You try to be smart about what you put into your body. That’s probably one of the biggest reasons why you’re thinking about switching from smoking to vaping – you’re looking for a way to consume nicotine that’s satisfying but doesn’t require you to inhale smoke.
You’re not just concerned, however, about what you inhale. You’re also concerned about what you eat and drink – and you definitely want to know if the things that you consume can potentially have an effect on your weight.
So, before you buy your first vape kit, you’d like to know the answer to one question: do vapes have calories? More to the point, can vaping make you gain weight?
Some people have the belief that switching from smoking to vaping can actually help them lose weight. If that’s the case for you, we have some news that you might not like: There is no proof that vaping has a positive effect on diet.
With that being said, though, there is also no reason to believe that vaping will make you gain weight. Although vapes do have calories, your body can’t absorb those calories unless they enter your digestive system. Your lungs don’t play a role in the process of weight gain at all. Even if you could absorb calories through your lungs, the caloric content of vape juice is so negligible that it’s hardly worth mentioning.
So, does vaping have calories? Before you can understand the answer to that question, you need to learn about the ingredients of vape juice. That’s where we’ll begin.
How Many Calories Are in a Vape?
The way to calculate how many calories are in a vape is by learning about the caloric content of an e-liquid’s constituent components. A typical vape juice contains the following ingredients.
- A carrier blend consisting of vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (VG), usually in a ratio of about 50/50. The carrier blend generally comprises more than 90 percent of an e-liquid.
- Food-grade flavors. A flavoring agent is highly concentrated, so it requires a carrier liquid. The usual carriers for e-liquid flavors are VG and PG. Since those ingredients are in e-liquid anyway, flavors using VG or PG as bases are very easy to mix with vape juice. Alcohol-based flavors are also occasionally used in vape juice. The flavor concentration can vary in e-liquid but usually comprises no more than about 10 percent of the total blend.
- Vape juice may contain anywhere from 0.3 percent to 5 percent nicotine by volume – but in any case, it’s a tiny portion of the overall mixture.
Now that you know what a disposable vape or a bottle of vape juice contains, it’s time to answer your main question. You’re about to learn how many calories are in those substances, and that’ll help you determine how many calories are in a vape.
How Many Calories Are in Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol?
PG contains about 4 calories per gram, and VG contains about 4.32 calories per gram. The two compounds are in about the same weight range, with PG weighing 1.036 grams per ml and VG weighing 1.26 grams per ml. The fact that VG is a bit more calorically dense than PG is due to its slightly higher mass.
Suppose you filled a 2 ml vape tank with vape juice consisting entirely of vegetable glycerin and no other ingredients. In that case, the entire contents of the tank would have about 10.89 calories. Realistically, that’s about the most calories a vape can contain unless you have a larger vape tank.
How Many Calories Are in Vape Juice Flavors?
In any food flavoring product, the flavoring chemical comprises only a small portion of the mixture. As we mentioned above, food flavorings are extremely concentrated – so just like with vape juice, the carrier liquid is most of what’s in any flavoring compound. In the flavors used for vape juice, PG and VG are the most common carriers – so the addition of flavors generally doesn’t change the caloric content of vape juice in a measurable way.
Rarely, alcohol-based flavors are used in vape juice to enhance the sensation of throat hit. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram. Although alcohol is more calorically dense than VG or PG, it would be present in such a small amount that its impact on the e-liquid’s calorie count would be almost impossible to measure. Steeping e-liquid can encourage alcohol-based flavors to evaporate.
How Many Calories Are in Nicotine?
Nicotine does not contain a measurable number of calories.
A Vape Contains About 5 Calories per Milliliter
Based on what you’ve learned, you can conclude that a vape or a bottle of e-liquid contains about 5 calories per ml. The exact caloric content varies depending on the composition of the vape juice, but it will be somewhere in that range. So, if you use 2 ml of vape juice per day, you’re inhaling approximately 10 calories. That’s nothing compared to the rest of your caloric intake. There is no chance that the calories in a vape could ever have a meaningful impact on your diet, even if you spent the entire day blowing clouds across the room.
As you’re about to learn, though, the calories in e-liquid wouldn’t matter even if vape juice had many times the number of calories that it does.
Does Your Body Absorb Calories from Vaping?
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the fact that vapes have calories isn’t just unimportant because of e-liquid’s tiny caloric content – it’s also completely irrelevant because your lungs don’t absorb calories.
Your body only absorbs calories when food travels through your digestive system. That means the caloric content of e-liquid has no possibility of causing weight gain. Although it’s possible that a small amount of the vapor condenses in your mouth and is then swallowed, the volume of e-liquid that you’d consume that way would be so tiny that measuring the caloric impact would be virtually impossible.
Can Vaping Make You Gain Weight?
No. You can’t gain weight from the calories in vape juice. The caloric content that you’d consume through normal vaping amounts to almost nothing compared to the calories that you get from the foods you eat – and it’s also irrelevant because you can’t absorb calories through your lungs.
Can Vaping Make You Lose Weight?
There is no reason to believe that vaping will make you lose weight unless you’re doing it instead of eating. If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. There are two ways to do that: You can monitor your food and beverage intake more carefully, or you can adopt a more active lifestyle. Vaping doesn’t do either of those things – so on its own, vaping will not make you lose weight.
What if you vape instead of eating a snack? You might experience positive results if you do that. One of the reasons why people love sweet e-liquids so much is because a good vape juice can simulate the taste of almost any fruit, candy or beverage. Sometimes, people find it easier to eat less candy because they decide that vaping is equally satisfying. That’s a change in habits, so vaping could play an indirect role in weight loss in that case. You should not assume that switching from smoking to vaping will help you lose weight, though, unless making the switch also coincides with other changes to your lifestyle.
Final Thoughts: Vaping Isn’t Bad for Weight Loss, but It May Not Help Either
As you’ve learned from reading this article, there really isn’t much of a story at all when it comes to the discussion of how many calories there are in vapes. The caloric content of e-liquid is miniscule. There’s no way for vaping to impact your diet even you consumed an extremely high volume of vape juice every day. Regardless of how much e-liquid you use, vaping doesn’t have an impact on your caloric intake at all because you can’t absorb the calories through your lungs. Since calories can’t be absorbed by inhalation, there is no chance that the caloric content of vape juice will cause you to gain weight.
At the same time, though, switching from smoking to vaping isn’t a weight loss solution. If you start vaping because you’re hoping that it will give you a slim waistline, that’s the wrong reason to make the switch. Vaping doesn’t do anything to decrease your caloric intake or to increase the number of calories you burn.
The best way to lose weight is by staying away from snacks, candies and drinks that contain empty calories. If vaping keeps your sweet tooth satisfied and helps you avoid those things, it’s possible that weight loss will occur. Unless you change something else about your lifestyle, though, vaping will have no effect on your diet – either positive or negative.