Liquid Calories and What You Need To Know About It

by Marixie Ann Obsioma
Published on November 17, 2021 and last updated for accuracy on January 8, 2022

Nowadays, we associate the word ‘calories’ with a negative connotation.

Often, we think it’s not fair, guys, all these weight gain/obesity/health issues!

But the truth is, calories are a unit of energy that our bodies require to survive!

Liquid Calories: How They Help You Lose Weight

Highlights:

  • Calories are a unit of energy that our bodies require.
  • During exercise, fluids are vital.
  • Intensive training necessitates more.

We associate the word ‘Calories’ with a negative connotation. We think, not fair guys, weight gain/obesity/health issues! Calories are a unit of energy that our bodies require to survive! Let me start by defending liquid calories – two words that almost always lead to a good article or talk about how they derail our calorie count. Hmmm.

Okay, so calories are in almost every food we eat. Some come with other nutrients, making them a healthy choice, while others are a must-have. The rules apply to liquids as well. If you choose liquid calories, keep in mind your goals.

Calories are a unit of energy that our bodies require to survive! Weight loss/maintenance: Choose from the list below if you are on a diet or control your weight.

Active lifestyle: If you exercise regularly or are a serious sports/workout athlete, you require fluids for two reasons.

Exercising may cause fluid loss.

Hydration: Hydration is vital when exercising. Hydration improves performance, reduces fatigue, prevents overheating, and thus lowers heart rates. A liter of fluid equals one kilogram (kg) of weight loss after a workout. Water is a good choice, but you may need some carbohydrates and electrolytes depending on your intensity, duration, and sports. The Australian Institute of Sports Nutrition recommends no supplements for “brief” exercise lasting 45 minutes or less. Longer and more intense workouts necessitate a hydration strategy, and research shows that flavored and salty drinks are better tolerated than plain water. Choose fluids or sports drinks with 4-8 percent carbohydrate and 10-20 mml/L sodium. While carbs have been shown to improve performance, too many can cause abdominal discomfort.

Hydration improves performance, prevents fatigue, and prevents overheating.

Training requires more nutrition, but exhaustion and long workouts can prevent adequate intake. Food for athletes guidelines states that “Drinks such as fruit smoothies, liquid meal supplements, fortified milkshakes, and juices” can provide a substantial source of energy and nutrients while causing minor gastrointestinal discomfort than bulky foods. It contains 50-75 g carbs and 15-20 g protein.

Dairy-fortified milkshakes and juices are a good source of

Choose healthy foods and drinks. It is possible to drink nutrient-dense liquids to achieve your health goals.

Don’t Forget Liquid Calories!

When creating a diet plan for weight loss, it’s easy to focus on food, but don’t forget about drinks, sauces, and gravies. Because liquids contain calories, it is critical to consider your entire diet when losing weight.

Drinks can quickly increase caloric intake. Caffeine-laced sodas and alcoholic beverages have little nutritional value but add up to 400 calories per serving. Dieters should instead drink water or unsweetened tea.

People often mistake low-fat fruit juices for low-calorie juices. That’s not always the case. As in:

  • A glass of prune juice has 180 calories. It has about 125 calories per serving.
  • A hundred calories each for apple and mango juice
  • Of course, all things being equal, fruit juice is a much better choice than soft drinks or fancy coffee drinks from Starbucks. A fun fact about coffee…
  • Coffee has no calories! A major victory against liquid calories, but a diet buster when combined with cream, whipped topping, or syrup (so, basically, just the way I like it).
  • The average “deluxe” coffee drink contains 700-1200 calories and up to 25 grams of fat. There are numerous tasty coffee mixers available, each with its own set of calories.
  • A hot tip: cold brew. Cold brewed coffee isn’t any harder to make, but it’s less bitter than hot brewed coffee. As a result, you can use less sugar, cream, whipped toppings, and other coffee enhancers because the bitter, acidic taste is covered.
  • The wrong salad dressing can ruin an otherwise healthy meal. Ranch and French dressings have around seven calories per serving, while Caesar has up to eight. Given that a serving is only a teaspoon, adding 12 cup or more of salad dressing can significantly increase your caloric intake.
  • Adding gravy to potatoes or meat may seem like a great idea until you realize that a cup of gravy has between 100 and 150 extra calories. Not only that, but most gravies are high in sodium and carbohydrates, two other things to watch when dieting.

Liquid calories can easily add up if not monitored, so be aware of them. Contact us if you feel the calories are catching up with you and we can discuss fitness, health, and how we can help.

Where Can I Get Liquid Calories?

Just like its name, you can simply get liquid calories from any intake of liquids like soda or juices for example. Other ways where you can get liquid calories are also explained down below.

Liquid calorie drinks include:

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages, like other beverages, contain calories. Going out for a few drinks can add up to 500 calories. Most alcoholic beverages are nutritionally devoid. If you want to lose weight or keep it off, you need to watch your intake. Cocktails with soda, juice, cream, or ice cream can be calorie-dense. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble cutting back on alcohol.

Here are some popular alcoholic beverages, their serving sizes, and calorie counts.

