Many of us do not realize how many calories that are consumed by drinking our favorite beverage.  Most of the time the beverage choice provides us enough calories and carbohydrates for the meal before we even start eating!  Crazy I know but here is how you can help manage your intake with a few bits of knowledge.  “Rethink Your Drink”

How many calories and carbohydrates should a person consume at a meal?  shutterstock_196182026

  • Typical ranges of 500-700 calories and 45-75 grams of carbohydrates.
  • This will vary for individual needs based on age, gender and physical activity.  A registered/licensed dietitian will be best to determine your needs.   

So how do you calculate how many teaspoons of sugar in your drink??

One teaspoon of granulated sugar equals 4 grams of sugar.

Let’s practice with regular soda:

  • 20 oz. bottle of regular cola = 67 grams sugar or 16.75 teaspoons sugar!
  • It also contains 260 calories or to better put it 100% calories from pure sugar!
    • Let’s practice with 100% Fruit Juice
  • 8 oz. glass = 30 grams sugar (fructose) or 7.5 teaspoons sugar!!
  • Side note 1 serving of fruit only has 15 grams sugar plus FIBER  

Sport drinks are healthy, right?  

Let’s practice with sport drinks:

  • 20 oz. bottle of Gatorade = 35 grams sugar or 8.75 teaspoons sugar!
  • Contains 130 calories or to better put it 100% calories from pure sugar!
  • Sport drinks also contain excessive amount of SALT exactly 270 mg in that 20 oz.

So what to do??

  • Try to drink plain water with added citrus fruit slices (orange, lemon, limes)
  • Try low-fat white milk 8 oz. glass provides only 90-100 calories
  • Choose diet/low-calorie drinks to satisfy your “sweet tooth”
  • Dilute fruit juice with water 75/25 ratio (6 oz. water/2 oz. juice)

Lastly, do the best you can.  Life “happens” and is not always perfect.  Just get back on track with the next meal.  #YouGotThis 

Written By: Christine Gillette, R.D., L.D.N.
                      Clinical Dietitian
                      Rockford Memorial Hospital