How Fast Should You Drink A White Claw? Does it matter?

There is just some drinks you can drink faster than others, right? Some people sink a beer in seconds, others look at a bottle of wine and it’s gone but what about hard seltzers like White Claw? Is there any negative or even positive results of drinking one fast, how fast should you drink a White Claw?

How fast should you drink a White Claw?

There is no hard and fast rules on how quickly you should drink a White Claw. The faster you drink it the more issues you might face such as wind, reflux, headache, nausea and getting drunk quicker. As they have the same ABV as a beer you should drink White Claw in the same timeframe you would a beer.

We can explore some of the negative consequences of drinking a White Claw too fast. The negative effects are compounded the more White Claws you drink at an accelerated pace.

What is a White Claw?

White Claw is a hard seltzer.

Hard seltzers are basically an evolution of the ever popular seltzer water. You just carbonate plain water for a refreshing drink that has no carbs, calories or sugar. What’s not to like? 

Well, plenty of people don’t like the empty type taste of fizzy water.

The hard seltzer then adds a shot of bespoke spirit and a very light flavouring. The result is a drink with the same alcohol as a beer or glass of wine but not much more calories than a shot of vodka.

The flavouring is very low on carbs and sugar which can mean it isn’t very strong or think tasting, which again isn’t to everyones tastes.

What alcohol is in a White Claw?

Despite the common misconception, basically no (apart from Smirnoff) hard seltzer is based on vodka.

The alcoholic base in White Claw hard seltzers is a pure spirit which is five times distilled from corn. Corn is not an unusual base for a spirit but will initially make a pure and flavourless alcohol to mix with the seltzer flavours.

Topo Chico is based on agave and most of the others like Truly is from a sugarcane base, like a rum would be.

How much alcohol is in a White Claw?

White Claw (in the USA) has 5% ABV. That means it has 5% alcohol by volume. To understand what this means we can look at how much alcohol is in other standard drinks.

The USDA have devised a list of “standard” alcoholic drinks. Each one contains precisely the 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 Spirit40%
Standard Drinks

So as you can see, a standard beer is a 12fl oz and 5% alcohol by volume beer, which has the same alcohol as 5fl oz of 12% wine and a 1.5fl oz shot of 40% spirit.

How many beers equal a White Claw?

As White Claw has the same alcohol and size as a standard beer, 5% ABV and 12fl oz, it is the same as all the standard drinks in terms of alcohol content.

Can You Taste The Alcohol In White Claw?

You can tell a White Claw has some alcohol in it compared to standard flavoured water but the difference is not great. There is no alcohol burn in your throat and only a tiny “kick” from the alcohol as usually the flavour from a White Claw is not overpowering due to its low calories and carbs.

I have reviewed lots and lots of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks so read on for all my insights into the alcohol in a White Claw.

How many White Claws to get drunk?

The CDC states it takes the average 160lb adult male, 4 standard beers to get drunk. A standard beer is 12fl oz and 5% ABV which is the same as a White Claw. The 4 White Claws have to be drank over 1-2 hours. If you are a female or lighter then it will take less White Claws, if you are a significantly heavier male, it may take 5+ White Claws to get drunk.

My full article with all the math is here

If you cant really taste the alcohol in a White Claw and it only takes 4 to get drunk, there is a risk of you drinking them too quickly and ending up drunk before you know it.

Is a White Claw good for a beginner drinker?

The answer to this, rather unhelpfully is…. it depends.

If you are a beginner drinker and what to sample something alcoholic or what to drink something alcoholic with friends then a hard seltzer like a White Claw is a great option. This certainly applies if you are only wanting a few drinks. The problems come if, as a beginner drinker, you drink 4 or more.

As White Claws don’t really taste alcoholic, you can drink them easily and pretty quick. The above shows each White Claw is the same as a beer, a shot or a glass of wine and it only takes 4 White Claws to get drunk.

As a beginner, you may not know how to pace yourself, what starting to be drunk feels like or your alcohol tolerance. This means that there is a danger of getting too drunk or drunk quickly just because if seems like you are drinking a non alcoholic soft drink.

What happens if you drink a White Claw too fast?

So why might it be a bad idea to “skull” a White Claw. If you drink anything too fast there are repercussions but is there anything specific here?

Get too drunk

The obvious one is if you drink more than 1 very quickly then you run the risk of getting drunk quickly and before you realise it.

White Claws don’t really taste alcoholic but they have the same amount of alcohol as a beer so you have to be careful, especially if you aren’t used to drinking alcohol like a beginner. You might think you are just drinking a nice flavoured seltzer water but it does pack a punch.

Heartburn or reflux

Any carbonated drink will be slightly acidotic and combined with the alcohol, this can lead to some heartburn or reflux if you are susceptible.

If you drink a White Claw quickly, that is a lot of liquid sitting in your stomach at once which can potentially irritate it. If you drink it more slowly there is the chance for the stomach to empty itself easier.


All those bubbles you see in the glass, they will just bubble to the surface in your stomach and bloat you. At best you will have to burp them out, at worst they can cause some serious wind pains.

The same as the heartburn, if you drink a White Claw more slowly, there is less gas in your stomach at any one time and it can deal with it better.


The probably goes hand in hand with the ones above. Certainly any degree of heartburn, gas or bloating can cause some nausea.

Also, any bit load hitting the stomach can upset it and cause it to “reject” it.

So over how long should you drink a White Claw?

Unfortunately this is a “how long is a piece of string” conundrum. The answer is usually personal to you and your body.

What is clear tho, if you drink more than one White Claw quickly, the chances of a negative side effect go up exponentially the more you drink quickly. So you might knock one back in 2 minutes with no issue but if you have drank 3 in 10 minutes then you are likely to run into problems!

Happy drinking.

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