The Best Alcohol Free Alternatives

Harmful consumption of alcohol is a leading risk factor identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having a direct impact on a series health related targets[1]. In an attempt to mitigate these risks, the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting alcohol intake to no greater than 4 standard drinks in any one day and no greater than 10 standard drinks in a week with one standard drink represented by 10g of alcohol[2].

The relationship between alcohol consumption and weight gain has been extensively studied over recent years. Alcohol itself contributes 7.1 kilocalories or 29 kilojoules per gram of alcohol present[3]. Whilst research outcomes surrounding increased alcohol intake and the development of obesity remain varied, increased consumption of alcohol may lead to a positive energy balance within individuals and subsequently result in weight gain over a period of time[4]. Further to this, it has previously been recognised that alcohol consumption may bypass standard satiety mechanisms by which modulate short term food intake, potentially leading to an increase in food consumption during periods of alcohol intake[5,6].

With the consumption of alcohol a likely contributor to increased energy intake, alcohol free alternatives may serve as useful within the weight loss/management space and have certainly increased in popularity recently.

The following table indicates approximate caloric content associated with common alcohol-based drinks compared with their alcohol-free counterparts.

Alcoholic beverageEnergy Content (kcal)
per 100mL
Alcohol Free AlternativeEnergy Content (kcal)
per 100mL
Great Northern
Original James Squire 150 Lashes

Carlton Draught 4.6%
Heineken
27 kcal/ 100 mL
37 kcal/100 mL
42 kcals/100 mL
42 kcal/100mL
Great Northern Zero
James Squire Zero
Carlton Zero
Heineken 0.0
18 kcals/100 mL
20 kcals/100 mL
28 kcals/100 mL
21 kcal/100mL
Grant Burge Barossa Valley Shiraz
Squealing Pig Sauvignon Blanc
Chapel Hill Rose
77 kcal/100mL
81 kcal/100mL
79 kcal/100mL
Edenvale Shiraz Alcohol removed
McGuigan Zero alcohol Sauvignon Blanc
McGuigan zero alcohol Rose
17 kcal/100mL
29 kcal/100 mL
22 kcal/100mL
Gin 90 proof

Vodka 80 proof
Whiskey 86 proof
247 kcal/100mL

216 kcal/100mL
237 kcal/100mL
Ginologist alcohol free gin
or Naked Life Classic G&T
Banks & Botanicals non-alcoholic spirits
Lyre American Mal Whiskey
16 kcal/100mL
2 kcal/100mL
0 kcal/100mL
11 kcal/100mL

3 Key Tips for reducing alcohol consumption and lowering calorie intake from alcohol:

  • Utilise alcohol free beverages including alcohol free beer, wine and spirits to lower overall calorie intake through these drinks.
  • Use low calorie mixers such as tonic, soda water or sugar free soft drinks with spirits.
  • Alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic low calorie beverages such as water, soda water or tonic.

References
[1] World Health Organization. Alcohol [Internet]. WHO. 2022 [cited 22 February 2022]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/alcohol
[2] How much alcohol is safe to drink [Internet]. About Alcohol. 2022 [cited 22 February 2022]. Available from: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/alcohol/about-alcohol/how-much-alcohol-is-safe-to-drink
[3] Chao A, Wadden T, Tronieri J, Berkowitz R. Alcohol Intake and Weight Loss During Intensive Lifestyle Intervention for Adults with Overweight or Obesity and Diabetes. Obesity. 2018;27(1):30-40.
[4] Traversy G, Chaput J. Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update. Current Obesity Reports. 2015;4(1):122-130.
[5] Kwok A, Dordevic A, Paton G, Page M, Truby H. Effect of alcohol consumption on food energy intake: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Nutrition. 2019;121(5):481-495.
[6] Yeomans M, Caton S, Hetherington M. Alcohol and food intake. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 2003;6(6):639-644.
[7] Non-Alcoholic Drinks Superstore - Sans Drinks Australia [Internet]. Sans Drinks. 2022 [cited 22 February 2022]. Available from: https://sansdrinks.com.au/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA09eQBhCxARIsAAYRiylWv_lJVEzksyxduUg5ZLO0HzWkrzD25MipfudJsIZkNbvWJUDiLAUaAndiEALw_wcB
[8] Food Nutrition Facts and Free Calorie Counter | CalorieKing (Australia) [Internet]. Calorieking.com. 2022 [cited 22 February 2022]. Available from: https://www.calorieking.com/au/en/




 

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