How Many Carbs are in Alcoholic Drinks?

I have been asked many times about drinking alcohol while following a low carb diet so here is the scoop.  First, know that calories from alcohol are empty calories meaning they have no nutritional value.  Also, alcohol will be metabolized before any other food or drink.  Drinking alcohol can reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy.  But if you have to have a drink or two, let’s pay attention to the amount of carbs that are in different drinks.

Spirits such as vodka, rum, whiskey, brandy, gin, bourbon and tequila have no carbs but be careful what you are mixing it with.  One can of pop has between 35-45 grams of carbs depending on the brand of pop.  1 cup of orange juice has between 25-30 grams of carbs.  Cocktails such as Mojito’s have up to 25 grams of carbohydrates if it is just a regular size however many restaurants and bars have jumbo drinks.  Martini’s have less than one carb per drink.

If you like a cold beer, you are looking at 12-15 carbs per beer and lite beer has about 5-7 carbs.  Red wine has about 2-3 carbs and white wine has 2-5 carbs per 6oz glass.

So if you want to have a drink, your best choice would be spirits mixed with club soda or water and lemon for flavor.  There are also sweeteners or water flavors that you can add to your drink but be sure to get them sweetened with Stevia and not aspartame.  Skinny Girl uses vegetable juice for color and Stevia Extract and cane sugar for sweetness.  When you look at Crystal Lite’s ingredient list you see 12 ingredients, including the artificial sweetener Sucralose and sucrose acetate isobutyrate, a thickening or “weighting” agent also found in printing inks.  In the Mio brand, the second ingredient is propylene glycol, a preservative, thickening agent, and stabilizer, also used as antifreeze to de-ice airplanes, as a plasticizer to make polyester resins, and found in electronic cigarettes.  There are so many brands of flavorings that you simply need to look at the ingredient list so you are not loading your body up with harmful chemicals, especially if you use it a lot.

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