
Beer (lite) 99 4.60 .000 14
Distilled Spirits* 97 .00 .000 0
Wine (red) 125 3.5 .000 6
Wine (white) 120 3.5 .000 7
Non-Alcoholic Beverage Calories Carbs (grams) Fats (grams) Sodium (mg)
Apple juice (unsweetened) 117 28.96 .273 10
Apricot juice 140 36.11 .226 8
Carbonated cola 155 39.77 .000 46
Grape juice (unsweetened) 155 37.84 .202 13.6
Grapefruit juice (unsweetened) 94 22.13 .247 2.5
Lemonade 131 34.05 .149 10
Milk (2% fat) 122 11.41 4.807 115
Orange juice (unsweetened) 112 26.84 .149 4
Prune juice 182 44.67 .077 3
Tangerine juice (unsweetened) 125 29.88 .098 2.5
Tomato juice 41 10.30 .122 24

*Distilled spirits include rum, vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, bourbon, etc. Source of data: U.S. Dept Ag (USDA). Food Composition Databases.

It’s obvious that most alcohol beverages have fewer calories than most non-alcohol beverages. However, some people are still concerned about gaining weight from drinking alcohol. But alcohol beverages contain no fat and are very low in carbohydrates. Additionally, it appears that the “effective” calories in alcohol are substantially lower than the numbers listed.

calories, carbs, and fat in beveragesFor whatever reason, numerous research studies suggest that drinking alcohol tends not to increase weight. In addition, among women, it is often associated with slight losses in weight. That’s even better news than the figures listed above would suggest.

In addition, the US federal government concludes that the moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better health and longer life than abstaining from it.

References: Calories, Carbs, and Fats in Beverages 

  • Colditz, G., et al. Alcohol intake in relation to diet and obesity in women and men. Am J Clin Nut, 1991, 54, 49-55.
  • Cordain, L., et al. Influence of moderate daily wine consumption upon body weight regulation and metabolism in healthy free living males. J Am Coll Nut, 1997, 16(2), 134-139.
  • Hellerstedt, W. L., et al. The association between alcohol intake and adiposity in the general population. Am J Epidem, 1990, 132(4), 594-611.
  • Istvan, J., et al. The relationship between patterns of alcohol consumption and body weight, Int J Epidem, 1995, 24(3), 543-546.
  • Jequier, E. Alcohol intake and body weight: a paradox. Am J Clin Nut, 1999, 69, 173-174.
  • Kahn, H. S., et al. Stable behaviors associated with adults’ 10-year change in body mass index and the likelihood of gain at the waist. Am J Pub Health, 1997, 87(5), 747-754.
  • Klesges, R. C., et al. Effects of alcohol intake on resting energy expenditure in young women social drinkers. Am J Clin Nut, 1994, 59, 805-809.
  • Landis, W. Alcohol and energy intake. Am J Clin Nutrition, 1995, 62(suppl.), 11015-11068.
  • Liu, S., et al. A prospective study of alcohol intake and change in body weight among US adults. Am J Clin Nut, 1994, 140(10), 912-920.
  • Mannisto, E., et al. Reported alcohol intake, diet and body mass index in male smokers. Eur J Clin Nut, 1996, 50, 239-245.
  • Mannisto, S., et al. Alcohol beverage drinking, diet and body mass index in a cross-national survey, Eur J Clin Nut, 1997, 151, 326-332.
  • Prentice, A. M. Alcohol and obesity. Int J Obesity, 1995, 19(Suppl. 5), S44-S50.
  • USDA Food Composition Databases.