Why Drinking Alcohol Could Lead to Consuming Too Much Sugar

There are two main ways that drinking alcohol can cause you to consume too much sugar: the sugar in the drinks themselves and from the additional food you eat while drinking.

Sugar in Drinks

Many drinks can have the sugar equivalent of a meal in them so you have to be careful how much you drink. For example here is a chart showing the calories in some common types of drinks. The ones with high calorie content and small volume usually have a lot of sugar.

Alcoholic drinkCalories
Beer, lite, 12 oz.100
Beer, regular, 12 oz.150
Frozen daiquiri, 4 oz.216
Gin, 1.5 oz.110
Mai tai, 4 oz.310
Margarita, 4 oz.270
Rum, 1.5 oz.96
Vodka, 1.5 oz.96
Whiskey, 1.5 oz.105
Wine spritzer, 4 oz.49
Wine, dessert, sweet, 4 oz.180


Also if any fruit juice or soda is added, it boosts up the sugar content even higher.

Eating While Drinking

Do you ever notice how hungry you get when drinking or afterwards? Alcohol tends to stimulate hunger. And if you have a few too many drinks, your judgment might be impaired so you don’t realize just how much you are eating, much of which could be high in sugar.

So why is so much sugar bad? Because it can cause a whole host of problems, diabetes being one of the most common.

There are two types of diabetes Type 1 and Type 2. While Type 1 is mainly a result of genetics and occurs when younger, Type 2 is frequently caused by lifestyle. Also known as adult onset diabetes because people frequently over the age of 40 get it, it is caused by routinely consuming excessive sugar which could be a result of heavy drinking.

Diabetes is easily manageable, but when left unchecked and without lifestyle changes, serious health complications can occur including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage and limb amputations

Alcohol reduces the body’s sensitivity to insulin meaning the alcohol can cause insulin resistance which leads to diabetes. And drinking can lead to excessive weight gain which is one of the leading causes of Type 2 diabetes.

While sugary alcoholic drinks are part of the reason why you could consume too much sugar, the other half of the equation is making poor food choices while drinking.  The answer to both is to switch to drinks containing less sugar and to drink responsibly.