Worried about the carbs in vodka?
First the good news: Vodka has zero carbs.
But that’s not the whole story. While there are no carbs in vodka, there are calories. And many mixers used in vodka cocktails are full of carbs and calories.
And to make things worse, your body burns the alcohol in vodka just like it burns carbs.
The Low-Carb and Low-Calorie Vodka Myth
Not only are there are zero carbs in vodka, but vodka also doesn’t contain any meaningful amounts of protein or fat. Almost all the calories in vodka come from alcohol.
So if you are worried about the calories in vodka, don’t worry about the carbs. Instead, worry about the alcohol content, or proof. The higher the proof, the higher the calorie count.
(See our related article: Calories in Vodka and How You Can Minimize Them)
You may see advertising campaigns for low-carb or low-calorie vodka. But that’s a myth created by marketing people. Don’t let them fool you! All vodka has zero carbs, so all vodka is already “low-carb.”
And the only way to get low-calorie vodka is to lower the alcohol content. That’s why Smirnoff low-calorie vodka is only 60 proof (30 percent alcohol) instead of 80 proof (40 percent alcohol) like the regular Smirnoff.
They are charging you the same, but giving you 25% less alcohol. You’ll get the same “low-calorie” results by just using 25% less vodka in your drinks!
Alcohol in Vodka Has More Calories than Carbs!
It might sound like good news that vodka has no carbs. But the truth is that the alcohol in vodka has even more calories than carbs.
Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, while carbs have only 4 calories per gram. And just like carbs, your body burns alcohol before it burns fat. So if you are trying to lose weight, alcohol will delay fat burning and slow down your weight loss.
That’s why it’s important that you count the calories in your vodka drinks. This is especially important if you drink vodka cocktails.
How To Keep Your Vodka Drinks Low-Carb
Most people drink vodka combined with mixers in a vodka cocktail like a screwdriver, cosmopolitan, or a vodka tonic.
Unfortunately, the mixers used in many vodka cocktails are sugary and full of carbs. These mixers can often double the calories in your vodka drinks.
So if want to keep your cocktails low-carb and low-calorie, you really need to watch out for the mixers.
To help you out, we’ve included some helpful tips in our related article: Calories in Vodka and How You Can Minimize Them.
Health Benefits of Vodka?
The news about vodka isn’t all bad. There are actually some real health benefits to drinking vodka — as long as you drink in moderation!
The alcohol in vodka can benefit you in many ways, from boosting your cardiovascular health to boosting your brain power. You can find out more in our article on the Health Benefits of Red Wine and Alcohol.
Do you have a favorite vodka cocktail? Do you have your own tricks for keeping them low-carb and low-calorie? Share your own tips by giving leaving a comment below.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24.
- Washington: GPO,
- 30 March 2012.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.
- 7th Edition.
- Washington: GPO,
- December 2010.