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What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Hard Seltzer

Drinking these low-calorie beverages can result in some good (and not-so-good) side effects.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

If you are a seltzer water fan and you enjoy the occasional cocktail, then you have surely discovered the magic that is hard seltzer. A perfect combo of flavored seltzer water and alcohol, these pre-canned drinks have become a go-to accessory for boat days, beach days, and really any sunny day that calls for a refreshing drink.

Why the sudden rage? For one, these boozy beverages are lower in calories compared to traditional drinks like wine and many beers, in part because they are lower in alcohol content, too. And for folks who are not beer guzzlers or vino aficionados, these hard seltzers are a simple alternative. Many are made with no added sugars and most are free from any artificial ingredients, making them a great option for health-focused folks too. Bonus? They are canned instead of packaged in glass, meaning that they are easy to tote along to whichever locale you are planning on enjoying.

So, what can you expect when you enjoy hard seltzer? Here are five things that can happen to your body when you crack open and sip on a trendy hard seltzer. Read on, and for more on this popular beverage, don't miss We Tasted the Top 6 Spiked Seltzers, and This Was the Best!

You may lose weight.

woman on scale weight loss

If you are usually an IPA beer or mixed drink-lover, swapping your go-to drink out with a spiked seltzer may help you lose weight.

Why? Spiked seltzers typically have only 100 calories per serving. Compare that with a margarita or an IPA beer, which can have upwards of 200 calories, and drinking the seltzer is clearly the winner. (For more caloric comparisons, Here's How Many Calories Are in Your Favorite Alcoholic Drinks.)

Cutting calories can lead to weight loss, and swapping out more caloric drinks with a lighter spiked seltzer can result in the calorie deficit that your body needs.

You may experience teeth erosion.

Woman with a toothpain.

"Some spiked seltzers have a low pH, which can lead to tooth erosion," explains Jack Hirschfeld, DDS, a clinical instructor at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine's School of Dental Medicine. When a drink has a low pH, that means that it is more acidic.

Acidic foods and drinks, like certain spiked seltzers, can soften the enamel on your teeth. Over time, this can lead to tooth sensitivity and even tooth decay.

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You may gain weight.

young brunette woman standing on a scale

Hard seltzers, while being lower in calories compared to other alcoholic drinks, do not provide a significant amount of nutrition, and are therefore considered to be a source of empty calories. And while they are lower in calories, they are not calorie-free. (Related: 22 Foods That Are Never Worth The Empty Calories.)

If you are drinking too many hard seltzers, you may be loading your body up with too many calories from the alcohol, and therefore may notice your body putting on some unwanted pounds.

You may feel bloated and gassy.


When you drink a beverage with carbonation, like hard seltzer, you are literally drinking air pockets. And since you don't digest air, the bubbles need to leave your body somehow – enter via releasing flatulence or belching.

You may feel drunk.

Friends toasting at bar on a night out drinking alcohol

Even though spiked seltzers are typically lower in alcohol by volume than other pre-made cocktails, they still contain alcohol. And drinking too many of these deliciously bubbly drinks can make you feel drunk – especially if you are drinking on an empty stomach.

Alternating one can of spiked seltzer with a glass of water can help moderate the alcohol consumption while supporting healthy hydration. Speaking of overdoing it on the booze, you may want to read up on Strange Side Effects of Alcohol You've Never Heard Before, Says Science.

Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian, book author, and recipe developer who has been in practice for almost 20 years. Read more about Lauren