A cool drink on a hot afternoon can make you feel refreshed. What is your favorite? There are several options but some are full of calories.
Energy drinks can have as much as 6 teaspoons of sugar and three times the caffeine in a can of cola. Use a straw when drinking an energy drink as they are acidic and can cause dental erosion. Using a straw or rinsing after drinking can cut down on the erosion.
Sweet tea and other sugary drinks can contribute 200 to 300 calories a day. The calories in soda can range from zero for a diet soda, to 140 for a 12-ounce can, to 550 for a extra large soda. In addition to extra calories, they don’t have much nutritious punch. The other concern is that children choose these drinks instead of milk which builds strong bones and teeth.
Fruit drinks are not 100 percent fruit juice. How can you tell whether it is a fruit drink or fruit juice? Read the label. If it’s fruitade, fruit punch or fruit drink, it’s more likely fruit-flavored sugar water with few nutrients. One hundred percent orange juice has 220 calories in 16 ounces.
Frozen drinks are often high in calories. Go online to your favorite vendor and check out the calorie-count in advance. Milk shakes, frappuccino blended coffee, think thick shakes or ice cream drinks can have as many as 1,100 calories in them. Consider sharing with someone so you can enjoy a tasty treat and spare your waistline.
Enhanced bottled water usually comes with extra calories. Bottles often are more than one serving so check the label for that and other additives in the drink like caffeine. Make your own drink by adding some fresh squeezed lemon or lime for a calorie-free drink.
The best beverage choice to keep cool and hydrated is plain, unflavored water. It’s calorie-free and if it comes from the tap, it’s a "greener" choice than bottled drinks or water. The best thing about water compared to other calorie-laden beverages is that it is usually readily available and can quench your thirst without compromising your calorie intake or your food budget.
Why does our body need water? It helps in carrying vitamins and minerals all over the body, aids in elimination, keeps the body cool.
By Shirley Perryman, MS, RD
Food Science and Human Nutrition Specialist, Colorado State University Extension.
Source: Colorado Extension