At the Pool Party or Bar
Summer means free time, which also means a sudden increase in parties. For the over-21 crowd, your choice of drink ultimately determines how healthy (such a relative term here) your night out ends up. Generally, frozen concoctions are filled with sugar, so stick with plain juices or diet soda whenever possible.
The worst choice: If you like Pina Coladas, you'll be drinking up to 325 calories. Don't let the coconut flavor deceive you as these concoctions are loaded with sugar.
The “on occasion” choice: Still feeling like something frosty? Margaritas come in at 240 calories.
The best choice: Simple mixes like rum and Coke are about 180 calories—perfect for keeping you light on your feet for a night of dancing and flirting with cute guys. To keep it even lower cal, reach for the Diet Coke, which makes this drink 130 calories.
Working it off: When you do head to the dance floor to show off those moves, you could burn up to 300 calories an hour.
- Pick the “diet” option whenever possible.
- Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to cut down calories (and stay safe!).
- If you're making your own drink, use smaller cups so you're not tempted to sip up more sugar.
After a Draining Day in the Sun (but before going out at night)
When fatigue sets in and caffeine is calling your name, some choices will do wonders and others will leave you feeling worse. Let's break this down through the universal language of Starbucks.
The worst choice: A tall Starbucks Frappuccino packs 340 calories. We're talking before you add the caramel, mocha, brownie goodness to the mix.
The “on occasion” choice: A tall caramel macchiato rings in at 180 calories.
The best choice: A tall iced coffee is 60 calories and an iced latte with skim milk is 70 calories, while a tall skinny latte is 100 calories.
*Attention Red Bull drinkers: you're only taking in 110 calories, but next time you reach for one, take a gander at the amount of sugar in these powerful concoctions (or reach for a sugar-free Red Bull).
Working it off: You have permission to shop ‘til you drop. One hour of power shopping can burn up to 160 calories.
- When you look at nutrition labels, calories are important, but don't forget to check sugar and carb contents, too. These can be real shockers.
- Make sure you balance that caffeine with plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated.
- Don't get carried away. Caffeine is great in moderation, but it's no replacement for a nice nap for heading out at night.
Caitlin Hardgrove, HC writer