It is official – hard seltzer is one of the hottest new alcoholic beverages on the market, and that is not expected to slow down soon. This past year, the hard seltzer category has grown by over 202% with many prominent beer brands such as Sam Adams and Anheuser-Busch making the shift to seltzer. So why the sudden pivot when breweries were making such a huge surge only a brief couple of years ago? Well, the modern consumer changes quickly. A study done by Food Navigator in 2018 showed that 79% of consumers wanted to have a healthier diet by the end of the year. With more people caring about what they put in them these days, more healthier options continue to arise. So, with only 100 calories and 2 grams of sugar per serving, is White Claw the healthiest alcoholic option? Well, hold the brakes! Let’s not forget the healthy alcoholic option that came before White Claw – good ol’ wine! Not only does wine have some of the least damaging effects on your health, but there have been studies that prove drinking wine in moderation can have beneficial effects on your health! So, which option is healthier than the other?
We will start with the first nutritional fact everyone is looking for – how many calories does each have? White Claw does not shy away from this question. Their cans and advertising emphasize, in large writing, that each 12 fl oz serving is only 100 calories. This is slightly lower compared to wine which can average between 120-140 calories in a 5 fl oz serving – Baldacci wines, for instance, are 120 calories in a normal serving. White Claw edges over wine in this category.
After looking at the calories in a product, our next step is to typically look at the amount of sugar in it. There is a lot more information now on the negative effects of sugar – weight gain, heart disease, aging. For this reason, we want to minimize our sugar intake as much as possible. Again, White Claw does a great job of promoting that their cans only have 2 grams of sugar per serving. However, this is slightly higher than wine which averages just 1.2 grams of sugar per glass! You can sip wine with ease knowing that. Wine has the upper hand when it comes to having less sugar.
Carbs go hand-in-hand with sugar these days – both pack on the pounds and both are worth avoiding. Wine can come in many different forms when it comes to the number of carbs in a serving. Dry wines for instance typically have zero grams of carbs in them, while other types of wine can go up to four grams of carbs in a serving. White Claw is right in the middle at 2 grams of carbs in a can. For this reason, it is pretty much a tie between the two in this category.
Now, it is important to note that health is not always about avoiding the negative things we put in us – it also involves putting beneficial substances into our bodies. As mentioned earlier in this piece, there have been multiple health benefits linked to drinking wine in moderation. For example, Healthline stated that “red wine’s high concentration of polyphenol antioxidants can help reduce your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and metabolic diseases”. There is also reason to believe that certain components in wine can reduce chronic inflammation – a condition that is typically reduced via exercise and diet. Due to the fact that White Claw has not been around long enough nor is it feasible to know the full recipe, it is difficult to determine what, if any beneficial health benefits may be derived from White Claw.
When we break it down, the match up is pretty close on whether wine or White Claw is the healthier option. If the goal is to watch your figure, White Claw might barely edge out wine for having fewer calories and fewer carbs ounce. If the goal is to drink an alcoholic option that can provide you with some health benefits, wine is the way to go. Everything being said, it is important to note that drinking alcohol in excess can never be deemed healthy. Drinking in moderation will always ensure you are drinking healthy and responsibly. So next time you are at an event and you are trying to decide between the wine or the White Claw, just remember both are better than most alcoholic options out there. Obviously, we are a little biased and recommend the wine!