Wine coolers are fruity alcoholic beverages that consist of a base of red or white wine (or malt liquor), with added juices, flavorings and sugar. A wine cooler generally contains between 4 percent and 6 percent alcohol by volume, about as much as a beer. When consumed, these types of beverages have various effects on the body.
The most obvious effect of drinking any alcoholic beverage is intoxication. Wine coolers generally come in cans or bottles, usually in 8 to 12 ounce, single-serving portions. Depending on your gender and weight, a few wine coolers can put you over the legal limit. For example, a woman who weighs 140 pounds and consumes four wine coolers over a three hour period would have a BAC of 0.08, which would mean she would be unable to drive legally in most states.
Increased Blood Sugar
Some wine coolers contain almost 40 grams of sugar, which can spike your blood sugar. When you consume this much sugar, your insulin levels also rise. In addition to a sugar rush, you may also gain weight, as calories consumed when your insulin is elevated are more likely to get stored as fat.
Everyone knows that the morning after a night spent drinking too many wine coolers can lead to a hangover. And while a hangover may be a cause of an upset stomach, other factors are at play as well. The high sugar content combined with the high levels of acidic fruit juices can cause heartburn or a sour stomach.
Wine coolers are, for the most part, empty calories. Generally clocking in around 150 calories, wine coolers have little to no vitamin content, despite the use of fruit juices in some recipes. There is usually a trace amount of sodium, around 1 percent. If the wine cooler is red wine based, it may contain trace amounts of resveratrol, a chemical compound found in grapes that has health benefits that can extend life. However, the amounts of resveratrol found in a wine cooler are not high, so you’d be better off drinking regular red wine or taking dietary supplements that contain this compound.
References and ResourcesModeration Management: Introduction to the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Tables
Diet Facts: Wine Cooler Nutrition Facts
Wine Spectator: The Provocative Promise of Resveratrol; Jacob Gaffney; January 2007