Do you know how many calories you should get from what you drink each day? If you do, you’re in the minority because most Americans don’t know the answer and are consuming 21% of their calories from drinks. That means their drinking just shy of 500 calories a day, which is more than twice as many calories as they should be getting from drinks.
According to the Beverage Guidance Panel, people need about 72 ounces or 9 cups of fluid a day, and they should be drinking no more than about 10% of their daily calories from drinks, which is 200 calories based on a 2,000 calorie day. In fact, the Beverage Guidance Panel maintains that the majority of liquids we obtain on any given day should come from zero-calorie sources, and should include such things as water, plain tea, or coffee without cream or sugar.
The Beverage Guidance Panel also recommends if you drink a caloric beverage, it be one that has nutritional value, such as milk or orange juice, and they offer these guidelines when considering a caloric-laden beverage:
- Although it’s still best not to drink soda, if you do, chose the calorie-free or artificially sweetened drink over the regular version soda, as they have no calories.
- Don’t think just because it’s good for you, there’s no consequence. Remember fruit and vegetable drinks, as well as smoothies, have calories.
- If you drink milk, choose one cup of non-fat milk over whole milk. Non-fat milk has 85 calories and .4 grams of fat versus whole milk, which contains 150 calories and 8 grams of fat.
- Recognize a serving size is a cup, which is 8 ounces. So, if you’re wanting to gulp down the 64-ounce Big Gulp, you need to realize you’re drinking 8 servings.