Drinks and Diet

As the Fahrenheit soars during these dog days of summer, what better way to beat the heat than with a cool icy beverage. But, according to new research, while you’re quenching your thirst, you may also be gulping down hundreds of unwanted calories. Everything from that frosty coffee mint-mocha chip slurpie to that super-sized bottle of soda, can pack on unwanted pounds. “Widespread consumption of soda is part of the American fabric and studies are showing us more and more that that is part of our obesity problem, both weight and gain and medical issues,” says nutrition and weight expert, Dr. Jana Klauer. The World Health Organization recommends that people consume about 10 percent of their calories from liquids, yet, consumers are racking up more than 20 percent. For the millions of Americans who are trying to lose weight, the solution may be not in what you eat, but what you drink.

“Watch out for things that have the word fruit in them, how much berry or apple or peach does it actually have. Those often are just empty calorie snacks, take a look at the label, do they have corn syrup, do they have sugar, how are the ingredients,” says Dr. Klauer. Dr. Klauer says that while sports and energy drinks replenish your body with electrolytes that help you retain water, they can contain a lot of calories.

 “You don’t need a sports drink if you are going on the treadmill for a half hour, you’re better off just to have some water to hydrate yourself. Some of the energy drinks actually are empty calories, they don’t give you extra energy, the energy that they purport to give you is in the form of sugar,” says Dr. Klauer. If you’re really parched stick with H-2-0…it’s recommended that the average adult drink 4 to 6 cups of water a day, which should be supplemented with low-fat milk and a 100 percent juice to meet daily liquid requirements.

And, if you’re planning an evening of dinner and drinks, remember that you could have the calorie-equivalent to a whole meal in drinks, before you’ve even sit down at the dinner table. The average glass of wine has about 100 calories and a 12 ounce beer contains approximately 150 calories.


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