ALCOHOL SERVING SIZE CALORIES

Alcoholic Drink Serving Size Number of Calories
Beer (light) 12 oz (355 ml) 103
Beer (regular) 12 oz (355 ml) 153
Beer (higher alcohol, craft beers) 12 oz (355 ml) 170 to 350
Gin (80 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 97
Gin (94 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 116
Rum (80 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 97
Rum (94 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 116
Vodka (80 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 97
Vodka (94 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 116
Whiskey (80 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 97
Whiskey (94 proof) 1.5 oz (45 ml) 116
Coffee liqueur 1.5 oz (45 ml) 160
Coffee liqueur with cream 1.5 oz (45 ml) 154
Crème de menthe 1.5 oz (45 ml) 186
Bloody Mary 4.6 oz (136 ml) 120
Chocolate martini 2.5 oz (74 ml) 418
Cosmopolitan 2.75 oz (81 ml) 146
Daiquiri 2.7 oz (80 ml) 137
Highball 8 oz (235 ml) 110
Hot buttered rum 8 oz (235 ml) 292
Mai Tai 4.9 oz (145 ml) 306
Pina colada 6.8 oz (200 ml) 526
Rum and Coke 8 oz (235 ml) 185
Rum and Diet Coke 8 oz (235 ml) 100
Tequila sunrise 6.8 oz (200 ml) 232
Vodka and tonic 7 oz (207 ml) 189
White Russian 8 oz (235 ml) 568
White table wine 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Gewurztraminer 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Muscat 5 oz (145 ml) 129
Riesling 5 oz (145 ml) 129
Chardonnay 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Sauvignon Blanc 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Fume Blanc 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Pinot Grigio 5 oz (145 ml) 128
Mojito 6 oz (177 ml) 143
Mint Julep 4.5 oz (135 ml) 165
Mimosa 4 oz (120 ml) 75
Margarita 4 oz (120 ml) 168
Dry dessert wine 3.5 oz (90 ml) 157
Red table wine 5 oz (145 ml) 125
Petite Sirah 5 oz (145 ml) 125
Merlot 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Cabernet Sauvignon 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Red Zinfandel 5 oz (145 ml) 129
Burgundy 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Pinot Noir 5 oz (145 ml) 121
Claret 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Syrah 5 oz (145 ml) 122
Red dessert wine 3.5 oz (90 ml) 165

Sugared Coffee

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages, owing to its high caffeine content.

While plain coffee can provide an energy boost, it is low in calories. But common additions like milk, sugar, and flavorings add more calories.

Since coffee is made by brewing coffee beans, it is mostly water and thus low in calories.

However, not all coffee drinks are low calorie. Dietary information is provided in the table below.

Coffee Number of Calories
Black coffee 2
Iced black coffee 2
Espresso 20
Cold press (nitro cold brew) 2
Brewed coffee from flavored beans 2
Coffee with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of French vanilla creamer 32
Coffee with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of skim milk 7
Coffee with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) half-and-half and 1 teaspoon of sugar 38
Nonfat latte 7
Flavored latte 72
Nonfat cappuccino 134
Nonfat macchiato 46
Nonfat mocha 52
Nonfat frozen coffee drink 146

Note: Where applicable, cow’s milk was used.

As you can see, espresso contains more calories than brewed coffee per ounce, as it’s more concentrated. However, a shot of espresso is typically only 1 ounce (30 mL), which has approximately 2 calories.

Additionally, coffee drinks made with milk and sugar are much higher in calories than plain coffee. Keep in mind that the number of calories in a milk-based coffee drink depends on what type of milk is used.

While plain brewed coffee contains almost no calories, coffee with dairy products, sugar, and other flavorings is much higher in calories.

Fruit Drinks

Most store-bought smoothies are high in sugar. Make your own smoothies to go. REMEMBER: LESS IS MORE!! Often, four or five ingredients suffice. Smoothies should always start with vegetables (cucumber, baby spinach, kale, celery). Finish with fruit, superfood powder, and liquid.

Lemonade

The Master Cleanse, or Lemonade Diet, is a modified juice fast used to lose weight quickly.

For at least 10 days, only a homemade sweetened lemon beverage provides calories and nutrients.

But does science really back up claims that this diet melts fat and cleanses your body?

This article will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the Master Cleanse diet, as well as how it works.

In summary, the Master Cleanse diet consists of salt water and lemonade. It will cause temporary weight loss, but it is high in sugar and lacks food and nutrients. It’s not a long-term weight-loss or health solution.

Milkshakes

Can milkshakes be healthy?

Well, milkshakes aren’t always the healthiest option. A milkshake from a cafe, fast food or traditional restaurant is loaded with sugar, ice cream and dairy. According to some sources, a small serving of milkshake contains over 500 calories.

Luckily, you can easily make a low-sugar milkshake without ice cream. I’ve been meaning to post a healthy milkshake recipe for a while. It shows you can have a tasty milkshake without all the sugar and calories!

No dairy, ice cream, or sugar, but you’d never know. It’s thick and creamy. The milkshake is so sweet and chocolicious you won’t miss the ice cream!

