Healthiest Alcoholic Drinks

If you're going to enjoy the occasional drink – and, let's be honest, you blatantly are – what are the most runner-friendly beverages to choose?

We all know that drinking large quantities of alcohol can hamper our fitness. But many of us do enjoy the semi-regular pint or five. So we thought it was only right that we offered some guidance as to which drinks are better for you than others. Below is a list of some of the healthier alcoholic options out there:

Vodka & soda water

Calorie count: 97 (0 calories in soda water, 97 calories in one shot of vodka)

Vodka contains 0% fat, so it’s a good bet if you’re looking to keep your waistline from expanding.

Adding a squeeze of lime juice will helping in terms of flavour (but add a few calories).

However, as vodka tends to be about 40% ABV, this is a drink to sip rather than guzzle.

Red wine

Calorie count: 85 (per 125ml), 170 (per 250ml)

You’ve probably read that red wine is good for your heart, but that’s not your cue to start chugging down a whole bottle.

A large glass of wine contains 170 calories, which is about the same as a pint of bitter, although wine does contain something called resveratrol, a compound found within grapes that helps to prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce cholesterol and prevent blood clots. So the odd glass here and there won’t hurt!

Bloody Mary

Calorie count: 125 calories per serving

OK, if you’re drinking a Bloody Mary, it’s usually because you’ve over-indulged the night before, in which case you’d be better served ordering a pint of water.

However, as alcoholic drinks go, it has something to recommend for it.

Its alcoholic component is vodka –which, as discussed above, contains 0% fat – and you also get some vitamins via the tomato juice and celery stick.

Gin & Tonic

Calorie count: 120 for a single

Mother’s Ruin won’t necessarily ruin your running.

The tonic water, though a little high in sugar, will at least help to keep you hydrated, while fresh lime contains some vitamin C.

Gin contains Juniper berries, which help to combat infection but, at 40% ABV, it’s drink to be approached with caution.

Whisky on the rocks

Calorie count: 72 calories per shot

Unadvisable as a session drink, whisky nonetheless contains 0% fat, making it a decent option for the weight-conscious runner.

Those looking to dilute the taste can mix it with water, which will also help to keep you slightly more hydrated.

There’s also some evidence to suggest that, in moderation, whisky can help to reduce the risk of dementia and increase heart health. However, like any spirit, it’s a drink to sipped rather than slammed.


Calorie count: 210

An ad campaign from the 1920s confidently claimed that “Guinness is good for you”. This is probably only partially true.

Guinness contains a lower alcohol percentage than most other beers, although a pint contains a sizeable 210 calories.

While it’s rich in flavanoids and can act as a low-level aspirin, reducing the risk of heart attacks and blood clots, it’s a myth that Guinness is high in iron. A pint of the black stuff contains less than 3% of an adult’s daily iron needs.

Men's Running

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