All About Alcohol

All About Alcohol

It’s no secret that we’re a nation of alcohol-lovers, whether it’s a glass or two of wine after a long, hard day or a weekend of binge drinking, the British public love their booze. In fact, we even hold the dubious title of Europe’s biggest binge drinkers. And we all know it’s not good for us, but did you know it’s also very likely that it’s significantly increasing your calorie intake each week? 

Most alcoholic drinks have a high calorie content and are what people refer to as “empty calories”, ie. calories we consume from food or drink which contain no nutrients. And that’s just a waste. So here are a few tips on how to cut down:

  • Go for bottles of beer rather than pints or cans
  • Have a glass of water every other drink
  • Don’t have spirits with sugary mixers
  • Stick to the government recommended guidelines (or lower) of no more than 14 units per week ie. six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.
  • Don’t keep it in the house!
  • Don’t drink in rounds so that you can drink at your own pace
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach or you’ll be tempted to go for bar snacks
  • Cut down with a friend - find something else to do together!

Below is a breakdown of different alcoholic drinks and their calorie contents which might make you think twice about cracking open that bottle of wine after a long day!



Calories (kcal)

Food Equivalent

5% Lager ie. Heineken

1 pint


A McDonalds Hamburger

Cider (5%) ie. Strongbow

1 pint


A large slice of pizza

Large White Wine (13%)

A large glass


A Cadbury Crunchie

Jack Daniels and Coke

Double (50ml)


Half a Greggs sausage roll

Alcopop (4%) ie. Smirnoff Ice

275ml bottle


Walkers Baked Cheese & Onion crisps

Vodka & coke 

Single (25ml)


A Kit Kat

Vodka and soda



One ginger nut biscuit

Calculate your alcohol calorie intake

This nifty little tool from World Cancer Research Fund UK (WCRF UK) also allows you to see how many calories (or mini sausage roll equivalents!) you’re consuming through alcohol, and how much jogging you need to do to burn it off.

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