Low-calorie alcoholic drinks in a can are a rare find but as summer's now here, these are staple drinks for those looking to enjoy a boozy picnic while keeping their calorie count low.
It's the place where seltzers, spritzers, and even some beers find their time to shine. Refreshing, light, and packed with exciting flavours, these often come in at just over or under 100 calories and can be the easy low-cal, low-carbohydrate and/or low-sugar alternatives you're looking for.
If you're looking to learn how to lose weight without dieting, opting for the lowest-calorie alcohol can be one of the best ways to go. To help you find some online and in your local supermarket, we've gathered the best low-calorie alcoholic drinks in a can to have in 2023, including beers, wine spritzers, cocktails, and more.
What are low-calorie alcoholic drinks in a can?
Low-calorie alcoholic drinks are alcoholic beverages that are low in calories, the measurement of energy in food and drink. 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 get into a calorie deficit to lose weight and drinking is a big part of your social life, you may not want to cut alcohol out completely. And there's no need to either, as personal trainer Richie Howey says, but changing up 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 flavoured sparkling combined with a type of spirit (usually vodka). Here are a few of our favourites...
Best low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can
Under 150 calories
With no added sugar and just 107 calories per can, this blended vodka drink is the perfect picnic companion. And with unique flavours like pineapple, mint, and jasmine Korean ginseng available, it's one to share with friends too.
A 330ml can of this fan-favourite beer is just 139 calories, which may surprise some people. It's a light beer, full of flavour and zest, and comes in glass bottles as well as cans from most grocery and online stores. Best served with a slice of lime on the top. As one of the best types of low-calorie beer, it's well worth trying.
Nitro is one of the biggest coffee trends last year but it's also made its way into alcoholic drinks. Funkin's Passionfruit Martini is a classic, packed with fizz and the classic cocktail flavour we know and love. It comes in at 144 calories per can.
With an alcohol percentage of 8.5%, these are the ultimate picnic tinnies for wine lovers. Skinny Tinny wines have 130 calories per drink and they come in stunning floral packaging.
If you like a traditional cocktail, MOTH's range should have you covered this summer. Their Old Fashioned cocktail comes in at 124 calories while the Margarita sits at 133 calories per can.
If a margarita is your cocktail of choice normally but you're wanting to keep calories low, a can of Cutwater tequila with soda water and juice is a good choice at 124 calories per can.
At 118 per can, these DRTY seltzers are slightly higher in calories than others on the list but they're a refreshing, delicious alternative choice to classic White Claw seltzers.
Available in peach, grapefruit, and elderflower flavours, these fruity, light, and refreshing beers are just 125 calories each. They also have 63% less added sugar than standard cider with just 3g per 100ml.
It may surprise you to know that a 330ml can of Camden Town Brewery's famous Camden Hells lager is only 127 calories. 4.6% ABV too and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Believe it or not, we've found wine (in a can!) for under 150 calories, with the red wine containing 130 calories and white or rosé varieties containing 121 calories per can. Each can also offers 1/4 of a bottle of wine, so they're a great alternative if you're looking to monitor how much you're drinking - or drink less.
Under 100 calories
Just 100 calories per can, Goldling's Sundown mixed drink combines premium distilled vodka with fresh Persian lime, rich pineapple, and Kaffir lime leaf for a unique tropical infusion we've not seen anywhere else. It's fit for a summer's day and perfect for those who love a tart freshness to drinks.
At 95 calories per can, Served's vodka and sparkling water offering is among the lowest on this list. These drinks are made with four-times distilled premium vodka and wonky fruit for a fresh taste with less food waste.
Everyone knows the sight of an Aperol Spritz is the first sign of summer. So no matter the weather, bring in the season with Sprezza Rossa's can of red vermouth, mineral water, and orange bitters, all carbonated to resemble the classic Italian spritz. 100 calories per can.
Topo Chico's Hard Seltzer is one you've probably seen while browsing through the grocery store. If you haven't tried it before, it's worth a taste test. At just 96 calories per can, with flavours like lemon and lime and tropical mango, it really offers a taste of summer.
At just 95 calories per can with 4% alcohol, this is the best low-calorie wine spritzer we've seen. As well as the refreshing sauvignon blanc spritz, there's a French rosé and hibiscus infusion for just 4 calories more to enjoy on a hot day.
If a vodka and soda with lime is your normal go-to drink, try one of these delicious & Soda mixers at 92 calories per can. Available both in the classic lime flavour and raspberry twist, they're perfect for those who don't like the fizz of a seltzer but still want zing.
At just 90 calories per can with a 4.5 alcohol percentage, White Claw is one of the best low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can for the summer. Fresh, punchy, fruity, and available in a number of flavors including lime, raspberry, and mango.
Hands-down the best minimal calorie IPA we've tasted, making it a winner for beer-lovers out there. While there might only be 89 calories per can, this beer from Skinny Brands doesn't compromise on taste. You'd never notice the difference!
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 can be 500 to 1000 calories through a night out.”
But drinking 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, Howey 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," Howey says.
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Grace Walsh is woman&home's Health Channel Editor, working across the areas of fitness, nutrition, sleep, mental health, relationships, and sex. In 2024, she will be taking on her second marathon in Rome, cycling from Manchester to London (350km) for charity, and qualifying as a certified personal trainer.
A digital journalist with over six years experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace has covered (almost) everything in the world of health and wellbeing with bylines in Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more.
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