Is Whiskey Healthier Than Beer? Resolved (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Certain alcoholic drinks like beer contain less alcohol, even when consumed in large amounts. Meanwhile, there are also some alcoholic beverages that, even in small amounts, contain large amounts of alcohol, like whiskey. 

But wait, is whiskey healthier than beer? Or is it the other way around? Let’s find out.

Which is Healthier, Beer or Whiskey? 


Whiskey is healthier than beer because it’s much lower in sugar and has a low-calorie count.

This drink is considered among the healthiest alcohols/spirits when it comes to comparing calories.

When consumed moderately, hard liquor drinks such as whiskey, tequila, and vodka, have health benefits and are believed to be healthier than beer or wine.

However, hard liquor can take on more carbohydrates and calories when combined with a soda or juice mixer. But how much does an average American drink?

Health Benefits  

Health Benefits  


A glass of beer
  • It can lower the risks of heart diseases. Studies show that moderate beer consumption can make you less likely to suffer from heart disease. The suggested moderate amount can be up to 330ml, approximately one drink of a can of beer for women and up to 2 cans for men [1].
  • It can help strengthen your bones. It can reduce the risk of osteoporosis when moderately consumed because of its substantial source of bone-building silicon. And it also has healthy antioxidants that are beneficial in bone loss. 
  • It may reduce inflammation in the body. Some brands have polyphenol called flavonoids, which fight inflammation and swelling in the body.


A glass of whiskey
  • It aids digestion. Since whiskey is a liquor, it stimulates your digestive enzymes, breaking proteins down. Whiskey aids digestion, helps you lose weight, and reduces cholesterol levels. 
  • It helps in cancer prevention. Whiskey is high in antioxidants, ellagic acid, that can kill cancer cells and decrease the growth of tumors [2].
  • It might prevent blood clots. Whiskey is also recognized as a blood thinner that causes the growth of good cholesterol, which reduces unnecessary body fat and blood clots inside our vessels. But is whiskey good for high blood pressure?

Potential Health Risks 

Potential Health Risks 


  • It can cause weight gain. Constant consumption can increase your appetite, accumulating fat in the belly and producing beer belly. 
  • It can cause several types of cancer. It has carcinogens that can cause cancer, such as liver, breast, mouth, and throat cancer if consumed excessively. 
  • It can cause depression. Drinking beer may damage your brain, especially if you consume a lot. You’re more likely to make an irrational act or decision, which may lead to regret and depression.


Whiskey Cocktail
  • It can cause heart health problems. Heart benefits from whiskey come with light amounts. On the contrary, it can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease if consumed heavily.
  • It might damage the liver. The liver cuts down alcohol in the body, so high amounts of hard liquor can cause fatty deposits, which can cause liver failure.

Factors To Consider

Factors To Consider

Alcohol & Sugar Content

Generally, beer has about 5% ABV, while whiskey has around 40%.  

1.5oz of whiskey has 0g of sugar in one drink, while 12oz of light beer has 3g.

Beer or red wine has higher sugar than whiskey.

So, drink a glass of whiskey if you want fewer additives. But how much sugar is in whiskey?


Beer Cocktail

1oz of beer has 13 calories, while whiskey has 64 calories per 1oz. Whiskey has more calories than beer and red wine when compared per volume.

However, they have different standards of serving. 

For beer, it’s 12oz, while it’s 1.5oz for whiskey. With that, you can cut excess calories when you drink whiskey because it has fewer calories when compared to a normal serving amount. 

Read: Number of Calories in a Shot of Bourbon


Both have vitamins, but beer contains B vitamins and more minerals.

In contrast, whiskey has fewer carbohydrates, less sodium, and almost zero sugar content, making it a healthy choice. But is whiskey acidic?


Does beer make you gain weight faster than whiskey?

Yes, beer can make you gain weight faster than whiskey, even if the same amount is consumed.

That’s because its sugar content is higher, which can be an issue for weight loss goals. But how long does beer last in the fridge?

Does whiskey give more hangover than beer?

Yes, whiskey can give more hangovers than beer because it has a higher amount of alcohol.

Hangovers start when the liquor in our blood flow decreases and reaches its maximum when it reaches zero.

So, the more you consume alcohol, the longer the hangover will be.

In Summary

Based on studies, whiskey is healthier than beer (or red wine) because it has fewer calories. Although this drink is stronger, it has fewer carbohydrates, less sodium, and almost zero sugar content.

Alcoholic beverages such as tequila, whiskey, vodka, spiked seltzer, beer, or wine are good to consume occasionally, but every hard liquor has good and bad effects. 



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

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