Rethink your drink

Creative Commons attribution license Adapted from Wellness Works Today newsletter

Posted June 1, 2012

There can be a lot to think about when you're trying to eat healthier. What’s good for you and what’s not, what to eat (and how much!), what not to eat … But do you consider what you drink? Believe it or not, Americans drink an average of 400 calories per day.

I just drank a small meal

It probably happens more often than I'd like to admit.

When I am sooo thirsty but totally unprepared (no water, no lo-cal drinks available) and my only option is a full-calorie beverage, I will definitely drink one until I'm quenched. 

And if I'm really thirsty, you can bet that I'll be gulping down more than just an 8-ounce serving size. Depending on the drink, I could easily consume 200 or more calories without thinking.

Yummy drink, why are you so high in calories?

Sugar is one culprit. Sodas and some bottled teas have loads of sugar—and as many calories as a dessert. Popular bottled waters with vitamins can be as sugary as a candy bar.

Or how about Dunkin' Donuts new Black Cocoa Creme coffee? I had that a couple weekends ago and fell in love. The iced coffee is like a caffeinated version of cookies and cream ice cream. YUM.

But before you get hooked on its deliciousness, know that the drink has 34 grams of sugarand that's before adding any additional sugar! (The American Heart Association recommends keeping your daily intake of sugar to 30 grams for women and 45 grams for men.)

What are you drinking?

Time to start making healthier choices for drinks. Look for lower-calorie options with less (or no!) sugar. Read the label and be sure to check the portion size. The best option is always water. Bring a bottle of water along with you whenever possible.

Here's a quick list of drinks and their calories, from WebMD.


Serving Size
12 ounces
Diet soda
12 ounces
Bottled sweet tea
12 ounces
Brewed tea, unsweet
12 ounces
1% low-fat milk
12 ounces
Nonfat milk
12 ounces
Soy milk
12 ounces
Coffee, black
12 ounces
Coffee with cream (2 tablespoons
half and half)
12 ounces
Caffe Latte, nonfat milk (Starbucks)
12 ounces (grande)
Caramel macchiato, whole milk (Starbucks)
12 ounces (grande)
Dunkin' Donuts iced Black Cocoa Creme (no cream or sugar)
24 ounces (medium)
Sports drink (like Gatorade)
12 ounces
Energy drink (like Red Bull)
12 ounces
12 ounces
5 ounces
Hard liquor
1.5 ounces

Photo credit/Creative Commons

Blogged by Katie Crommett

Follow us!

Get health and wellness tips and the latest health news on Twitter and Facebook.

Join us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.