How many calories in a pint of lager?

Whether it be an after work pint, a start-of-the-holiday pint or a burger and a pint, many of us get great enjoyment out of drinking lager. In fact, some may go as far to say it is the highlight of their week and a staple part of British culture. However, there is no hiding from the fact that drinking lager adds a little extra to the waistline – the term ‘beer belly’ is certainly not a myth!

In this blog, we will look at the calories in some of the nation's favourite lagers and offer up some lower calorie alternatives available to purchase from SkinnyBooze.

Calories in popular lagers

On average, a pint of 4% ABV lager contains around 180 calories, which is about the same as a slice of pizza. To burn off these extra calories, you would have to do 14 minutes of running, 17 minutes of swimming, 20 minutes of football or 44 minutes of walking! For a bit of perspective, research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that men consume an extra 433 calories on days they have just a couple of drinks - that’s a lot of walking needed!

The reason that lager contains so many calories is because alcohol is made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar. For this reason, all drinks that contain alcohol will contain calories, even if they do not contain any carbs. Unless a lager is non-alcoholic, it is impossible to remove all of the calories. For this reason, as a general rule of thumb, lagers with a lower ABV tend to also have fewer calories. The table below provides a handy comparison of calories in some of the lagers you might find in your local pub.

Lager

ABV

Calories in a pint 

Carling 4% 184kcal
Fosters 5% 225kcal
Budweiser 4.5% 232kcal
Peroni 5.1% 235kcal
Kronenbourg 5% 244kcal
Stella Artois 4.8% 227kcal
Heineken  5% 227kcal

 

*Calories according to manufacturer website or MyFitnessPal

How is low calorie lager made?

As an ever increasing number of us like to keep a watch on our calorie intake, brewers are slowly introducing lower calorie lagers to their range. Some - like SkinnyBrands - are wholly dedicated to bringing lower calorie options to the market. But what exactly goes into making a low calorie lager?

The calories in lager come from carbs and alcohol. To reduce the calorie content, brewers either have to reduce the alcohol content or reduce the carbs. For drinkers that don’t mind an alcohol free beer, zero or very low alcohol lagers offer a suitable low calorie option, but this is not to everyone's taste.

The good news is that the compounds that give most lagers their flavour don’t contain calories. This means lower calorie lagers don’t need to also be low taste if they are made correctly.

SkinnyBrands is a brewery that have refused to compromise on flavour and quality, whilst still offering a reduced calorie alternative. Their premium lager uses a special brewing process which removes residual sugars from the liquid without reducing the ABV. It took them over a year to refine the recipe, with multiple recipe changes and test brews to make sure the product is offering a lower calorie, but not lower taste or lower ABV, option.

The result is a refreshingly malty premium lager, that’s full flavour, 4% ABV and only 89 calories per can whilst also being vegan, gluten free and kosher. The lager provides around 35% less calories than other premium lagers on the market, and contains just 1.5g of sugar and 3g of carbs per 330ml. You can buy Skinny Brands Premium Lager on the SkinnyBooze website for £28.99 for a pack of 24 330ml cans, or £32.95 for 24 bottles.

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