Presumably, if you're picking up a bottle of chocolate milk, you know it's a bit of a diet indulgence. But don't assume you're doing yourself any favors just because it says "low-fat milk" on the bottle. The calcium in milk may be good for your bones, but the 360 calories (50 of which are from fat) and nearly 60 grams of sugar in this 16-ounce drink aren't helping your waistline. That's more or less the sugar equivalent of eating two Hershey's milk chocolate bars.
The energy bean itself is not the enemy — a plain cup of coffee with cream and a teaspoon of sugar is a reasonable 63 calories. What's not so reasonable are the 140 calories and 17 grams of sugar you'll find in one small 6.5-ounce can of Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso and Cream. To put that in perspective, the much worse-sounding 9.5-ounce bottled Vanilla Frappuccino will only cost you 60 more calories.
Drinking coffee may have many alleged health benefits, but adding this flavored creamer to your morning cup isn't going to help. Bailey's French Vanilla flavored coffee creamer clocks in at 40 calories per serving, and with 64 servings in one 32-ounce bottle, you'll have spent a total of 2,560 calories by the time you've enjoyed every last drop.
We often think of smoothies and protein shakes as a healthy alternative treat. While they're certainly better then opting for a frozen milkshake, everything in there is not necessarily good. Odwalla's Chocolate Protein Monster may pack an impressive 25 grams of protein in a 12-ounce bottle, but it also contains 320 calories (55 of which are from fat) and 37 grams of sugar. That's almost as many calories and more than half the amount of sugar in the previously mentioned bottle of Double Chocolate Nesquik.
Yes, of course, drinking tea can offer a lot of health benefits. That said, sneaky sugar can, again, ruin any drink with even the best health intentions. Case in point: A 2-liter bottle of Lipton Brisk Lemon Iced Tea contains a total of about 670 calories and 184 grams of sugar. That's roughly equal to the amount of sugar in two containers of Häagen-Dazs Zesty Lemon sorbet.
Lemonade may be a favorite nostalgic drink, but we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that this is a healthy alternative to soda or juice. The basic ingredients are simple enough: lemon juice, water, and sweetener. But the amount of "sweetener" used in commercially made lemonade can be off the charts. A 23.5-ounce can of Arizona lemonade will cost you about 330 calories and 78 grams of sugar. That's nearly as much sugar as in two 12-ounce cans of Cherry Coke.
Given all of the flak soda gets for being detrimental to one's health, it's funny to think that soft drinks were originally conceived to treat a variety of ailments. While many of us still drink ginger ale for an upset stomach, this fizzy libation is far from a healthy choice. Most colas — from Pepsi to Coke — have about 150 calories per 12-ounce can, but some of the biggest culprits are the flavored sodas, particularly the grape and orange varieties. A 12-ounce can of Sunkist, for example, contains 190 calories and 52 grams of sugar, and a 20-ounce bottle of grape Fanta has 300 calories and a staggering 82.5 grams of sugar.
Your first hint that this might not be the smartest choice in the juice aisle? It's labeled as "fruit juice cocktail" that's made from concentrate. There are 1,200 calories and nearly 300 grams of sugar in one 64-ounce bottle. That's the sugar equivalent of about six packets of Skittles.
We've all been there before — up studying or working late and in desperate need of a quick boost of energy. But, in addition to giving you a jolt of energy, these drinks are also dumping you with a lot of unwanted sugar and calories. As if a 16-ounce can of Original Rockstar wasn't bad enough, with its 280 calories and 62 grams of sugar, a same size can of their Juiced variety has just as many calories and a total of 70 grams of sugar.