10 Surprising Empty-Calorie Drinks You Should Avoid

Usually, when we try to change our beverage diets for the better, soda is the first thing to go. We've seen the studies and read the literature that tells us just one tiny can of caramel-colored, high fructose corn syrup masquerading as refreshment is just about the worst thing to reach for when we're thirsty. Even diet soda is no longer safe, with new reports offering evidence that folks who drink diet soda end up consuming more calories in a day than those who don't.

10 Surprising Empty-Calorie Drinks You Should Avoid (Slideshow)

But are we really drinking smarter? According to Mason Bendewald, chief production officer at DailyBurn, "many people are unaware of just how many extra empty calories they consume from beverages alone that ad zero, or a negligible amount of ingredients our bodies actually need." For example, most people know they need to drink water to rehydrate after a workout, but many reach for flavored "vita waters" for a tastier alternative to plain water.

That, says Bendewald, is a mistake — because there's more sugar than vitamins in most of those drinks ; "one bottle a day for 5 days ads 750 extra empty calories. Instead get your "vitas" from veggies and fruits and reap the benefits of antioxidants and fiber at the same time. How about a small (16oz) Tropical Mango Jamba Juice? Well that little beverage has a whopping 45g of sugar and 210 Calories!"

All those extra calories don't really serve any purpose, since they don't make us feel full. Unfortunately, our bodies don't register liquid calories in the same way they do food calories, so it's possible to drink way more calories than we need simply because we never get that full feeling that says "Stop!"

So what sneaky beverages are secretly messing up your calorie count? Read on to find out! 

Skim Milk

For years it was common knowledge that skim milk was a better dairy option than higher calorie whole milk. Lately, however, researchers aren't so sure. A recent study showed that children who drank skim milk tended to be heavier than children who drank 2% or higher. One reason could be that skim milk simply isn't as filling as its higher fat counterpart.

Bottled Orange Juice

While orange juice commercials would have you believe a glass of not-from-concentrate juice is just as healthy as eating a ripe orange, that's just not the case. Thanks to flavor packs and processing, most grocery store juice has as much sugar as a soda and not many of the nutrients found in fresh fruit. 

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