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How To Count Alcohol Against Your Macros

How To Count Alcohol Against Your Macros

Protein. Carbs. Fat. The big three when it comes to macros. But if, like us, you tend to enjoy a wee tipple every now and again, just how on earth do you add that in to stay on track?

And, more importantly, where on earth does it fall on the macro breakdown?

You'd think it would be simple especially when you consider the fact that beer, for instance, is pretty much all carb… or is it?

You see – it's actually really tough because beer can live in both the carb and fat triangles of your macro pie chart!

Confused? We're not surprised…

Essentially, alcohol is in a whole other macro league, as it doesn't fall neatly into any of the big three. This is because it is not an essential nutrient and you certainly don't need it to survive.

However, it does provide you with energy and calories, two of the most important parameters of macros, but before you run off to knock 10% off your daily food intake to allow for a daily night cap, read on…

While carbs provide your body with 4 calories per gram, as does protein and fat 9 calories per gram, alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, therefore falling smack bang in the middle of the three.

As a result it can be non of the above, yet because your body metabolises it by converting it to ethanol to acetaldehyde to acetate, and then fires it through the citric acid cycle, it behaves in the same manner as a carbohydrate AND fat.

But how do you decide where to place it? It depends on your personal macro breakdown.

If you're on a low carb diet, you'd probably want to pop it into the fat category to make sure you don't use up all your carbs with one drink. If you're on a low fat diet, you might want to pop it against your carb allotment for the same reason.

Just always be aware that no matter where you put it, if you regularly consume alcohol AND fatty snacks post night of excess, you will gain weight as you will undoubtedly end up eating way too many unhealthy calories…

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