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Rethink Your Drink | Are You Drinking Your Calories?

You hit your macros, you workout daily, you’re eating everything correctly at the right times, but you’re not losing weight like you wish you were. What could be going wrong? Could it be the mid-afternoon caffeine drink you have to have? Could it be the healthy milkshake you had for breakfast?

Beverages carry sugars, fats, and carbs just like foods do! Don’t be blind to the ingredients that you’re putting into your stomach. This article shows some examples of common thoughts and myths about beverages.

“I can drink this milkshake because I’m going to the gym later.”

calories in drinks

Even if you do work out, you cannot outwork a bad diet, even if it’s not food. Liquid calories play a huge role in fat gain especially as they don’t signal to your body that you are full. What seems like something as small as a can of soda could easily be the reason stopping you from hitting your weight loss goals.

“Drinks carry ‘hidden’ calories and sugars.”

Calories in drinks are not hidden, they’re literally posted on the back of the can or bottle, so it’s shocking how the world still seems to purchase these things claiming they’re unaware of the nutritional content. Apps like MyFitnessPal and CalorieCounter are also ways to look up your drink in the instance that the calories aren’t listed, like at McDonalds or Starbucks.

“But it’s juice, so it has to be good for me.”

So many think that fruit juice should be healthy to drink – it has the word fruit in it, after all.

calories in drinks

This is false. Fruit juice can actually be one of the worst beverages to consume as they are very high in sugar, and not just natural sugar from the fruit. Concentrated juice can carry as many sugars – if not more – than a regular can of pop. Pasteurized orange juice is stored in vast tanks, and in order to keep it fresh it is stripped of oxygen while storing for up to a year. The orange juice loses flavor during this time, and has to have flavor packs added back to it before selling to companies.

If you’re going to drink fruit juice, drink it in its most natural form – straight from the actual fruit – and add some veggies to the juicer too to keep the sugar level down.

“This chocolate milk says it’s only 100 calories, that’s not too bad.”

It will usually say the serving size is 100 calories, but there could be 3 servings in that entire bottle. That’s 300 calories for only 12oz of liquid – the size of a good snack! Serving sizes are very important to pay attention to when looking at a nutrition label, don’t fall prey to company’s selling tactics.

Nutrition in Popular Drinks

Of course, there are drinks variations that are less bad for you, but nothing on the menu is worth trading for a balanced snack or even a small meal. Water has zero calories, quenches your thirst, hydrates your body, aids in weight loss, and does many more things for your body that a sugar-filled beverage can not do. Here are three examples of popular drinks and their nutritional content.

16oz Starbucks Double Shot Energy Drink
210 Calories
2.5 g Fat
36 g Carbs
25 g Sugars

It would take you 50 minutes of walking 3.5mph on a treadmill to rid this amount of calories! Is it worth it?

12oz Chocolate Chip McDonalds Frappe
520 Calories
22 g Fat
75 g Carbs
66 g Sugars

This is more than some people eat in an entire meal and you’re probably drinking this while eating a cheesy, greasy sausage biscuit, adding another 450 calories. 75g of carbs is a massive amount of carbs to come from a drink – this is as much as in a pack of blueberry Pop Tarts.

16oz Dairy Queen Orange Julius Premium Fruit Smoothie
370 Calories
0 g Fat
88 g Carbs
79 g Sugars

This option really surprises people. Although you think you are drinking a healthy fruit smoothie, frozen fruits with added sugars, concentrated syrups, and cocktail- fruit juices are all used to make their drink taste better, leaving you with a sugar high and/or stomach ache.

Take-Home Message

Sugars, carbs, and fats in drinks most certainly aren’t hidden but people forget the fact that because they aren’t eating it, that it can easily be just as bad as an unhealthy meal. When splurging for a higher calorie or less-healthy drink, opt for something with natural sugars, low/non fat milk, and ask what the ingredients are so you can choose what you don’t want them to use! Starbucks has a variety of options that you can sub in/out such as sugar free syrup and coconut milk.

Don’t be afraid to sound picky – after all, it is YOUR body!

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Writer and expert

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