One of the main concerns for alcohol lovers is getting fat while at it. Vodka is considered safer than beer or wine due to its presumed lower calorie content. However, these vodka lovers still wonder how many calories a shot of their favorite drink injects into their bodies.
The number of calories in a shot of vodka varies based on the type and proof of the vodka. For example, a standard 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof vodka contains 96 calories. If you’re drinking 100-proof vodka (which is not common), then one shot will contain about 150 calories.
The rest of the article will analyze the number of calories in a shot of vodka in its various concentrations. I will also look at the calorie variations when vodka is mixed with mixers and flavor infusions. Finally, I will give some tips on minimizing the number of calories that you obtain from vodka.
Vodka Nutritional Facts
Note: You can use our calorie calculator to determine how many calories you should eat daily. Our calculator uses information about your age, sex, and weight to calculate the number of calories you need each day. You can use this information to make healthy eating choices that fit your daily calorie budget.
In its pure form, vodka contains nothing other than ethanol and water. In its pure form, vodka does not contain sugar, fiber, cholesterol, fat, vitamins, minerals, or sodium. This implies that vodka has little or no nutritional value. All the calories that vodka carries come from the ethanol itself.
Alcohol, also ethanol, provides 7 calories per gram. A pure ounce of ethanol weighs 23.3 grams, delivering 163.1 calories. This is almost equivalent to the calorie content of pure fat, which carries about 9 calories per gram. This means that vodka is as fattening as proteins or carbohydrates and slightly less fattening than fat.
Also, research shows that the calories from alcohol tend to be stored in the gut region. Vodka might thus be a recipe for belly fat. Regularly drinking vodka also comes with other health problems.
Related Post: Does Alcohol Cause Belly Fat?
Calories in a Shot of Vodka
A standard 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof vodka carries 96 calories, and a 1-ounce serving of the same delivers 64 calories. This is the most concentrated form of vodka, also known as straight vodka. The main determinant of the number of calories vodka contains is its concentration. The more concentrated the vodka is, the higher the number of calories it contains.
The “proof” is a numerical number describing the concentration or percentage of alcohol a drink contains. To get the concentration, you simply divide the proof by two; therefore, 80-proof vodka is 40% alcohol.
To make it fit for human consumption, vodka is diluted from its 95-100% pure form, or 195 proof, using water. A 100% pure vodka would be harmful to the gut and body. Thus, what you get in most liquor stores is 80-proof vodka and below, which is 40% alcohol concentration and below.
So, the most concentrated vodka shot you will get is 40%, which means that the tot will contain 40% alcohol and 60% water. The calorie content of other alcohol concentrations is listed below.
Vodka does not taste very splendidly, pushing people to blend it with mixers for a better taste. Many people opt for calorie-rich beverages, including juices and sodas. Such a calorie-rich blend that contains vodka can contain two to three times the calories of the same serving of vodka alone.
An 8-ounce serving of the following commonly used mixers contains:
- Regular soda is 100 calories
- Orange juice is 111 calories
- Regular tonic water is 80 calories
- Ginger ale is 80 calories
- Quinine water is 80 calories
Other people also opt for vodka cocktails. Cocktails are blends between vodka and coolers or liquor. Below is an average calorie count of popular cocktails that contain vodka
- 12-ounce Smirnoff ice is 241 calories
- 2.75-ounce cosmopolitan is 146 calories
- 2.25-ounce Martini is 124 calories
Flavored Vodka Drinks
The other common way of improving the taste of vodka is flavor infusions. These flavor infusions improve taste while eliminating the need for the high-calorie mixers discussed above. These flavors can be natural or artificial.
The common flavorings for vodka include:
The good news is that most artificial infusions do not contain extra calories. The calorie content remains that of plain vodka even when these infusions are used. However, do not confuse these flavored infusions with some calorie-rich syrups that are products of fermentation or distillation. Read the labels carefully, and when you can’t find the nutritional information, try searching online.
Vodka vs. Other Alcoholic Drinks
It is also important to compare the vodka’s caloric content to what other drinks contain. Wine and beer have a higher calorie content than vodka. However, other distilled liquors, including rum, tequila, cognac, gin, brandy, and whiskey, contain roughly the same calories as vodka. These, just like vodka, contain no carbohydrates.
A 12-ounce serving of beer will contain 153 calories. A 12-ounce serving of light beer will contain 103 calories, and a 5-ounce serving of red wine will carry 125 calories. On the other hand, a 5-ounce serving of white wine packs 121 calories.
Tips for Consuming the Least Calories in Vodka
To lower the number of calories consumed in vodka as well as other drinks, consider the following:
- Use plain water or club soda as a mixer
- Add ice to the drink
- Flavor the drinks with squeezed lemon or citrus
- Flavor drinks with sage or mint leaves
- Carefully read and measure the mixed ingredients
An ordinary tot of 1.5-ounce vodka will deliver about 96 calories, depending on its concentration. You rarely get vodka concentrations above 40% or 80 proof in bars. This explains why 96 calories are the highest you will get. This is the same calorie content you get in most distilled liquors of the same volume.
Beers and wine contain carbohydrates, and they thus deliver more calories per serving. To lower the number of calories ingested from vodka, consider calorie-free sweeteners instead of high-calorie mixers. Always remember that excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health.
Also, remember that alcohol is bad for weight loss because your body digests and absorbs alcohol before other calories. These calories are also mainly stored in the gut, which explains the beer belly that is common with beer lovers.
- Vox: The Hidden Calories in Your Booze, Explained
- Healthline: Vodka: Calories, Carbs, and Nutrition Facts
- Medical News Today: Which Type of Alcohol Has the Fewest Calories?
- Middle Tennessee State University: Analyzing the Beer Belly
- The NHS: Calories in Alcohol
- Saucey: How Many Calories Are in a Shot of Vodka?
- WebMD: Vodka: Are There Health Benefits?webmed.com