How Many Calories In Cider ?
On the blog I have been asked lots of questions about calories in beer, wine and gin. Not so much how many calories in cider? I get asked about cider slightly less and this is one of the main reasons why.
Generally it’s more of a fruity drink so people understandably think there are no calories or its really healthy.
Of course the truth could not be further from the truth. And here is why.
Alcohol has calories but of course combined with the sugar it can easily mount up. The good news is that if you are drinking socially alcohol free cider this may provide a helping hand.
At least it can deal with the alcohol content for starters!
With cider, we can be talking 200 calories plus, but the brands will vary. How come so many calories then?
Let’s find out!
And of course remember that our desired intake for adults in terms of calories is 2000- 2500 per day depending on our size and gender.
Does the alcohol content of cider matter that much?
It certainly does as well as all the ingredients that go into a good bottle of cider or even a pint.
Here are some things to look out for when thinking about calories in cider. There are two main areas to look out for and it’s easy with a bottle of cider but not impossible in a bar. Forget the funny looks when you ask!
You’re looking for ABV, so alcohol by volume which tells us how drunk you will get! Also, it really means more calories and empty ones at that.
So alcohol content does matter.
If you scan the labels on bottles you will see relatively lower levels of ABV and even some around 4% although some of the heavy cider can nearly hit the 10 per cent mark in terms of alcohol by volume.
If you are on a calorie reduction push check out the abv as part of your plan. Most diet plans never even mention it and there are other health benefits in terms of health.
Then on the bottle you will see two figures lumped into one.Its basically carbs as I call them or carbohydrate. Within the carb figure you will see sugars which can be really high for cider.
If you think of all the major ciders and even the smaller brands they will mention all sorts of fruit so strawberries, raspberries and even pears.
Not forgetting apples of course!
Naturally yes but then we would not eat that amount of sugar in one go with a piece of fruit and it can be missing all the fiber that slows down the sugar intake.
So imagine all that alcohol and sugar rushing into your system.
Let’s say your cider of choice had a figure of around 4-5 % ABV alcohol by volume which seems to be the average at the lower end of the scale. You are talking in excess of 200 calories.
So we are into a “slice of pizza territory” here with that number. Imagine having a few bottles on top of a pizza while watching your hips.
You get the idea!
Shall I switch to beer then?
Well yes and no as it still has calories and it still has sugar, even alcohol free beer minus of course the abv figure which we will come onto shortly.
Is the beer belly a myth? Read more on my thoughts here
The reality is beer has fewer calories as the fermentation is focused on turning all that sugar to alcohol although in the big scheme of things it is very close.
Generally speaking if you do a label check you will find beer has on average fewer calories and that is basically down to the sugar and fruit content of cider.
Now before you jump on the wine wagon, that can have even more because of its very high calories count.
As when I discovered I had liver disease I was just a social wine drinker and my lovely consultant explained that the size of wine glasses has increased over time and before you know it two large glasses of wine is nearly a bottle.
Makes sense right?
It’s not unusual for a large glass of red wine with an abv of 13 per cent to bust the calories counter. You could be talking nearly 230 calories.
Its bizarre that things like gin or whiskey have fewer carbs and therefore fewer calories but you can make the mistake and top it up with calorie laden mixers.
That makes a massive difference.
One of the lowest spirits for calories is gin but again you want to be using with a tonic light brand like fever tree or if you really want to go for it pick a zero alcohol free gin.
It is gin? No but it’s a great alternative especially if you are driving and aiming to lose weight.
Even cocktails and I say this as an alcohol free advocate, mocktails are not a good alternative to cider from a weight perspective as they really are full of sugar and calories, big time.
Yes a treat but there is a time and place and all that. Like a real treat or on a big night out.
You might even me better to keep with the 200 give or take calories in a cider. However, is there an alternative?
Yes there is and you could still drink cider.
What about alcohol free options?
If I am honest I came to the alcohol free cider party a bit late. Maybe because I am not a natural cider drinker and never was, it was probably an occasional treat. However, it shows what happens when you take the alcohol out,
The following brands are worth a shout out both on taste, flavor and quality. Plus the calories per bottle may take your breath away if you are not used to alcohol free options.
It really helps with social pressure if you are giving up the drink or just cutting back.
As apart from the brands I suggest I only ever advocate ones at the 0.0% abv but higher low alcohol ones are available via my affiliate link below if you are not as strict and me.
A great taste and also a brand name but just don’t get them mixed up with the alcohol free versions. This is great for alcohol free cider at 66 calories per bottle.
Again the following brands are not that lower but certainly lower than many of the alcohol versions in terms of calories. So Koppanberg Mixed Fruits comes in at 190 calories and Kopparberg Strawberry which comes in at 205 calories per bottle
Of course, it all depends on the bottle size and some low alcohol or branded alcohol free ciders may be 0.5% alcohol.
I personally can’t vouch for them but 0.0% options can make a real difference and taste great.
You can buy and see more of these brands through my affiliate banner below and you pay exactly the same price but get to support the blog
And here is something we often forget. When you drink alcohol your brain gets confused between thirst and hunger. So when we drink alcohol we can do one of two things or both. Eat more food and drink more alcohol,
It is the reason for the munchies after a booze session or a big fry up to try and help the hangover which of course, it never reality does. It is one of the reasons the ABV figure is so important even if you stick to alcohol cider as opposed to alcohol free.
The body also needs water and it will attempt to get it anyway it can. For more information on drinking and alcohol you can read more from our friends at drink aware.
Cider it is then
Well maybe it’s going to be alcohol free cider or spirit if you are looking to watch the waistline. It seems a mix of alcohol, fruit and carbs certainly does rank up the calories to over 200 plus for many ciders.
However, there are options. Maybe alcohol free gin options.
At the end of the day moderation counts but as I am always saying on the blog my aim is to provide awareness on what we drink and of course keeping a close eye on the alcohol.
But then my liver disease does change the lens I look at things through. You are your own person and I hope the info has been interesting if not enlightening.
Remember to get into the habit of checking the alcohol by volume figure no matter if you drink alcohol or not. It will certainly change the way you look at drinks.
I would love to know what you think about how many calories in cider? I also respond to all your comments so leave one below. Would you go for alcohol free cider or switch to spirits if you were cutting back on the calories?