Carbs In Guinness and Your Other Favorite Beers

How many carbs are in Guinness? Surprisingly, less than you might think (and you’ll find a beer carb chart below). But first, the fact that you’re asking in the first place probably means you’re toeing the line between health conscious and enjoying the pleasures in life. Like a nice cold pint of beer, for example.

So let’s take a look at the relationship between beer, carbs, fitness and health so you have a very clear sense of where to let loose and where to rein things in.

Do Carbs Make You Gain Weight?

Basically, the short answer is “no”, and the long answer is “it depends”. Gaining weight is all about the calories you eat vs. the calories you burn. But the types of food you eat also matter. 

If you want to lose weight, it’s important to eat enough protein and get enough movement throughout the day. Increasing your resistance training and protein intake will help you build muscle, which in turn, burns fat. Maintaining lean muscle burns calories even when you’re at rest.

Once you’ve conquered increasing your daily protein intake and movement, you can start tracking your calories and macronutrients to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients for your goals.

Try our free macro calculator to get an idea of the calories and macronutrients you may need for your activity level and goals.

How many carbs do you need for your training style? This video breaks it down.

What About Keto?


Can you drink Guinness or other beer on keto? 

Keto is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that switches your bodies energy source from carbohydrates to fats and protein. It can be an effective way to control your calorie intake, but it can be hard to stick to – especially if you love a beer here and there.

The Keto diet’s goal is to put you into “ketosis” – where you’re officially burning fats as your energy source. Consuming too many carbs can knock you out of “ketosis” – making drinking beer or consuming other alcohol very difficult.

Check out our podcast on keto and intermittent fasting to learn more.

So How Many Carbs Are in Guinness?

Surprisingly, even though Guinness can feel like the beer equivalent to a bowl of oatmeal, it has less carbs than you might think. Take a look to see how many carbs are in a 12 oz serving of Guinness, as well as your other favorite beers:

Can I drink alcohol and still get shredded?

Yes, you can drink alcohol and still lose fat and gain muscle. But the quality of your food and drinks matters. Alcohol is considered empty calories, meaning these calories have no nutritional value. Therefore, carbs in Guinness and carbs from a sweet potato affect your body in very different ways. 

Additionally, drinking alcohol has other negative impacts on our ability to burn fat and function in all kinds of ways. From sleep to memory to energy, mood, performance, and hormones, alcohol touches every system in our body. For a deep dive on alcohol’s effects, I recommend Huberman Labs podcast, What Alcohol Does to Your Brain, Body & Health.

Ok, But I Really Like Guinness

I get it. In our quest for health and fitness, we don’t have to give up everything we love. It’s more a matter of learning what works overall when you want to improve your health and fitness. This knowledge will empower you to make the choices in your life that are right for you. 

We’re here to support you with resources to become a Thinking Athlete. Sign up for my free email newsletter to learn more about training and nutrition.

More Resources

Listen to Dr. Andrew Huberman discuss the physiological effects that drinking alcohol has on the brain and body at different levels of consumption and over time.

Additionally, our Look Good Move Well podcast episode covered Alcohol and Percentage Efforts in Training. Listen on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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