Cheers to the Olympics

“My favorite Olympic event is lifting a wine glass to my mouth.”


I will admit that sipping on a glass of vino while watching TEAM USA compete with other impressive athletes can make the Olympic games that much more enjoyable; however, how much is too much?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days.”

Drinking alcohol can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but do consider the amount of calories in your drink of choice. Compared to the other macronutrients—fat, carbohydrates and protein—alcohol has 7 calories per gram. That is almost double the amount of calories per gram of carbohydrate or protein (a gram of fat beats them all with a whopping 9 calories).

To keep with the Olympic theme this week, let’s compare a few drinks to physical activity (of a 155 lb person) using the National Institutes of Health Alcohol Calorie Calculator.


A 12-oz can of light beer would be burned off with 30 minutes of bowling

A 1.5 oz shot of gin would burn off after 8 minutes of jumping rope

A 5 oz glass of red wine would burn off after  15 minutes of rowing

A 4 oz margarita would be burned off with 30 minutes of gardening

A 2 oz daiquiri would burn off after 15 minutes on the stair-stepper


A couple drinks later, and those calories can add up! For example, instead of 30 minutes of gardening, it would take 4 HOURS to burn off a jumbo (32-ounce) margarita!

I am imagining Olympic viewers using wine bottles as hand-weights rather than the drink of choice :)

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