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Day 24:

Beware of Sugar Lurking in Alcoholic Beverages

While you’re watching the amount of sugar in your food and beverages, don’t forget about alcohol! Today Andrea gets into specifics about alcohol and its sugar content.

What was the most shocking thing you learned about alcohol today? Share on social with #BarbarasSugarReset!

~ The Barbara’s Team

Many of us enjoy a glass or two of wine or beer a few times a week, but it is important to be aware that alcoholic beverages could be adding a significant amount of sugar to your diet.

I encourage you to refrain from drinking alcohol. Although certain types of alcohol may not contain high amounts of added sugar, the alcohol itself puts added stress on your liver and prevents it from doing its job.[1] Alcohol is a diuretic so it can lead to dehydration, and ultimately headaches.[2] In addition, when alcohol is broken down in your body, it produces a byproduct called acetaldehyde, which has been linked to nausea, facial flushing and even cancer.[3]

Hard liquor like gin, rum, whisky, and vodka contain very little to no sugar. However, adding a mixer—like soda and syrup—can add a significant amount (specifically high-fructose corn syrup). If cocktails are your preference, beware of those with added sugar.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the amount of sugar in common alcoholic beverages:

  • A four-ounce pina colada contains about 28 grams of added sugar, while the same size daiquiri provides nearly 7 grams.[4]
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade is a real kick at 32 grams for 11 ounces and hard cider drinkers will consume 18 grams of the sweet stuff in 12 ounces.[5],[6]
  • A 1.5-ounce shot of a specialty drink like crème de menthe contains 21 grams of sugar.
  • 3 ounces of Irish crème has 7.4 grams.
  • A 3.5 ounce glass of red wine delivers about 0.8 grams of sugar while an equal amount of white wine contains about 1 gram.[7]
  • Light beers are lower in carbohydrates and contain trace amounts of sugars.[8],[9]

If you do decide to have a drink, please drink responsibly. Eat some protein and fat beforehand to help absorb the alcohol and keep your blood sugar levels balanced.[10] Also be sure to have a glass of water before and after each drink to keep you hydrated.





[4] Healthy Eating.

[5] Healthy Eating.

[6] Calorie Count. Alcoholic drinks.

[7] Calorie Count. Wine.




Andrea Donsky, B. COMM, is an Author, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.), Editor-in-Chief, and Founder of Her passion is to inspire people to make enlightened choices for healthy living. Andrea has combined her background and expertise as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and an entrepreneur to educate the public on living an organic and non-GMO lifestyle through the creation of her businesses, books, articles, videos, speeches, and media appearances.