Brendan Guere, Health Columnist
Counting calories to maintain or lose weight can be a problem for most college students, especially when alcohol is considered. I took a survey for a statistics class here at SUNY Oneonta and learned that most people on campus drink three to four times per week; many drank more often than that. Avoiding the “freshman 15” is difficult if you don’t watch what you drink, and many times people don’t take that into consideration. Alcohol is more calorically dense than carbohydrates or protein, at seven calories per gram, so not knowing what you had to drink can be a problem.
Here are some common drinks and their caloric value taken from myfitnesspal.com: one bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade contains 220 calories. One bottle of Coors Light has 102 calories. One 12 oz. can of Bud Light has 110 calories. The different Samuel Adams’ beers range from 160 to 200 calories per 12 oz. bottle. All beers are similar to these counts. One shot of Jagermeister has around 103 calories. One Jager Bomb has about 210 calories. One shot of 80-proof rum has around 100 calories. One shot of 86-proof whiskey contains about 105 calories. For a mixed drink, such as a Jager Bomb, you simply add the calories for the amount of Jager used to the calories from the Redbull. Mixing drinks with soda or juices can add a lot of calories. Daiquiris and Margaritas may taste better, but they have as many calories.
If you can’t tell from the calorie counts of these drinks, calories add up very quickly when drinking. Just going out for a few beers is adding a ton of calories to your diet. Four beers can contain 400 to 800 calories. Shots also add hundreds of calories. Taking in an extra 1,000 calories is very easy to do when you go out to drink. These calories from alcohol are treated just like calories from carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which means any calories not used for energy get stored on your body as fat. Adding in extra calories from alcohol makes it quite easy to gain 10 to 15 pounds if you don’t pay attention to what you consume.
Next time you go out, pay attention to what it is you are drinking. If you can’t keep track, find someone who can, just to see how many calories you are taking in when you drink. Have fun, be safe, and be healthy!