A recent article in the Los Angeles Times explores how often Americans drink sugary beverages. Studies show that about half of Americans drink a sugary beverage a day. If that doesn’t seem like much, consider that that’s just the average. Boys ages 12-19 drink an average of 273 calories per day. The studies included only sugar-sweetened sodas, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks and sweetened bottled water. Excluded were diet sodas, 100% fruit juice, sweetened tea and flavored milks.
The issue with drinking a lot of sugary beverages is that you consume a lot of calories – upwards of 200 in a 12-ounce can of soda – for little or no nutritional benefit. You won’t feel as satisfied after drinking something sugary than if you were to eat something solid. That’s why a whole orange is a much better option than a glass of orange juice. With an orange, you’ll get more nutrients and lots of fiber, which helps you stay full and feel satisfied.
Keep the phrase “eat, don’t drink, your calories” in mind. Stick to water when you’re thirsty, and choose fresh fruit as a snack. These simple choices will help you get – and stay – healthier.