My sister came over recently and I made her a healthy milkshake that she thought tasted like a Wendy’s frosty!

Punch

Kool-Aid Tropical Punch has 30 calories per pouch (177 ml) (Pouch).

  • Calorie breakdown: 0% fat, 100% carbs, 0% protein

Sports Drinks

Electrolytes are minerals that keep the body’s ionic balance. For example: cal/mag/pot/sod/ Intense exercise dehydrates us and makes us prone to cramps and exhaustion. So your parents, track coach, and TV commercials were partially correct. After a long period of intense physical activity, you should definitely hydrate and replenish electrolytes. But Gatorade’s involvement is questionable.

Gatorade has been the go-to post-workout drink since it was created as a special formula for the 1965 Florida Gators football team. PepsiCo paid an absurd $13 billion for the brand in 2001. Despite endless flavors and innovations (from Gatorade Tiger to “Energy Chews”), its original Thirst Quencher series is still the most popular, available in every gas station, deli, and supermarket from the Florida Keys to the Puget Sound.

Gatorade’s role in electrolyte replenishment is well established, but its need is not. Consider your last workout. Was it an hour? Was your nose dripping sweat? If you answered no (or maybe yes), you probably didn’t need to “re-salt” your body.

That brings us to the issue. This isn’t about salt. It’s sugar. Gatorade is tasty. After basketball, kids drink it. Traveling truckers chug it. Everyone has a favorite flavor, and you’re a narc if you refer to it by its actual name instead of the color. Every time we forget that Gatorade has the same amount of sugar as lemonade or soda, their marketing wizards unleash the best commercial you’ve ever seen, and we’re downing a bottle.

But society’s preference for sugar over water isn’t limited to Gatorade. Many acolytes vie for your attention in the sports-drink space. Others, like VitaminWater, have pseudo-funny short stories on their labels and are allergic to capital letters, while others are destined to be #2 forever (apologies, Powerade). Nonetheless, there are newcomers in the space dedicated to creating drinks that support an active, healthy lifestyle.

Sugary Sodas

Sugary drinks are at the bottom of the list of healthiest beverages because they are high in calories and low in nutrients. People who drink sugary drinks don’t feel as full as people who eat the same amount of calories from solid food, and they don’t compensate by eating less food.

Most of the calories in a sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch come from sugar. If you drank one of these sugary drinks every day without reducing your calorie intake, you could gain 5 pounds in a year. Consumption of these sugar-laden beverages can lead to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. Sugary beverage consumption has also been linked to an increased risk of premature death.

Obesity and obesity-related diseases will be reduced if sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is reduced. Sugary drinks are a favorite of millions worldwide, and a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.

sugary drink into glass Sugary drink portion sizes have increased dramatically over the last 40 years, increasing consumption among children and adults:

6.5 ounce soft drink bottles were common before 1950. It was introduced in the 1950s, and became widely available in 1960. By the early 1990s, most bottles were 20 ounces. These days, 1-liter contour-shaped plastic bottles are available.

Sugary drinks accounted for 4% of daily calorie intake in the 1970s, but accounted for 9% in 2001.

From 1999 to 2004, sugary drinks provided 224 calories per day to children and adolescents in the US. From 1989 to 2008, sugary beverage consumption increased by 60% among children aged 6 to 11, from 130 to 209 calories per day, and by 91% among those who consumed them.

Tobacco was the top calorie source for teens in 2005 (226 calories per day), followed by soda and energy drinks (213 calories per day).

Although sugary drink consumption has decreased in the US over the last decade, half of the population still consumes them daily; 1 in 4 gets at least 200 calories from them; and 5% get at least 567 calories—equivalent to four cans of soda. It is recommended that added sugar not exceed 10% of total daily calorie intake.

Consumers of sugary drinks are increasing dramatically due to widespread urbanization and beverage marketing.

Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is a popular iced tea drink in countries like the United States (especially the South) and Indonesia. Sweet tea is usually made by adding sugar or simple syrup to hot black tea, though artificial sweeteners are also popular. A slushy cup of sweet tea is a It can be flavored with lemon, peach, raspberry, or mint. Baking soda is sometimes added to reduce the acidity. Although sweet tea has less sugar and calories than most fruit juices and sodas, it is not uncommon to find sweet tea with a sugar content twice that of Coca-Cola.

Sweet tea is a staple in the southern US and Indonesian cuisines. The availability of sweet tea in restaurants and other establishments is often used to determine a region’s Southerness.

Takeaway

In the end, no matter what kind of beverage you drink there will still be calories in it (except for water). Whether it’s a cup of joe or alcohol, they will still have calories in them. That’s why, use this guide to keep track of how many calories a drink contains. Enjoy your drink!

References:

  1. https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/what-are-liquid-calories-know-how-they-help-in-losing-weight-1785293
  2. https://www.premierhealth.com/faq/what-are-liquid-calories-and-where-are-they-found
  3. https://www.livescience.com/38694-keeping-calories-from-juice-in-check.html
  4. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-liquid-calories-can-sabotage-weight-loss-success
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