Burn it to earn it

Sweet drinks

Sugar may make things taste sweeter, but are the empty calories and health risks worth that sweetness? Here are some sweet drinks we all know and love, along with how many steps it takes to work them off.

All conversions are based on a 2,000 steps/mile average for a person weighing 150lbs.

Sweet Tea

McDonald’s has some of the sweetest tea known to man thanks to the 38 grams of sugar in a large sweet tea! It takes 3,743 steps to burn off the 160 calories in this large drink.

ways to work it off

3,743 steps

  • • 30 minute walk at 4.5mph
  • • 20 minutes biking, moderate pace


A good lemonade can quickly quench your thirst, but you might need a water to wash down the 74 grams of sugar in a large lemonade from Chick-fil-A. This drink has 300 calories, which would take 7,018 steps to burn off.

ways to work it off

7,018 steps

  • • 30 minutes of rowing, high-intensity
  • • 30 minutes of circuit training

Vanilla Milkshake

It is hard to say no to a creamy vanilla milkshake from Dairy Queen but just know that a large has 860 calories and 113 grams of sugar. It takes 20,117 steps to burn these calories off.

ways to work it off

20,117 steps

  • • 60 minute run at 6.7mph
  • • 60 minute vigorous swim

Minute Maid Blue Raspberry Slushie

McDonald’s recently started selling Minute Maid slushies and the a notable thing about them, besides giving you a blue mouth, is that a large has 88 grams of sugar and 340 calories. It takes 7,954 steps to burn this treat off.

ways to work it off

7,954 steps

  • • 30 minutes on the elliptical
  • • 30 minutes of boxing

Photo credit: @dunkindonuts (via Instagram)

Frozen Iced Coffee

Dunkin Donuts turned their ever-so-famous coffee into a frozen sweet treat in a variety of flavors. A large french vanilla swirl frozen iced coffee with cream has 1,180 calories and 188 grams of sugar. It takes 27,603 steps to burn this one off.

ways to work it off

27,603 steps

  • • 90 minute run at 6.7mph

Fruit Punch

AriZona is known for their fun flavored drinks that come in large 23 ounce cans. Their Mucho Mango fruit juice cocktail has about 300 calories and 78 grams of sugar, taking 7,018 steps to burn off.

ways to work it off

7,018 steps

  • • 60 minutes of yoga
  • • 60 minutes of Tai Chi

Photo credit: @starbucks (via Instagram)

Strawberry Acai Lemonade Refresher

This pretty pink Starbucks drink has become a summertime staple with 200 calories and 46 grams of sugar in a venti. It takes 4,679 steps to burn off these calories.

ways to work it off

4,679 steps

  • • 15 minutes of rock climbing
  • • 60 minutes of weight lifting
two overlapping bottled drinks

The calories are one thing, but it is important to note that sugar increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Pass the water!

More Calorie Comparisons

Nothing tastes as good as 10K steps a day.