Alcohol is something we tend to over look when we think about weight management.  Like most things we eat or drink our body converts alcohol into usable energy or calories.  Unlike most things we eat or drink there isn't usually any other nutrition that comes with drinking alcohol.


How many calories are ther in alcohol?

A few weeks ago we mentioned that alcohol has about 7kcal (7 calories) or 29kJ per gram of energy locked up in it.  That's without even thinking about the sugars that are in some alcoholic drinks.  If you want to really dive in to the whole thing there's a great article here


How does that relate to what I drink?

Most people don't think about how many grams of alcohol are in the glass or wine or beer they're drinking around the Christmas Dinner table, or out at a bar.  So lets change that in to real world numbers.


Standard Drinks

A standard drink contains 10g of alcohol.

  • 32ml (1 Shot ) of 40% Vodka

  • 330ml (a Standard Can) of 4% Beer

  • 100ml of 13% Wine 


Are all standard drinks.  They each contain about 10g of alcohol.

So the maths works out like this


10g Alcohol x 7kCal per gram = 70kCal


So  there are roughly 70kCal per standard drink.


Is that a lot of calories?

I like to think about calories in terms of what do I have to do to burn them off.  We talked about the amount of energy exercise burns a while ago.  

An 83Kg person walking at 5.5Km/h for 30 minutes would burn roughly 200Kcal or 6.67Kcal per minute.

So the maths for burning off ONE standard drink looks like this


70Kcal / 6.67Kcal per minute = 10.5 minutes


Or roughly


  • 2 and a half times around a 400m track or

  • around the square in Palmerston North One and a Quarter times


For each standard drink.



Cook Street Pharmacy Shop

We’re a small family run Pharmacy in Palmerston North. We pride ourselves on looking after our patients and customers needs. If you need health and well being advice for yourself, or your family feel free to drop in and talk to one of our staff.