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Is Soju Healthy and Should You Even Drink It?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Are you going to drink Soju and wonder if it’s healthy?

Well, considering it’s an alcoholic beverage, it’s not as healthy as you might think.

Soju is a distilled spirit made from rice, wheat, or sweet potatoes.

It originated in Korea and is the country’s most popular liquor. It’s typically clear and has a neutral flavor, although it can also be found in fruit-flavored varieties.

It ranges in alcohol content from about 15% to 25%, making it unhealthy for most people.

But what about the calories, and if you must drink it, how many calories does it have and what are the science-based facts.

Let’s get started.

In short: Soju is healthy for you in moderation. The health benefits come from the fact that it’s made from rice, which is a whole grain, and that it’s a low-calorie alcohol. A standard shot of Soju has about 60 calories, which is fewer than vodka, gin, or whiskey.

How Many Calories Are in Soju?

Depending on the bottle there is about 540 calories in a bottle of Soju .

However, most people don’t drink it daily, so if you look at how healthy it is. It’s actually not that bad, it’s almost like eating a bag of chips or something.

In moderation, Soju is fine for you. The calories aren’t that bad, if you don’t drink too much of it.

The only reason why you should be worried is if you drink more than a bottle a day.

That’s when you should take serious consideration on whether or not you’re going to continue drinking it.

Other than that, Soju is actually healthy for you.

If you’re on a strict diet, then it might be better to avoid eating fatty foods like pork or beef and go for something leaner like chicken or fish.

But what I did back in the days, when I went on a diet is to skip all the fatty foods.

Just drinking Soju on the weekends, gave my life some balance and still allowed me to enjoy food.

I’m not saying that you should do the same thing, but if you want to enjoy Soju once in a while, then it might be the better option out there.

Even though some people do have a very fast metabolism, it’s not for everyone.

Soju and Nutrition Facts

If you look at the nutritional based facts, then it only contains 400 calories per serving, which isn’t a lot for Soju.

This means that drinking one bottle a week can’t do too much harm. Even if you break it down into multiple shots, it’ll probably be about 200 calories in total.

Unless you’re going all out and drinking more than one bottle.

Then it will be a problem since it can easily add up to 1600 calories in total. This is more than an average meal, which also means that you’ll gain a lot of weight very fast.

Some people even think that if you drink Soju straight out of the bottle, it’ll be less bad. However, this isn’t the case at all.

Another drink that is “healthier” than Soju is beer.

Beer only contains about 150 calories in total, this is when you look at 365 g, also a can.

But in 750 ml of beer, there are about 320 calories, which is still less than a bottle of Soju. The only caveat is that beer is less strong, which most people don’t like drinking.

How Many Shots of Soju to Get Drunk?

On average you need about 3-5 shots of Soju to get drunk. Depending on your weight, alcohol tolerance, and how much you’ve eaten that day.

It’s best to have some food in your stomach before drinking Soju, this will help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.

If you want to get drunk faster, then you can either drink more or Soju’s that contain more alcohol. There are many different Soju drinks like:

  • Joeun Day Color Series (13.5% alcohol)
  • Chumchurum (14% alcohol)
  • Won Soju (22% alcohol)

Won Soju is Jay Park’s latest drink and it’s pretty strong. It’s almost like hard liquor and I personally really like it. Since it’s still pretty new, it’s by far the best Soju when you look at the premium market.

As you can see, the higher the alcohol percentage, the faster you’ll get drunk.

Is Soju Popular in China or Japan?

Yes, Soju is popular in both China and Japan. However, it’s the most popular in Korea.

Both China and Japan are quite heavy drinkers, but when it comes to Korea. South Korea is known to be one of the heaviest drinkers in the world.

In a study, it was shown that South Korea has the highest consumption of alcohol. Out of every Asian country, South Korea drinks the most.

With that being said, Soju is quite popular in all three countries. It’s just that it’s more popular in Korea because of the culture and the way they drink it.

Why Do People Even Drink Soju?

Drinking Soju in Korea gives you a very different feeling than what you get from other alcoholic drinks.

It’s a unique experience and one that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Soju is also very cheap, which makes it affordable for everyone to drink. A bottle of Soju costs around $2-4, which is very cheap compared to other alcoholic drinks.

Other countries charge $2-$5 for one glass of beer or a shot of whiskey, which makes Soju one of the most affordable alcoholic beverages to drink.

Even if you’re not drinking a lot, it’s still better than other drinks.

It’s not too sweet or sour, which makes it easy to drink. And the best part?

You can easily mix Soju with other drinks like Yakult, Sprite, or even beer.

There are many different ways to drink Soju, which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular.


All in all, Soju isn’t that bad for you. As long as you don’t drink more than one bottle a week. It’s actually pretty healthy and contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that are good for your body.

The only thing you should be worried about is the amount of alcohol that you’re consuming.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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