Macro Basics for Booze

So, I get the question about alcohol a lot so I'm going to spell out how to account for this in macros. I know, I know, you are thinking how ridiculous. Just give me a second.

This is for the person that wants a drink on Monday and Wednesday and Saturday.

Or the person that REALLY wants to stay on track but REALLY wants to have a drink too.

This is not about restriction. This is about making knowledgeable choices.

I will say the easiest way is of course, don't drink. However, everyone loves a nice cold....WHITE RUSSIAN? That's my favorite!

Here's a free tip on the house: Do 3 parts whipped cream vodka, kahlua, and baileys (not cream)! Thank me later ;)

Okay, back to macros!

Alcohol is a macronutrient. It is not a macronutrient that is listed on the nutritional label because it's not considered "essential to life." However, it has 7kcal/g. If you aren't familiar with macros:

Fat has 9kcal/g

Protein has 4kcal/g

Carbohydrates has 4kcal/g

If you take out myfitnesspal currently, you will see that if you look up "Bud Light" or "Vodka", you will find what you see below.

photo (2)

If you will note, Bud Light has 6.6g of carbohydrates, 0fat, 0 protein and Vodka has 0g carb/0fat/0protein.

But wait, it has calories listed. Calories are made up of macronutrients. So how is their 0 nutrition and vodka but yet it has calories. If beer has ~7g of carb, then shouldn't it only have 28 calories??? The macronutrient missing here is pure ethanol.

So, I'm going to give you a run down of the numbers (stick with me) then step by step how to calculate for your special drink.

1gram of alcohol = 0.0352 fluid ounces

WINE   (6fl oz)                                     


X=170g x 7kcal/g=1190kcal

However, wine is 12% pure ethanol

0.12 x 1190kcal=143calories per 6 oz;

VODKA ( 1 shot = 30ml = 1 fl oz)                                                                                                                                     


X=24g x 7kcal/g=168kcal

80 proof (40% pure ethanol)

0.4 x 168 = 67.2 calories per shot

BEER (12 fl oz)

12 oz = 340g

340g x 7kcal/g = 2380 calories

Avg 4.5% ethanol in beer

0.045 x 2380 calories = 107 calories per 12 oz

I KNOW I JUST LOST YOU! Just read below.

Step 1: Chart whatever drink in myfitnesspal by the ounces. Fit those carbs into your daily macros.

Step 2: Allow for the extra calories that are not accounted for because ethanol is not a listed macro.

Step 3: ENJOY!

Some drinks of choice that I get that don't have those EXTRA carbs and calories on top of the ethanol are:

Diet coke and vodka

Gin and diet tonic

Fresh lime juice and tequila


Light beers

And when I'm at home, I make my own "whipped cream vodka and baileys" and measure it out! :)

photo (3)

If you'd like to know more about how you can eat this and anything else that you please and still get results, see these posts or my MACRO RESOURCE LIBRARY

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