In a world where people are incredibly health conscious, finding something healthy to sip on isn’t necessarily a challenge. Water is always an option, and there are dozens of fancy spa water recipes to keep people happy for years. Whether they’re on the paleo diet train or hitting the gym five days a week, or both, the public wants to stay healthy and in shape. That's not to say we don't enjoy our indulgences; everyone grabs a doughnut or a sugar-laden iced Frappuccino now and then. What's the real harm, if you keep to a healthy diet most of the time, right?
Unfortunately, sometimes your favorite splurge beverage can be a real diet killer, filled with calories and unwanted sugars. Grabbing a juice from the cold case may seem like a healthy choice; after all, it’s natural, right? But that same juice that seems so healthy can be loaded with hidden sugars and empty calories. In fact, many of our most beloved drinks carry those hidden calories or sugars that people miss. For example, a tall pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks — the quintessential fall treat loyal consumers wait for all year — has 300 calories and 39 grams of sugar. 300 calories! To put that into perspective: that's the calorie amount of a small lunch, and you just drank it in one sitting. Kids’ drinks are some of the worst offenders; a small eight-ounce Hi-C Fruit Punch juice box has 103 calories and 26 grams of sugar, and two of the first ingredients listed are high fructose corn syrup and sugar.
We've rounded up a list of some unhealthy culprits that may trick you into sipping more calories than you should. Knowing where the hidden sugar or calories lurk will make it easier to avoid them. Take a peek and see if any of your favorites made the list.
1. Chick-Fil-A Lemonade
Chick-Fil-A is known for sweeter-than-sweet tea and so you may choose lemonade as a “healthier” option. But know this: a nine-ounce serving of lemonade has 170 calories and 43 grams of sugar. That’s just for a size small.
2. Jamba Juice Mega Mango Smoothie
Smoothies are those hidden calorie-killers no one ever remembers. They are chock full of fruit so how can they be bad? Well, an eight-ounce serving of the Mega Mango smoothie from Jamba Juice has 115 calories and 26 grams of sugar. Most serving sizes are 16 ounces, so you could be consuming 52 grams of sugar in one drink.
3. Starbucks Eggnog Latte
When the holiday excitement revs up, you may want to grab an eggnog latte to get in the spirit of the season. However, keep in mind that a short eight-ounce eggnog latte has 230 calories and 24 grams of sugar.
4. Tropicana Fruit Fury Twister
When you think Tropicana, you may not think of high calorie content and lots of sugar, but the Fruit Fury Twister actually has 140 calories per serving. Even worse, a serving has 24 grams of sugar. And all three of the bottle sizes (10, 20, and 96) are packing 2.5 servings so you’ll get more than double the diet crash.
5. Rockstar Energy Drink
We've all had the urge to bump up the caffeine levels when the 2:00 p.m. slump hits or you just need the extra energy, but an eight-ounce Rockstar Energy Drink will set you back 140 calories and a whopping 31 grams of sugar. You’ll need all the energy you get from the caffeine just to work it off.
These drinks are far less healthy than you thought.
More from The Daily Meal