floating button

Tracking Liquid Calories

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tracking calories can be tricky, but many people miss one big category of calories altogether: liquid calories.

With the exception of water and diet beverages, most drinks contain at least some calories, and it can be easy to quickly rack up the calorie count on drinks such as coffee beverages and juices. These extra calories add up, increasing your daily caloric intake and getting in the way of your weight loss goals.

It’s not just the calorie count that can be a problem; it’s how your body processes those calories. When you consume calories by eating food, you also fill up your stomach, signaling to your brain that you’re full. Your body responds differently to liquid calories. It doesn’t register all those calories, leading you to eat just as much to feel full. For example, if you drink a soda or sweet tea with dinner, you likely won’t eat any less food than if you were to drink water with your meal.

Unless you’re counting them, liquid calories are essentially “extra” calories that can lead to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

Just how many calories are in your favorite drink? Here’s a look at the calorie count for some of the most common beverages. (These numbers are for a 12-ounce serving size unless otherwise noted.)

Soda: 124–189 calories

Diet soda: 0–7 calories

Bottled sweet tea: 129–143 calories

Unsweetened tea: 4 calories

Apple juice, unsweetened: 169–175 calories

Tomato/vegetable juice: 80 calories

Cranberry juice cocktail: 205 calories

Sports drink: 99 calories

Fitness water: 18 calories

Whole milk: 220 calories

2% low-fat milk: 183 calories

1% low-fat milk: 154 calories

Soy milk: 147-191 calories

Café latte with whole milk (16 ounces): 265 calories

Beer: 150 calories

Wine (5 ounces): 125 calories

Liquor (1.5 ounces): 100 calories

Remember, making smart beverage choices can help you reach your weight loss goal that much more quickly.