How Much Energy Are You Consuming In Your Beverage?

When looking to lose weight or improve general health and well being, most people start by looking at their food choices and making changes in accordance with their goals. Unfortunately, what we are drinking often gets overlooked. Obviously, water is always the best choice. The real question here is, do you understand just how much energy you are consuming in your favourite beverage?

The following is a list of common beverages that are often consumed on a daily basis, along with the kilo joule content.

Beverage Serving Size (ml) Energy (kJ per serving)
Medium-sized cappuccino 340 600
Fruit juice 250 285
Soft drink 375 695
Flavoured milk 600 2100
Smoothie (bought, medium) 450 1300-1900
Tea (dash of milk) 250 80
Energy drink 250 515


Now, a single glass of juice with breakfast or a small milk-based coffee won’t put a large dent in your energy budget. However, it’s not uncommon for a client to report drinking 4-5 medium-sized coffees and a few glasses of juice every single day, then struggling to understand why they can’t lose weight.  As you can see, doing so would provide approximately 3000kJ and contribute sometimes as much as 50% of someone’s daily energy target for weight reduction.

Yes, water is ALWAYS going to be the best choice but there is still room for other low-energy beverages.

We’ve included below a list of alternative beverage choices, that are lower in total energy and added sugars:

  • Soda water (with or without a slice of lemon or lime to jazz it up)
  • Flavoured mineral water (just check the sugar content as some brands don’t add sugar and others do)
  • Small-sized milk-based coffee on reduced-fat milk
  • Diet soft drinks or cordials (artificially sweetened)
  • Cold water infusions (tea bags for cold water)
  • Herbal and black tea (with an optional dash of milk)

As always, one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians from Fuel Your Life is more than happy to help you understand what your best choices are when it comes to beverages and help you develop a meal plan to incorporate your favourites in appropriate amounts.

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