If you aren’t careful, the added calories from your choice of beverage could cause unsuspecting weight gain. If the scale has been slowly creeping upward and you don’t know why, take a look at what you are choosing to drink. Liquid calories may be the cause. We all know by now that sugar packed regular soda (9 teaspoons for every 12 ounces) is no good for your waist (not good for your teeth or bones either). But have you considered the calories in your coffee? One 16-ounce light and sweet coffee can add 133 calories to your morning. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, that’s almost 400 calories a day. Over the course of one year, you have consumed enough calories to pack on 41 pounds. If you enjoy a Starbucks mocha frappuccino daily, it takes only one a day. You would have to walk about 3 ½ miles every day just to burn off those calories.
Fruit juice may also be a problem. A 4-ounce apple gives you 60 calories compared to a common serving of apple juice with 110 calories. Without the fiber, the apple juice may be less filling leading you to eat something solid with it.
Sports drinks like Gatorade may be important if you are engaged in 60 minutes or more of sustained physical activity. But the average Joe needs water to rehydrate, not the electrolytes and carbohydrates found in sports drinks.
Energy drink consumption has also been on the rise bringing in unnecessary extra calories (and in some cases bringing irreversible damage to the teeth).
Alcohol intake may also be tripping you up. A can of beer gets you 150 calories, a six-pack nets 900 calories. The shot of vodka or gin gets you 55 calories but you have to add the juices or mixes you are adding to it to calculate the damages.
Portion sizes may also be the culprit. Sodas used to come in 6 ½-ounce bottles, now a 20-ounce bottle is the norm.
So think before you drink:
- Drink water, if you crave the bubbles, choose seltzer
- Ditch the fruit juice and eat whole fruit instead
- Low-Fat and Fat-Free milk are good choices for getting enough calcium in your diet along with other good-for-you nutrients
- Can the sports drinks and energy drinks
- Cut the portion sizes if you do choose to splurge on juice or soda
“Drink responsibly” no matter what’s in the glass