18 low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can to enjoy this summer

These low calorie alcoholic drinks are the perfect picnic accompaniment as the weather gets warmer

A selection of the best low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can
(Image credit: Something & Nothing/Goldling/MOTH)

Low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can are a rare find. With so many great non-alcoholic options out there now, many people are taking to the new low- or no-alcohol drinks very easily. But as the summer approaches, these drinks are a staple for those looking to enjoy a boozy picnic while keeping their calorie count low. 

You'll struggle to find a large glass of wine or cocktail for under 150 calories, but it's here that seltzers, spritzers, and even some beers find their time to shine. Refreshing, light, and packed with exciting flavors, these often come in at just over or under 100 calories and can be the easy low-cal alternative you're looking for. 

If you're looking to get into a calorie deficit to lose weight and want the lowest calorie alcohol, these are the best low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can to have this year - including beers, wine spritzers, cocktails, and more.

What are low calorie alcoholic drinks?

Low calorie alcoholic drinks are alcoholic beverages that are low in calories, the measurement of energy in food. The number of calories everyone needs per day is different. But if you go above your maintenance calorie level, the number you need to maintain your weight, then you will gain weight and vice versa if you consume fewer calories. 

If you are trying to lose weight and drinking is a big part of your social life, you may find it difficult or not want to cut alcohol out completely. As personal trainer and Team RH (opens in new tab)’s CEO and co-founder Richie Howey says, there's no need to give up anything when you're looking to lose weight, but changing your choices when it comes to drinking can be helpful.

“If you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake whilst enjoying alcohol over the summer, I’d recommend opting for low calorie vodka and other light spirits with diet mixers over sugary alcopops, ciders, and cocktails. It’s all about making smart choices that serve you and your weight loss goals," he says.

Low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can are also helpful for this, as some of the most common ones include spritzers, low calorie cocktails, and seltzers, which is flavored sparkling combined with a variety of spirit. Here are a few of our favorites...

Best low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can

Under 150 calories

Under 100 calories

How does alcohol impact weight loss?

Alcohol itself can't stop weight loss but 'drinking your calories' can take you out of a calorie deficit, which is what you need to lose weight. This is when you burn more calories per day, through bodily functions like breathing as well as exercise, than you eat. The higher the calorie deficit, the more weight you'll lose.

As personal trainer Richie Howey says, “It all comes down to calories. For example, the difference between choosing a diet mixer over a full-fat Coke on a night out can be 500-1000 calories.”

But drinking on the night doesn't only inhibit our ability to lose weight, it's what we do when we're hungover that makes a difference too. So even if you're opting for the best low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can, how many you drink will matter. 

“As alcohol causes dehydration, hunger levels spike, and people end up bingeing—mainly because it’s difficult to control cravings when you’re intoxicated. Think about all the kebabs, pizzas, and cheesy chips you’ve indulged in over the years—they’re all high-fat meals that are the worst thing you could possibly eat when out.”

“Then consider the day after the night before," Richie says, "You hardly move at all. That means low-calorie expenditure followed by another takeaway on the night as you’re bound to have the munchies. So, really, you’ll have consumed a double dose of calories.”

While a weight loss goal shouldn't prevent you from enjoying yourself, and you can enjoy alcohol in moderation with low-calorie alternatives if you're concerned about your daily calorie count, there's no doubt that alcohol definitely makes a difference.

“Fat burning is put on the back burner when you’ve had a few because your body is going to prioritize getting rid of the toxin (alcohol) before it metabolizes fat, so instead it just stores fat," Richie says.

Grace Walsh
Health Editor

A digital health journalist with over five years experience writing and editing for UK publications, Grace has covered the world of health and wellbeing extensively for Cosmopolitan, The i Paper and more.

She started her career writing about the complexities of sex and relationships, before combining personal hobbies with professional and writing about fitness. Everything from the best protein powder to sleep technology, the latest health trend to nutrition essentials, Grace has a huge spectrum of interests in the wellness sphere. Having reported on the coronavirus pandemic since the very first swab, she now also counts public health among them.