All things being equal, beer, wine and spirits contain ethyl alcohol and that's what makes you intoxicated. Hard liquor is distilled and contains more alcohol by volume than beer or wine. It gets you drunk faster and doesn't contain much more. In terms of alcohol by volume, liquors are much stronger than other alcoholic beverages such as wine or beer.
One of the misconceptions about why alcohol is bad for a bodybuilder's diet is that it is high in carbohydrates. The truth is that many forms of alcohol are fairly low in carbohydrates. Some red and white wines have less than four grams of carbohydrates per serving (five ounces). And vodka and whiskey are examples of hard alcohol with less than one gram of carbohydrates per jar (1.5 ounces).
Even light beers contain few carbohydrates. Whether it's a glass of wine after a long day, a couple of beers while watching a sporting event, or a happy hour with friends, drinking alcohol has become a popular pastime. When consumed in moderation, alcohol can have potential health benefits (according to Mayo Clinic). There are also studies that suggest that some alcoholic beverages may be healthier than others.
Chan School of Public Health, red wine is linked to having more cardiovascular benefits than beer or spirits. Red wine has a reputation for being heart-healthy because of antioxidants that can help prevent coronary artery disease (according to Mayo Clinic). Other alcoholic beverages may also have their benefits. Research shows that moderate amounts of any type of alcohol can benefit the body, including reducing the risk of ischemic stroke and possibly even diabetes.
Regardless of the type of drink you choose, doctors emphasize that it should be consumed responsibly. Service suggestions for healthy adults include up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men (according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Excessive consumption can cause health risks, such as certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, liver disease, heart muscle damage, and alcoholism. It's possible to enjoy alcohol and maintain your physique or even lose weight, but it's important to be vigilant so that calories don't cost you.
According to Healthline, alcohol is made up of empty calories, meaning it provides limited nutrients. Caloric content varies depending on the drink. An average 12-ounce can of beer has about 155 calories, compared to a 5-ounce serving of red wine that has 125 calories. Liqueur generally has the lowest amount of calories, as long as you don't add high-calorie mixers, such as fruit juice or soft drinks (according to Mindbodygreen).
The average shot of tequila and vodka contains about 64 calories. Gin has a slightly higher calorie content, around 73 calories per drink. If you don't like to drink liquors directly, healthy additions to make a mixed drink that won't ruin your diet include diet soda, tonics, lemon or lime juice. The worst options are sugary cocktails and frozen beverages, such as piña coladas and daiquiris, which reach a whopping 280 to 500 calories per drink (via Everyday Health).
A liqueur-free option is to opt for alcohol-free cocktails, but you'll still want to be careful with high-calorie mixers. Healthy options may include non-alcoholic cocktails made with low-calorie or no-calorie beverages, such as flavored sparkling water. In the worst case, severe alcohol-induced brain damage can affect people's ability to lead independent lives. Whether a person is addicted to beer, wine or liquor, each form can have extremely harmful effects on the user's health.
Compared to wine and liquor, beer has the least amount of alcohol, with 5% in a single serving, but the serving size (12 ounces) is larger than that of a serving of regular wine or a mixed drink, making the alcohol content of a drink approximately equivalent to that of wine and strong alcohol. Alcohol (beer, wine and liquor) is a depressant that affects the central nervous system and affects a person's judgment and behavior. In addition to the multiple negative physical consequences of long-term alcohol abuse, people who abuse beer, wine, or liquor may also have a co-occurring disorder, such as depression, PTSD, or anxiety. Whether people choose beer, wine, or liquor, they can all cause lifelong addiction and a multitude of health consequences.