Do You Need to Rethink Your Summer Tipple of Choice?

Summer is the perfect time to relax with a refreshing drink, but are your go-to choices the best options when you have a fat loss goal in mind?

In this blog, we’ll delve into some common summer drink choices and suggest some more optimal choices to help you continue tracking towards your goals! We’ll also discuss how can you mitigate the impact an evening of drinking can have on your weight loss plan the following day.

1. Long Island Ice Tea

With 5 different types of alcohol in one drink (vodka, white rum, gin, tequila and triple sec), a Long Island ice tea packs a punch and has a very high alcohol content! Our food choices are undoubtedly impacted when alcohol is involved, so avoiding high-alcohol options is an important consideration.

On top of the array of alcohol, it is then topped up with coke and syrup, both of which hugely ramp up the sugar content. You’re likely to experience a quick peak and then a drop in blood sugar levels, impacting your energy levels and hunger. 

They can often top 400kcals per cocktail – a huge amount, especially if you are in a calorie deficit.

Alternative: Vodka soda with a splash of coke. This option is significantly lower in calories and sugar, with about 100-150 calories per serving.

2. Espresso Martini 

With around 200kcals per drink, an espresso martini may not be the highest in terms of calorie count. However, the combination of alcohol and caffeine is something to be considered, especially if you’re having them on a night out.

Co-ingestion of caffeine with alcohol has multiple counter-active effects, largely because alcohol is a depressant and caffeine is a stimulant. These effects include fatigue and sedative effects caused by alcohol, as well as increased subjective feeling of alertness, which may lead to increased binge drinking, intoxication, decreased perception of intoxication and dehydration. Further, alcohol already impacts sleep quality, so combined with caffeine, isn’t an ideal mix!

Alternative: opt for a decaf version to mitigate the impact caffeine can have. Also, try a sugar-free coffee syrup or use a little less syrup overall. This will help reduce the amount of sugar and calories, maintaining the espresso flavour with less impact on calorie intake.

3. Piña colada

Although they’re the perfect beachside cocktail, piña coladas contain around 3-400kcals! They contain coconut cream which is high in fat and calories, plus pineapple juice/mixers which quickly increase the sugar content. A typical serving could have over 15g of fat – almost a fifth of your recommended intake on 2000kcals.

Alternative: Rum and coconut water with a splash of pineapple juice. This option is lower in sugar and calories, hydrating due to the coconut water, with around 150 calories per serving.

4. Daiquiris

Daiquiris come in a variety of flavours and are around 2-300kcals depending on size. They are often made with pre-prepped mixes which are known for being high in sugar. Once again, given the high added sugar content, you’re likely to experience a quick peak and then drop in blood sugar levels, impacting your energy levels and hunger. 

Alternative: A classic daiquiri with fresh lime juice, a little simple syrup, and rum. This version contains less sugar and fewer calories, around 120-150 calories per serving.

5. Beer

A definite favourite in the UK all year round, but particularly so when the beer gardens are open! A pint of beer can range anywhere between around 2-300kcals, depending on the type you choose, so opting for a lower calorie alternative may be worth considering if your goal is fat loss. 

Alternative: The no- and low-alcohol beer market is booming, with a huge range of alcohol-free beers available for a fraction of the calories.

How can you mitigate the impact an evening of drinking can have on your weight loss plan the following day?

Much like one salad won’t make you ‘healthy’, one night out won’t derail your progress. All fitness journeys are an up-and-down path of progress. If it’s not, you’re probably not prioritising the right things!

It certainly doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach to hitting your goals. It’s all about prioritising and being mindful. You can still have fun while being mindful of what you’re consuming!

There are a couple of things you can consider to help mitigate the impact though:

  1. Hydrate: Drink water between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and reduce overall consumption.
  1. Eat Before Drinking: Have a nutritionally balanced meal before drinking to slow alcohol absorption and reduce cravings for snacks whilst you’re out.
  1. Choose quality over quantity: Opt for high-quality alcoholic beverages that you genuinely enjoy. Instead of mindlessly consuming lower-quality, cheap drinks, savour the flavours of a fine wine, craft beer, or a well-crafted cocktail. This way, you’ll value the experience more and consume alcohol in a more meaningful way. This may also help you consume less!
  1. Choose lower-alcohol versions: The no- and low-alcohol drink market is booming, with a huge range of alcohol-free beers, wines and spirits available to enjoy. The lower alcohol content in these drinks means you’ll be consuming fewer calories and, of course, less alcohol. They are also often far cheaper than their stronger alternatives, so it’s a win-win all around. 
  1. Meal prep: make sure your fridge is stocked with some tasty, nutritious food ahead of time, to avoid you opting for suboptimal take-away/fast-food choices the day after instead.
  1. Schedule some physical activity: I’m not suggesting you force yourself to go for a 10km run the morning after, but something gentle like a walk or some yoga will be a great way to get you moving, rather than staying on the sofa. Chances are you’ll feel a lot better and more energised from doing so!

So, do you need to rethink your summer tipple or even pack in drinking entirely? In general, you don’t necessarily need to stop drinking entirely if you have a fat loss goal. However, it is important to be mindful of your intake, and amending your choices may help to support your progress.


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Published by Georgia Chilton

In her teenage years, a love of food and rowing led Georgia into this field as she wanted to know how to optimise performance through nutrition. With a BSc in Nutrition and an MSc in Sports and Exercise Nutrition, she has the skill set to help you track towards your goals and maximise your potential.

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