Can Topo Chico Give You A Beer Belly? Is it healthier than beer?

Hard Seltzers like the one of the market leaders, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, are a marketers dream. They come in all sorts of fun flavours and colours and even have practically no carbs or sugar. This means that their total calorie load per 12fl oz can is very low too, at 100kcal. If this enough to put on weight drinking them? Can Topo Chico give you a beer belly?

Can Topo Chico give you a beer belly?

opo Chico is a low calorie alcoholic drink with only 100kcal per 12fl oz. A standard 12fl oz beer has 153kcal so a Topo Chico Hard Seltzer has about 66% of the calories of beer. This means you would need to drink 50% more Topo Chicos than beers to get the same calorie load but you can still put on weight with a calorie surplus.

Why is it called a beer belly?

This isn’t rocket science. It gets called a beer belly as the more beer you drink the bigger your belly is! 

Although this is usually a bit multifactorial. The term berry belly is usually thrown at men of a certain age, drinking in a bar, with a bit too much fat around the waist. The extra fat is certainly contributed to from the beer but there is a lot of food and not much exercise adding into it too.

Why do you put on weight?

The equation for putting on weight is very simple. 

If you take in more calories than you burn, you put on weight. On average, for an adult male, if you have aa 500kcal surplus a day for a full week, 3500kcal, then you will put on a pound of fat.

To loose a pound of fat you need to have a total calorie deficit of 3500kcal.

All things being equal, if you drink a lot of alcohol one week compared to a previous one, you are at more risk of being in calorie surplus and gaining weight.

Why do alcoholic drinks make you put on weight?

So how does a liquid drink make you put on weight, it isn’t like it is a donut or a pizza.

The answer lies in just how calorie dense alcohol really is.

SubstanceKCal per gram
Calories per gram

Gram for gram, alcohol contains much more calories than sugar and carbs. 

There is a concept of a standard alcoholic drink.

The USDA and CDC have devised a list of “standard” alcoholic drinks. Each one contains the exact same amount of alcohol – 14g of alcohol (0.6 ounces).

Below is a list of the standard drinks, volumes and ABV that all give 14g of alcohol.

Drink and volumeAlcohol content
12fl oz Beer5%
5fl oz Wine12%
1.5fl oz Spirit (e.g vodka)40%
Standard drinks

Each of these drinks will have 98kcal (14 x 7) from alcohol alone before you add in any carbs and sugar.

If you are drinking an alcoholic drink, the trick is to minimise the extra discretionary calories that don’t come from the alcohol. That means reducing the carbs and sugar to as low as possible.

Step up the new breed of drinks, the hard seltzers…

How many calories are in Topo Chico Hard Seltzer?

All the standard Topo Chico 12fl oz cans has 100kcal in total. This is almost entirely made up of the calories coming from the alcohol as there is only an additional 2g of carbs per can adding any calories.

Per 12fl oz can
Alcohol by volume5%
of which sugars2g
Calories 100kcal
Topo Chico

How does Topo Chico Hard Seltzer compare to beer in calories?

The USDA say that the average alcoholic beer has 43kcal per 100ml which works out at 153kcal in a 12fl oz serving, this mirrors my own findings. 

I took a sample of 35 alcohol beers and found that the average calorie count was 43.2kcal per 100ml and 153.3 in a 12fl oz serving. 

A Topo Chico on the other hand comes in at an even 100kcal meaning it only have about 2/3rds the calories of a beer. 

The other way to look at it is you would need to drink 50% more Topo Chico s to get the same calorie intake as beers. For example, you would need to drink 15 Topo Chico s to have the same calorie intake as 10 beers.

How does Topo Chico Hard Seltzer compare to non alcoholic beer in calories?

From well over 100 different non alcoholic beers i have reviewed, i gathered all their nutritional data to work out the averages…

The average amount of calories in 100ml of non alcoholic beer is 22.6kcal. This works out at 80.1kcal in a 12fl oz measure.

This means that a non alcoholic beer only has 20% less calories than a Topo Chico on average, which takes some doing from Truly and the entire hard seltzer market.

You can see why they are growing in popularity exponentially.

Topo Chico vs a shot of vodka?

The USDA state a standard measure of vodka has 97 kcal per standard 1.5 fl oz shot. That equates to about 215kcal per 100ml of vodka. This is based on a 40% ABV vodka. 

Some vodka are 37.5%, others are export strength at 43.5%, these will have slightly more or less calories per serving.

Basically a Topo Chico is very nearly equal to a shot of vodka in terms of calories and it has the same amount of alcohol. For the extra flavour you are only having to drink in an extra 3kcal per can.

How many Topo Chico would you need to drink to put on 1 pound of fat?

To gain a pound of fat, the average adult male needs to have a calorie surplus of 3500kcal. Another rough measure is it would take a calorie deficit of about 7000kcal to lose 1kg

This means that you would need to drink 35 Topo Chicos to gain a pound of fat on average. 

Can you drink Truly on the keto diet?

The Ketogenic diet or Keto diet for short, is a low carb and high fat diet which can offer many health benefits.

The aim is to slash your carb intake and replace it with fats, this puts your body into a state called a ketotic state or ketosis, hence the name.

When you enter this state, your body becomes much more efficient at burning fat for energy and therefore you lose your stored fat easier.

The most popular version would be the SKD – Standard ketotic diet. Your nutrient breakdown would be 70% fats, 20% protein and only 10% carbs.

You can drink Topo Chico Hard Seltzer on the keto diet as it only has about 0.6g of carbs per 100ml, which is very low.

Alcohol can slow your metabolism and is calorie dense but the actual amount of carbs you will be drinking is very low.

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