Softdrinks have gotten flak for being the ultimate unhealthy drink to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight or stay healthy. But just how bad is a can of Coke or Pepsi, really? According to Prevention, it’s excessive sugar consumption that’s bad for your health. Eating and drinking sugar makes you gain more weight than eating fatty food, but soda isn’t the only culprit.
A can of Coke (330ml or 12 oz.) has 140 calories, 39 g of carbs, 49 mg of sodium, and 39g of sugars. The same goes for Sprite, Pepsi, 7-Up, and other similar sodas. But there are many other drinks out there that contain more calories and sugar than a can of soda.
1. Smoothies and Shakes
Contents in a 22-oz serving of Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo’d Smoothie: 980 calories, 630mg sodium, 152g carbs, 131g sugar, and 6g fiber
In Yahoo’s “5 Things Worse For You Than A Big Mac,” writer David Zinczenko said that not all smoothies are good for you. “Even the healthiest smoothies at major chains contain a worrisome amount of sugar,” he wrote. In Jamba Juice, the Orange Carrot Karma Smoothie is one of the “healthiest” with the following contents in a 28oz serving: 310 calories, 76g carbs, 66g sugars, 5g fiber, and 5g protein. The seemingly harmless Orange Dream Machine, on the other hand, has bigger numbers: contents in a 681-g serving are 540 calories, 111g carbs, 105g sugar, 1g fiber, 18g protein, and 310mg sodium.
2. Coffee Frappes
Contents in a venti (24oz) Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha or Java Chip Frappuccino: 580 calories, 89 carbs, 87 g sugars, 7g protein, 350mg sodium, and 0g fiber
In “Coffee Shop Habits That Are Making You Fat,” we discussed how it’s easy for us to drink 500+ calories in one sitting, thanks to our favorite coffee shop concoctions. Aside from Starbucks, there many other coffee shops, such as Seattle’s Best and McCafé, that are guilty of serving a calamity of fat and sugar. Read our compilation of “10 Fattiest Coffee Shop Drinks.”
3. Store-Bought Fruit Juices
Contents in a 12-oz Mott’s Apple Juice: 180 calories, 15mg sodium, 43.5g carbs, 0g fiber, and 42g sugar
Referring to a 140-calorie can (12oz) of Coke as our basis of comparison, most fruit juices have a higher calorie and sugar content. Tropicana Pure Premium Orange juice has 150 calories, Minute Maid Orange Juice has 174, while Welch’s 100% Grape Juice has 255. You’re better off eating a fresh apple than drinking a glass of bottled or tetra-packed apple juice.
4. Canned and Bottled Iced Tea
Contents of a 12-oz serving of Arizona Iced Tea: 306 calories, 68mg sodium, 81.6g carbs, and 78.2g sugar
Many canned and bottled iced tea drinks actually outdo soda in terms of sugar and calorie content, while other bottled iced tea brands have almost the same number of calories. When in doubt, read the labels.
5. Bar Cocktails
Contents of a 12-oz Pina Colada: 806 calories, 94g carbs, and 242mg sodium
Most bar and club cocktails are spiked with not just cheap alcohol, but loads of syrup and juice. Our favorite Cosmopolitan drink has 748 calories per 12 oz (eep!), Long Island Iced Tea has 646, while an Apple Martini has about 544.
Calorie sources: caloriecount.com, jambajuice.com, and starbucks.com