Watch what you drink

What you drink can have a huge impact on your weight and overall health. The calorie and sugar content in beverages per serving is listed on the Nutrition Facts label, but many people don’t realize how much their beverages are contributing to their daily calorie intake. Calories consumed from beverages can add up quickly if you are not careful. Substituting no—or low—calorie drinks for sugar-sweetened beverages can cut undesired calories easily.

In 2006 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006; 83:529-542.) published beverage consumption guidelines for adults. Below you will find a table with recommended intake ranges.

Suggested Beverage Consumption Patterns
(10% energy from beverages) for 2,200 calorie daily energy requirement. Total: 98 fl oz.
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Water Unsweetened coffee & tea Nonfat or low-fat milk and fortified soy beverages
  • At least four 8-oz servings for women
  • At least six 8-oz servings for men
  • Up to eight 8-oz servings of tea
  • Up to four 8-oz servings of coffee
  • Up to two 8-oz servings
Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Diet beverages with sugar substitutes 100% fruit & vegetable juices, whole milk, sports drinks Calorie-rich beverages without nutrients
  • Up to four 8-oz servings
  • Up to one 8-oz serving
  • Up to one 8-oz servings, less if trying to lose weight