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Friday, April 24, 2015

Rethink Your Drink - A CDC Guide to Sugary Beverages

My favorite coffee mug.
Despite the fact that we're still having snow flurries at my house, the outdoor biking season has begun here in Maine. I've set a few goals for myself this season. One of the goals includes a personal best time on a local hill climb (follow me on Strava and you'll figure out which hill).

One of the ways to improve my climbing is by dropping weight. Since I don't have a spare $1,000+ spend on lighter wheels and other bike components, I decided to drop some of the weight from my body. One of the simple ways that I'm doing this is by cutting the sugar from my daily cups of coffee. I put about 1.5 teaspoons of sugar into my coffee three or four times per day which works out to 72-96 calories from sugar.

This sugar reduction quest got me searching for more information about sugar in beverages. One of the first things that I came upon was a PDF from CDC about sugary drinks. Rethink Your Drink provides a chart of sugar content and calories found in popular beverages. The PDF also contains a chart of suggested alternatives to drinking sugary beverages. In addition to the charts Rethink Your Drink provides suggestions on ways to cut sugar calories safely while not sacrificing nutrients.

Applications for Education
The charts in Rethink Your Drink could be good resources to use in a health and fitness class for students. You might combine Rethink Your Drink with these resources on how sugar affects the brain. And for good visuals about sugar, take a look at Sugar Stacks which by using sugar cubes shows how much sugar is in common foods and drinks.