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Absinthe nutrition, glycemic index, calories, net carbs & more

Alcoholic beverage, distilled, all (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey) 100 proof
*all the values are displayed for the amount of 100 grams
Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan by Victoria Mazmanyan | Last updated on March 07, 2021
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Absinthe

Summary

Absinthe is high in calories but very low in nutrients, containing no carbohydrates, fats, or proteins.

Excessive but not moderate absinthe consumption can lead to weight gain.

Despite the misbeliefs, absinthe drinks sold today can be safely consumed if used responsibly and within limits.

Introduction

Absinthe, also known as The Green Fairy, is a highly alcoholic, distilled drink made from various herbs, mainly grande wormwood, green anise, and sweet fennel. This drink has a long and curious history, filled with mysteries. To better understand absinthe, we will look into what nutritional compounds can be found in it and how it fits in different diets.

Nutrition

Naturally, depending on the level of alcohol and added ingredients, absinthe’s nutritional values can vary. 

The nutritional facts below are presented for a distilled, 100 proof alcoholic beverage.

Macronutrients and Calories

Absinthe can be bottled at different alcohol percentages and distilled with water before drinking. The drink we are discussing contains 57.5% water and 42.5% ethyl alcohol.

One serving size of an absinthe drink equals 1 fluid ounce or 27.8 grams.

Macronutrients chart

58% 43%
Protein:
Daily Value: 0%
0 g of 50 g
0%
Fats:
Daily Value: 0%
0 g of 65 g
0%
Carbs:
Daily Value: 0%
0 g of 300 g
0%
Water:
Daily Value: 3%
57.5 g of 2,000 g
3%
Other:
42.5 g

Calories

Even though absinthe is low in nutrients, 100g of an absinthe drink contains 295 calories. However, absinthe is not usually consumed in such large quantities. One serving size of absinthe contains 82 calories.

The reason for such a high caloric value in a beverage so low in macronutrients is ethanol. Ethanol can be utilized as a fuel in the liver, much in the same way as fats and carbohydrates.

Protein and Fats

Absinthe completely lacks both proteins and fats.

Carbohydrates

Absinthe contains no carbohydrates unless it has been bottled with added sugars.

Absinthe drinks with added sugars are usually sold as absinthe-liqueur.

Vitamins

Absinthe contains very low levels of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, and vitamin B6. It completely lacks the rest of the vitamins.

Minerals

An absinthe drink contains some levels of magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.

Absinthe is absent in selenium, magnesium, and calcium.

Mineral chart - relative view

Manganese
0.018 mg
TOP 79%
Copper
0.021 mg
TOP 92%
Zinc
0.04 mg
TOP 95%
Iron
0.04 mg
TOP 95%
Phosphorus
4 mg
TOP 96%
Sodium
1 mg
TOP 98%
Potassium
2 mg
TOP 98%
Selenium
0 µg
TOP 100%
Magnesium
0 mg
TOP 100%
Calcium
0 mg
TOP 100%

Comparison with Other Foods

The question of which drink to order often comes up on a night out. To get a better idea of how absinthe compares with some other popular alcoholic drinks, let’s look at the comparisons of their nutritional values.

Absinthe vs. Vodka

Absinthe and vodka, both distilled alcoholic beverages, have similar nutritional compositions. However, absinthe is higher in calories, as well as most vitamins and minerals.

For a more detailed comparison of these two beverages, you can look at our “Absinthe vs. Vodka” page - https://foodstruct.com/compare/absinthe-vs-vodka.

Absinthe vs. Whisky

The nutritional content of absinthe is not so different from that of whisky either. That being said, absinthe contains more calories when compared to whisky. Absinthe is also higher in most minerals, including sodium.

To further look into the nutritional differences of these two drinks, you can visit our “Absinthe vs. Whisky” page - https://foodstruct.com/compare/absinthe-vs-whisky.

Weight Loss & Diets

Absinthe, like most other alcoholic drinks, is a high-calorie beverage. Even though it can be used during low-fat and low-carb diets, it is not a good fit for a low-calorie diet.

Alcohol contains what is commonly referred to as “empty calories,” meaning it provides a moderate-to-high level of calories, with very few or no nutrients.

Overall, various studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption leads to an increased risk of weight gain and development of obesity, while light to moderate alcohol intake is not associated with weight gain (1).

Keto As a keto diet does not have limitations on ethanol consumption, containing no carbohydrates, absinthe can be used during this diet.
DASH Even though absinthe is very low in sodium, the DASH diet limits alcohol consumption to 2 drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women (2). Alcohol consumption has been positively correlated with an increased risk of hypertension (3).
Atkins Alcohol consumption is not encouraged for the first two weeks during the Induction phase. After this period, alcohol consumption is acceptable in moderation (4).
Mediterranean The Mediterranean diet includes daily moderate alcohol consumption (5).
Paleo Conversations about Paleo and alcohol are still inconclusive. Most sources advise avoiding alcohol during this diet (6).
Vegan/ Vegetarian/ Pescetarian As absinthe is made from herbs, it naturally fits into all three diets.
Dukan Alcohol consumption is not allowed during the first two phases of this diet, Attack and Cruise. Afterward, it is strongly advised to keep alcohol intake levels within limits (7).
Intermittent Fasting Like most other foods and beverages, you should refrain from alcohol during fasting periods but consume it in moderation during eating periods.
Low Fat & Low Calorie Absinthe contains no fats. At the same time, it does not fit into a low-calorie diet.
Low Carb

Absinthe spirits do not contain carbohydrates; therefore, they can be used during this diet. 

