Fitness Nutrition Forums

Order This Not That When You Head to the Bar

Some drinks can top out at more than 600 calories, so what are some healthy choices when you are ordering drinks?

Drinking is a fun and social part of many people’s lives but making healthy choices when you are out drinking can be a challenge! Some alcoholic drinks can end up having a high caloric intake and the excessive calories consumed in the form of alcohol can lead to excessive weight gain. To balance alcohol in your diet out, eating healthy and exercise are essential. But when you are at the bar and making choices, here are some lighter options.

Generally different types of alcohol on average have the following amounts of calories each drink contains .6 fluid ounces of pure ethanol.

1.5oz cordial/ liqueur: ~160

12oz of beer: ~150 calories

12oz light beer: ~100 calories

5oz of wine: ~100 calories

1.5oz of 80-proof distilled spirits: 100 calories

High-Calorie Choice: Michelada with regular beer

Low-Calorie Choice: Michelada with light beer

This drink can be nutritious and filling if you just substitute a light beer in your mix. Try mixing a light beer with lime, Worcestershire sauce, your favorite hot sauce, black pepper, sea salt and pour over ice.

High-Calorie Choice: Long Island Iced Tea

Low-Calorie Choice: Bloody Mary with a Full Garden

This can be a great low-calorie drink, and a Long Island Iced Tea can top 700 calories. To make a great bloody mary, mix unflavored vodka or tequila with 100 percent vegetable juice/ tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, mild or hot sauce, horseradish sauce, pepper and optional salt. For added nutrition and health benefits, add a full garden with lots of added vegetables like celery, peppers, cilantro, green beans cherry tomatoes, pickled asparagus, Kalamata olives and artichoke hearts. Extra vegetables will help make the drink even more satiating.

High-Calorie Choice: Tequila Sunrise

Low-Calorie Choice: Sea Breeze

Tequila sunrises can really pack in the calories with dense fruit juice mixes. Try a Sea Breeze for a lighter juice drink. The tart flavor of the 4 oz. of grapefruit juice with 1½ oz. of cranberry juice, and 1 oz. of vodka is about 180 calories. Remember to read labels when buying juice and make sure that you are getting 100 percent fruit juice to reduced added calories from unnecessary added sugar or make your own fresh squeezed juice! Make your drink go further by adding a bit of club soda, ice or water.

High-Calorie Choice: Blended Margarita

Low-Calorie Choice: Tequila and Soda

Try salting the rim of your cup, then mix tequila with club soda with limes or lemons and you have a low-calorie drink that can be a healthy alternative to frozen margaritas or daiquiris. Frozen blended drinks are often some of the highest calorie drinks. A tequila and sola is about 100 calories compared to the 400 you might have had in a blended drink.

High-Calorie Choice: White Wine

Low-Calorie Choice: Champagne Cocktail

A 4 oz. glass of champagne is only 85 calories vs the 120 calories you might have in a glass of white wine. Although, be aware one bottle of champagne has more than 500 calories in it. Add fresh fruits for added health benefits. For a champagne spritzer or cocktail, add sparkling water and a splash of fruit juice.

High-Calorie Choice: Mudslide

Low-Calorie Choice: Apple Pear Martini

Martinis can be some of the highest calorie drinks, especially since there are typically 3 ounces of alcohol per martini. Consider instead of a mudslide, choose an apple pear martini. This martini has 2 1/2oz sour mix, ¾ oz. vodka, and ¾ oz apple liqueur. Optional dash of stevia, lightly sugared rim, lime, lemon or orange slices for a different flavor. Each drink is about ~160 calories.

High-Calorie Choice: Sangria

Low-Calorie Choice: Red Wine

Sangria will have lots of fruit juice and added sugars from the fruits and hard alcohol. Opt for a glass of red wine to reduce your calories and still get many of the healthy antioxidant benefits.

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