‘Tis the season for raising a glass. And we all know what that means: alcohol! But while we might stop to reconsider that second slice of pudding or pie, when those refreshing drinks are flowing, how many of us stop to consider whether what we’re putting into our bodies is packing something more than just water?
Like the food we eat, the alcohol we drink delivers energy to our bodies (just not the kind that will help you smash a workout.) And you know what happens to the energy you put in and don’t use up? It can turn into fat. We’re not trying to wine-shame you, but we know how easy it can be to say yes to one glass, then another, and then we may as well have eaten the whole gingerbread house (note: we do NOT recommend this.)
So to help you keep track of all the liquid calories you’re taking in when having a drink, we’re making the comparison clear and easy to understand by stacking some of your favorite alcoholic beverages side by side with some common foods.
Remember, when it comes to alcohol and your fitness goals, it’s not only about the excess calories you’re taking in. Studies have shown that alcohol can inhibit protein synthesis, which builds muscle mass, and lower your metabolism, reducing your body’s ability to burn fat. There’s ongoing research about the negative impact it can have on testosterone levels, too.
So how does your drink of choice measure up?
Keep these comparisons in mind when you’re ordering another round or topping up your glass. Because knowing what you’re putting into your body is a big step towards taking control of your health and fitness results.
That’s around the same as a large handful of corn chips and 2 tablespoons of tomato salsa. So, if you’re having a beer while eating nachos with guac and extra cheese, well, you do the math!
What goes with beer? Nuts! And what’s a bottle of lager beer equivalent to? About one handful of roasted almonds.
A serious drink, in a snack-sized portion. Your shot of whiskey adds up to 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter with 2 celery sticks – although whiskey isn’t advised as a post-workout snack.
RED OR WHITE WINE
‘Why don’t we just order a bottle?’ A glass each adds up to a brunch-worthy thin slice of wholegrain toast with 1/4 of a small avocado.
BOURBON & COLA
Sure, it varies depending on whether it’s a pre-mixed can or one you prepare yourself, but that bourbon and cola combo is delivering around the same energy as one serve of Japanese Glazed Chicken Meatballs.
DARK BEER (STOUT)
An old-school can of stout packs the same punch as a Cheesy Zucchini Muffins.
It’s not Christmas until you’ve had your glass of eggnog! And when you do, you’re taking in the equivalent of a Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball.
For those who like their cocktails with a coffee boost, your espresso martini is like snacking on a serve of Lemon & Thyme Baked Hummus with Olives & Pita (plus that caffeine kick you don’t get from hummus.)
Two things you’re guaranteed to come across during the festive season: alcohol and chocolate! To put a vodka tonic in context for you, you’re looking at one serving of delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark.
So you like pina coladas? Well, we hope you also like the Grilled Pumpkin, Mozzarella & Marjoram Pizza – because that sweet cocktail delivers the same amount of energy straight to your door.
Look, we’re not Grinches – the holidays are a time when we tend to treat ourselves, and we wouldn’t try to stop you from splurging on a cocktail or having a few beers. Just choose your enjoyment mindfully and drink responsibly. An easy tip to help you not go overboard? Alternate between your booze of choice and sparkling water.