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3 friends examining cans of East Forged drinks

How much Sugar, Calories & Alcohol in your drinks?

We’ve heard it before; you are what you eat. Everything should be done in moderation - but how often do you check the sugar, calorie or alcohol content of your favourite food and beverages? 

Most importantly, do you know how much of these ingredients you should be consuming and the effects they can have on your health if you have too much? 

Just because it says sugar-free, low-fat or alcohol-free - doesn’t mean it’s good for you, which is why it’s so important to read the label.

So, we compare our East Forged cold-brew teas with other popular drinks to uncover which are the healthiest of all.

1. Sugar

Top down view of a jar of sugar

Too much sugar is bad for your health, and can lead to serious conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that ‘free’ or added sugars make up no more than 10% of our daily intake. 

For an adult of healthy body mass index (BMI), this works out to be able 12 teaspoons or 50 grams of sugar per day.

  • What is Sugar?

Sugars are carbohydrates that occur naturally in some foods like Yuzu fruit, but they can also be added to foods and beverages as a way to enhance flavour. Sugar is used by the body for energy, like carbs. Which means, eating too many sugars and not using the energy is a quick way to increase your body weight - and not in a good way. 

This table shows the sugar content in some of our favourite drinks. They’re listed in order from least to most and you may be surprised to find G & T’s in the middle and alcohol-free beer towards the end of this list!

Beverage Type

Sugar* - per average serve

Beer (full strength)

0 grams

Still & sparkling water

0 grams

Black or herbal tea (no milk or sugar)

0 grams

Bourbon or Scotch (on ice)

0 grams

Vodka or gin

0 grams

East Forged

0.3 grams

Light beer

0.3 grams

Prosecco or champagne 

1 - 1.5 grams

Dry wine (white or red)

1 – 1.5 grams

Kombucha

2 - 4 grams

Cider

12.8 grams

Gin & Tonic

14 grams

Vitamin Water

22 grams

Espresso Martini

25 grams

Sweet wine (Moscato, rose)

21 - 72 grams

Mojito

25 grams

Commercial Ice-Tea

26.4 grams

Non-alcoholic beer

28.5 grams

Sports drinks

35 grams

Cola drinks (can)

39 grams

Energy Drink

50 grams

Ginger Beer

64 grams

Dessert wine (port)

72 – 100 grams

Even if the label says sugar-free or health drink it doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. These products normally contain fake sugars like Aspartame or Xylitol which are known to be very bad for you.

2. Alcohol

Friends enjoying drinks in the park

Alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol) is a depressant drug, which slows the messages between the brain and the body. It’s made by fermenting a natural source of sugar with yeast, which turns into carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. 

According to the Department of Health guidelines, healthy men and women should drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 standard drinks a day. 

Well, we think that sounds like a lot, and probably not something you want to do every day! Roughly 20% of alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and the remaining 80% is absorbed through the small intestine. Alcohol is metabolised by the liver, where enzymes break down the alcohol.  

  • How does alcohol affect you?

It depends on your age, health and how much you drink, but excessive consumption can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health and even increases the risk of illnesses like diabetes and cancer. 

At the very least, drinking too much booze can lead to poor decision making, accidents, and injuries. Not to mention hangovers. In extreme cases it can even lead to alcohol poisoning and liver failure!

In the table below we look a little closer at the alcohol content in some of our favourite drinks, in order from least to most. 

Beverage Type

% Alcohol - per average serve

Still & sparkling water

0%

Black, green or herbal tea (no milk or sugar)

0%

East Forged

0%

Vitamin Water

0%

Commercial Ice-Tea

0%

Sports drinks

0%

Cola drinks (can)

0%

Energy Drink

0%

Non-alcoholic beer*

0 - 0.5%

Kombucha*

0 - 0.5%

Ginger Beer*

0 – 4.%

Cider

4 – 6%

Light beer

4.2%

Beer (full strength)

4.5 – 5%

Sweet wine (Moscato, rose)

10 – 12%

Gin & Tonic

10 - 13%

Dry wine (white or red)

11 – 14%

Prosecco or champagne 

12%

Mojito

10 - 15%

Dessert wine (port)

14%

Espresso Martini

30%

Bourbon or Scotch (on ice)

40%

Vodka or gin

40%

* Some of these drinks contain small quantities of alcohol, up to 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV), but are able to be labelled as non-alcoholic according to Food Standards Australia New Zealand 

3. Calories

Set of gold scales on coloured table

A calorie is a unit of energy and it's a way of describing how much energy your body  gets from eating or drinking. When you eat more calories than you need, your body stores the extra calories as body fat. In fact, even fat-free foods have a lot of calories.

