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Rethink your drink Resources

What you drink makes more of a difference than you think. The information and resources below will help you Rethink Your Drink.

Many people don’t realize just how many calories beverages can contribute to their daily intake, even though calories in beverages are not hidden. As you can see in the example below, calories from drinks can really add up. But there is good news: you and your family have plenty of options for reducing the number of calories in what you drink.

OccasionInstead of…CaloriesTry…Calories
Morning coffee shop runMedium café latte (16 ounces) made with whole milk265

Small café latte (12 ounces) made with fat-free milk125
Lunchtime combo meal20-oz. bottle of nondiet cola with your lunch227Bottle of water or diet soda0
Afternoon breakSweetened lemon iced tea from the vending machine (16 ounces)180Sparkling water with natural lemon flavor (not sweetened)0
DinnertimeA glass of nondiet ginger ale with your meal (12 ounces)124Water with a slice of lemon or lime, or seltzer water with a splash of 100% fruit juice0 calories for the water with fruit slice, or about 30 calories for seltzer water with 2 ounces of 100% orange juice.
Total beverage calories:796
125-155

(USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference)

In the example above, by drinking no- or low-calorie drinks instead of sugar-loaded beverages throughout the day cuts about 650 calories.

Check the list below to estimate how many calories you typically take in from beverages.

Type of BeverageCalories in 12 ounces
Calories in 20 ounces
Fruit punch192320
100% apple juice192300
100% orange juice168280
Lemonade168280
Regular lemon/lime soda148247
Regular cola136227
Sweetened lemon iced tea (bottled, not homemade)135225
Tonic water124207
Regular ginger ale124207
Sports drink99165
Fitness water1836
Unsweetened iced tea23
Diet soda (with aspartame)0*0*
Carbonated water (unsweetened)00
Water00

*Some diet soft drinks can contain a small number of calories that are not listed on the nutrition facts label.
(USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference)

Milk contains vitamins and other nutrients that contribute to good health. Choosing low-fat or fat-free milk is a good way to reduce calorie intake and still get the nutrients that milk contains.

Type of MilkCalories per cup (8 ounces)
Chocolate milk (whole)208
Chocolate milk (2% reduced-fat)190
Chocolate milk (1% low-fat)158
Whole Milk (unflavored)150
2% reduced-fat milk (unflavored)120
1% low-fat milk (unflavored)105
Fat-free milk (unflavored)90

*Some diet soft drinks can contain a small number of calories that are not listed on the nutrition facts label.
(USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference)

This content was sourced from the CDC.

Resources for organizations

Healthy HotSpot. Eating healthy can be hard with so many unhealthy options available to us, but the places we live, learn worship, play and receive health care can take action to make healthy living easier. Click here to learn more.

Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity – Illinois Rethink Your Drink. Help spread the truth about sugar-loaded drinks. Click here for fact sheets and resources.

Resources for individuals and families

Tips from the American Heart Association to Rethink Your Drink. Learn tips on how to switch to healthier drinks that can quench your thirst and still taste good!

How many teaspoons do you and your family consume each day? Find out what the recommended daily intake of sugar is by the American Heart Association. Download the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Handout.