Alcohol & Sugar: What’s best for me?


We all know that most alcoholic beverages contain excessive amounts of sugar. They can also be crammed full of sweeteners, additives and colourings. If you’re looking to lower your alcohol consumption for 2021 and want to choose healthier alternatives, we’re here to help.

How does it affect the body?

Sugar is highly addictive because it acts on the pleasure centre of the brain, as does alcohol. This makes for a dangerous duo. Alcoholic drinks that are mixed with soft drinks are so easy to consume, making it easy to forget how much sugar you’ve really consumed.

It is crucial to remember that alcohol should always be consumed in moderation. Both alcohol and sugar can dehydrate you, as they are diuretics. It is important to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. This will also help keep a whole host of side-effects at bay if alcohol is over-consumed.

Low sugar beer and wine

It is true that in general, the lower the alcohol volume, the fewer the calories. If you’re looking for a low sugar option when it comes to wine, red is your best choice:

  • Red wine has the least amount of sugar, with 0.9g per 175ml glass.
  • White wine (a dry white like Riesling), has around 1.4g per 175ml glass.
  • Rose wine can contain even more. Dessert wine has approximately 7g per serving, the same as a glass of Coca Cola.

The same goes for beer, however it can be hard to find as many places that sell low sugar options. We recommend Coors light, which has also been a great choice for many diabetics.

Low sugar spirits

Spirits with high alcohol volumes tend to not contain many carbs or sugar. Spirits such as tequila, gin, brandy, rum and whiskey included. These are the best choices if you’re looking for low sugar beverages. Our top tip is to mix your hard spirits with soda water or a light tonic water and a fruit slice such as lemon or lime. This will keep those sugar levels at their lowest, so opt for the following:

  • Vodka
  • Tequila
  • Brandy
  • Rum
  • Whiskey

Low sugar mixers

When it comes to spirits, it’s mostly the mixers you need to watch out for. Fruit juices and fizzy drinks such as Coca Cola are a popular choice, but these will add extra sugar to your alcohol drink without you even noticing.

If you are looking for ways to reduce sugars, opt for the following:

  • Diet soft drinks
  • Soda water
  • Light tonic water

Alternatively, add a slice of lemon or lime to fizzy water as a mixer, just remembering that this will be acidic for your teeth.

Sidenote: Fruit juices are also very acidic and will damage your teeth. Think about having the drink with a meal or neutralizing the acid after finishing the drink. You can neutralise this acid with a swill of water, sugar-free chewing gum or a neutral food. It is not advised to brush your teeth immediately after any acidic drink as this will increase the acid damage. If you want to brush straight after, first rinse with some water for 30 seconds and then brush your teeth.

You can also get help from our friends at Club Soda.

Take the challenge!

Are you looking to lower your alcohol intake for 2021? Why not try our 14-day sugar challenge which will also help you reduce your alcohol consumption at the same time? Boost your health, your immune system and your mental health with our #KickSugar challenge.

This Challenge is for you IF:

  • You’ve tried to kick sugar in the past . . . and failed.
  • You keep getting dental cavities.
  • You just can’t seem to do it on your own.

You can find out more about our #KickSugar cookbook and the challenge here. We’ve had such amazing feedback from past challenges, so why not get involved?!

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