How many calories in Apple Cider?

Apple cider, sometimes referred to as apple juice, is a popular fall drink made from apples. It can be enjoyed cold or hot and comes in a variety of styles from sweet to hard. With its rich apple flavor, apple cider makes a tasty and refreshing beverage. But like other drinks, apple cider does contain calories and sugar that are important to factor into your diet. So how many calories are actually in apple cider?

Calories in Apple Cider

The number of calories in apple cider can vary depending on the specific type and serving size. Here is an overview of the approximate calorie counts:

Sweet Apple Cider

Sweet or regular apple cider has a mild apple flavor and is usually not filtered, so it contains apple pulp and sediment.

– 1 cup (8 oz) – 117 calories
– 1 liter (33 oz) – 387 calories

Hard Apple Cider

Hard cider is fermented, resulting in an alcoholic beverage similar to beer. The alcohol content increases the calorie count.

– 1 cup (8 oz) – 228 calories
– 1 liter (33 oz) – 758 calories

Sparkling Apple Cider

Sparkling cider is sweet cider with added carbonation, like a non-alcoholic apple soda. The carbonation does not significantly affect the calorie content.

– 1 cup (8 oz) – 117 calories
– 1 liter (33 oz) – 387 calories

Calories from Sugar in Apple Cider

A significant portion of the calories in apple cider come from naturally-occurring sugars. Apples contain fructose, glucose, and sucrose.

When apples are pressed into cider, much of these sugars remain, accounting for apple cider’s sweet taste. The amount of sugar can vary based on the variety and ripeness of apples used.

Here are approximate calories from sugar in different types of apple cider:

Sweet Apple Cider

– 1 cup (8 oz) – 96 calories from sugar
– 1 liter (33 oz) – 319 calories from sugar

Hard Apple Cider

– 1 cup (8 oz) – 48 calories from sugar
– 1 liter (33 oz) – 159 calories from sugar

Sparkling Apple Cider

– 1 cup (8 oz) – 96 calories from sugar
– 1 liter (33 oz) – 319 calories from sugar

As you can see, the majority of the calories in regular and sparkling cider come from the natural sugar content of the apples. In hard cider, the sugar content is reduced through the fermentation process, allowing the alcohol to account for more calories.

Factors Affecting Calorie Content

Several factors can cause the calorie content of apple cider to vary between different brands and batches:

Apple Variety

The type of apple used to make cider impacts its nutrient composition. Some popular cider apples include McIntosh, Jonathan, Cortland, and Rome Beauty. Sweeter apples may produce cider with more calories from sugar.

Added Sweeteners

Some ciders add extra sugar, syrups, or fruit juice to enhance sweetness. This increases the calorie and sugar content compared to pure apple cider. Check labels for added sugars.

Alcohol Content

Hard cider can range from around 3-8% alcohol by volume. More alcohol equals more calories, with an average of about 100 calories per 8 oz serving.

Serving Size

Pay attention to serving sizes, which are generally 1 cup or 8 oz for cider. Drinking a 16 oz pint would double the calories and sugar compared to an 8 oz glass.

Pressing and Filtering

Less filtered cider retains more pulp and sediment, potentially adding texture and nutrients that could impact calories.

Nutrition Facts Comparison

Here is a nutrition facts label comparison of some popular apple cider products (8 oz serving):

Brand Calories Sugar Protein
Martinelli’s Apple Cider 120 28g 0g
Santa Cruz Organic Apple Cider 100 22g 0g
Angry Orchard Hard Cider 228 15g 0g
Woodchuck Hard Cider 200 13g 0g

This comparison shows the range of calories and sugar that can be found in popular commercial apple cider options. Hard ciders generally have more calories due to alcohol content.

Tips for Drinking Apple Cider

Here are some tips for enjoying apple cider as part of a healthy diet:

– Stick to a standard serving size like 1 cup to control calories and sugar intake.
– Select unsweetened or low-sugar varieties when possible.
– Dilute cider with sparkling water or club soda to reduce sugar and calories.
– Consume cider in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet.
– Be aware of alcohol content in hard cider and limit intake accordingly.
– Read nutrition labels closely to compare brands and make informed choices.
– Choose whole fruits like apples over juiced products to get more fiber.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider

Despite the calories and sugar in apple cider, it can still fit into a healthy lifestyle when consumed in moderation. In fact, apple cider has some potential health benefits:


Apples contain polyphenol antioxidants, which may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress when consumed in cider or juice form.

Gut Health

Some studies suggest apple cider vinegar can support beneficial gut bacteria and digestive health, though more research is needed.


The water content in apple cider can help with hydration, especially when alcohol consumption is limited.

However, whole apples provide the most nutrition and fiber compared to juiced or cider products. Eating an apple is healthier than drinking apple cider.


The calories in a serving of apple cider range from around 100-250, depending largely on alcohol content. Sweeteners, pressing methods, apple variety, and serving size can also impact the nutrition facts. While apple cider does contain beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols, its high sugar and calorie density make moderation important. Stick to one standard serving of cider at a time and accompany it with healthy whole foods like apples, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains as part of a balanced diet. Keep in mind that drinking apple cider should not replace eating whole fruits and veggies.

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