Summer Calories - What You Drink Is Key

One of the fastest and least recognized ways you’ll get extra calories in the summer is by what you drink. Many drinks are loaded with calories in the form of simple carbohydrates and sugars. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people in my weight loss clinic tell me “What I drink is very healthy, I only drink fruit juice.” Well, a glass of lemonade has 99 calories and most commercial fruit juices have about 80 calories per 8 ounces, which is roughly the same amount of calories as a regular cola (90 calories/8ounces). And commercially sweetened iced tea has 80 calories per glass. So, drinking many of the commercially available drinks you find in the store is the same as drinking soda pop, or simply drinking flavored sugar water.

Remember, the reason your body is craving something refreshing to drink is not because it’s looking for sugar, and drinks packed with sugar will often leave you still feeling thirsty anyway. If you prefer to drink straight water, then you’re covered. But for those of you that don’t tend to drink straight water, there are plenty of great alternatives. Buy sugar free iced tea, or simply make your own tea, add ice and only add a little sugar to make it tasty. When it comes to lemonade and other summer drinks a good idea is to add in 1/3 of the sugar called for in the recipe, taste it, and then sweeten it only if you think it needs a bit more — what you’ll find is that it tastes just as good, and is more refreshing, when there is less sugar. If you really must buy fruit juice in the store, try diluting it 1:1 with water, this will double the amount of water you’re getting for the same amount of calories, and you’ll find that the dilute juice tastes great and is more refreshing.

When it comes to drinking to stay feeling refreshed in the summer, remember that it’s thirst that you’re satisfying, not a search for sugar.

Written by Dr. Brian Quebbemann