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Liquid Calories


You read the HDT newsletters every week and regularly choose healthy foods to eat in the dining halls. With all of your healthy choices, what could you have possibly overlooked? Most people only consider calories from food when assessing their diet, but you should also think about everything you drink throughout the day. Specialty coffees, sugary fruit juices and energy drinks can add major calories to your total daily caloric intake. Sweeteners in these beverages come in various forms and can be difficult to recognize when listed on a nutrition facts label. Sweeteners include: high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, syrup, corn syrup, sucrose, and dextrose. Substituting water or low-calorie drinks for sugar sweetened beverages is a great way to reduce the liquid calories in your diet.

  Better Beverage Tips


  •  Upgrade up the flavor of your water by adding slices of lemon, orange, or cucumber.
  • Try diluting fruit juice with water or seltzer to reduce the calories.
  • Check the nutrition facts labels for serving size. The amount of calories on the label does not always reflect the total amount of calories in the entire product.
  • If you choose a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the small size.
  • Opt for lighter (non-fat or sugar-free) versions of specialty coffee drinks.
  • Be careful not to add too much cream to coffee and tea, try low-fat milk.

When it Comes to Liquid Calories, Think Before You Drink 

Author: Jenna Deinzer
Reviewed By: Jennifer Martin-Biggers, MS, RD-Dept of Nutritional Sciences
References: Rethink Your Drink. Available at: Accessed on: November 10, 2013. Questions? Post on our Facebook (RU Healthy Dining Team) or Twitter (@RUHDT) or e-mail us at Our mission is to educate students about nutrition and encourage them to make healthier food and lifestyle choices. For more info, nutrient analysis and past newsletters, visit our web page at or visit our blog at

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