How Many Calories Are In Cider?

July 27, 2021

It’s always a good idea to be clued up about your diet and content of your food and drink. So we’ve put together a couple of blog posts all about calories in cider with everything that you need to know!
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So – how many calories are in cider?

Well, that’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer! There are 3 main things that add to the calories found in cider. They are:

ABV – yes, the alcohol content of the cider will change the number of calories! Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, so a fair number of the calories in cider will come from the alcohol content. An average cider will be 4-5% ABV, although there are some that can go up to 8%. So, if you’re looking for a cider that has low alcohol content, this will usually mean that the calories are a bit lower too!

Sugar – sugar can be found in cider because it is made from fermented apples and other fruits that are full of natural sugars. However, the amount of sugar found in a cider can vary wildly, ranging from 6g to nearly 50g! If a cider contains more than just apples (think berries, kiwi, pineapple and other delicious flavours), it will also contain more sugars. It makes sense – there are more fruits, so there will also be more sugar.

Occasionally cider makers also add a bit of sugar at the end of the fermenting process if they want the cider to be really sweet. So you can understand why sugar makes up a lot of the calories found in cider.

Carbohydrates – finally, we need to talk about the carbohydrates found in cider. Apples and other fruits found in cider naturally contain carbohydrates. As the cider ferments over time, most of them are converted into alcohol, but there will usually be a few non-fermentable carbohydrates in your drink.

These won’t add too many calories, as carbohydrates are four calories per gram, but they will still add up!


Sweet versus dry ciders 

However, you can’t just add these factors up to figure out how many calories there are in a cider! Calories will vary depending if the cider is sweet or dry. Sweet ciders are slowly fermented, and then repeatedly moved to new containers to strain the yeast that feeds on the sugars. This means that more of the sugars will remain in the final product!

Dryer ciders, on the other hand, allow the yeast to eat away at the majority of the cider’s sugars. So you’ll end up with a cider that has fewer sugars, but this doesn’t mean that they will have fewer calories than sweet ciders! Dry ciders usually have a higher alcohol content, so they’ll have around the same calorie content as sweet ciders, but these calories will come from different things.


Our recommendations

If you’re looking for a lower calorie cider, then you should choose:

  • Low ABV (under 4%)
  • A cider that only uses fermented apples, with no other fruit flavourings
  • Sweet or dry, though you might have a preference on where the calories come from

But even if you end up drinking a cider that has a higher alcohol content or has a bit more sugar, that’s totally fine! Drinking in moderation can absolutely work with a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

If you’d like to know more about calories in drinks, we’ve written a blog post about calories in cider versus beer. It might surprise you!

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