Hidden calories are everywhere: the fries you stole off your roommate’s plate, the fun-sized Twix bars from your care package, and, most dangerously, in the drinks you love. We all know soda and juices have loads of sugar and extra calories, but it is easy to forget the calories in your post-chem lab latte, the sugar in your post-workout Gatorade or everything in your third cup of sangria at the Phi Psi house (Side note: try it. It’s miraculous). Following the guidelines below can help you put healthy things into your body (caffeine, potassium, calcium) while keeping the bad stuff out.
To Drink: Dark Roast Coffee sweetened with Sugar-Free Vanilla
Not to Drink: Skinny Vanilla Latte
With only 120 calories in a grande SkVL, this drink tends to be a safe bet. However, a daily dose can definitely put the hurts to your wallet. To save $2 (at least!) and around 40-50 calories, order “dark roast with sugar free vanilla with room for milk” and add (skim) milk as needed. It tastes the same, but contains less milk, and thus fewer calories. Enjoy the extra cash and looser-fitting jeans.
To Drink: Skinny Girl alcohol products
Not to Drink: Mixed Drinks
If you’re planning a classy girl’s night in complete with a Grey’s Anatomy marathon and libations, skip the sweet and sour mix and margaritas. Bethenny Frankel’s products are sweet and girly, but have less sugar than what you might find behind a frat bar. They tend to be pricey, so save it for girls’ night instead of party time. (Warning: there is less sugar, so they are much stronger. Be safe!)
To Drink: Naked Coconut Water
Not to Drink: Gatorade Original
Sometimes water isn’t enough when it comes to replenishing what you lost after a workout. Gatorade seems a likely choice, but 12 ounces (a full bottle is 32 ounces!) has 21g of carbs and 21g of sugar. Both need to be restored after a hard run, but Naked offers a better option: in 11.2 ounces (that’s one container) there are 60 calories, 20 mg of sodium, 650 mg of potassium (more than an entire banana!), 14g of carbs and 11g of sugar. Natural and light, coconut water is your best post-sweat swig.
To Drink: La Croix Sparkling Water (try all flavors!)
Not to Drink: Diet Coke
I am a Diet Coke fanatic. I love the fizziness, especially when it accompanies an all-American meal, but the artificial sweeteners and high levels of caffeine aren’t ideal. Instead, reach for La Croix sparkling water (lime is my favorite flavor). It contains no sweeteners or caffeine, and I can still get my fizz fix while avoiding aspartame (if you don’t know how scary it is, do some research — yikes.)
In the end, the best choice you can make is water. It’s great for your skin, internal organs, brain and hair, but we all are guilty of under-hydrating. You should always reach for water first, but no one will blame you for a daily Norbucks trip.