Low calorie non-alcoholic drinks in a can are a great way to enjoy the sunshine if you're watching your calorie intake. Each of the drinks on our list is just as delicious as a boozy alternative but has under 150 calories per serving.
There are plenty of delicious zero-alcohol or low-alcohol by volume (ABV) drinks out there to enjoy but if you're watching what you're drinking for weight loss or maintenance purposes, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Many booze-free options come laden with sugar and additives to try and recreate the taste of the alcohol. But it doesn't need to be that way, with seltzers, spritzers, and mocktails from brands like Brewdog and Remedy Drinks coming in at just a tiny fraction of your daily calorie count.
After going into a calorie deficit to lose weight last year, I opted for low calorie alcoholic drinks in a can at almost all social occasions (with it being lockdown and all, these were mainly outside). But these were my favorites when it came to picnics, barbeques, and booze-free events.
Low calorie non-alcoholic drinks in a can
Under 100 calories
I've historically always turned a mocktail down as they tend to be too sweet. But you don't have to miss out on your favorite cocktails with Mocktails' delicious Mockscow Mule (94 calories) and Mockarita (78 calories) if you're the same as they taste tart and fresh, so much so that I had to check they weren't the real thing.
Clean R & Cola 0.5%
For those craving a rum and coke in the sunshine, CleanCo's alternative could be the answer. While I'm always skeptical about no-alcohol mixer alternatives, I was surprised that the drink tasted (almost) like the real thing without the artificial sweetener flavor found in other beverages. Only 0.5% ABV and 62 calories.
San Pellegrino Sparkling Orange
For me, there's nothing quite like the fresh taste of orange to get me in the mood for the sun so I couldn't miss San Pellegrino's sparkling orange off our list. With real busts of orange and a recognizably crisp flavor, I haven't found flavored sparkling water that ticks the boxes like this one. Just 64 calories, no alcohol.
Matcha made it onto our list of the best healthy alternatives to coffee for its punchy flavor and effects. PerfectTed's Matcha energy drink in pear ginger is another great way to experience the full naturally caffeinated benefits of the tea. It's a good option if you want to try something new, at just 52 calories per 250ml serving.
The Soho Juice Co.
I've had The Soho Juice Co.'s blood orange juice as a mixer for spirits before (and it was delicious), so I was eager to try the drink on its own. It didn't disappoint—at 50 calories per can, The Soho Juice Co. has got you covered if you like your soft drinks low-cal and simple, with no fizz but still full of natural flavors.
Punchy Blood Orange
It's the blood orange flavor that should give this brand its name, as these premium soft drinks are just that. Comparable to a Campari spritz or negroni with a not-unpleasant medicinal ring to the taste, in my opinion. At 50 calories, Punchy is one for those who want a drink with flare. The variety pack includes other exciting flavors.
Drynks Unlimited Smashed Cider 0.0%
Using a unique method of fermentation, Drynks has managed to create an entirely alcohol-free version of cider. While I'm never normally a cider fan, this one really did tickle my tastebuds. At 82 calories, it's a winner as well. I also enjoyed their beer options, especially the pale ale as it still has that classic fruity kick.
Lucky Saint 0.5%
This is hands-down my go-to beer—even when I am drinking. Lighter than other lagers, it's 0.5% ABV. It had to make my list as the beer has been de-alcoholized and it's so similar to the real thing. Once you taste it, you also won't be surprised to know it's won multiple awards for its taste. Easily enjoyable at 53 calories per 330ml.
Beer Hawk No & Low Alcohol
When I stepped into the alternative beer world as part of my own weight loss process, a friend gifted me one of these. If you're looking to try a range of low-calorie non-alcoholic beers, Beer Hawk's collection is a good place to start to find out what you like (and what you don't) as it includes all the must-try brands.
Under 50 calories
Loah Lime Lager 0.5%
I love a corona (beer) with a slice of lime when the weather gets hot—but I'd happily swap it for one of these any day now. Loah Lime Lager tastes like a light beer with a refreshing citrus twist. Super refreshing and just 39 calories for the can, with 0.5% alcohol, I'd challenge anyone to say they could find something similar.
Brewdog Nanny State 0.5%
With its unique malty and plum flavors, Brewdog's alcohol-free beer didn't escape our notice. At just 26 calories per can, I find it's a good one whether you've already had a few drinks and want to swap out for no-alcohol or you're drinking it as your first. A great alternative for those who love a hoppy ale in particular.
Strykk Not Rum & Cola Alcohol Free Cocktail
I found it almost impossible to find a brand that could replicate a rum and coke, alcohol-free for under 50 calories, but Strykk came the closest. It doesn't quite match up flavor-wise but it's got that recognizably tropical aroma and golden color that makes it a winner in my books. And at 18 calories per can, it's one of the lowest.
TRIP CBD Infused Sparkling Water
While I've been aware of the many benefits of CBD, having tried oil drops and gummies, drinks were new to me. And at first, I wondered if 'lightly sparkling' was code for 'slightly flat' but this is exactly how I'd describe it—like still water but with a kick. At 21 calories per can, TRIP's CBD peach ginger flavor is the highlight of the lot.
Humble Warrior pineapple ginger
If you like your "lightly sparkling" water without CBD, I'd suggest going for Humble Warrior's tropical pineapple ginger drink. Flavor-wise, they're relatively similar with strong tropical notes coming through as you sip. It's also one of our lowest calorie non-alcoholic drinks in a can at just 20 calories per serving.
Dalston's Sparkling Elderflower Soda
I like to think of Dalston's as the craft beer of the soft drink world. You could get a standard soft drink like you get a normal lager, but why? When at just 46 calories a can you could have a significantly better experience. This elderflower flavor is particularly juicy and refreshing, ideal for those who love a flavored G&T.
Remedy Raw Kombucha Tea
Remedy Drinks' Kombucha Tea was one of the alternative soft drinks I started having long before I switched to low-cal, low/no-alcohol. They have exciting flavors like cherry plum, ginger lemon, and peach, which offer a sweet twist to counteract the kombucha fizz. At just 7 calories per can, this is also the option with the lowest calories.
Fix8 Citrus Saffron Kombucha
If your calorie level is slightly higher, you could always opt for Fix8's citrus saffron kombucha at 47 calories. Drinking kombucha is a famous way to improve gut health and you'll certainly know it with the strong, uniquely fruity flavors coming from this drink. Delicious and light, this was one I could sip slowly.
Savyll Paloma Tequila
Choosing low-cal/no- or low-alcohol doesn't mean you have to ditch that tequila kick. Fans (like myself) will be pleased that Savyll has a Paloma Tequila cocktail for just 28 calories per can, so there's no going without this favorite. It's powerful with strong sherbet and grapefruit flavors, best served over ice if you can.
Does non-alcoholic beer have alcohol in it?
Occasionally, yes. Beers that are labeled as 'alcohol-free' are legally allowed to contain up to 0.05% alcohol in the UK, while low-alcohol beers like Lucky Saint are typically de-alcoholized so they contain no more than 0.5% alcohol.
According to a review in the Food Engineering Journal, manufacturers have two ways of reducing the alcohol content in beer. They can either remove the ethanol from the finished product, or they can make sure that alcohol doesn't form during the brewing process.
While it's very easy to create alcohol-free cocktails, otherwise known as 'mocktails', creating truly alcohol-free beer is difficult because ethanol (the scientific name for alcohol) forms as a natural part of the brewing process. So these two processes to reduce the alcohol content in beer can vary in their success.
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.
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