Are You Drinking a Soda, Energy Drink, Coffee, Tea, Juice, or Alcoholic Beverage?
The Amount of Calories and Sugar in What You’re Drinking Will Surprise You.
Nearly half of all Americans are drinking soda on a daily basis and among these regular drinkers the average intake is 2.6 glasses per day. The average 12oz can of soda contains 150 calories and 39g of sugar. That amounts to 390 calories and over 100g of sugar from soda daily. This far exceeds the recommended daily sugar intake of 37.5g for men, and 25g for women. Mountain Dew in particular is notorious for being an extra sugary choice when it comes to soda. A 20 oz bottle of Mtn. Dew is 290 calories and contains 77g of sugar! Notice that the first couple ingredients in almost all sodas are carbonated water and high fructose corn syrup (sugar).
But soda isn’t the only drink on the market that’s packed with calories and added sugars. More than 29 billion gallons of energy drink liquid is consumed by Americans every year. In 2016, 19% of people said they consumed 3 energy drinks per week, 17% said 4 per week, and 19% said 5 per week. All those energy drinks can add up to serious calories. One can of RedBull has 110 calories and 27g of sugar. Other energy drinks such as Monster and Rock Star contain similar calories and sugar content.
COFFEE & TEA:
Coffee and Tea can also be packed with unexpected calories. About 83% of American’s drink coffee, with an average of three cups a day per person. A Grande White Chocolate Mocha with whip cream from Starbucks is 470 calories and has 59g of sugar. Even a standard Grande Green Tea Latte contains 240 calories and 32g of sugar. But wait, it gets worse. At Dunkin’ Donuts a medium Frozen Caramel Swirl Coffee Coolatta contains a whopping 740 calories and 104g of sugar- that’s over half a cup of sugar!
Seemingly “healthy” fruit juices can also be deceptive. Naked Juice brand holds 58% of the market share for juice in the U.S. Naked drinks sound healthy with titles like “Green Machine,” “Protein Zone” and “Kale Blazer,” but are these juices actually as good as they sound? “Green Machine” for example, contains 270 calories and 53g of sugar. That’s more sugar than a can of Mountain Dew! Although the sugar in Mountain Dew comes from high fructose corn syrup, and the sugar in Naked drinks comes from fruit, it still surpassed the recommended daily amount of sugar for both men and women.
Alcoholic beverages can also be packed with empty calories. The average male drinker consumes 6.6 alcoholic beverages a week and the average female consumes 2.9 alcoholic beverages a week. All this drinking can seriously add up.
On average, one can of beer is around 154 calories. That means over the course of a week, the average male would consume 1,016 calories from beer, and the average woman would consume 447 calories. If you extrapolate that number, over the course of a month the average male is consuming 4,064 calories from alcohol alone (assuming he’s drinking beer).
The average six-ounce glass of wine isn’t much better at 144 calories. But beer and wine are better than most mixed drinks that can be packed with added sugar. For example, a shot of tequila is 100 calories. Once you add a mixer, a 32-ounce margarita contains 600 calories and 156g of sugar. Other popular bar drinks are similarly high in calories. On average, a Manhattan contains 300 calories, a gin and tonic contains 159 calories, and a Cosmo contains 220 calories.
WAYS TO CUT OUT THE CALORIES:
SODA: Stop drinking soda on a regular basis. Even “diet” sodas contain fake sugars that have been linked to weight gain. Instead, opt for a flavored carbonated water. Double-check the label to make sure the water doesn’t contain any fake sugars like Aspartame, Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium.
ENERGY DRINKS: There are much healthier alternatives for getting a boost of caffeine. Tea and coffee (without the added cream and sugar) are both close to calorie-free and contain no sugar. Tea and coffee also contain health benefits such as antioxidants, and essential nutrients.
COFFEE & TEA: All the added calories come from sugary syrup flavors, whip cream, and added cream or milk. Black coffee and plain teas have almost zero calories. But if you don’t like to drink your coffee black, opt for less pumps of syrup and non-fat milk. For even fewer calories add the milk and sugar yourself, this will help you monitor exactly how many calories your adding to that morning cup of joe.
JUICES: Instead of buying pre-made juices, create your own juice smoothies at home! A mixture of frozen fruit, kale, a little bit of honey and non-fat milk or yogurt makes a delicious snack.
ALCOHOL: All in moderation. If you’re trying to lose weight, cutting back on weekly alcohol consumption can make a huge impact. Nixing mixed drinks can also help cut down on added sugars and calories. Although a shot of tequila is still around 100 calories, it’s still better than a full margarita that’s packed with sugar!