Units and calories in vodka
Find out how many calories and units are in vodka, and how that relates to the low risk drinking guidelines.
The UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low risk drinking guidelines recommend that both men and women are safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. If you do choose to drink this amount it’s best to spread your units over the week.
If you wish to cut down the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days a week.
A vodka and cola made with a single 25ml measure of 40% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) vodka contains one unit. So drinking 15 vodka and cokes with this same amount of alcohol means you will exceed the guidelines; if you’re drinking doubles eight in a week would put you over the low risk guidelines.
Regularly drinking above the guidelines could increase your chances of developing a number of long-term health conditions including cancer, liver disease, and lead to alcohol dependence and have implications for your mental health.
It’s a myth that drinks featuring clear spirits are low in calories.
You might be surprised to hear that one vodka and coke made with a 25ml measure of 40% ABV vodka contains 110 calories – similar to a small slice of pizza.
Just like in other alcoholic drinks, these are ‘empty calories’ with no nutritional value, so don’t benefit your body in any way. Most alcoholic drinks contain traces of vitamins and minerals, but not usually in amounts that make any significant contribution to our diet, so it’s never a good idea to substitute alcohol for food.
Checking a vodka’s ABV will tell you how strong it is. Look out for the ABV on the label, which shows what percentage of the drink is alcohol, or ask at the bar.
For example, a vodka and coke made with 40% ABV vodka contains 40% pure alcohol. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol is in the drink.