It’s finally warm outside and time to get out those pretty glasses and whip up some fun, fruity drinks. But watch out. That cool beverage that goes down so sweetly could contain more than half of your daily caloric intake.
What you drink counts just as much as what you eat, and if you’re trying to lose weight, drinks should be treated as a meal or at least as part of a meal. You can certainly sip away your daily caloric intake from just two or three of summer’s high-sugar drinks. Add in some alcohol and things only get worse. Not only is alcohol void of any nutrition, it also reduces your body’s metabolism of fat. Now, you’ve probably heard that protein and carbohydrates (or sugar) have 4 calories per gram. But alcohol, at 7 calories per gram, is exceeded only by fat (at 9 calories per gram). A 1.5-ounce shot of vodka, rum, tequila or gin contains 100 calories — about the same as a slice of bread. Make it a double and you’re already at 200 calories — and that’s before you’ve added any fun flavors.
Vodka Mix w/ Ice
= 175 Calories
For only about 2 ounces of this alcoholic drink, you're set back nearly 200 calories. About 12 minutes of vigorous step-ups or stair climbing (about 50 or so flights of stairs) will burn off this drink.
= 220 Calories
This fruity drink has a lot more calories than your average strawberry. (In fact, you could eat 37 strawberries to equal one.) You'll need to jump rope for 27 minutes to offset the calories from this sugary drink.
= 322 Calories
This wouldn't be too bad if you took away everything but the ice. You're gonna have to go for 45 minutes of walking lunges, at a bood pace -- more than a half-mile of lunges -- to burn off this city sipper.
= 526 Calories
A mix of pineapple juice, coconut and rum, this sweet drink can really boost your calorie count. Burning off the 500-plus calories will take about 55 minutes of jump squats, or about 1,650 of them. OK, that's just an example. Don't do 1,650 jump squats if you plan on using your knees again. (Instead, you could run about 5 miles.)
= 98 Calories
A lemonade or sweetened tea is filled with more than 20 grams of sugar - around 100 calories per glass. To burn them, you'd only have to do about 10 minutes of jumping jacks. Not too bad, although jumping jacks do get tiring after the first 100 or so.
So next time you pick up a nice cold drink — or you’re offered one to go along with your meal — it’s worthwhile to contemplate just how much exercise it would take to burn off that seemingly little splurge.
Of course a nice glass of sparkling water (zero calories) with a twist of lemon or lime lets you enjoy a festive, refreshing drink with no guilt — and no sore muscles.
All caloric calculations are based on a 155-pound person.
Model: Adrienne Thommes. Photos by Young Kwak.