how to stay small when any size drink is the same price

how to stay small when any size drink is the same price

It's officially summer now (even though the thermometer here in Phoenix tells me it's been summer for a few weeks already!), and that means hot afternoons and ice cold drinks to cool off.

I've noticed a trend over the last couple summers of gas stations and convenience stores offering any size soft drink for the same price. And it looks like this summer will be more of the same.

So far I've seen ads for McDonald's "Any size soft drink for $1" campaign.

And Circle K's "79 cents - any size, any day" campaign.

I've gotta be honest, it makes me feel like I'm getting ripped off when I buy a 24 oz drink and I know they would have sold me the 44 oz drink for the same price!

Here I'm going to do a little math and think this through:
  • 1 12-oz can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories. That's about 11.67 calories per ounce.
  • If you fill your cup about half-way with ice, you'll end up filling it with about 75% of its capacity with your drink of choice. (obviously this will vary depending on how much ice, what type of ice, and how close to the rim you fill your drink, but it was true in my in-home experiment.)

Based on those facts above, an ice cold Coke will have:
  • 24 oz cup - 210 calories
  • 32 oz cup - 280 calories
  • 44 oz cup - 385 calories
I've said many times that one bad day (or even one perfect day) won't matter over the course of time. But if you get in a big-soda habit this summer (or if you're already in one..), those calories will add up so fast you'll have a hard time being successful with the rest of your fitness plan.

My advice this summer? Choose wisely. Don't worry about what the store would have sold you for the same price. These stores also sell water, iced teas (unsweetened), and diet sodas (which open up a whole different discussion...)

To borrow a quote from someone more interesting than myself

Stay thirsty, my friends.

-Chris Butterworth