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Quick Entry: Alcohol v Soda

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

So I've pretty much cut back severely, almost completely (for a month and a half) all of my alcohol consumption. The problem is, and I don't know if this is related, but my soda intake is sky-rocketing. I used to very rarely have soda - and now when I'm in social settings where I'd likely have a beer, I'm opting for a soda. And in other situations as well. Does anyone know, calorically speaking, which is worse for you - soda (not diet, full fat dark soda) or beer (normally unfiltered wheats and dark porters and stouts...).

And my coffee consumption is creeping up again - and I'm not someone who can drink it plain - I add sugar, flavored creamer, the works.

Thoughts?
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NINJA_SMOO 4/23/2013 4:17PM

  That's a really hard question, actually, since so few beers (or alcoholic beverages in general) list their nutrition values on their bottles or packaging, but I'll give it a shot :)

Firstly, alcohol is 7 calories / gram - but every time I've measured alcohol has been by volume and not by weight. Assuming an alcoholic beverage weighs as much as water at the same temperature (I don't think it does, but it would be close, I think?), and for argument's sake you're drinking a 5% ABV beer (pretty standard, right? So long as you're not drinking 12% Russian Imperial stouts all the time), 5% of your volume of, say, a 20 oz pint is... 560mL (28mL = 1 oz) so 1g = 1 mL, your 20oz pint has 28g (5% of 560mL, ya?) of alcohol times 7 cal/ g alcohol = 196 cal/pint. It is worth noting, however, that pub pints seem to range anywhere from 14oz to 20oz that I've seen, and that's just places that actually list their serving sizes.

HOWEVER that does not account for any undigested sugars, and there will be some (more if you're drinking something sweeter, especially something like a milk stout because yeast can't digest lactose - it's lactose intolerant - Hahahah!), and I have absolutely no idea how to calculate the calories you'd get from hops or any other adjuncts either...

So at least 196 cal/ 20oz?

On the other hand, the nutrition tracker does have 'regular beer' and 'light beer' in the generic selections, and you can input by bottle, ounce, mL, etc. It might just be easier to do that? Or call up your favourite brewery and see if they actually have the nutritional information? They might surprise us :)

Pop is generally about 110 cal / can I think? And a can is like 12 oz? I don't drink pop often at all, correct me if that's wrong... So ounce to ounce pop would be 9.17 cal/oz and beer would be at least 9.8 cal/oz (for a 5% ABV). Pretty darn close, I think, so I guess it really depends on what you actually prefer. If having whatever your regular beer intake is actually means you'll drink less sweetened beverages in general, I'd stick to beer. But that's just me, and I like beer way better than any soda.

Don't forget, if you're drinking light beer, it will be less and the opposite is true for heavy beers like imperial anything, barley wines, etc.

*edited for proofreading*

Comment edited on: 4/23/2013 4:22:37 PM

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