If you’ve decided to lose weight but find it difficult to turn down invites for social occasions, we’ve got some great news for you. You don’t have to give up drinking alcohol, as long as you drink responsibly. Pure spirits like vodka and whiskey are better as compared to beers and sugary cocktails. Are you wondering how many calories in vodka? Then, you would be surprised to know that a 1.5 ounce serving of regular and 80 proof (percentage of alcohol) vodka contains only 96 calories.
In fact, vodka is the liquor of choice for many dieters as it contains no carbohydrates. Let us learn more about vodka and its nutrition facts.
What it vodka?
The name vodka comes from the Slavik word ‘zhiznennia voda’ which means ‘little water’ or ‘water of life.’ Vodka is a clear, unaged spirit which is produced using ingredients that have fermentable sugars.
It is commonly made with grains like rye, barley, and wheat. It can also be made from potatoes, grapes and sugar beets.
Though it is considered to be a colorless, odorless and flavorless spirit, one can discern differences in aroma and taste in vodka made from different bases.
History of vodka
The origin of modern vodka can be traced to Poland or Russia. The first record of production of vodka comes from the ninth century Russia.
Vodka started rising in popularity during the 14th century. According to a legend, a monk called Isidore from Chudov Monastery created this drink using his knowledge of distillation.
By the 17th century, Vodka had become the national drink of Russia. The popularity of this drink spread outside Russia and Poland in the 1930s, when many influential Vodka makers emigrated from Russia to the western countries.
Today, Russia is still the largest consumer of vodka in the world. In the United States, it holds 20 percent of the market.
Vodka nutrition facts
Vodka is quite low in calories compared to beers, wines, and ciders. Standard plain vodka only contains water and alcohol and a trace amount of nutrients and impurities.
A 1.5 ounce serving of regular, 80 proof (percentage of alcohol) vodka contains 96 calories.
Vodka contains no nutrients like vitamins, mineral, proteins, or fiber, which is the reason why the calories in vodka are known as empty calories.
How many calories in vodka?
All the calories in vodka come from its alcohol content. As the concentration of the alcohol increases, so do the calories. You can calculate the concentration of alcohol in a particular vodka by dividing its proof in half.
For example, 80-proof vodka contains 40 percent alcohol, while 100-proof vodka contains 50 percent alcohol.
Here are the details of different proofs of vodka and their calorie content
- 70 proof vodka: 85 calories
- 80 proof vodka: 96 calories
- 90 proof vodka: 110 calories
- 100 proof vodka: 124 calories
There are about seven calories in one gram of alcohol. Most carbs and proteins contain four calories per gram, while fats contain nine calories per gram.
There is no difference in the calorie content of different brands of vodka like Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Skyy, and Absolut Vodka that have the same proof.
Are there carbs in vodka?
There are fewer calories in vodka but what about carbs? Vodka does not contain any carbohydrates, which is excellent news for those who are tracking their carbs.
Though it is made from foods like potatoes and grains that are rich in carbs, the process of distillation and fermentation through which vodka is made removes all the nutrients.
Most of the sugars and starches of these foods are converted into ethanol.
Calorie content of different alcoholic drinks
Different types of alcoholic drinks can pack different amounts of calories. Champagne contains the least number of calories per serving. It has just 84 calories per 4-ounce serving. Let us look at how many calories are in different alcoholic drinks.
|Type of beverage||Calories|
|Champagne (4 ounces)||84|
|Red wine (5 ounces)||125|
|White wine (5 ounces)||121|
|Beer (12 ounces)||153|
|Rum (1.5 ounces)||97|
|Vodka (1.5 ounces)||97|
|Whiskey (1.5 ounces)||97|
|Tequila (1.5 ounces)||97|
Distilled liquors like rum, whiskey, tequila, gin, and vodka contain zero carbs. When spices and flavors are added to rum, the carb and calorie content change.
While beer has the highest amount of carb content per serving (11 for a 12-ounce serving), the carb content of wine is much lower ( 5 per 5 ounces).