It’s estimated that adult women should eat 2,000 calories per day and adult men should eat 2,500 calories per day. , but it all depends how active the person is. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating less calories will be helpful, but it also depends on what you eat and how much exercise or physical activity you will do. In case you're wondering, 1 calorie is equal to 4.2 kilojoules. 

  • Trackers

There are lots of free apps available that allow you track  your calories or kilojoule intake, as well as online calculators can provide recommendations based on your height, sex, weight and fitness. 

We recommend talking to a medical professional - such as a GP or nutritionist -  before making any lifestyle or big health changes.  

See the number of calories in some of your favourite drinks -

Beverage Type

Calories - per average serve

Still & sparkling water

0

Black, green or herbal tea (no milk or sugar)

1

East Forged

5

Kombucha

30 – 120

Non-alcoholic beer

40

Dessert wine (port)

50

Vodka or gin (on ice)

64

Bourbon or Scotch (on ice)

70 - 97

Prosecco or champagne 

80

Sports drinks

80

Sweet wine (Moscato, rose)

96

Light beer

100

Espresso Martini

103

Energy Drink

110

Vitamin Water

120

Cola drinks (can)

140

Gin & Tonic

148

Beer (full strength)

150

Dry wine (white or red)

160

Ginger Beer

164

Mojito

168

Commercial Ice-Tea

188

Cider

210

 

And the healthiest drinks are…

Information is power! Knowing exactly what’s in your food and beverages is so important to be able to make the best choices for you and your health goals! So what’s the final verdict – what are the healthiest beverages around? 

Our top 5 drinks to enjoy if you’re keeping an eye on your sugar, calorie and alcohol intake: 

  1. Still or sparkling/ soda water - add fresh mint, and a slice of lemon or lime to zhuzh it up a bit 
  2. Black, green or herbal tea - choose a quality loose-leaf and there’ll be no need for milk or sweetener
  3. East Forged – shake, psssch, pour… it’s fun, alcohol free, low in sugar and calories too. Get your East Forged today.
  4. Kombucha – check the ingredients list first  for sugar and calories content
  5. Light beer – may be lower in sugar and alcohol content, but still high in calories

Check out the full comparison table below.

Beverage Type Sugar* - grams per average serve Alcohol - % per average serve Calories - per average serve
Still & sparkling water 0 0% 0
Black, green or herbal tea (no milk or sugar) 0 0% 1
East Forged 0.3 0% 5
Kombucha 4 0 - 0.5% 30 – 120
Light beer 0.3 4.20% 100
Beer (full strength) 0 4.5 – 5% 150
Prosecco or champagne  1.5 12% 80
Vodka or gin 0 40% 64
Bourbon or Scotch (on ice) 0 40% 70 - 97
Dry wine (white or red) 1.5 11 – 14% 160
Cider 12.8 4 – 6% 210
Gin & Tonic 14 10 - 13% 148
Sweet wine (Moscato, rose) 21 10 – 12% 96
Vitamin Water 22 0% 120
Espresso Martini 22 30% 103
Mojito 25 10 - 15% 168
Commercial Ice-Tea 26.4 0% 188
Non-alcoholic beer 28.5 0 - 0.5% 40
Sports drinks 35 0% 80
Cola Drink (can) 39 0% 140
Energy Drink 50 0% 110
Ginger Beer 64 0 – 4.% 164
Dessert wine (port) 72 14% 50


 

Mia Ferreira Blog ContributorContributing Guest Author:

Mia Ferreira is a Professional Writer, PR and Social Media Consultant and a dedicated Iyengar Yoga teacher based in Melbourne. She is currently enrolled in the prestigious Professional Writing & Editing course at RMIT - with the dream of becoming a published author on day. Mia is also a self-confessed tea addict!

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