What’s Really in Your Favorite Drinks?

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You ever noticed that sometimes having three mixed drinks takes just as much of a toll on you as 10 beers? WTF is up with that? Many college kids have no idea what gets put in in their bodies when they go out. Maybe you just don’t care, or maybe you’re too trashed to pay attention. Whether you’re trying to maintain your weight or maintain your dignity, it can’t hurt to know what exactly is in your drink.

1. Beer

The classic college drink. If you go to a party and there’s no beer, I’d actually get concerned. From tailgates to frat parties, everyone’s familiar with this watery, mild drink.

Beer gets to the keg by fermenting grains -typically malt barley- then adding hops for flavor. Fun fact: hops are actually flowers, which means beer is romantic and fancy, right? Right.

The good news is that the cheap stuff that’s usually at parties also has the least amount of calories. Perks of being broke AF. The bad (or good) news, depending on your intentions for the evening, is that beer’s alcohol content is pretty low. Meaning you’ll need quite a bit to get drunk. More drinks brings more calories, which is why the beer belly should be a very real fear if you typically get your buzz from beer.

2. Vodka Cranberry

VC

AKA the “basic bitches” drink. Of course, vodka and cranberry juice mixed together tastes good. You’re adding fruity sugar to alcohol. You’re pretty much guaranteed a tasty beverage.

Vodka is basically water and ethanol, giving it that delicious rubbing alcohol taste. It’s often distilled multiple times to remove nearly all impurities and reach a high proof before being watered down enough to be sold.

Now being optimistic, you might put one shot of vodka in your Solo cup, which would only be about 100 calories. The one shot line is that really low one that’s basically at the bottom of the cup. Maybe you have enough discipline to properly measure out the vodka, but chances are you’re putting in a bit more than that…most likely double. Using just two shots of vodka and 8oz of cranberry juice, you’re already at about 300 calories for that one drink. If you can stand the taste of artificial sweetener, then diet cranberry juice could really help you out.

3. Rum and Coke

Simple. Cheap. Loved by everyone. If you’re not sure what to bring to a party, a handle of rum and a liter of Coke is always a good idea. The drink is cloyingly sweet, but that’s the kind of shit college kids like.

Rum is made from sugars like molasses or even straight sugarcane juice by a process of fermentation and distillation. The dark color comes from aging the clear distilled liquid in oak barrels.

Basically the same rules apply here as do with the vodka cranberry: if you want, you could make a drink that’s under 100 calories. But at the same time, it could easily get over 300 calories. Want to get hammered? Go with more rum, but less coke so that you’re not drinking 500 calories in one cup. Just looking for a slight buzz? Use hella diet coke and just a wee bit of rum.

4. Ready to Drink

The lazy way to start a party, besides beer, is to drink crap that’s already mixed and ready to go. I’m talking cheap wines, premixed margaritas, canned alcoholic drinks and maybe Mike’s Hard for the really lame.

Despite trying to be classy AF and drink wine, be realistic. You’re in college. There’s a good chance it’s in a box. Franzia’s Refreshing White (not vague at all) is only 88 calories per 5oz glass, but if you decide to indulge in some sweet, sweet Moscato it’s 135 calories. While one glass of wine isn’t really that bad, when you’re doing the Tour De Franzia you’re probably drinking a lot more than that.

Jose Cuervo sits at around 110 calories, but that’s only four 4oz…I think we all know that margaritas are served in bigger glasses than that.

Oh, and one of the monstrous cans of Four Loko? Over 600 calories. Yikes. I would only drink that if you truly DGAF.

5. Jungle Juice

Your guess is as good as mine. Just drink with caution. While it’s a really practical way to make sure every last drop of alcohol gets used, sometimes the mixtures can get quite interesting. Not to mention the insane amount of juice probably loads it up with calories. Bottoms up?

Sophomore at my home under the Dome, AKA the University of Notre Dame. Love running, water skiing, writing and watching Christmas movies all year long. Dream date is Seth Cohen circa 2004.

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