Skip to content

4 Worst Alcoholic Beverages to Have Over 50

You can still enjoy your favorite drinks, just be mindful of what's in them.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Your diet and lifestyle as you age are important to maintaining your overall health, but it can be confusing to read so many different opinions on how to do this. For example, when it comes to drinking alcohol, people often debate whether or not it needs to be removed from your diet.

"Alcoholic beverages can be part of a healthy diet if consumed according to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines For Americans at one to two drinks per day max for women and men, respectively," says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND award-winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of The Family Immunity Cookbook. "Some beverages just have much more than one or two servings, and that's when it's time to avoid those drinks."

Read on to learn about some of the worst drinks to have over the age of 50, and for more healthy drinking tips check out 4 Worst Alcoholic Beverages for Weight Loss.

Beer with a high percent alcohol by volume

draft beer size

"According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines, one drink of beer is defined as 12 fluid ounces at around 5% ABV, like a Budweiser, for example," says Amidor. "However, once you start guzzling 12-fluid ounce beers with a percent alcohol by volume (ABV) of nine or higher, you're getting 1.8 or more drink equivalents in that same 12-fluid ounce bottle and can easily go over the limit (not to mention the calories are much higher too compared to your standard 5% ABV beer)."

Light beers are usually the way to go and often have 5% ABV or less. For example, you could try something like Michelob Ultra, Corona, Miller Light, or some lagers like Yuengling. Craft beers, especially IPAs and some darker ports or stouts are usually where you'll start to see the ABV go above a 7 or 8. These are what you want to limit if you can.

 15 Best Light Beers You've Never Heard Of (But Need to Try!)

Long Island Iced Tea

long island iced tea

A Long Island Iced Tea is sweet, boozy, and delicious, and it will certainly get you drunk quickly. But Amidor says the sugary calories can add up fast.

"With loads of alcohol and added sugar, a Long Island Iced Tea can weigh in at about 400 calories. Between the high amount of alcohol, which probably contains more than one or even two drinks, and the added sugar and calorie bomb, it's worth skipping," says Amidor.

For some perspective on calories coming from alcohol, "the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines say that 15% of your total calories can be allotted to alcohol, added sugar, or saturated fat," says Amidor.


margarita rocks cuervo

"Between the sugary mix and the alcohol content, a margarita can weigh in at around 250 calories for just a 6 fluid-ounce drink. Many margaritas are much larger than 6 fluid ounces though, which makes the added sugar, calories, and alcohol content go right up," says Amidor.

While more research still needs to be done on the topic of consuming added sugar and its relationship to aging, one recent report in GeroScience did conclude that there is a connection between too much added sugar and an increased risk of age-related diseases. In other words, it's always okay to treat yourself to your favorite drinks, but a habit of drinking a ton of sugary margaritas may impact your health as you age.

Hard Seltzers to Leave on Grocery Store Shelves

Alcohol mixed with energy drinks

energy drinks

It's pretty tempting to just order a quick vodka Red Bull at the bar. It's cheap and can give you a boost of energy you may be craving to get through the rest of the evening after a long day of work. However, along the same lines as a margarita, these drinks are loaded with sugar.

If you're craving a cheap mixed drink, maybe opt for something like a vodka soda or tequila soda instead. You'll still have the refreshing carbonation but with fewer calories from added sugar.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha