What are your favorite beverages?
Are there coffee places that you can’t pass without dropping in and helping yourself to your favorite?
Do you have a go-to drink after a workout or when you’re done working in the yard?
Or is there a special drink you enjoy when spending time with friends?
It is getting hot and a nice cold drink could be attractive, until you realize how it could be an obstacle to your health goals.
Fitting Beverages Into Your Plan
Did you know that some beverage choices can hydrate and give you a nutritional boost but others will put the brakes on your health goals before you finish the last drop?
Sometimes we don’t mind that our favorite drinks have so many calories with often little nutrition because they are a treat for us and we fit them into our eating plan for the day.
The problem comes in when we mindlessly take a quick sip (or a big gulp) trying to quench our thirst, which can easily ruin our health goals by adding more calories than you realize.
I have a friend who says she runs so she can eat and drink whatever she wants.
As long as that is a part of your health plan, then go for it.
Are Your Drinks Obstacles to Your Health?
If you are struggling with maintaining a healthy weight and don’t have time to exercise during the week, these high calorie and often high sugar beverages could become an obstacle to your health.
It is fine to “cheat” on your plan if the cheating isn’t commonplace, occurring at every meal or snack. Frequent ‘cheating’ can keep you from reaching your goals.
Most of us don’t really want to count every calorie we eat and drink, but it is important to be aware of which choices are the best for us overall.
Is grabbing one of these drinks the right choice at the right time or is there a better one?
Maybe your body just needs hydration and not calories and sugar.
Nutrition in Your Favorite Mug or Glass
Let’s look at the nutrition of a few of the most popular beverages we choose when we are out and about so that we can be informed of their impact when we make nutrition choices.
Carmel Macchiato Venti
300 calories 8g Fat 43 g Carb 0 g Fiber 13 g Protein 180 mg Sodium
Java Chip Frappuccino Venti
600 calories 22g Fat 96 g Carb 3 g Fiber 8 g Protein 360 mg Sodium
Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème Frappuccino Venti
560 calories 22g Fat 86 g Carb 0 g Fiber 7 g Protein 370 mg Sodium
Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino Venti
500 calories 16g Fat 83 g Carb 0g Fiber 6g Protein 330 mg Sodium
Hot Chocolate Venti
420 calories 11g Fat 62 g Carb 5 g Fiber 17 g Protein 200 mg Sodium
Café Mocha Venti
380 calories 11g Fat 53 g Carb 5 g Fiber 17 g Protein 190 mg Sodium
Chai Eggnog Latte Venti
510 calories 15g Fat 83 g Carb 1g Fiber 13g Protein 200 mg Sodium
Iced Coffee (plain) Venti
5 calories 0 fat 0 Carb 0 fiber 0 protein 5 mg sodium
Cold Brewed Coffee Venti
5 calories 0 fat 0 Carb 0 fiber 0 protein 20 mg sodium
Milkshake Chocolate Large
750 calories 28g fat 113g Carb 1g fiber 16g protein 520 mg sodium
Frosted Coffee Large
300 calories 7g fat 51g Carb 0g fiber 8g protein 200 mg sodium
3. Orange Julius
Orange Smoothie Large
480 calories 0g fat 113g Carb 0g fiber 6g protein 180 mg sodium
4. Jamba Juice
Strawberries Wild Smoothie Large
560 calories 0g fat 130g Carb 5g fiber 8g protein 230 mg sodium
Strawberry Banana Smoothie Small 12 oz
190 calories 0.5g fat 43g carb 2g fiber 3g protein 45 mg sodium
6. Dunkin Donuts
Strawberry Fruit Coolatta Large Medium
370 calories 0g fat 88g carb 0g fiber 0g protein 45 mg sodium
7. Burger King
Tropical Mango Smoothie 16 oz.
320 calories 0 fat 76g Carb 1g fiber 5g protein 65 mg sodium
Big Gulp 32 oz.
410 calories 0 fat 130g Carb 0g fiber 0g protein 132 mg sodium (40 g sugars!)
When you are buying these beverages, be sure to select the smallest portion available to lower the amount of sugar and calories you ingest. Drinking a smaller version will still quench your craving!
There are other options for a refreshing beverage that won’t disrupt your health goals. Here are a few suggestions:
- If you don’t enjoy plain water try a few add-ins to give you a boost of flavor such as fresh lemon, lime, cucumber slices, orange slice, strawberry, raspberries, or your favorite fruit.
- Add some herbs like fresh mint, lemon balm or rosemary!
- Don’t have fresh fruits on the go? Try a packet of pulverized lemon or lime in a packet from TrueLemon or TrueLime. It is delicious and easy to use!
Seltzer or Tonic Water
Unsweetened Iced Tea in a wide variety of teas (use some of the add-ins from above to flavor without sugar!)
Drinks with few or no calories with non-nutritive sweeteners if you desire – diet soda, crystal light, flavored energy or mineral water drinks
Be Aware of What You’re Drinking
While it is true that we need to be sure we get enough fluid to properly hydrate our bodies, we should be aware of the nutritional load some of these popular beverages have on our bodies in addition to hydration.
Even if you aren’t counting calories, the amount of sugar in some of these beverages may outweigh the protein a smoothie from one of these restaurants provides.
Knowing the nutritional content of some of these popular beverages may not dissuade you from choosing a small portion, but it might help you realize the cost of your choice and be an informed drinker!