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.

 

Beverage
Serving Size
Calories
Soda
12 ounces
124-189
Diet soda
12 ounces
0-7
Bottled sweet tea
12 ounces
129-143
Brewed tea, unsweet
12 ounces
4
1% low-fat milk
12 ounces
154
Nonfat milk
12 ounces
125
Soy milk
12 ounces
147-191
Coffee, black
12 ounces
0-4
Coffee with cream (2 tablespoons
half and half)
12 ounces
39-43
Caffe Latte, nonfat milk (Starbucks)
12 ounces (grande)
120
Caramel macchiato, whole milk (Starbucks)
12 ounces (grande)
319
Dunkin' Donuts iced Black Cocoa Creme (no cream or sugar)
24 ounces (medium)
170
Sports drink (like Gatorade)
12 ounces
94
Energy drink (like Red Bull)
12 ounces
160
Beer
12 ounces
153
Wine
5 ounces
125
Hard liquor
1.5 ounces
96

Photo credit/Creative Commons

Blogged by Katie Crommett

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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.