Health & Safety

July 5, 2012

What’s in YOUR Bottle?

By Capt. Diane Ryan
Nutrition care OIC, Nutrition Care Division at Weed Army Community Hospital

Many people eat one or two meals a day and consume soft drinks, juices, juice drinks, energy drinks, or sports drinks throughout the day. The first inclination is typically, ‘I barely eat anything so why can’t I lose weight?’ The reason can be fairly simple. It might be excessive calories from beverages.

Studies have shown that we tend to underestimate our daily calorie intake by as much as 42% and overestimate our exercise expenditure by up to 22%.  Studies also show that we typically do not consider the beverages we drink as food or as part of our daily calorie intake.

Take this test: on a regular day, write down everything you drink, and the quantity.  Be honest…no one will see the list but you. At the end of the day review your list.  Mark off all calorie-free drinks (water, diet soda, unsweetened tea, black coffee, etc.).  Many people are surprised to find that they are drinking 64 to 80+ ounces per day of sugared beverages.  And that can add up to an extra 1000 calories which, in turn, can lead to at least 2 pounds of weight gain per week.  Unfortunately most of these beverages contain ‘empty calories’, meaning they are basically little more than sugar and food coloring which offer minimal to no nutritional benefit.

Compare your beverage list with the following list and ask yourself, ‘What’s in MY bottle?’

 Beverage  Approximate Caloric Content
 100% Fruit Juice (orange, grape, apple, grapefruit); 8 oz  95-185 calories
 Soft Drinks; 12 oz  140-165 calories
 Kool-Aid®, Hawaiian Punch®, Sunny Delight®, etc.; 8 oz  100-120 calories
 Beer (lite, regular); 12 oz  90-170 calories
 Wine; 4 oz  90 calories
 Coffee  0 calories
     with creamer added; 8 oz  20 calories per tbsp
     with sugar added; 8 oz  15 calories per tsp
 Tea / herbal tea with sugar added; 8 oz  15 calories per tsp
 Hot chocolate / cocoa; 8 oz  100 calories
 Water (tap, bottle); any size  0 calories


Calories from foods and beverages are important for providing energy to our bodies.  However, consuming more calories than our bodies require in a 24 hour period will lead to weight gain.

To find out how to make healthy food and beverage choices, call the Weed Army Community Hospital Nutrition Care Division at 760-380-3178 or the Tricare Appointment line at 866-460-5305 to set up an appointment with the Dietitian.

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