Calorie content of different mixers
Many people like to mix vodka with juice, soda or other liquors. This process increases the calories content of their drinks by multiple times.
|Mixer (eight ounces)||Calories|
|Regular tonic water||80|
Many popular cocktails and drinks also contain vodka. They are higher in calorie content than other plain vodkas.
|Martini (2.25 ounce)||124|
|Smirnoff ice (12 ounces)||241|
|Bloody Mary (10.5 ounces)||180|
Calories in flavored vodkas
Flavor-infused vodkas make your drink tastier without adding any extra calories.
Most vodkas, including the flavored variety, have the same calorie content, which is around 60 calories per ounce. If you choose light vodka (less alcoholic content), you can decrease the calories further.
Lemon, berry, coconut, watermelon, cucumber, vanilla and cinnamon are the popular varieties of flavored vodkas available nowadays.
You must not confuse flavor infused vodkas with vodka drinks are also commonly available. These drinks contain sugary syrups, which can add to their calorie content.
Also, if you add any mixers to your drinks to improve the flavor, you will increase the calorie content.
Ways to reduce the calories in vodka-based drinks
Vodka does not have much of a taste, which is why many people prefer to add juice or sodas to it.
While this may make your drink tastier, it also adds calories. But you can still decrease calories in vodka-based drinks.
Instead of adding these sugar-loaded drinks to your vodka, you can reduce the number of calories you drink by following these tips.
- You can use calorie-free sodas or juices as mixers.
- Mix some plain water or soda to your vodka.
- Add more ice to your drink.
- Add flavor to your drink by squeezing some lime or lemon in it.
- Mint and sage leaves can also add a fresh flavor to your vodka.
- Add zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia to drinks and cocktails.
Tips to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed
The American Heart Association recommends that men should not consume more than two alcoholic drinks a day and women no more than one.
- Sip your drink slowly.
- Avoid drinking shots.
- Drink water between each alcoholic drink.
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
Health benefits of vodka
Historically vodka was used as a medication. It is used to make tinctures and also consumed as an anesthetic. Some people also cure toothaches by swishing some vodka in their mouth.
When mixed with cinnamon, vodka works as an effective mouthwash and cures bad breath. Herbalists also use vodka to make alcohol-based ointments.
Vodka and weight
The calories in vodka are much lower as compared to many other alcoholic drinks, but that does not mean they help in weight loss.
In fact, vodka contains alcohol, which provides empty calories to our body. Unlike carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, alcohol offers zero nutrition. To make matters worse, alcohol is the first fuel to be utilized by the body, which can lead to fat storage.
Here are the four ways in which all alcoholic drinks hinder fat loss:
1. Alcohol contains more calories than proteins and carbs
Alcohol provides seven calories per gram, which is almost twice the amount for proteins and carbs. Fats provide nine calories per grams, which is just two more than alcohol.
While the calories of fat, protein, and carbs have some nutritional value, alcohol provides empty calories with no nutritional value.
Alcohol can be quite deceptive as it passes through the system quickly. Often the drinker is not even aware of the number of drinks he has had.
2. Alcohol loosens inhibitions
A single shot of vodka may not seem like much as it contains less than a hundred calories, but most people do not stop at one drink.
Alcohol loosens inhibitions, and most people end up consuming more than they intended. Consuming just three drinks of vodka can add 300 calories to your daily intake.
You may also eat fattening snacks with your drinks without thinking about the consequences.
3. Alcohol increases appetite
Alcohol triggers adrenaline and cortisol and increases the cravings for high-fat, high-carb foods. It also lowers the motivation to stay on a healthy diet.
4. Alcohol interferes with the fat burning process
Alcoholic drinks, including vodka, can interfere with the fat burning process of the body. Our liver metabolizes fats. However, when alcohol is present in the system, our liver prefers to break it down first.
So, while our body uses alcohol for energy, the fat metabolism comes to a halt. This process is known as fat sparing, and it can lead to weight gain.
Final thoughts on calories in vodka
Calories in vodka are low compared to any other alcoholic drink. Also, vodka is a low-calorie alcoholic drink which has no nutritional value. A 1.5 ounce serving of plain, 80-proof vodka contains 96 calories.
It contains lesser calories than beer, wine, and other cocktails. However, this does not mean that it can help with weight loss. All alcoholic drinks, including vodka, hinder weight loss.
They interfere with the fat burning process, increase appetite and provide empty calories. Since alcoholic beverages are ‘empty’ calories and don’t contribute towards daily nutrition, cutting back on them can help you lose weight.