The worst drinks in America

Heading to the grocery store any time soon or grabbing a quick bite to eat after work? Choosing the beverage you get with your meal can have a bigger caloric impact than you think.

Beverages now make up nearly 25 percent of the average American's daily caloric intake. And deciding what you should get to drink has become more complex because of the number of beverage choices out there.

So before you grab that bottled Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino, you may want to know this, courtesy of Men's Health:

With an unreasonable number of calorie landmines peppered across Starbucks' in-store menu, you'd think the company would want to use its grocery line to restore faith in its ability to provide caffeine without testing the limits of your belt buckle. Guess not. This drink has been on our radar for years, and we still haven't managed to find a bottled coffee with more sugar. Consider this--along with Starbucks' miniature Espresso and Cream Doubleshot--your worst option for a morning pickup.

And before you get your caffeine kick elsewhere, like say, a Rockstar Energy Drink, you may want to know that drinking one 16 fl oz can of that stuff is equivalent to the sugar intake of 6 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts.

Here's a list of 10 of the worst drinks in America 2010, compiled by Men's Health:

  1. Worst water: Snapple Agave Melon Antioxidant Water (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
  2. Worst bottled tea: SoBe Green Tea (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
  3. Worst energy drink: Rockstar Energy Drink (1 can, 16 fl oz)
  4. Worst bottled coffee: Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino (1 bottle, 13.7 fl oz)
  5. Worst soda: Sunkist (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
  6. Worst beer: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (1 bottle, 12 fl oz)
  7. Worst kids drink: Tropicana Tropical Fruit Fury Twister (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
  8. Worst functional beverage: Arizona Rx Energy (1 can, 23 fl oz)
  9. Worst juice impostor: Arizona Kiwi Strawberry (1 can, 23 fl oz)
  10. Worst espresso drink: Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream (venti, 20 fl oz)

For the full list of America's 20 worst drinks -- including how many calories each of these beverages has and better drinking alternatives -- visit Men's Health here.

About the author

Daryl Paranada is the associate web producer for Marketplace overseeing all daily website content and production, as well as producing multimedia features -- including the popular economic explainer series Whiteboard -- and special projects. Follow him on Twitter @darylparanada.
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No one who drinks Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream gives a rip about it's healthiness.

To echo Betsy Ross above no one who drinks a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot ale does so thinking that they are drinking a "lite" beer.It is a "high gravity barleywine style ale". To you non-beer geeks that means high alcohol, high residual sugars and high calories. There is nothing misleading about the labeling or marketing of this product.

I agree... As someone who occasionally orders (and drinks) a Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha... I'll make the calories up (or rather avoid them) elsewhere...

And to add to Mr. Knott's observation, yes, the caloric content of a Bigfoot ale should be obvious to anyone after the first sip. Of course that's why, when I decide to enjoy this "worst" beer, I enjoy just one. And believe me, I get more satisfaction from that one Bigfoot than I could ever get from ten pints of the pisswater usually being drunk all around me in quantities that suggest even lite-beer drinkers are not actually concerned about calories. Drink good stuff - just drink less of it.

Drinks? come on, man... Big Foot is food!

Thanks, Donald. Bigfoot is really one of the GREAT beers in America, and to include it on this list is to be a slave to deceptive numbers. And note the "beer" it's compared to: Michelob Ultra, probably the most tasteless swill made. An absurdly narrow comparison.

OK, I can see that Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot ale has a high caloric content, but what does an equivalent volume of wine or distilled beverage have, it's way more believe me. Alcoholic beverages were not allowed, strangely enough, to show any nutritional content on their labels until very recently due to tax and trade bureau and before that ATB regulations, so I find it a bit unfair to pick on Sierra Nevada for not showing the calorie content to the consumer, instead the blame should fall on government regulating bodies for not wanting to give the impression they consider alcoholic beverages a food. Current law is that alcoholic beverages can label caloric, fat, protein, and carbohydrate content but don't have to and they are not allowed to put vitamin content on their beverages, even if it is there, because that would give the impression it is healthy to consume that beverage. All in all, if you consider that the bitterness level of the Bigfoot ale is 90 IBU, having more than 1 or 2 would take a strong palate (drinkability is lowered as hop levels increase). If Men's health wants to pick on an alcoholic beverage it should direct its criticism to the TTB for not requiring complete nutrition labels on these beverages.

We need to stop catering to the nitwits in society who can't manage their own lives. Stop trying to shame companies into offering only the products that you deem fit. Men's Health and Marketplace are not smarter than me, so I don't need a list to tell me what drinks should be available.

Drink rules, like food rules are simple. Sweeter=more calories.
Fat in the drink=more calories.
Excess calories=excess body weight.
Water is your best bet.


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