Why we say "Don't Drink Your Calories"

            You’ve probably heard people say “don’t drink your calories” or “stop drinking calories” and that’s because on average we consume 200-600 calories from our daily recommended intake through beverages such as coffee, juice, pop etc. The problem with this is that it makes it very easily to consume a lot of calories quickly and if you are still eating a normal amount of food this could lead to weight gain. Plus, those calories found in pop, coffee (from any added sugar) and juice are almost always 100% carbohydrate..and not the good kind, the sugary kind. And sugary drinks cause spikes in our blood which can lead to cravings and hunger quicker than if we had had a healthy snack instead.


·      1 cup of Orange Juice = 120 calories and most people drink more than the 8oz serving size in one sitting·      1 can of Cocoa Cola (150 ml) = 140 calories

·      1 can of Tonic Water (150 ml) = 130 calories

·      1 oz alcohol = ~100 calories

·      Tim Hortons Medium Double Double = 240 calories

·      Starbucks Grande Caramel Latte = 240 calories

·      Starbucks Grande Caramel Brulee Latte = 430 Calories

1 cup of orange juice with breakfast, a mid-afternoon double-double and a pop with lunch or dinner quickly adds up to 500 calories and that’s if you are having only one serving size!


            For people following this rule it definitely puts a damper on cold pressed or fresh squeezed juices. The reality is these juices are high in calories and it is all simple sugars BUT you are getting a non-pasteurized, nutrient-packed drink. Depending on your health status and lifestyle a green juice may or may not be a good option. If you are pre-diabetic/diabetic for example that quick shot of sugary juice may send you blood sugar and all the other hormones that come with it into a bit of a frenzy. However, if you are someone who is trying to cut out pop and a fresh juice is the next best option ABSOLUTELY have at it. If you are at a healthy weight and love the little energy boost you get, that’s another awesome reason to drink fresh juices. But note my emphasis on fresh. Grocery-store bought juices are almost always pasteurized. Pasteurization is a quick heating process that, unfortunately, destroys Vitamin C and other vitamins. After the process Vitamin C is added back as a synthetic powder and mixed into the juice. Because of this I vote raw juice from a juice bar or your own home kitchen is the best option. Authentic, original nutrients and fresh plant material for ingredients.


           To put it simply I wouldn’t consider a smoothie a drink. Yes, you drink it but if you had left that cup of spinach, sliced banana, coconut oil and hemp hearts on a plate and eaten it as a meal that way you would be ingesting the exact same ingredients! So smoothies are a go. Homemade is best and always try to add a healthy fat and/or protein!


           Staying hydrated is important so try cutting out sugar/dairy from your coffee or start by cutting it in half! Drink water throughout the day and infuse it with lemon, mint, cucumber, berries etc. for a hint of flavour. Save yourself the calories in the beverage department and instead enjoy small healthy snacks like fruit, cheese, homemade granola bars, or nuts!

Love & health,

Johanna xx.


1- Ogden CL, Kit BK, Carroll MD, Park S. Consumption of sugar drinks in the United States, 2005-2008<. NCHS Data Brief. 2011:1-8.


Johanna Adriaansen