However, absinthe can be sold with added sugar and called absinthe-liqueur, which should be avoided.

Anti Inflammatory Moderate alcohol consumption has been researched to be associated with a lower level of inflammation. However, heavy drinking escalates the inflammation process (8). 
BRAT Alcohol should be avoided on a BRAT diet (9).

Daily Values

A one hundred gram serving of absinthe, equal to about four serving sizes of this drink, can make up 11% of the necessary daily value intake of calories.

The same amount of absinthe also provides 1% of the daily value of phosphorus. 

Absinthe does not provide a significant level of other macronutrients, minerals, or vitamins, being deficient in most nutrients.

Glycemic Index

An absinthe drink with no added sugars contains no carbohydrates, and therefore, has a glycemic index equal to 0.

Acidity

The potential renal acid load demonstrates how much acid or base the given food or beverage produces inside the organism.

Based on the PRAL value, the acidity of absinthe has been calculated to be 0.1, making it slightly acid-forming.

Toxic Compounds

For a long time, absinthe has been considered to have toxic properties. These properties are potentially due to a neurotoxic terpenoid compound called thujone (10). Thujyl alcohol is found in the essential oils of wormwood - one of the main ingredients of absinthe.

Thujone, in high doses, can cause convulsions resembling epilepsy (11). This same compound was responsible for the false belief that absinthe had hallucinogenic properties.

However, available versions of absinthe today contain such a low level of thujone content that it does not pose a threat to health.

Colorings

Absinthe originally gets its natural green coloring from herbs. However, this chlorophyll then can quickly turn into a light yellow color, especially when exposed to sunlight. Because of this, many green absinthe drinks today are artificially colored.

The most common artificial dyes used for absinthe are mixtures of tartrazine (E102), patent blue V (E131), and brilliant blue FCF (E133) (12).

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338356
  2. https://thedashdiet.net/what-is-the-dash-diet/#10dd
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6627946/
  4. https://uk.atkins.com/blog/can-you-drink-alcohol-on-a-low-carb-diet/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S021391111500237X
  6. Diet Review: Paleo Diet for Weight Loss
  7. Dukan Diet Update: Can You Drink Alcohol on the Dukan Diet
  8. https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/45/6/747/2499235
  9. https://www.oregonclinic.com/diets-BRAT
  10. https://www.pnas.org/content/97/8/3826
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1127080/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1475830/
Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: March 07, 2021

Important nutritional characteristics for Absinthe

Absinthe
Glycemic index ⓘ Source:
The food is assumed to have 0 or no glycemic index bason on the fact that it has no carbs and that foods with 0 carbs have no glycemic index
Check out our Glycemic index chart page for the full list.
0 (low)
Insulin index ⓘ
N/A
Calories
295
Net Carbs ⓘ Net Carbs = Total Carbohydrates – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols
0 grams
Serving Size ⓘ Serving sizes are taken from FDA's Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs)
1 fl oz (27.8 grams)
Acidity (Based on PRAL) ⓘ PRAL (Potential renal acid load) is calculated using a formula. On the PRAL scale the higher the positive value, the more is the acidifying effect on the body. The lower the negative value, the higher the alkalinity of the food. 0 is neutral.
0.1 (acidic)
70% Calories
64% Alcohol
25% Net carbs
21% Manganese
8% Copper
Explanation: The given food contains more Calories than 70% of foods. Note that this food itself is richer in Calories than it is in any other nutrient. Similarly, it is relatively rich in Alcohol, Net carbs, Manganese, and Copper.

Absinthe Glycemic index (GI)

Source:
The food is assumed to have 0 or no glycemic index bason on the fact that it has no carbs and that foods with 0 carbs have no glycemic index
Check out our Glycemic index chart page for the full list.
0

Mineral coverage chart

Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium Choline 0% 2% 0% 2% 1% 1% 2% 7% 3% 0% 0%
Calcium: 0 mg of 1,000 mg 0%
Iron: 0.04 mg of 8 mg 1%
Magnesium: 0 mg of 420 mg 0%
Phosphorus: 4 mg of 700 mg 1%
Potassium: 2 mg of 3,400 mg 0%
Sodium: 1 mg of 2,300 mg 0%
Zinc: 0.04 mg of 11 mg 0%
Copper: 0.021 mg of 1 mg 2%
Manganese: 0.018 mg of 2 mg 1%
Selenium: 0 µg of 55 µg 0%
Choline: 0 mg of 550 mg 0%

