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Liquid Nutrition: The Truth About Calories in Soda

Fitday Editor

Liquid nutrition can best be thought of as a way of getting your nutrients in your diet into your body primarily through liquids. Soda is a drink which is non-alcoholic and contains both a flavoring agent and just plain water. Most of these sodas are both sweetened as well as being carbonated, but they, too, can contain additional ingredients like fruit juice. A little-known fact about sodas is that some of them even include a small amount of alcohol--less than 0.5 percent of the total volume of the soda drink. You can drink sodas at room temperature, but many people generally prefer to drink them chilled. The truth about calories in soda, though, is a much more complicated story.

Calories in Regular Soda

The amount of calories in regular soda is quite hefty, which is why it is seen as a drink that can easily add more pounds to your waistline. One can of regular soda comes out to 12 fluid ounces, and in just one such can, you will already receive 155 calories. This calorie count is quite consistent across the board of all major types of soda drinks, from Coca Cola to Pepsi to Dr. Pepper. This only means one thing for your body: weight gain. Beyond that, it also means more work for your body, as to get rid of that additional weight that comes from those extra calories, you will have to engage in exercise. You would have to walk for 23 minutes at a brisk pace just to burn off the calories from one regular soda.

Low-Calorie Sodas

In response to accusations regarding the destructive properties of soda to consumers, many soda companies have aggressively been marketing low-calorie and diet sodas for quite some time. These drinks are supposedly healthier for you than regular soda. On the surface, it may well appear this way as the nutritional information on a can of diet soda, for instance, shows that the calorie content is zero. To unobservant people, this may be enough to satisfy their concerns, but to people who are skeptical, their concerns won't likely be calmed by the presence of still-high amounts of sodium in said low-calorie drinks. For example, one can (12 fluid ounces) of Diet Coke has one calorie, but the sodium content is 28 milligrams. Now compare that with a can of regular Coca Cola Classic, which contains 33 milligrams of sodium. There really isn't much difference.


The truth about calories in soda is complicated. It may only seem that sodas that have zero calories are healthier for you, and it certainly is true that having zero calories is beneficial in comparison to regular sodas that feature a high calorie content. However, the dirty trick is that the diet sodas and the low-calorie sodas are not totally healthy for you as evidenced by their still significant sodium content.

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