It may be the most instantly gratifying pleasure known to humankind: That first cold, refreshing sip of your favorite beverage on a hot day. And when the weather turns cold? A beverage is still the fastest way to warm up the chill and turn your mood around. But as you get older, there are some drinks that once you’re over the age of 40, it’s best to steer clear of.
See, while a drink may be the fastest way to quench your thirst or comfort a chill, it’s also the fastest way to expand your waistline. Liquid calories account for a whopping 22% of our daily calorie intake—upwards of 350 calories every single day, which is more than twice as much as we drank 30 years ago.
You may not realize how many calories you’re consuming through drinks, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t making an impact on your body weight. Researchers from Harvard University and Children’s Hospital in Boston found that women who increased their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, from one per week to one or more per day added 358 calories daily and gained significant weight over the course of 8 years.
We studied hundreds of popular drinks and compiled this essential list of the 40 drinks you should never drink after 40, so you stay lean for life—one sip at a time. And while you’re making healthier choices, be sure to try these 22 Meals to Melt Belly Fat in 2022.
Plain coconut water is a wonderful electrolyte replenisher, but once companies throw in added sweeteners and tropical fruit-flavored syrups (think pineapple coconut water), you often end up drinking more sugar than is in an actual coconut.
For many of us, lemonade evokes memories of cute kids sitting at a stand the end of their driveway. And while the littles pushing the drink may be innocent enough, the beverage itself is not, as it can be high in calories and sugar in just one cup. The only thing we like about this drink is its fairly harmless list of ingredients. While water, sugar, and lemon juice won’t make you sick, drinking it in excess could bring on a metabolic condition that will. And don’t even think about going for the Minute Maid stuff, as that version has a whopping 40 grams of sugar in just one 12-ounce can.
Probiotics are great for maintaining good gut health, but not when they’re tainted with loads of sugar. Take Bolthouse Farms’ Peach Parfait Breakfast Smoothie as an example: just one 15.2-fl-oz bottle packs in 360 calories and 45 grams of sugar. You’re better off enjoying a satiating serving of these 25 Best Yogurts for Weight Loss instead.
We know how difficult it can be to resist a classic, comforting PSL, but passing up the pumpkin-flavored bev will do wonders for your waistline. If you order a tall PSL from Starbucks with 2% milk and no whipped cream—a choice that seems slim to most—you’re still ingesting 300 calories and a whopping 39 grams of sugar. If you really need a caffeine fix, stick to black coffee with a splash of cream and limit your seasonal latte indulgences to once or twice a month.
If you order a gin and tonic at the bar thinking the clear mixer is better for your belly than dark sodas, think again. Just 12 ounces of tonic water can cost you 124 calories and 32 grams of sugar—that’s only seven grams less than soda for the same amount!
Since when did a blend of ice cream and root beer ever sound like a good idea? Maybe as a kid, but not as a health-conscious adult. If you must relive your childhood from time to time, make sure to share the creamy float with a friend!
Mixing your liquors is never a good idea, especially if it’s in Lime-A-Rita form. Bud Light packs nearly 200 calories into a small eight-ounce can, and the sweet concoction is made with artificial sweetener and artificial flavors. Make your own refreshing (and way less caloric) marg with fresh lime juice, a teaspoon of honey, triple sec, and tequila.