It's easy to forget that we take in energy (kilojoules) through drinks as well as food. You can drink a lot of kilojoules without realising it. Alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine and spirits contain a large amount of energy (kJ). We should limit these for good health and to maintain a healthy weight.

Alcohol does not provide our bodies with any beneficial nutrients. In fact, our bodies use up our stores of vitamins and minerals when processing alcohol.

If you choose to drink, aim for no more than two standard alcoholic drinks on any day. More than this increases your lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (such as stroke, some cancers, heart disease).

Are ‘low carb' beers and wines a better choice?

Alcohol itself contains a lot of energy (kJ). To drink less energy, choose a beverage with lower alcohol content such as a light or mid-strength beer, or replace alcoholic drinks with water.

If we were to have one of these drinks each day for a year, the potential equivalent weight gain in one year would be:

5.7kg yearly weight gain from daily 375ml full strength beer consumption
4.2kg yearly weight gain from daily 150ml glass of wine (red/white) consumption
10.9kg yearly weight gian from daily 375ml pre-mixed alcoholic soft drinks consumption

How much energy is in alcoholic beverages?

Energy comparison - 1.5 choc biscuits = 1 full-strength beer

Energy comparison - 1.5 choc biscuits = 30ml nip spirits

Energy comparison - 1 choc biscuit = a can of low-strengh beer, or a can of low-carb-beer, or a glass of wine, or a can of pre-mixed spirits

Eating snack foods and mixing with other drinks will add even more to your overall kilojoule intake such as soft drinks and juices (ie. mixers) and snack foods; potato chips and pastries.