Hold the Whipped Cream…and the Drink

So I’ve been working at the coffee shop in our undergraduate library for what seems like an eternity (2.5 year and counting). While my salary hasn’t increased too much, everything else has. Drink size, food quantity, appetites, espresso shots–the list goes on…

I always work on Wednesday, which is our “two dollar latte” day. Any size latte for just two dollars. Basically, hoards of customers all day long. Practically everyone orders a large (20 oz) latte with caramel, vanilla, or more commonly- both.

Now it’s no absurdity that everyone gets into this whole ’super-size my drink’ mode when its free. You want to get the most value for your buck. No big deal.
But I did a rough calculation (Starbucks nutrition facts) and a large vanilla latte has around 400 calories. Add 50 calories for caramel and 130 calories for whip cream. Grand total= 580 calories. And that’s without a muffin, coffee cake, or scone (all of which would tack on another 400-500 calories each).
An article that recently ran in the New York Times titled “You Are Also What You Drink” reports that some of your biggest health ailments stem from poor beverage choice consumption. Although these findings aren’t anything new to the health industry, it’s an important reality check for all of us. I’ll admit it– I initially gained weight when I starting working at a coffeeshop.
Most of the time, we don’t even realize how calorie-infested some of our favorite drinks actually are. I’m not out to ruin your monday morning, but these nutrition facts might be worth a glance.

Jamba Juice Citrus Squeeze Smoothie 470 calories (original size)

Dairy Queen Chocolate Malt Shake 880 calories (16 oz)

Panera I.C Caramel 550 calories (grande)
Jack in the Box Oreo Shake 910 calories (16 oz)
Baskin Robbins Strawberry-Banana Creamy Breeze 730 calories (medium)

Steak ‘n Shake Root Beer Float 557 calories (medium)

Kahlúa Mudslide 494 calories (one serving)

Jager Bomb 213 calories (1.5 fl oz)

Indulge in your favorite drinks every once in a while, but for the sake of your liver, cholesterol, and blood sugar level, try not to go too overboard. Health officials argue that there’s just no point in drinking all your calories away. And they’re right.