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The Unhealthiest Drinks In America

The unhealthiest drinks in America are not whiskey or tequila.  In fact, they don’t have any alcohol in them at all.  Instead, they have ungodly amounts of calories, sugar and saturated fat.  The enigmatic “World of Mysteries” blog (which credits Men’s Health for the scoop), recently reported the top 20 unhealthiest drinks sold in this country, starting relatively mildly with flavored waters and the like, and working their way up to the real belly busters.  The full list is available here, but for maximum shock value we will discuss the “big three” at the top of the list.

#3: McDonald’s Triple Thick Chocolate Shake

Just sounds like bad news, right?  In its “large” size, this monster clocks in at 32 ounces, and contains 1,160 calories.  On top of that, it contains 160 grams of sugar (the equivalent of 13 of McDonald’s Hot Baked Apple Pies).  Finally, just for good measure, it contains 27 grams of fat, 16 grams of which are saturated fat and 2 grams of which are transfat.  By way of comparison, this is the caloric equivalent of eating two Big Macs or two Quarter Pounders with Cheese, and nearly the saturated fat equivalent of a Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese.  So, if you fire down one of these babies along with your Value Meal #1, you are asking for trouble.

#2: Smoothie King Peanut Power Plus Grape

Smoothie King has remodeled their brand in the past few years, they now call their shops “nutritional lifestyle centers” and sell a lot of power bar/protein supplement-type things along with their mammoth smoothies which are in fact loaded with unhealthiness.   Just because something is called a “smoothie” does not mean it is good for you, particularly when it is served in movie-theater-sized portions, and anyone who thinks that frequent visits to Smoothie King are keeping them svelte is sorely mistaken.   The “Peanut Power Plus Grape” is essentially 40 ounces (a third of a gallon) of sweetened peanut butter blended with milk, grape juice and bananas.  The name suggests that the drink will “power” you up with peanuts, in fact you will end up ingesting 1,498 calories (3/4 of the recommended daily amount) as well as 214 grams of sugar, roughly equivalent to the amount of sugar in 20 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Also, it contains 44 grams of fat,  8 of which are saturated fat.

So, what kind of a drink could possibly top these?  The answer is…..

#1: Cold Stone PB & C Shake

Finally, the unhealthiest beverage in America.  This is especially impressive as this shake is sold in a mere 24 ounce size, significantly smaller than the offerings from Smoothie King and McDonalds.  However, the good folks at Cold Stone Creamery manage to pack a lot into those 24 ounces.  There are 2,010 calories in this drink, so to drink one is to actually exceed your recommended calorie intake for the day, all in one shot.  On top of that, there are 153 grams of sugar, roughly equivalent to thirty Chewy Chips Ahoy Cookies.  But the real damage is done based on the 132 grams of fat, 68 of which are saturated – in fact, the amount of saturated fat is equivalent to what is found in 68 strips of bacon.  So drink up, if you dare, you are probably taking days off your life every time you consume one of these things.

While the Cold Stone Shake is by far the most unhealthy, the Smoothie King offering is the most insidious, by virtue of the fact that it is marketed as health food.  With McDonalds’ “Triple Thick Chocolate Shake” and just about anything at Cold Stone Creamery, you pretty much know where you stand.  But for Smoothie King to concoct these calorie and sugar-laden drinks, sell them in giant 40 ounce sizes and then market them as being some sort of healthy alternative is pretty disingenuous.  So for that reason, we call out Smoothie King specifically for making gullible Americans fatter than they already are, under the pretense that they are partaking in a healthy lifestyle.  Honestly, they would probably be off indulging a guilty pleasure at Cold Stone Creamery than thinking they are somehow “powering” up their bodies after ingesting a 40 ounce behemoth courtesy of “The King.”

  1. Jasmin
    October 15, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    I tend to lean on the side of moderation being the key to success. Fat is essential. But simply because something is essential doens’t mean it should be the only item on your plate. If you look at the nutritional guide on line the smoothie in question is clearly labeled with all of the facts found inside the cup. Smoothie King is not suggesting anyone drink this smoothie as their dessert. There are people who could use the 1,124 calories that this smoothie offers without any added sugar. But that is up to them to replace a meal with the needed 22g of protein.

    I noticed that this artical is about unhealthy calories & I agree. I also noticed that the highest calorie smoothie Smoothie King has to offer was not on that list. The Strawberry Hulk. A 40oz Hulk packs in 2,088. If you add Peanut butter that puts in 289 more calories. Makeing the Hulk 2,277! If someone is desperately trying to be Michael Phelps! This will help! I enjoyed this artical. Thank you!

  2. Christine
    September 25, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    1st i wanted to say that smoothie king uses UNSWEETEND peanut butter, it tastes like shit outside of a smoothie. just fyi, i don’t know where you got your facts from… 2nd, yes, there are some smoothies at smoothie king that have LOTS of calories in them, there are people out there that NEED lots of calories to be HEALTHY. and 3rd, if your really trying to be healthy, you’d read the nutrition facts before you indulge, you’d drink a 20 oz. instead of a 40 oz. you also have the option to take out any sugar so if your fat because you had the most unhealthy smoothie from smoothie king every day thats YOUR fault.


  3. Hector D. Sanchez
    May 27, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    “n fact, the amount of saturated fat is equivalent to what is found in 68 strips of bacon.”

    It’s just not quite so terrifying when you couch it in those terms.

  4. Franky
    May 26, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Now regretting every triple thick shake I’ve ever had.

  1. June 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

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