Saturday, March 3, 2012

15 Worst Drinks in America

the most bloating beverages in gas stations, bars, smoothie counters, and coffee shops across America and replaced them with sensible and satisfying stand-ins for a fraction of the caloric cost. 

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1. Worst Drink in America

Cold Stone Creamery PB&C Shake Gotta Have It Size

1,750 calories
118 g fat (64 g saturated, 2 g trans)
140 g sugars
The PB&C is intended to denote peanut butter and chocolate, but the more accurate translation might be potbellies and cardiovascular disease. After all, this one drink does pack more calories than a dozen ice cream sandwiches and more saturated fat than nearly 20 large orders of McDonald's French fries. And what's even more depressing is that no shake on Cold Stone's menu, not even the small sizes, falls below 900 calories. Choose a small ice cream and use the 1,380 calories for something with at least a trace of nutritional value.

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Eat This Instead!

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Like It Size

370 calories
24 g fat (13 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
28 g sugars

2. Worst Smoothie

Smoothie King's The Hulk, Strawberry (40 ounces)

2,070 calories
64 g fat (26 g saturated)
250 g sugars
To be fair, this smoothie is designed to help people gain weight—and for that reason alone, it isn’t our Worst Drink in America. The problem is that we live in a nation in which two-thirds of us are overweight, and the number of professional body builders doesn't constitute a significant demographic. Plus, if you really want to put on some pounds, just eat 9 Odwalla Super Protein bars. That's how many it would take to match this caloric load.

Drink This Instead!

The Shredder, Strawberry (20 ounces)

356 calories
1 g fat
41 g sugars

3. Worst Float

Baskin-Robbins Large Ice Cream Soda with Vanilla Ice Cream Float (32 ounces)

960 calories
40 g fat (25 g saturated, 1.5 g trans)
136 g sugars
If you're going to have a float, it's best to limit yourself to one small scoop of ice cream and a reasonable pour of soda, yet Baskin-Robbins' smallest portion is 32 ounces! Unfortunately, if the ice cream mogul doesn't begin offering smaller sizes, your options are limited. Either split a small float or cut the soda out of the equation.

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Eat This Instead!

Vanilla Ice Cream Scoop (4 ounces)

260 calories
16 g fat (10 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
26 g sugars

4. Worst Cocktail

Red Lobster Traditional Lobsterita

890 calories
0 g fat
183 g carbohydrates
Lobsterita means a lobster tank-size glass filled with booze and high-fructose corn syrup. You'd have to drink 4 regular on-the-rocks margaritas to outdo the massive calorie load. Pair that with a dinner and you might be pushing a full day's calories in one meal. If you want to get drunk, take a shot. If you want to enjoy a cocktail, make sure it doesn't start with a bottle of mix-your body and your taste buds will thank you.

Drink This Instead!

Malibu Hurricane

200 calories
0 g fat
35 g carbohydrates

5. Worst Holiday Coffee Drink

Starbucks Venti 2% Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha (20 ounces)

640 calories
21 g fat (13 g saturated)
94 g sugars
Between the candies and the casseroles, we already have plenty of temptations to deal with during the holidays. We certainly don't need Starbucks' surreptitious sugar overload thrown into the mix. The name implies indulgence, sure, but the fact that this cup holds more sugar than 9 Krispy Kreme doughnuts is pretty appalling. Settle for a candy cane in your coffee or find a different drink.

Drink This Instead!

Grande Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte (16 ounces)

120 calories
0 g fat
16 g sugars

6. Worst Hot Chocolate

Starbucks Venti 2% White Hot Chocolate (20 ounces)

600 calories
23 g fat (14 g saturated)
78 g sugars
360 mg sodium
Thanks to Starbucks' monstrous creation, this classic winter comfort beverage is now sullied with more than a full day's worth of saturated fat and as much sugar as nearly 4 Hershey's chocolate bars.

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Drink This Instead!

Grande Nonfat Vanilla Crème (16 ounces)

270 calories
7 g fat (4.5 g saturated)
38 g sugars

7. Worst Slush

Sonic Route Large Lemon-Berry Cream Slush (20 ounces)

600 calories
24 g fat (17 g saturated)
88 g sugars
To be fair, this belly blaster is more of a shake-slush hybrid: half sugar-saturated ice and half high-fat ice cream. Think it sounds tasty alongside a Sonic Cheeseburger and fries? Maybe so, but that's a meal that will cost you more than 1,500 calories.

Drink This Instead!

