Tonic Water Calories

Leena Palande Feb 9, 2019
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Tonic water, also known as Indian tonic water, is nothing but a carbonated soft drink flavored with quinine. We provide information on tonic water calories and ingredients.
Tonic water has a distinctive bitter taste due to the presence of quinine in it. Earlier, quinine was added to the drink to prevent malaria, as it was solely meant for consumption in tropical areas of South Asia and Africa where the disease is endemic.
Today's popular mixed drink, gin and tonic has its origin in British colonial India. There, the British population started adding the medicinal quinine tonic to gin to make it more palatable. The one available today is quite different.


Originally, this product was treated as medicinal water, which contained only carbonated water and a large amount of quinine. But these days, the drink contains a small amount of quinine, since it is loved mostly for its flavor. So it is less bitter and is mostly sweetened using corn syrup or sugar.
Diet tonic water may contain artificial sweeteners. Those who love the bitter taste, still prefer the traditionally prepared drink. In U.S.A., the allowed quinine content in this water by Food and Drug Administration is 83 parts per million (83 mg per liter if calculated by mass), which is 0.25% to 0.50% of the concentration used in the therapeutic tonic.

Nutrition Facts and Calories

Here are the components of 16 fluid ounces of carbonated tonic water along with their quantities:
  • Calories - 166 kcal
  • Total Sugars - 42.94 g
  • Ash - 0.49 g
  • Carbohydrates - 42.94 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0 g
  • Protein - 0 g
  • Total Fat - 0 g
  • Calcium - 5 mg
  • Iron - 0.05 mg
  • Sodium - 59 mg
  • Zinc - 0.49 mg
  • Copper - 0.029 mg
  • Manganese - 0.005 mg
  • Magnesium - 0 mg
  • Phosphorous - 0 mg
  • Potassium - 0 mg
  • Selenium - 0 mg

Calories in Tonic Water and Vodka

One ounce of tonic water contains 10 calories while one shot of vodka (one ounce) contains 64 calories. A jigger (1.5 ounces) contains 95 calories approximately. If you choose flavored vodka, the number of calories will increase obviously. While making cocktails, sugary juices, or sugary liqueur are added which double the vodka shot calories.
A vodka cocktail like a screwdriver, with 6 ounces of orange juice in one shot will contain 84 calories. Moreover, if you add cranberry juice to one shot of vodka, the vodka calories rise to 140. It is safe to conclude that tonic water and gin is one of the lowest calorie alcoholic drinks.
The characteristic property of this drink is that it fluoresces under ultraviolet light, owing to the presence of quinine. It is the sensitivity of quinine to ultraviolet light (UV), because of which it visibly fluoresces in direct sunlight.
It is said that tonic water provides relief for night cramps. Of course, drinking a small quantity is recommended for this. But as using quinine is risky, the United States Food and Drug Administration has declared that it should not be used to prevent or treat leg cramps.
Tonic water is generally preferred as a drink mixer for cocktails, especially those made with gin or vodka, for instance, a gin and tonic. The calories don't matter, as they are negligible. When lemon or lime flavor is added to it, it is known as bitter lemon or bitter lime, respectively.
Such soft drinks are more popular in Europe than in the United States. You may include the product in your weight loss diet as well, because it is a low calorie drink. It can help you achieve your goal fast.
Disclaimer: This write-up is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.