How to: Count your cocktails

Here at Food For Fuel, we preach Earth Grown Nutrients and base our diets around that. However, we are humans and enjoy a cocktail or two every now and then just like everyone else! With a flexible dieting lifestyle, being able to indulge a bit here and there is possible — margaritas and all!

Alcohol does not metabolize in our bodies the way that carbs, fat or protein do – It yields approximately 7 calories per gram. In an effort to keep it in our diet, we have to track it as one of our three given macros.

Preferably, you will want to track alcohol as a carb because we usually have more of those to spare. Although carbs are our preferred energy source, they are not as essential at the cellular level as fat or protein. You can next track it as a fat, or split the difference between fat and carbs. Never track alcohol as a protein, as this is our most precious of macros – protein is the building block of our cells, so we need to keep those as true food sources.

Here is how we track alcohol in our macros:

– Look at your drink’s label or search the web for the total calories of your alcohol of choice.

– Take the caloric total and divide by 4 to track as a carb or by 9 to track as a fat. You can split the difference by diving half of the calories by 4 and the other half by 9.

Remember that alcohol is a toxin in the body – so the fewer the better!

To track a mixed drink, you will have to track the alcohol and mixer separately. If you are ordering a drink from the bar, you are going to have to do some estimating.

The average pour for clear and dark alcohol is 1.5oz. Depending on the size of the glass or amount of ice, you will just have to eyeball the amount of mixer used. Wine is usually a 5oz pour, and beer from the tap will depend on the mug size, which is usually on the menu.

Since we’ve been doing this macro thing for years, we’ve been able to stockpile some of our favorite mixed drinks and have provided our estimates for you below using:

5oz white or red wine = 30g carbs or 13g fat

4oz Champagne = 23g carbs or 10g fat

12oz Light Beer = 25g cabrs or 11g fat

*all beers are different, so be sure to search your specific beer for the calories and do your math accordingly. Do not go by the carbs on the label!

Mixed drinks, assuming a 1.5oz pour + 3oz mixer:

Vodka + Soda Water with lime/lemon = 24g carbs or 11g fat

Gin + Tonic with lime = 32g carb or 8g carbs + 11g fat

Rum + Coke = 34g carbs or 10g carbs + 11g fat

A few more of our favorite classics:

4oz Margarita = 59g carbs or 3g carbs + 25g fat

6oz Bloody Mary = 29g carbs or 11g fat (1g protein from the Bloody Mary mix!)

6oz Mimosa = 29g carbs or 6.5g carbs + 10g fat (.5g protein from the juice!)

If you know you’re going to have a few drinks, make sure to eat lean and green throughout the day. That way you can still hit your macros and enjoy your cocktails!

Consuming alcohol will dehydrate you, so make sure you mix in a few glasses of water while you party. We’re all about helping our clients find SUSTAINABLE diet plans – so go enjoy your cocktails and get right back on track!


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