Nutrition • 06.11.2017 • Julia Denner

Liquid Calories >> Waistline-Busters and Healthy Alternatives

When it comes to food tracking, the first thing you think of is meals, right? But do you track everything you drink, too? Most people underestimate the liquid calories. Soft drinks, fruit juices, energy drinks and alcoholic drinks are loaded with them. Do you know how many calories you are drinking?

The perfect thirst-quencher

You should always drink water to satisfy your thirst. It has zero calories and replenishes your body. When it’s hot outside, or you’re training intensely, you’re going to lose a lot of fluid. You can calculate your daily liquid requirement using the following equation:

30 ml x kg body weight = ml per day
15 ml x lb body weight = ml per day

These drinks are especially high in calories:

Non-alcoholic:

  • Soft drinks, like soda (250 ml) = 105 calories, 9 cubes of sugar
  • Ice tea (250 ml) = 70 calories, 6 cubes of sugar
  • Fruit smoothie (250 ml) = 135 calories, 10 cubes of sugar
  • Orange juice (250 ml) = 115 calories, 8 cubes of sugar
  • Energy drink (250 ml) = 116 calories, 9 cubes of sugar
  • Fruit-flavored buttermilk (250 ml) = 160 calories, 10 cubes of sugar
  • Isotonic drink (250 ml) = 60 calories, 5 cubes of sugar

Alcoholic:

  • White wine, sweet (250 ml) = 250 calories, 5 cubes of sugar
  • Red wine (250 ml) = 210 calories, ½ cube of sugar
  • Beer (250 ml) = 100 calories, 0 cubes of sugar
  • Piña colada (250 ml) = 235 calories, 9 cubes of sugar

So, you can see that seemingly “healthy” drinks are anything but low-cal. Most store-bought smoothies, for example, consist mainly of fruit, which explains why their (fructose) sugar content is so high.

Zwei Gläser Gemüsesaft auf einem Holztisch

Alcohol has a whopping 7 calories per 1 g (almost as much as fat) and therefore carries a lot of weight in terms of calories. For this reason alone, you should drink alcohol in moderation or not at all. Alcohol isn’t known as a luxury good for nothing. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can save calories.

Are you looking for a variety of healthy alternatives?

1. Naturally flavored water

Is plain old water too boring for you? Infused water” is the new trendy drink. Jazz up your water with fresh berries, ginger, lemon or cucumber slices and fresh herbs. The longer the fruit or vegetable sits in the water, the more intense the flavor will be.

2. Homemade ice tea

Why buy ice tea when it is so easy to make at home? Make a pot of black tea and let it cool. Stir in some freshly pressed lemon juice, lemon slices and mint leaves and put the ice tea in the refrigerator overnight. If you would like it a little sweeter, you can add a spoonful of honey or some stevia.

Eine Frau schneiden Zitronen und Limetten auf einem Holzbrett

3. Coconut water

Coconut water is high in potassium and can hold its own against most ready-to-drink sports drinks. It is not calorie-free, as 100 ml contains 10 calories. But it is definitely a healthier alternative compared to soft drinks and such. It tastes best when served cool.

4. Vegetable & fruit smoothie

Store-bought smoothies usually contain a lot of sugar. Make your own smoothies to-go right at home. But remember that less is more! Often, all you need is four or five ingredients. Vegetables (cucumber, baby spinach, kale, celery) should always serve as the base of your smoothie. Some fruit, superfood powder and liquid can then round off your drink.

Would you like to find out how many liquid calories you are consuming? Then download the Runtastic Balance app and start tracking your daily calorie intake — for a healthier and more aware lifestyle.

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Julia Denner

Julia is a dietitian and creative cook. She is passionate about traveling the world, exercising (outdoors) and trying out new restaurants and food. She is convinced that a varied diet and regular, hard training are the keys to success.
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