Low Calorie Drinks to Order at Happy Hour

Let’s face it, a drink with friends at the end of the long workday can be a motivating factor to wrapping things up and heading out for the evening. If you and your crew are looking to indulge without the bulge, you will want to order low calorie drinks. Before you hit Happy Hour, consider some facts about the caloric content of alcohol, especially if you super-sized your lunch.

First, the basics: a shot of any pure liquor runs about 100 calories, a glass of wine (5oz) is between 120 and 130 calories and beers range widely from 100 to more than 300 calories.

Related: Your Guide to Healthy Holiday Eating

The upside of whiskey and gin is that a smaller portion of these alcohols contain less calories than beer or mixed drinks and can carry just as much flavor. The popular notion that white wine has fewer calories isn’t necessarily true; the caloric content is mostly determined by the alcohol content and some white wines can get up to and over 14 percent (such as dry wines like Sauvignon Blanc). Sparkling wines are likely to have the least caloric content.

The interesting thing about beer is that most of its calories come from carbohydrates. Higher alcohol content runs the calorie content of a beer up, but this usually goes along with increased carbohydrate content as well. IPAs and Belgian style beers are notoriously heavy and it’s pretty easy to see how a glass or two of wine and a few craft brews can set you back a full meal’s worth of calories!

Finally, many sugary mixed drinks (especially ones with pre-made mixers) can run into the 200-300 calorie range.  I recommend adding soda water to your glasses for some low calorie drinks, it has zero calories and can make for some delicious alternatives to mixed drinks.

Be aware of the calories you’re drinking, choose your drinks wisely and above all, drink safely.

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is Chief Resident of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health with healthy living. Dr. Kamal has a special interest in outpatient adult psychiatry.