Labels like “juice drink” and “juice cocktail” are almost always a euphemism for brightly-colored sugar water. For a truly healthy drink, look for 100 percent juice. Nothing else.
When made with 2-percent milk, a large icy cup of Joe can contain up to 800 calories and a third of the maximum recommended intake for artery-clogging saturated fat. And there’s a reason why it tastes so sweet: At 170 grams of sugar in a typical drink, you get more of a sugar shock than a caffeine buzz.
Flavored and infused waters may deliver a few extra vitamins, but they’re also often packed with added sugars. Next time you buy a bottle of water, check the label: If you see anything more than water and natural flavors, leave it on the shelf.
Diet soda may be calorie free, but it’s also 100 percent nutrition free. Plus, if you’re guzzling diet coke all day, there’s a good chance you’re not drinking the healthy beverages your body needs, particularly water and tea. One diet soda a day is fine, but if you’re downing five or six cans, you may be doing damage to your body.
When it comes to cocktails, the mixers are the real calorie culprits. Case in point: According to the USDA, a 16-ounce pina colada can clock in at a whopping 880 calories, that’s more than 8 times the amount in a shot of rum.
It’s tough to find a single redeeming quality about soft drinks: They’re overloaded with sugar and provide empty calories without satisfying your hunger. In fact, soft drinks are the only food that has been directly linked to causing obesity. If you’re not willing to eliminate them from your diet entirely, consider one can of full-sugar soda as an occasional treat—the same way you would a candy bar.
Ending your workout by guzzling a typical sport drink may set your weight-loss goals back. Many sports drinks on the market contain a mixture of natural and artificial sweeteners, plus a laundry list unpronounceable additives. If replenishing electrolytes is your goal, switch to zero-calorie SmartWater or Metroelectro.