Calories, shmalories…who cares?
Well, we’re going to put our hands up and admit that we’re “guilty” of counting calories, particularly when it comes to our alcohol-free drinks. Some people pay attention to calorie intake, some people don’t. At CROSSIP, we’re definitely in the first category.
Regardless of individual interest, calories matter. But not because they’re bad! Quite the contrary, in fact. And, since we’ve got you here, we’re going to use this opportunity to tell you why they matter. We’ll also be going into depth about how many calories are contained in alcohol-free beverages and how this compares to their alcoholic counterparts.
What is a calorie?
Instead of reading our ramblings about calories, here’s a brilliantly engaging short video that explains what a calorie is and how many of them we actually need:
But for those of you who enjoy reading educational information, let us illuminate you through the medium of text…a calorie is a measurement used to describe the amount of energy in food and drink. We can use calories to keep track of the body’s energy budget, including its incomings and outgoings. A healthy balance is achieved when the same amount of calories are consumed as the calories that are used by the body.
Elementary, dear fellows!
Why do calories matter?
If you’ve ever tried to lose a few pounds, you’ve probably heard that you should start counting your calories. And, whilst there’s a lot more to it than simply eating less, the amount of calories we consume certainly has an impact on our body weight.
But calories are important for more than just weight loss. The human body requires calories to survive. A lack of calories would mean that our organs would not be able to function and our cells would die.
Of course, many people don’t actually count their calorie intake and survive to tell the tale but understanding your energy budget can have many benefits. For example, increasing your awareness of the calories in your food and drink can help you make better dietary choices, such as cutting back on sugary snacks and fat-heavy meals. Counting calories can help you track your macronutrients, which can have a significant impact on your athletic performance. It can also support you to reach your health and fitness goals, such as gaining strength and muscle.
Are there calories in drinks?
Whilst plain water is calorie-free, the majority of other beverages contain calories - this includes both alcohol and alcohol-free. But is alcohol-free less calories or vice versa? Or are they both the same?
Let’s find out!
Does alcohol-free contain fewer calories?
As we’ve learnt, calories are not bad. We quite like the fact that they give us the energy to live and enjoy the simple things in life, like these vegan cocktails! Wouldn’t you agree? But it’s the empty calories hidden in your favourite alcoholic drinks and even some of the original alcohol-free beverages that can be the problem!
Not to worry, because the NoLo industry has undergone a huge transformation over the past few years and times are changing folks! In fact, nowadays, instead of sugary mocktails and sickly sweet juices, there are plenty of incredible alcohol-free cocktails, NoLo beers and non-alcoholic spirits that are low in calories and even nutritious!
So, in answer to the question, contemporary alcohol-free drinks often contain fewer calories than their alcoholic counterparts. That’s because alcohol gram for gram has the highest calorific value of all of the major food groups!
Nevertheless, whilst alcohol-free drinks are usually lower in calories, especially empty calories, their carbohydrate levels can sometimes be higher. So if you’re tracking your macronutrients, you’ll need to carefully scrutinise the labels before choosing which alcohol-free beverage to drink.
Calories in alcoholic vs. alcohol-free spirits
Frequently seen as the low-calorie alcoholic drink of choice, spirits clock in at around 100-120 calories per 50ml serving…just don’t ask about the drink mixers! Still, spirits are pretty good when you compare them to beer or wine.
As for CROSSIP, our alcohol-free spirits clock in between 72-88 calories per 50ml. Unlike alcoholic spirits, however, the calories in our drinks are not empty. In other words, there is nutritional value to our alcohol-free spirits! All of our drinks are made with botanical ingredients that are known for their health benefits, unlike other alcohol-free spirits which are very low in calories, but can be low in value and substance. Just check out our ingredients page to find out more.
Find out the true value of our alcohol-free spirits by reading our ‘why is alcohol-free expensive?’ blog.
Calories in alcoholic vs. alcohol-free beer
Ah beer…sweet, sweet beer. Bloomin’ tasty but it sure ain’t good for the waistline! Known for its calories, alcoholic beer is the root cause of the infamous “beer belly”, clocking in at an average of 180 calories per pint of lager.
Alcohol-free beer differs from its spirited compadres in that it can usually clock up a similar amount of calories to traditional beer, if not more. Nevertheless, it depends on the base ingredients and the method of production and there are some examples of NoLo beer that are lower in calories. For example, Lucky Saint contains as little as 53 calories per 330ml, around ⅓ of the calories found in a full-strength beer.
Calories in alcoholic vs. alcohol-free wine
Wine also has a reputation for being calorific, thanks to the alcohol content and the frequently high sugar levels. According to Drink Aware, there are up to 160 calories in a 175ml glass of wine.
As for alcohol-free wine? Well, the range available is immense and they’re not all made using the same methods or ingredients. However, brands such as Pierre Zero can contain three times fewer calories than regular wine! Other wine alternatives, including kombucha and sparkling tea, also contain far fewer calories.
So there you have it…
It’s not always the case, but many alcohol-free drinks contain fewer calories than their alcoholic counterparts! Just one of the many benefits of NoLo alcohol.