Ethanol as an energy source in humans: Comparison with dextrose-containing beverages

Richard W. Foltin, Thomas H. Kelly, Marian W. Fischman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Six subjects participated in a residential study assessing the effects of consuming beverages containing energy derived from ethanol or dextrose on total energy and macronutrient intake. On certain days, subjects had to consume four beverages containing a total of 2400 or 4600 kJ, equivalent to 22% and 42% of energy intake under conditions in which no-beverages were required. Each of four conditions (2400 kJ ethanol, dextrose; 4600 kJ ethanol, dextrose), and a nobeverage control condition was examined for 2 days. Subjects compensated for 7% of the energy contained in the beverages such that total intake increased by 13% under the 2400 kJ conditions and 27% under the 4600 kJ conditions. There was no differential effect of ethanol content on energy intake. Cumulative intake curves indicated that caloric compensation was minimal following the consumption of beverages in the evening. While all of the beverage conditions significantly decreased energy intake derived from carbohydrate, the proportion of energy derived from fat, carbohydrate, and protein without the energy content of the beverages was essentially unaffected by dextrose- or ethanol-containing beverages. These results suggest that the effects of ethanol on intake of other foods can be accounted for by the energy content of ethanol as a beverage and by ethanol consumption in the evening when there is little time for daily caloric compensation, rather than by the pharmacological effects of ethanol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-110
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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