Rethink Your Drink
Calories in drinks are not hidden, they’re listed right on the label. However, many people don’t realize just how many calories they’re consuming from beverages. Adding milk or cream to your coffee, having a soda at lunch, or sweetened tea when going out to eat contributes to your daily caloric intake without increasing satiety or fullness.
It is important to understand that many beverages show calories for an 8 oz. serving, but a 20 oz. soda for example, contains 2.5 servings. Be sure to read the label so you can accurately identify the number of servings per container, total calories, grams of sugar, etc. In order to figure out how many calories are in an entire bottle of juice, soda, energy drink, etc. multiply the number of servings by the calories listed. In the example shown below 2.5 servings x 100 calories per servings = 250 calories for the entire container.
If you order a beverage at a restaurant or someplace where the nutrition facts aren’t shown there are many great resources like www.calorieking.com or apps like My Fitness Pal and Lose it! that you can use to look up nutrition information before ordering (or even after). These tool are great when you’re trying to budget calories or want to know just how many calories are in a particular item such as an alcoholic beverage. On the other hand, you may be aware that the drink you’re about to consume has some calories, but the amount of sugar in some drinks may not be obvious. Ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, honey, syrup, sucrose, agave, or dextrose are all sweeteners that contain calories. Coffee drinks and smoothies can contain as much as an entire day’s worth of sugar and as many calories as a snack or meal. It’s not that you can’t have caloric beverages, just be sure to “budget” them into your diet.
The first step to making better nutrition choices in being aware of where your calories are coming. If you drink caloric beverages try adding up how many calories you consume from drinks in one day. Then determine what you’re willing to cut back on or what substitutions you can make. See below for some low-calorie drink alternatives!
Better Drink Alternatives
Soda Water + Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail
Fruit or Citrus Infused Water
Resources: CDC & USDA