How many calories are in your alcohol?

Wine being poured
Your daily glass of wine contains more calories than you think Credit: Paul Harding/PA

New research has revealed that one in twenty British women are 'drunkorexic', meaning they skip meals in favour of alcohol in an attempt to lose weight. 

However, while they believe they can 'make up' the lost calories by drinking, experts warn that booze contains empty calories so swapping food for a glass of wine each meal could starve the body of essential vitamins. 

Drink Aware warn that "calories from alcohol are 'empty calories' and have no nutritional value. Most alcoholic drinks contain traces of vitamins and minerals, but not usually in amounts that make any significant contribution to our diet."

As well not contributing to our overall health, research has found that alcohol could be contributing to weight gain. Drink Aware says "alcohol reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy. While we can store nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat in our bodies, we can't store alcohol.

Friends toasting with wine Credit: Izabela Habur/Getty

"So our systems want to get rid of it, and doing so takes priority. All the other processes that should be taking place (including absorbing nutrients and burning fat) are interrupted." 

Additionally, in 2015 experts warned large wine glasses are fuelling the obesity epidemic as people don't realise how many calories they have consumed. 

Here, we reveal how many calories are in your drink so you won't be fooled into thinking skipping a meal will cancel out the empty calories you'll be taking in on a big night out. 


According to the charity Drink Aware, a 250ml glass of wine contains 228 calories, roughly the amount of a 44g bar of chocolate - meaning a person who drinks around just a few glasses a week can consume an extra 2000 calories or so in a month.

A glass of wine contains the same amount of calories as a 44g bar of chocolate Credit: Alamy

Over the course of a year, this is the equivalent of eating 184 packets of crisps. Both red and white wines are equally calorific.

A 175ml glass of red or white wine can contain up to 160 calories, while champagne in a 125ml glass contains 89 calories and would take nine minutes of running to burn off.

Beer and Cider

A pint of lager can contain up to 180 calories, roughly the same as a slice of pizza. Drinking five pints of lager a week adds up to over 44,200 extra kilo calories a year, according to the NHS.

For men, a five per cent pint of beer contains 215 calories, which is 8.6 per cent of the recommended daily calorie intake.

A pint of beer contains nearly 10 per cent our recommended daily calorie intake Credit: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty

One pint of cider contains 210 calories, meaning if you drink two pints you will have consumed roughly the same amount as a Big Mac from McDonalds.


Spirits like gin, vodka and whisky can be particularly calorific.

A shot of whisky contains 64 calories: that's 20 calories higher than a slice of fried bacon while a shot of either a spirit or liqueur mixed with fruit juice contains an average of 110 calories (the equivalent to two mini sausage rolls).

A standard four per cent alcopop bottle contains 143 calories, and would take 16 minutes of jogging to burn off.


A glass of prosecco contains a relatively low number of calories which, according to the Prosecco Club, "makes it one of the more diet-friendly alcoholic drinks." 

Prosecco is, apparently, a diet-friendly drink  Credit: Martin Norris/Alamy

One glass of prosecco is estimated to contain around 1g of sugar and 80 calories in total, making it less calorific than a glass of red wine. 

Calculate your intake

Use this handy calculator from cancer prevention charity The World Cancer Research Fund.