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Think Before You Drink – How Much Exercise Does It Take To Burn Off Beer?

By Jason England

Summer’s the time to kick back and have a beer (or three) at the BBQ with your mates. But be careful… We’ve done a study to see just how much exercise is needed to burn off your favourite tipples, and the results may shock you!

Most of us know what calories are in certain foods, but the vast majority probably don’t think twice before opening that bottle of wine. It seems silly to think about the beverages, but chances are they’re doing the same (if not more) damage to your macros than the food you eat.

So what did we do? Well, we took a look at some of the most popular drinks in Britain - from your standard barista cup of coffee to the average pint from your local - checked out their calorie content, and measured just how much exercise you would have to do to work them off.

Your standard pint of lager contains a beer-belly bloating 330 calories on average, which would take 20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to work off. A glass of red wine is less, but it would still take 60 squats to sweat out.

Your standard pint of lager contains a beer-belly bloating 330 calories on average, which would take 20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to work off. A glass of red wine is less, but it would still take 60 squats to sweat out.

Not only did we take a look at booze – oh no! Non-alcoholic drinks come under fire too…

Be careful what you drink

You may think a can of coke would rank high as one of the worst offenders – with all 143 calories requiring 70 push ups to burn. However, smoothies and juices are actually WORSE with an average of 209, meaning you will need to cycle for 45 minutes to make up for it.

With this, we want to teach two simple lessons about counting every calorie and making smart drinks choices:

  • Every single one of these drinks can be enjoyed in moderation, but you should be aware of the calories you are consuming every day (including drinks) and factor in working off what you’ve swigged to your work outs.
  • Beware of drinks that disguise themselves as healthy. That fruit smoothie might seem like a smart choice, but as most shop-bought ones are crammed with sugar you’ll be paying for it later on the treadmill.

So with that in mind, take a look at what we found out below.


1. Latte


Love getting your caffeine fix from the local coffee shop? Well your standard latte will be laden with full fat milk – that’s standard practice for any barista. That means it contains 258 calories in 450ml, which is the same as half an hour of jogging.

2. Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate

We’re afraid we’ve got some bad news for chocoholics or those with a sweet tooth… Your standard 450 ml cup of hot chocolate tots up to 429 calories. If you can’t give it up, you’ll need to hike for six miles to work it off.

3. Orange juice

orange juice

You’ve seen all the bright and happy adverts for fresh orange juice… It might be full of vitamin C, but there’s 209 calories hiding in a 450ml glass of sunshine. That’s the same as 45 minutes of cycling on flat terrain.

4. Smoothie


Smoothies might seem like the healthy option, but there can be up 207 calories per 450ml, around the same as three chocolate biscuits, and crammed with sugar! Burning this off would take 20 minutes of swimming.

5. Mars high protein drink

You may have seen these on your supermarket shelves, boasting 22g of protein to support any workout. But they fail to tell you about the 234 calories in every bottle… And don’t forget the whopping 24.5g of sugar! A solid 25 minutes of burpees will get rid of this.


6. Glass of red wine

red wine

If you like to unwind with a glass of red, there’s 214 calories per 250ml. It will take sixty squats for it to reverse the damage.

7. Glass of white wine

white wine

If white wine is your poison, you’re slightly better off with 190 calories per 250ml. To work it off can do 30 minutes of kickboxing.

8. Pint of lager


If you’re more partial to a pint of your favourite at the local pub, you’re looking at 330 calories, the equivalent to 20 minutes of HIIT.  

9. Gin and tonic

gin and tonic

Whilst low cal in comparison to wine and beer, one 170ml serving of gin and it is 143 calories, or 260 sit ups if you prefer.

10. Cola


If you like your fizzy drinks then you’re going have to do 70 push up to work off the 143 calories you consume in a can of cola.

11. Milk


Whilst high in calcium, whole milk will also serve up 154 calories per 250ml. If you want to work it off, try 770 star jumps. Why not try a Protein Shake instead? Only 2/3rd of the Calories AND pure protein to help with muscle repair and function

How we can change this?

Well there’s one easy way to reduce your calorie consumption through drinks… I’ll give you a clue – it involves that clear stuff running out the tap!

For years, people have been drinking loads of water as part of their weight loss strategy. And while it doesn’t have any magical nutrients to shed those pounds, using it to replace those higher calorie drinks can certainly help.

Shocked by the stats? Share our handy infographic below to spread the message!

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