To Drink or Not to Drink? (How to Keep Your Drinks as Healthy as Possible!)

We work hard all week, train our butts off, and it’s nice to grab a drink with friends/ family and relax! For those of us that track our food intake, this can be a nightmare and a calorie overload if you don’t pick your drinks correctly. Why ruin a week of great food choices and training with an 800+ drink? That’s right, just like those fancy coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages can easily contain almost a few meals worth calories, but they don’t have to.

Here are a few tips that I follow when deciding what drink to order:

Be smart with your mixers & add some Fresh Fruit! Stay away from anything containing ‘sour mix’ in it. An ounce of sour mix has around 10 grams of carbs, so if you are having a 16 oz margarita at least 8 oz of sour mix is used (on average). If a menu has a ‘fresh’ or ‘skinny’ version of a margarita they usually eliminate the sour mix, therefore cutting the carbs. Fresh squeezed lemon or lime is always the best! Fresh fruit can add that flavor you want without the extra crap you get with mixers.

Avoid dessert drinks made with ‘cream’. This means Bailey’s Irish Cream, heavy cream, whipped cream, etc. Bailey’s, for example, is very high in saturated fat and calories, with just 1.5 oz adding 150 calories to a drink.

Seltzer Over Juice! Don’t be afraid to ask the bartender for less of certain ingredients. Let’s say you like vodka and cranberry juice, but want to reduce the calories of the drink. Ask your bartender for ‘light on the cranberry’ or a ‘splash of cranberry’ and add some seltzer in as a substitute.

Track your liquor! If you track your macros or daily intake, don’t avoid putting your drinks into your spreadsheets and/or app. It will keep you accountable and help you realize how many calories/carbs you are taking in with each drink.

Wine is a great option. Most glasses of wine will have between 100 – 130 calories per glass, which is much less than an average mixed drink. Red wine has antioxidants and heart healthy benefits as well, which can always make your feel better about having a glass! Red wine & white wine are also Paleo ☺ Check out FitVine Wines for the healthiest wine out there right now:

Potato Vodka & Tequila are technically Paleo. The Paleo Diet does not forbid drinking, it just asks you drink in moderation and stay away from grain based alcohol. If you are on the Paleo Diet, don’t feel the need to cut it out completely, just make smart choices and go for that tequila and potato vodka if you are looking for hard liquor choices.

There is nothing wrong with going out and living it up, but all in moderation. You don’t want to be adding a few thousand calories a week in liquor, and it’s easy to do if you don’t track what you drink. Coming from someone who bartended for years, there are always fun ways to cut some of the extra calories out of your drinks and still keep them tasty.

Have Fun & Drink Responsibly!

Melinda Spencer (Corssino)

CrossFitter, Powerlifter, Spartan Racer, Blog Show Host, WNBF Bikini & Figure Pro


See Melinda in our Bodyweight training program, 6 Week Shred!



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