Weighing in: Is White Claw really above the law?

If you’re not familiar with White Claw, it’s the newest craze to hit the streets. White Claw is a hard, or “spiked” seltzer drink, composed of seltzer water, a gluten-free alcohol base, and a hint of fruit flavor. Flavors range from “Pure” to more basic flavors like “Natural Lime”, and also to tropical flavors like “Mango”. White Claw was introduced in 2016 as a new “low-calorie” drinking option, but didn’t gain popularity until this year thanks to a viral online presence. Comedian Trevor Wallace released a Youtube parody video where he plays a fratty, unemployed kid named ‘Kyle’, who just cant seem to express how much he loves White Claw enough. We can thank this clip for giving us the term, “Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws”. Give the world a catch phrase and the internet takes over!

The Claw was first touted as a “girl’s drink”, but now thanks to parody clips and memes, White Claw is undoubtedly the coolest “bro-drink” of the summer. As a health coach, I wanted to dive deeper into these “low-calorie” claims and compare them to other options.

White Claw is a 12oz carbonated beverage weighing in at 100 calories per can. It contains 2g of carbs and is 5% alcohol by volume. Only 100 calories and low-carb?! HECK YES! But wait…

Lets compare our options:

Beer:

Michelob Ultra: 12oz serving, 95 cals, 2.6g carbs, 4.2% ABV

Coors Light: 12oz serving, 102 cals, 5g carbs, 4.2% ABV

Lagunitas IPA: 12oz serving, 180 cals, 13g carbs, 6.2% ABV

Wine:

White & Rosé: 5oz serving, 120 cals, 4-5g carbs, 12.5-13.5% ABV

Red: 5oz serving, 125 cals, 4g carbs, 13.5-14.5% ABV

Sparkling: 4oz serving, 89 cals, 1.6g carbs, 12.5-13.5% ABV

Liquor:

Clear (Vodka, Tequila, Gin): 1oz serving, 64 cals, 0g carbs, 35-40% ABV

Dark (Whiskey, Scotch, Bourbon): 1oz serving, 70-80 cals, 0g carbs, 40-45% ABV

So as you can see, hard seltzer stacks up against light beers with its low calories and low alcohol content. It also slightly resembles beer in that its carbonated and leaves you feeling full, with the main difference being that its gluten-free (Yay, celiac sufferers!). So is White Claw for you?!

The real question you’ll want to ask yourself is this: “What is my main goal here?” If your main goal is to just relax while drinking something refreshing for hours without catching much of a buzz, White Claw is for you. If your goal is to catch a buzz while still keeping your calories low, wine may actually be a better choice. Liquor is also a better option here, depending on your choice of mixer (sodas and fruit juices/liquors will increase calories significantly).

Lets do the Math:

3 White Claws = 300 calories, 6g carbs, 15% ABV combined. The ABV is just slightly over that of wine, but with about 180 extra calories and an extra carb or two. In that case, I’d personally throw some regular seltzer in my wine and make a spritzer!

Compared to liquor, you’d have to drink 8 Claws, or 800 calories, to feel the same way a 64 calorie shot of tequila will make you feel. Ouch.

Ultimately, White Claw is just another drinking option to add to our list of summertime activities. Comparatively, it isn’t any healthier than the options we already had, but it just may be a little more refreshing (and cooler since there’s NO LAWS!) As always, drink responsibly and stay aware of how much you’re consuming! Don’t drink and drive and ALWAYS abide by the laws, even if the Claw swears you don’t have to. 😉

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