We know alcohol can be full of empty calories, but sometimes you need a cold beer after a long day at work or during an evening with friends. And that’s fine – balance is important! But the calories in alcohol can add up quickly, especially if “one beer” turns into two or three.
But what if there was a drink that could satisfy your bubbly cravings without messing up your meal plan? Enter: White Claw, the flavored malt drink has conquered the market.
What is the White Claw?
White Claw is an alcoholic seltzer (5% to 8% ABV) made from a simple blend of seltzer water, a gluten-free alcohol base, and infused fruit flavor. The list of available flavors grows faster than cotton candy in this country and includes raspberry, black cherry, mango, lime, and grapefruit along with a few dozen others.
Naturally sweetened with a small amount of pure cane sugar – and no artificial ingredients or high fructose corn syrup – most White Claw varieties contain only 100 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates per 12 oz box.
Is White Claw healthier than beer?
Although hard seltzer water is now almost $9 billion category with mass appeal, it’s not necessarily much healthier than beer. “Alcohol is always poisonous from every angle, and you can always get fat from too much alcohol,” says Denis Faye, MS
And although White Claw is marketed as a lower calorie alternative to beer, the difference in calories is actually quite small. “Take Stella Artois, which has about 150 calories per bottle — you’re really only saving 40 calories,” says Faye. “If you like the taste of hard seltzer water, cool – but if you prefer beer, just have the beer.”
The focus, he adds, should really be on How many you drink rather than the type of drink you choose. If you drink more than a drink or two, be it beer or seltzer, the calories in the alcohol will start to add up.
Should we jump on the White Claw trend?
Sales of hard seltzer have skyrocketed over the past half-decade or so, and White Claw accounts for approximately nearly half of all hard seltzer sales. The wildly trending drink has spawned fan accounts on Instagram, and the hashtag #whiteclaw has been used nearly 300,000 times. That’s serious loyalty to drinks.
It’s no surprise when you consider the popularity of fruit-infused sparkling waters like La Croix. Like its non-alcoholic counterparts, White Claw is light, not too sweet, and offers several refreshing flavors to choose from.
And White Claw’s natural ingredients appeal to health-conscious consumers looking for alternatives to sugary drinks. For example, a brand of canned tequila margarita contains 360 calories and 27 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can. We love a margarita, but if you’re looking to cut back on the sugar, White Claw Natural Lime Hard Seltzer has just 2 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can and less than a third of the calories.
So should you drink White Claw? Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference – and moderation. If your fridge is already stocked with sparkling waters, chances are you love the taste of White Claw, and the low calorie count is a bonus. But if nothing can replace your favorite IPA, go ahead and enjoy – just keep in mind the daily alcohol recommendations are one drink for women and two drinks for men, whichever drink you choose.