Guinness is one of the most popular stout beers in the world. Originating in Ireland, Guinness has become an iconic drink enjoyed by many. As with any beer, Guinness does contain calories and other nutritional information that consumers may want to be aware of. Specifically, for a 500ml can of Guinness Draught, there are 210 calories.
Calories in Beer
Before looking at the calories in Guinness specifically, it’s helpful to understand where calories in beer come from in general. There are two main sources of calories in beer: alcohol and carbohydrates.
Calories from Alcohol
Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, provides a significant source of calories in beer. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram. The alcohol content, also known as alcohol by volume (ABV), determines how many calories come from the alcohol in a beer. Typical beer ABV ranges from around 3-6%. For example, a beer with 5% ABV that contained 12 oz of liquid would have about 96 calories (12 oz * 0.05 ABV * 7 cal/g of alcohol = 84 calories) just from the alcohol alone.
Calories from Carbohydrates
The carbohydrates in beer also contribute calories. These carbohydrates include starch from the grains used to make the beer (usually barley and wheat) as well as any sugars added during brewing for fermentation. Carbohydrates contain about 4 calories per gram. For comparison, a 12 oz regular soda may contain 40-50 grams of carbohydrate and 160-200 calories just from the carbohydrate content.
So in summary, the two main factors that determine the calorie content in beer are the alcohol ABV percentage, which provides 7 calories per gram, and the amount of carbohydrates from the grains and sugars used in brewing, which provide 4 calories per gram. The higher the ABV and the more carbohydrates, the more total calories there will be in a given volume of beer.
Calories in Guinness Draught
Now that we understand where beer calories come from, let’s look specifically at Guinness Draught. Here are the key stats for a 500ml can of Guinness Draught:
- Alcohol content: 4.2% ABV
- Carbohydrates: 17 grams
- Calories: 210
Given the 4.2% ABV, a 500ml can of Guinness would provide about 210 calories just from the alcohol content:
- 500 ml = 16.9 oz
- 4.2% ABV of 16.9 oz is 0.71 oz of alcohol
- 0.71 oz of alcohol * 7 calories/g = 105 calories from alcohol
The 17 grams of carbohydrate would provide an additional 68 calories:
- 17 g carbohydrate * 4 calories/g = 68 calories
- Calories from alcohol: 105 calories
- Calories from carbohydrates: 68 calories
- Total calories: 105 + 68 = 173 calories
This matches up well with the cited 210 calories per 500ml can. The small discrepancy could be due to rounding or differences in exact volumes and carbohydrate amounts between production batches.
Guinness Draught Nutrition Facts
Beyond just calories, here are some other notable nutrition facts for a 500ml can of Guinness Draught:
|Nutrient||Per 500ml can|
A few things stand out:
- Guinness is relatively low in protein and contains no fat. The calories come mainly from the alcohol and carbohydrates.
- Guinness contains more carbohydrates than typical low-carb beers, largely from the roasted barley used in brewing.
- Guinness is relatively low in sodium compared to many other beers.
So in summary, Guinness is low in fat and protein, but provides a mix of alcohol and carbohydrate calories adding up to 210 calories in a 500ml can.
Comparing Guinness to Other Beers
How does Guinness compare to other beers in terms of calories? Here is a quick comparison per 12oz serving:
|Miller High Life||143|
|Sierra Nevada Pale Ale||175|
Guinness lands right around the middle-lower end of the calorie range compared to other popular domestic and imported beers. It contains fewer calories than higher-alcohol craft beers like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. However, it does contain more calories than typical domestic light beers like Coors Light. This is likely due to its higher carbohydrate content from the use of roasted barley.
Tips for Drinking Guinness While Managing Calories
Here are some tips if you are watching your calorie intake but still want to enjoy drinking Guinness in moderation:
- Stick to the standard draft Guinness if looking for the lowest calorie option, versus higher alcohol variants like Guinness Extra Stout.
- Drink Guinness from the Draft Can or Draught Bottle rather than Nitro Can if calorie counting. The Nitro Can is nitrogenated for a different flavor profile and contains slightly more calories (176 per 12oz) than the standard Draught (125 per 12oz).
- Enjoy Guinness as part of a balanced diet. At 125 calories per 12oz serving, Guinness can fit into a calorie-controlled diet when consumed in moderation.
- Pair Guinness with lower calorie mixers like diet soda or soda water to dilute the calories.
- Savor Guinness slowly. Slower drinking means you may feel satisfied with less volume consumed.
- Be mindful of “drinking calories” and balance intake with enough lower calorie beverages like water.
The key is moderation. At 210 calories per 500ml can, enjoying Guinness in reasonable amounts can absolutely be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Just be mindful of your overall calorie intake when drinking beer, including from alcohol.
To summarize key points:
- A 500ml can of Guinness Draught contains 210 calories.
- Calories in beer come from alcohol (7 calories/g) and carbohydrates (4 calories/g). Guinness gets its calories from a moderate alcohol content (4.2% ABV) and a higher carbohydrate content from roasted barley.
- Guinness contains slightly more calories than typical domestic light beers, but less than higher alcohol craft beers per 12oz serving.
- Enjoy Guinness in moderation as part of a balanced diet, and be mindful of “drinking calories” from alcohol.
So the next time you are enjoying a perfectly poured pint of that iconic, creamy Guinness, you can relax knowing it’s not an extremely high calorie beverage. When consumed sensibly within your diet, Guinness remains a tasty, fulfilling beer choice. Sláinte!