Would you think twice if you knew your cocktail contained the same amount of calories as a Happy Meal from McDonald’s?
A Pina Colada contains anywhere between 250 and 650 calories, depending on the serving size, more than a Big Mac, McFlurry, or a child’s meal at McDonald’s.
What about a Martini? Despite being a stiff and minimal cocktail, the sophisticated drink popularized by James Bond and swanky socialites is just as calorific as a snack bag of Dorito’s chops.
Health officials in the US have called for traffic light-style nutrition labels on alcoholic drinks, claiming that msot drinkers don’t have a clue how many calories they are consuming.
And the drinks add up. During holiday seasons, like this Labor Day weekend, Americans drink about 27 percent more alcohol and are much more likely to binge.
So DailyMail.com has counted the calories in America’s 20 favorite drinks to help you calculate how far a weekend of boozing will set you back.
Earlier this year, the nonprofit American Addiction Centers surveyed 1,000 current drinkers about their favorite drinks
The calorie content in beer varies widely. For example, light beers can run as low as 95 calories per 12-ounce serving, whereas heavy options are about 150 calories
Earlier this year, the nonprofit American Addiction Centers surveyed 1,000 current drinkers about their favorite drinks.
Respondents ranked their top 20, with beer topping the list, followed closely by wine and classic cocktails like Rum and Coke and Long Island Iced Tea.
While beer ranges from just 95 to 150 calories per 12-ounce bottle, other bar staples put a much bigger dent in calorie allowance.
The worst offender was a pina colada, which can total up to 650 calories at restaurants, where serving sizes tend to be larger.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 2.3 billion people across the globe are considered ‘current drinkers,’ meaning that they drink alcohol on a regular basis. This is nearly 30 percent of the world’s population.
In the US, 213 million people ages 18 and older have reported drinking alcohol at some point in their lifetime, according to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
And about a quarter of US men and a fifth of US women reported binge drinking within the past month.
Beer is America’s favorite alcoholic beverage, likely because it’s cheaper than cocktails and wine and is easy to find at most bars and restaurants.
The calorie content varies widely. For example, light beers can run as low as 95 calories per 12-ounce serving, whereas heavy options are about 150 calories.
A Heineken, for example, has 142 calories per serving, almost as much as a bag of potato chips or two Chips Ahoy! cookies.
Most wines come in slightly lower in calories than beer, though the serving size is smaller. The average glass, which is five ounces, is around 120 calories. Sweeter flavors tend to be higher calorie, totaling about 160.
The most calorific cocktail on the list was a pina cola. In a standard 4.5-ounce serving, this drink is around 245 calories.
But most restaurant servings are larger than this, totaling as many as 16 ounces. These drinks can add up to 650 calories, about a third of the daily recommended limit of 2,000 calories.
Just one pina colada has more calories than a Big Mac or a McFlurry.
Another restaurant staple, margaritas were also among US drinkers’ favorite cocktails.
There are about 274 calories in the average eight-ounce margarita, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is about the same amount of calories as a quarter cup of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.
Also, many margaritas you get in restaurants are larger than eight ounces, which makes them more calories.
Restaurant margaritas can also have up to 31 grams of sugar, more than the American Heart Association’s recommended daily intake for women (24 grams) and almost as much as the intake for men (36 grams).
And as if Americans weren’t already obsessed with sugary sodas, survey respondents enjoyed adding alcohol to them. Rum and Coke was another top-ranked drink, totaling 185 calories and 25 grams of sugar.
This is about the same amount of calories as three mini bags of Skittles, and the sugar is equal to two mini bags.
If the cocktail is made with Diet Coke, it’s just 100 calories. Diet Coke has no sugar but is sweetened with aspartame, an artificial sweetener that the WHO recently deemed a ‘possible carcinogen,’ meaning it can cause cancer.
Meanwhile, sake, a Japanese alcoholic drink made from fermented rice, was at the bottom of the list. This drink has just 60 calories per shot, the equivalent of a handful of raspberries.
|Bag of plain potato chips
|Starbucks Vanilla Bean Scone
|Rum and Coke
|Dunkin Iced Latte
|1/4 cup Ben and Jerry’s ice cream
|Long Island Iced Tea
|20 ounces Coca-Cola
|McDonald’s Big Mac or McFlurry
|Two OREO cookies
|Gin and Tonic
|Wendy’s Frosty Jr
|Snack Pack Pudding
|Sex on the Beach
|McDonald’s Baked Apple Pie
|Starbucks Cake Pop
|2 tablespoons peanut butter
|Doritos Nacho Cheese Chips
|Sour Patch Kids
|Vodka Red Bull
|3 Dunkin Munchkins
|Two Chips Ahoy! cookies
|Handful of raspberries