Small Lemonberry Real Fruit Slush (14 ounces)

190 calories
0 g fat
50 g sugars

8. Worst Juice Imposter

Arizona Kiwi Strawberry (23.5-ounce can)

360 calories
0 g fat
84 g sugars
If kiwi and strawberry are both fruits (and they are, we fact-checked it), then why does this can contain only 5 percent juice? Because it's made from watered-down high-fructose corn syrup-enough of it, in fact, to give this drink the sugar equivalent of 7 bowls of Froot Loops cereal. The most disturbing part of this beverage is that it normally costs just $.99, making it the cheapest source of empty calories we've ever uncovered.

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Drink This Instead!

Diet Snapple Noni Berry Juice (17.5-ounce bottle)

33 calories
0 g fat
2 g sugars

9. Worst Soda

Sunkist (20-ounce bottle)

320 calories
84 g sugars
All full-sugar sodas are evil, but they weren't all created equal. A 12-ounce can of Coke-the tooth-rotting standard-contains 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar. That same size can from Sunkist packs 190 calories and a staggering 52 grams of sugar. Tack on the extra 8 ounces in this orange monster and you begin to understand why soft drinks are often cited as one of the top contributors to obesity and diabetes in this country.

Drink This Instead!

Honest Ade Orange Mango (16.9-ounce bottle)

100 calories
24 g sugars

10. Worst Bottled Beverage

Sobe Liz Blizz (20-ounce bottle)

310 calories
1 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
77 g sugars
Don't be fooled by the natural motifs that adorn Sobe's bottles. Spin this one around and you'll see that it's made from water, sugar, skim milk, and cream. We've said it before and we'll say it again: Don't buy products with cartoon animals on the front. This repugnant reptile will shatter your weight loss dreams. In fact, this one bottle contains more sugar than 11 Rainbow Popsicles.

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Drink This Instead!

Sobe Cherimoya Punch Lean Machine Lifewater (20-ounce bottle)

0 calories
0 g fat
0 g sugars

11. Worst Beer

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale (12-ounce bottle)

304 calories
32 g carbohydrates
9.6% alcohol
You know a beer is in trouble when it needs to invoke the image of an oversize mythical beast just to describe itself. Perhaps a better name would have been Jabba the Hut Ale. Beer gets most of its calories from the booze itself, and with nearly 10 percent alcohol in each bottle, this brew is likely to create a beer belly nearly as quickly as it creates a buzz.

Drink This Instead!

Guinness Draught (12-ounce bottle)

126 calories
10 g carbohydrates
4% alcohol

12. Worst Energy Drink

Rockstar Original (16-ounce can)

280 calories
0 g fat
62 g sugars
Americans spent $4.2 billion on high-octane elixirs in 2008. Even with dozens of brands found in the cooler, Rockstar stands out as the most sugar-loaded of the various and sundry energy drinks. Compared with its closest competitor, it has 20 extra calories, which is just enough to make it the worst possible choice for instant energy. And with research on the long-term effects of taurine and guarana still cloudy, you're better off getting your buzz from coffee, a proven source of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients. But if you must grab a can, you can't get better than the low-carb concoction below.

Drink This Instead!

Monster Lo-Carb Energy (16-ounce can)

20 calories
0 g fat
6 g sugars

13. Worst Lemonade

Minute Maid Lemonade (20-ounce bottle)

250 calories
67 g sugars
This classic lemonade favorite has the sugar equivalent of 5 Good Humor Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches, and you’d need to do a full hour of vigorous housecleaning to burn off all the calories. Switch to the much-less-caloric (and equally refreshing) Crystal Light option.

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Drink This Instead!

Crystal Light Pink Lemonade On-the-Go Packet (16 ounces prepared)

10 calories
0 g sugars

14. Worst Bottled Coffee

Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino (9.5-ounce bottle)

200 calories
3 g fat (N/A g saturated)
31 g sugars
Most people don't associate coffee with milk shake-like loads of sugar, but that's exactly what's happening inside this bottle. Add one of these to your diet every morning and you'll add about 21 pounds of flab to your body in a year.

Drink This Instead!

Java Monster Vanilla Light Coffee + Energy (15-ounce can)

100 calories
3 g fat (2 g saturated)
10 g sugars

15. Worst Light Beer

Sam Adams Light

124 calories
9.7 g carbs
Light beers generally range from 95 to 110 calories, but the Sam Adams Light contains 124. Kind of defeats the purpose of a light beer, especially when you can choose a regular Guinness Draught for just one more calorie. Choose a true light beer: Beck's contains 60 fewer calories than the Sam Adams (that's almost as little as one-half the caloric impact!).

Drink This Instead!

Beck's Light

64 calories
3.9 g carbs
3.8% alcohol by volume

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