Vodka and Soda Is Such BS: Here's What You Should Really Drink if You're Watching Your Calories

Bottoms up.

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Getty; design by Katja Cho

A sad truth: You can exercise, cut out sweets, and up your veggie intake, but if you're still slingin' back margaritas at happy hour you're not doing your body any favors. Alcohol + sugar = a ton of extra calories, and probably ones you aren't accounting for. And while having *a drink* isn't going to ruin your entire diet, if you're looking to cut back, it makes sense to make sure you're ordering smart at the bar. 

You probably think that means you're limited to boring ol' vodka sodas. But you, friend, are wrong.

"Most spirits have the same calories—they end up being about 7 calories per gram," explains Richard Breitkreutz, corporate beverage director for BR Guest Hospitality. "In other words, vodka, gin, rum, tequila, scotch, and bourbon are about the same (or about 80 calories per 1.5 shot). It's the mixer that presents the issue."

Oh, okay. *Puts down gin and tonic.*

"Seltzer, or water, has essentially zero calories. Lime or lemon juice adds another 20 calories. Orange juice adds another 40 calories to your drink. Tequila with a splash of fresh lime juice and seltzer is refreshing and about 100 calories as an example."

Design by Katja Cho

Essentially, if you're looking to cut back on calories and still want a strong drink, stick to the alcohol with the slightest bit of mixer you can get away with. And if you're not into that?

"Wine is another alternative. Most wine is about 120 calories a glass. Beer on the other hand starts at 150 calories and goes up from there, although there are some light beers that start around 80 calories. They typically have very little flavor though." (To which we say: If you're going to drink beer, do it right.)

So sure, vodka sodas get the job done (they come in around 65 calories a drink), but you can also look to the alternatives above to quench your thirst/get your drink on. You're welcome. 

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