Burn It Off: St. Patrick's Day Beer Edition

By , SparkPeople Blogger
St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner. If you're like most Americans looking for a reason to party, this means one of two (or…two of two) things: 1) You're going to down a pint of your favorite Irish beer in celebrate of St. Paddy, or 2) you're going to drink one of your favorite American beers tinted green.

But if you're trying to keep your weight in check—or even lose a few pounds—a beer or two can really throw things off. Alcohol can lead to weight gain, as the body processes it much differently than food. And burning off a few hundreds extra calories for a day or two of bar hopping is no small feat.

To help you decide which beer might make the best fit in your St. Patrick's Day diet (if any), I came up with this great visual guide to show exactly how many calories are in your favorite stouts, ales and draughts, along with how much exercise it'll take to burn off the beer of your choice.

Be sure to "Pin" this graphic for future reference!
Calories burned based on a 150-pound female. Serving size for each beer is 12 oz.

While the calories in these beers don't vary that wildly (between 96-171), choosing to drink more than one of the higher calorie drinks (Murphy's Irish Red, Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale or Killian's Irish Red) would add up significantly compared to the lower calorie beer options (Miller Light, Bud Light, and Guinness Draught). Also keep in mind that the calories listed here are based on a 12-oz serving, which is a typical can or bottle; the bar you frequent may serve beers on tap in glasses that are 16 ounces or larger. And lastly, if you use blue curacao to tint your beer (rather than food coloring), you're adding 72 calories per ounce to your drink. Ouch. 

Thinking about how much work it might take to undo a few hundred extra calories of green beer might help prevent you from overindulging. But like all things: Moderation is key. One drink daily for women or two drinks daily for men is considered moderation. Please drink responsibly if you choose to do so and always stay safe out there!

Did these calorie counts surprise you? Do you normally drink on St. Patrick's Day?

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PATRICIAAK 2/19/2020
:) Report
Don't drink but thanks for sharing. Lots of good info! Report
Don't have to worry about this one. I don't drink alcohol. Report
Beck's light is tasty and 64 calories Report
I account for alcohol calories in my tracker. My downfall is that I like . :)

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I'm glad I don't drink! Lol Report
Some friends in the past really celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Isn't evrybody Irish they would say. Report
No, I normally don't drink alcholic beverages on St. Patricks day. So, this article is not particularly helpful to me, but I can refer others to it if this subject comes up. I like to color other stuff green on SP day. Report
Missed it this time. Report
I love this article on burning off calories! Report
This is a great article! I love that it tells you what you have to do to burn off the beer on St. Patrick's Day! Report
I don't drink but this is good info. Report
the points were great since I don't drink Report
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Report
Worth it. Report
I don't drink beer. I do like champagne or a dry wine once in a blue moon...in moderation, of course. Report
I rarely drink at all, but on St. Patrick's Day I did have one beer. I don't regret it - I had a lot of fun that night. Report
And remember, these are all for a 12 oz serving. Moderation in all things!
Don't forget, it's not just the beer calories, it's what comes after that. After a drink or two, those nachos and garlic fries they serve at the bar too start to look pretty good! Make a plan and stick to it. Report
I hate beer, the taste, the smell, the yucky feeling in my stomach … Report
I enjoy a few light beers on the weekend with my husband.. I try to limit it to just Friday night and to just a few... I also try to limit my calories for those days so I stay with in my allotted calories... I do exercise too.. I realize that calorie for calorie alcohol is harder to burn off than a salad calorie !! I'm pretty sure it has to do with the sodium content which is pretty high in beer.. Report
I'm allergic to beer. I little Bailey's Irish Cream would be yummy though, or chocolate wine. But I'm not buying any alcohol this year. I think I'll wait until I'm at my maintenance weight! It would just make things so much easier for me. Report
Don't drink beer so not a problem. But for those who do, if you do a little extra at the gym should be no problem. Simple. Report
I don't celebrate it so I don't have that trouble. Anybody who puts that much food colouring in beer is asking for trouble in my opinion. Not good for anyone. Report
What I took from this... I can drink 6 Guinness if I spend my usual amount of time in the pool.

Something else though... I probably shouldn't be in the pool if I've drank that much, lol.

I guess it's a good thing that 1 is my usual limit on beers. Report
Im an occasional drinker..I still have beer we bought at New Years. This info is good to have. Report
I enjoy beer from time to time and appreciate the information shared. Report
I like a beer now and then but not often but I do drink wine coolers every eve.after the work out on my elliptical machine.We are looking forward to a pleasant eve(St.Patty's day)with our friends and a lot of corned beef with cabbage and all the other goodies to go with it.HRinOregon Report
To everyone that doesn't drink beer GOOD FOR YOU! obviously this article wasn't posted for you so why even comments ?

I found this article very helpful thank you , I work out and occasionally on holidays like to treat myself to a few drinks and not deprive myself . Report
I don't acknowledge this day (or any other "holiday" for that matter - don't ask.......) - but that having been said, the information is sure to be helpful for many, and that's just fine by me...... Report
So how bad is the wines? Reds vs Whites compared to the beers? Report
Am piggybacking on what Jibbie49 wrote here a year ago.

Beer? NO THANK YOU! No, seriously... keep it. Stuff beer. More than a few of us on SparkPeople do NOT drink beer -- and some among us are happy to share they drink NO ALCOHOL. Yet, for a long time (not just on Spark) I have noticed that, for some really bizarre reason, U.S. culture would rather turn a "DEAF EAR" to these facts, opinions, and info/ feedback. #SurveyThis Report
The lady's arm in the "walking" photo is freaking me out. Report
So much work... Report
I hate beer. Yuck. Report
Those tasty Guinness draughts come in four packs...so, I've got lots of swimming to do! Thanks for the information and reminder that a bit of indulgence can be balanced. Report
Om-nom-nom Guinness! :-) Report
SWEET I CAN DRINK ALL night and do corpse pose all day -even the scale a bit :P Report
SWEET I CAN DRINK ALL night and do corpse pose all day -even the scale a bit :P Report
Guinness! I thought it would be more. What about porter or other dark beers? Report
I'll pass on the beer and consume my calories in chocolate! Report
Never tasted beer in my lifetime of 77 years so don't need to worry about this.
It's the big pot luck dinner we have that day that makes me do more exercise!!! Report
Let's dance!! Report
Good thing it's Lent, and I don't drink alcohol during Lent. Plus, I'm not a big beer drinker. Report
Thank you for the info. Planning is fun and yes, I will have a beer on St. Paddy's Day: and maybe a long bike ride. "May the road rise up to meet ya!" Report
Well I am Irish and proud so I will be drinking at least one beer but I promis you I will exercise like crazy on Monday morning after St. Paddy's Day. Top of the Morning to you Nicole. Report
This is a great help for those occasions when I decide on a drink. Thanks! Report
I'm with 610peach. I account for alcohol calories in my tracker. My downfall is that I like "high-octane" beers like Dogfish Head 120-minute IPA, which is 15-18% alcohol, as opposed to regular beer, which is around 5%, so DH and I usually split the stronger ones. They are definitely for sipping, not for chugging. Report
Well, healthy it may not be, but I actually add my alcohol consumption into my calorie total for the day and reduce my food to make up for it. I know, I know...nutrition-wise a big no-no. But at least I'm not drinking AND over-eating on a particular day like St. Paddy's! Report
Learn something new everyday Report