Vitamin coverage chart

Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 1% 1% 0% 1% 0% 0% 0%
Vitamin A: 0 IU of 5,000 IU 0%
Vitamin E : 0 mg of 15 mg 0%
Vitamin D: 0 µg of 10 µg 0%
Vitamin C: 0 mg of 90 mg 0%
Vitamin B1: 0.006 mg of 1 mg 1%
Vitamin B2: 0.004 mg of 1 mg 0%
Vitamin B3: 0.013 mg of 16 mg 0%
Vitamin B5: 0 mg of 5 mg 0%
Vitamin B6: 0.001 mg of 1 mg 0%
Folate: 0 µg of 400 µg 0%
Vitamin B12: 0 µg of 2 µg 0%
Vitamin K: 0 µg of 120 µg 0%

Vitamin chart - relative view

Vitamin B1
0.006 mg
TOP 95%
Vitamin B2
0.004 mg
TOP 96%
Vitamin B6
0.001 mg
TOP 96%
Vitamin B3
0.013 mg
TOP 96%
Vitamin B12
0 µg
TOP 100%
Folate
0 µg
TOP 100%
Vitamin B5
0 mg
TOP 100%
Vitamin C
0 mg
TOP 100%
Vitamin A
0 IU
TOP 100%

All nutrients for Absinthe per 100g

Nutrient DV% In TOP % of foods Value Comparison
Net carbs N/A 75% 0g N/A Chocolate
Protein 0% 100% 0g N/A Broccoli
Fats 0% 100% 0g N/A Cheese
Carbs 0% 100% 0g N/A Rice
Calories 15% 30% 295kcal 6.3 times more than Orange Orange
Fiber 0% 100% 0g N/A Orange
Calcium 0% 100% 0mg N/A Milk
Iron 1% 95% 0.04mg 65 times less than Beef Beef
Magnesium 0% 100% 0mg N/A Almond
Phosphorus 1% 96% 4mg 45.5 times less than Chicken meat Chicken meat
Potassium 0% 98% 2mg 73.5 times less than Cucumber Cucumber
Sodium 0% 98% 1mg 490 times less than White Bread White Bread
Zinc 0% 95% 0.04mg 157.8 times less than Beef Beef
Copper 2% 92% 0.02mg 6.8 times less than Shiitake Shiitake
Vitamin A 0% 100% 0IU N/A Carrot
Vitamin C 0% 100% 0mg N/A Lemon
Vitamin B1 1% 95% 0.01mg 44.3 times less than Pea Pea
Vitamin B2 0% 96% 0mg 32.5 times less than Avocado Avocado
Vitamin B3 0% 96% 0.01mg 736.4 times less than Turkey meat Turkey meat
Vitamin B5 0% 100% 0mg N/A Sunflower seed
Vitamin B6 0% 96% 0mg 119 times less than Oat Oat
Folate 0% 100% 0µg N/A Brussels sprout
Vitamin B12 0% 100% 0µg N/A Pork
Tryptophan 0% 100% 0mg N/A Chicken meat
Threonine 0% 100% 0mg N/A Beef
Isoleucine 0% 100% 0mg N/A Salmon
Leucine 0% 100% 0mg N/A Tuna
Lysine 0% 100% 0mg N/A Tofu
Methionine 0% 100% 0mg N/A Quinoa
Phenylalanine 0% 100% 0mg N/A Egg
Valine 0% 100% 0mg N/A Soybean
Histidine 0% 100% 0mg N/A Turkey meat
Cholesterol 0% 100% 0mg N/A Egg
Trans Fat N/A 100% 0g N/A Margarine
Saturated Fat 0% 100% 0g N/A Beef
Monounsaturated Fat N/A 100% 0g N/A Avocado
Polyunsaturated fat N/A 100% 0g N/A Walnut

Check out similar food or compare with current

NUTRITION FACTS LABEL

Nutrition Facts
___servings per container
Serving Size ______________
Amount Per 100g
Calories 295
% Daily Value*
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 1mg
0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
Total Sugars g
Includes ? g Added Sugars
Protein 0g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%

Calcium 0mg 0%

Iron 0mg 0%

Potassium 2mg 0%

*
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Health checks

Low in Cholesterol
ok
 ⓘ Dietary cholesterol is not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in healthy individuals. However, dietary cholesterol is common in foods that are high in harmful saturated fats.
Source
No Trans Fats
ok
 ⓘ Trans fat consumption increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality by negatively affecting blood lipid levels.
Source
Low in Saturated Fats
ok
 ⓘ Saturated fat intake can raise total cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, leading to an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Dietary guidelines recommend limiting saturated fats to under 10% of calories a day.
Source
Low in Sodium
ok
 ⓘ Increased sodium consumption leads to elevated blood pressure.
Source
Low in Sugars
ok
 ⓘ While the consumption of moderate amounts of added sugars is not detrimental to health, an excessive intake can increase the risk of obesity, and therefore, diabetes.
Source

Absinthe nutrition infographic

Absinthe nutrition infographic
Infographic link

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article and glycemic index text the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173664/nutrients

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.