7/27/20
Nutrition

Alcohol in your diet

Alcohol

Alcohol is actually it’s own macronutrient, but for our macro counting purposes, it is tracked as a carb, fat or combination of both.

By itself, alcohol is not a carb, fat, or protein—there are about 7 calories per 1g of alcohol, so from an energy perspective, it’s between fat (at 9 cal/g) and protein and carbs (both 4 cal/g).

To metabolize alcohol, the body converts ethanol to acetaldehyde to acetate, and then shuttles it through the citric acid cycle—which means alcohol acts like both a carbohydrate and fat.

The truth is you could count alcohol as either a carb or a fat, and you wouldn’t be wrong.

The argument in favor of counting alcohol as fat: Alcohol’s energy density is closer to fat’s (7 cal/g to fat’s 9 cals/g). When you consume both alcohol and fat in excess, both will make you gain weight. *1

Tracking

This blog is not to advocate tracking all your macronutrients or your alcohol. It is meant to inform you of how many calories you are actually taking in from drinking. To give you a bit of perspective of what that weekend on the pontoon really looks like to your body.

The math for alcohol itself is below, but another thing to take into account is what you are mixing your alcohol with? RedBull, fruit juice, soda/pop, etc. There can be a ton of extra calories there too!

Again, just a reminder to think about.
Not trying to spoil your weekend or date night, only trying to help you make a better choice along the way.

To Calculate macronutrients for alcohol, we need to know how many calories it contains. 

To Count Your Alcohol as a Carbohydrate:
Use the total number of calories in a drink divided by 4

Example:
5 ounces of Red Zinfandel = 132 calories
132 calories/4 = 33g Carbs

To Count Your Alcohol as a Fat:
Use the total number of calories in a drink divided by 9

Example:
5 ounces of Red Zinfandel = 132 calories
132 calories/9 = 15g Fat

Summary

We get it, some people drink. We do not need to soapbox this and tell all the same things you have heard before "...in moderation, etc., etc."

So, we thought if you are drinking, why not fill you in on the details of how it stacks up, how the body processes it, and how to do the math yourself?

Coach Ariel and Coach Ryan

Source #1: Men's Journal Article

Ariel Jauss

GM / Head Coach