How Many Calories in Vodka?
The simple answer to this very important question is that the number of calories in vodka falls somewhere between that of rice cakes and chocolate cake. To most of us vodka aficionados, that is a perfectly sufficient answer. However others might want or even need a slightly more specific answer to the question of how many calories in vodka. If you want to skip the discussion, there is calorie information and a handy calorie calculator at the bottom of the page, however most will find the following information to be rather illuminating.
The calorie count of alcohol, which is 7 calories per gram of pure alcohol, remains consistent whether the alcohol is vodka, whiskey or rum. The difference in calories among the various types and even brands of drinks comes from the other ingredients and even the impurities found in them. Vodka is of course the purest of the distilled alcohols so, unless it is flavored vodka, all the calories present will be from the alcohol content alone. If you want to drink alcohol and still consume the least amount of calories possible, then one of the clear distilled alcohols (whiskey, vodka, gin, rum) either straight, or in a low or no calorie mixer, is your best alternative. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about the inherent calorie count of the alcohol itself.
Calories in Vodka = Calories in Alcohol
Ethyl alcohol, which is the only kind of alcohol you want to drink unless you want some serious health problems, contains 7 calories per gram. Unflavored vodka is nothing more than pure ethyl alcohol combined with enough water to make it drinkable. Therefore the calories in vodka is equal to the calories in the alcohol contained in it. Simply doing the math for vodka at 80 proof or 40% pure alcohol, one would expect a 1.5 ounce serving to contain about 117 calories. However, to do the math properly, you have to account for the fact that a given volume of alcohol weighs less that the same volume of water (.789 times as much to be precise). Therefore a 1.5 ounce shot of 80 proof vodka will have about 98 calories. The same size serving of 100 proof will have about 122 calories – and burn a little more to boot
Calories in Vodka Compared to Calories in Rum, Whiskey, Gin or Tequila
All else being equal, vodka should generally be slightly lower in calories than the less pure alcohols such as whiskey, rum and scotch, which may contain some sugars or starches carried over from the original fermentation process. Most vodka is distilled and purified many times over to remove such impurities. Even so, the difference in calories in vodka and the other distilled liquors is going to be fairly minute. In fact the USDA Nutrient Database considers whiskey, rum, vodka and gin identical enough to list them all together under the same heading for several entries (e.g. NDB #14087). So, if you absolutely love the distinctive flavors of whiskey, rum, tequila or gin there is certainly no need to switch to vodka for the sake of calories, in spite of what any of us vodka snobs may try to tell you.
Alcohol and Metabolism – It’s Not Just the Calories in Vodka That Count
Apart from the calories in vodka, which are substantial, there are other factors which may influence how alcohol affects your body composition. For example, alcohol generally gets priority for metabolism, and while you have alcohol in your system, your liver will process the alcohol for energy first until it is all gone. During this time, metabolism of other nutrients and even body fat is put on hold. This is an important consideration for anyone on a diet or fitness regimen. That said, we have found through personal experience that the moderate addition of straight vodka to even a fairly strict weight loss diet, is not detrimental to fat loss or retention of lean mass as long as you account for the calories consumed and reduce consumption of fat and/or carbohydrate calories by an equal amount while maintaining protein calorie levels the same (since proper protein levels are absolutely key to successful weight loss). Also, for you low carb dieters out there, we found that a couple of straight shots of vodka in the evening did not seem to affect ketosis whatsoever (if you’ve had a different result, we’d love to hear from you).
In summary, the number of calories in vodka is equal to the number of calories in the alcohol contained in it. While calories in vodka should technically be slightly less than in whiskey, rum, gin, or tequila, the difference is negligible. Alcohol can affect the metabolism of other nutrients and could affect the expected outcome of a fitness or weight loss regimen. The best course of action if calories are an issue is to drink in moderation and follow other healthy weight control measures.
Calories in Vodka Table
The calorie information below is for unflavored Vodka at 80 and 100 proof.
Pure Alcohol (Ethanol) = 7 calories per gram
80 Proof Vodka (40% ABV)
1 Oz = 65 Calories
1 Shot (1.5 Oz) = 98 Calories
100 Proof Vodka (50% ABV)
1 Oz = 82 Calories
1 Shot (1.5 Oz) = 122 Calories
Calories in Vodka Calculator
Use the form below to calculate how many calories from alcohol are in any quantity or concentration of Vodka. This calculator is designed for regular Vodka with no flavorings, but it will be plenty accurate for Whiskey, Scotch, Rum, Gin, or Tequila. Please note that this calculator is only going to give you the calories from the alcohol. So if you are drinking flavored vodka or liqueurs, for example, any of the flavorings, syrups, juices or sugars that have been added will have their own calorie count over and above the calories from alcohol given by the calculator.
1. Click on the yellow cells and enter values as directed. Calories will appear in the red cell.
2. Don’t type in the red cell – it will delete the formula.
3. If you mess up the form, just hit the refresh button on your browser (or hit the F5 key on your keyboard) to start over.
4. As you can see from the sample numbers 1 SHOT of 80 Proof (40% ABV) gives 98 calories