A cold beer at the game. A glass of full-bodied wine at dinner. A smooth cocktail with friends. A little alcohol can be nice and enjoyable! But it can pack a surprising sugar punch.
Do you know how many sugars and carbs are in your usual booze of choice? Let’s break it down.
- Sugar: 0 grams per serving
- Carbs: 4 g in light beer, 10 g in dark
Because beer is fermented dry, it has no sugar. But because it has lots of carbs ― which the body turns into its own sugar ― beer should still be enjoyed in moderation.
- Sugar: 0 g
- Carbs: 6 g
This rice wine is also naturally sugar-free. But like beer, it also comes with a hefty load of carbs, so it should be consumed in reasonable amounts.
- Sugar: 1 g in red wine, 1.4 g in white
- Carbs: 4 g in red, 4 g in white
A 5-ounce glass of red wine typically has about 1 gram of sugar. The same amount of white wine has a little more: about 1.4 grams. This isn’t a lot, but it can add up if you have several glasses each day. Keep wine in moderation as well.
- Sugar: 15-25 g
- Carbs: 31 g
Unlike other alcohols, hard cider comes packed with sugar. Common brands range from 15 to 25 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can! Think of cider as a rare treat rather than a daily staple.
- Sugar: 0 g
- Carbs: 0 g
Hard alcohols like whiskey, vodka, gin, and tequila have no sugar on their own. That’s good news! The tricky part is all the sugar in the mixers we use for cocktails. Cranberry juice, regular soda, and even tonic water all have hidden heaps of sugar. Try to go for low- or no-sugar options like soda water or other sugar-free mixers.
Pro-Tip for People With Diabetes
Drinking alcohol can lower your blood sugar. So be sure to eat something when you drink. Check your blood sugar before, while, and after drinking.