Absinthe nutrition, glycemic index, calories, and serving size
Complete nutrition and health benefits analysis for Absinthe
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 understand absinthe better, here, we will look into what nutritional compounds can be found in it and how it fits in different diets.
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 is equal to 1 fluid ounce or 27.8 grams.
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 fuel in the liver, much in the same way as fats and carbohydrates.
Protein and Fats
Absinthe is completely absent in both proteins and fats.
Absinthe contains no carbohydrates, unless it has been bottled with added sugars.
Absinthe drinks with added sugars are usually sold as absinthe-liqueur.
Absinthe contains very low levels of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3 and vitamin B6. It completely lacks the rest of the vitamins.
An absinthe drink contains some levels of magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sodium.
Absinthe is absent in selenium, magnesium and calcium.
Comparison with Other Foods
The question of which drink to order often comes up on a night put. 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 being 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 whisky’s 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 a low fat and a low carb diet, 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 consumption of alcohol 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).
As a keto diet does not have limitations on ethanol consumption, containing no carbohydrates, absinthe can be used during this diet.
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).
Alcohol consumption is not encouraged for the first two weeks, during the Induction phase. After this period, alcohol consumption is acceptable in moderation (4).
The Mediterranean diet includes daily moderate alcohol consumption (5).
Conversations about paleo and alcohol are still inconclusive. As absinthe contains no carbohydrates or gluten, it can be used during this diet, but only in moderation.
Vegan/ Vegetarian/ Pescetarian
As absinthe is made from herbs, it naturally fits into all three diets.
Alcohol consumption is not allowed during the first two phases of this diet, Attack and Cruse. Afterwards, it is strongly advised to keep alcohol intake levels within limits (6).
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.
Absinthe spirits do not contain carbohydrates, therefore it can be used during this diet.
However, absinthe can be sold with added sugar and called absinthe-liqueur, which should be avoided.
Moderate alcohol consumption has been researched to be associated with a lower level of inflammation. However, heavy drinking escalates the inflammation process (7).
Alcohol should be avoided on a BRAT diet (8).
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.
Being deficient in most nutrients, absinthe does not provide a significant level of other macronutrients, minerals or vitamins.
An absinthe drink with no added sugars, contains no carbohydrates, and therefore, has a glycemic index equal to 0.
Based on the potential renal acid load, the acidity of absinthe has been calculated to be 0.1, making it slightly acidic.
The PRAL value demonstrates how much acid or base the given food or beverage produces inside the organism.
For a long time, absinthe has been considered to have toxic properties. These properties are potentially due to a neurotoxic terpenoid compound called thujone (9). 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 (10). 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.
Absinthe originally gets its natural green colouring from herbs. However, this chlorophyll then can quickly turn into a lighter yellow colour, especially when exposed to sunlight. Because of this, many green absinthe drinks today are artificially coloured.
The most common artificial dyes used for absinthe are mixtures of tartrazine (E102), patent blue V (E131) and brilliant blue FCF (E133) (11).
In 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 consumed safely if used responsibly and within limits.
Important nutritional characteristics for Absinthe
Absinthe Glycemic index (GI)
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NEW NUTRITION FACTS LABEL
Serving Size ______________
Absinthe nutrition infographic
Mineral coverage chart
Mineral chart - relative view
Vitamin coverage chart
Vitamin chart - relative view
All nutrients for Absinthe per 100g
|Nutrient||DV%||In TOP % of foods||Value||Comparison|
|Calories||15%||30%||295kcal||6.3 times more than Orange|
|Iron||1%||96%||0.04mg||65 times less than Beef|
|Phosphorus||1%||96%||4mg||45.5 times less than Chicken meat|
|Potassium||0%||98%||2mg||73.5 times less than Cucumber|
|Sodium||0%||98%||1mg||490 times less than White Bread|
|Zinc||0%||95%||0.04mg||157.8 times less than Beef|
|Copper||2%||92%||0.02mg||6.8 times less than Shiitake|
|Vitamin B1||1%||95%||0.01mg||44.3 times less than Pea|
|Vitamin B2||0%||96%||0mg||32.5 times less than Avocado|
|Vitamin B3||0%||96%||0.01mg||736.4 times less than Turkey meat|
|Vitamin B6||0%||96%||0mg||119 times less than Oat|
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.