If you are counting calories but love alcohol, then rest assured that vodka is one of the very best choices if you want to enjoy the pleasures of inebriation while trying to avoid putting on too much weight. But, precisely how many calories in vodka are being consumed when you take a shot?
With the current wave of health-consciousness tackling obesity and diabetes as a primary enemy, it is pretty important to know how many calories we’re consuming. The problem is that US law does not seem to force alcohol products to carry the informative labels all other food packages must have, but fear not, because we have the answers you seek.
So how many calories are in vodka?
If you walk into any supermarket or liquor store, you will see the walls lined with dozens of different vodka brands, so you might not even know where to start.
Fortunately, the answer is as simple as the question: 65.
Yes, one ounce of 80-proof vodka, whether it’s from a fancy brand or from one of the budget options, will only have around 65 calories. This means that one standard shot glass of the drink, which can hold 1.5 ounces, will put an extra 100 calories onto your daily count.
What do These Numbers Mean to Me?
So, in theory, it could take up to an hour of jogging to burn off the calories consumed in vodka.
That Sounds Easy. I think I Can do That.
There is something else I have to mention.
Most people can’t or don’t want to drink plain vodka in shots, so unless you’re mixing it with plain water or you’re tough enough to down shot after shot, just talking about plain vodka probably isn’t enough for you. A standard can of soda you might mix with the spirit has about 140 calories, and a similar amount of juice can have the same.
Depending on your tolerance for the (at least for most people) unpleasant taste of high-alcohol drinks, you could be looking at more calories than a filling meal. This is especially true if you like to consume exotic cocktails with creams, fruit juices, and spritzers.
Of course, this can be avoided by using zero-calorie soft drinks or flavored water, which keeps the drink tolerable without straining your waistband.
Why Does Vodka Have Few Calories?
With its lower level of flavoring and simple creation process, vodka manages to maintain a high alcohol content while at the same time being low in calories.
As US law states vodka must be free of distinctive aromas and flavors. While it can’t be said that vodka is exactly tasteless, it is true that it doesn’t have as distinct a taste as other alcoholic beverages.
This simplicity in terms of fewer flavors and ingredients means that vodka also has fewer calories. This compares favorably to beer in a sense, as beers have a more complex taste but carry a lot more calories (although beer is known for having vitamins as well).
But Surely Flavored Vodkas Have More Calories?
Believe it or not, flavored vodkas not only escape having higher calorie counts than regular vodka, but they usually have less. A typical shot of strawberry vodka will have about 70 calories, for example.
As backwards as it seems, this makes sense because most of the calories of vodka come from the alcohol content, and flavored vodka tends to have 35% alcohol by volume or less, which is a full 12% less than plain vodka.
“What about the flavoring?”, you might ask. Well, flavored vodka, like diet soft drinks, is powered by low-calorie flavoring chemicals, not by actual sugar, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s coconut vodka, banana vodka, or strawberry vodka.
Are 100-Proof Vodkas Also Artificially Enhanced?
One notable exception to the rule for vodka variants is with high-proof vodkas. Then again, that’s no surprise as these liquids aren’t usually advertised with any special flavors.
These products can have up to 50% alcohol by volume, so they tend to have quite a few more calories than regular vodka.
On the plus side, high-proof alcohol does its business far more quickly than regular vodka, which means you can’t drink as much of it anyway. If a big part of your drinking is for the enjoyment of the drink, then you’re better off just drinking flavored vodkas.
In short, hard alcohol is your best bet if you want to drink but you’re worried about calories. Your best choice among these for the purpose of weight-control is vodka, as with less natural flavoring, it has fewer calories than other liquors in its class such as whiskey or brandy.
Beer would be an even worse choice than spirits, since for the same quantity of alcohol you have to consume almost 50% more calories.
It’s great to know how many calories in vodka when trying to manage your dieting needs. At the end of the day, though, the real enemy of a slim figure is the allure of those delicious, complicated cocktails which can be extremely fattening regardless of whether they use vodka or something else.